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Question on Mental Game:

Here's my question: I have what feels like a good practice swing, but when I step up to the ball I feel all tense and I can't get comfortable and when I swing it feels so unnatural. What can I do so that when I setup and make a full swing at the ball it feels as easy as the practice swing? This only happens on full swings... chips and pitches work fine.
--Blair M. from Tacoma, WA

Hi Blair. Thanks for writing

I'm excited to help you improve your game. I think there are two important keys here that you could focus on to make your real swings feel like your practice swings.

1) Develop a very solid and consistent pre-shot routine. A common routine is to take two practice swings (looking up at the target after each swing), then to walk behind the ball and approach it. At this point you then approach the ball aiming your clubface first, then squaring your body to the club. A couple of waggles and a couple of looks at the target and then you pull the trigger without delay. With this routine the player is constantly looking at the target and telling their brain where the swing needs to go. They are also focused on the routine and quick to pull the trigger before thoughts start to creep in.

2) The second key would be to take a big huge breath and let it out right before you take the club back. This allows you to decompress, clear your mind and relax your muscles.

Give these a try and let me know how it goes. If you are consistent with it, then it should really help.

Good luck!


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