Where's your "Happy Swing?
Our facility was once a United Artists Theater. My family and I watched the movie Hook from about the same spot where I am now sitting. In the show, Robin Williams’ character, Peter Pan, is taken back to Neverland and has tough time coming to grips with his lack of imagination. Julia Robert’s character, Tinkerbell, tells Peter Pan, "Just thinking happy thoughts" will make you fly.
I’m also reminded of a golf movie where the lead is having difficulty getting back into the groove. Roy McAvoy, played by Kevin Costner, is causing chaos on the driving range hitting shank after shank. Romeo, played by Cheech Marin, is doing everything he can to get Roy’s mind off of the pending event (i.e., US Open) by telling him to put his hat on backwards, move his change to the other pocket, and so forth.
Both stars get their act together just in the nick of time, but when you’re in the moment and can’t seem to find a fairway what do you do? Find your “happy swing.”
Every tour pro will tell you they have a golf swing they feel most comfortable with and go there in times of trouble (especially during a tournament). All golfers need a “happy swing” (i.e., a “go to” club and shot where they get back to basics and locate the cause of the problem). It’s like taking off the bells and whistles you have added before you call Tech Support and tell them their new computer doesn’t work. For me that club/shot is the pitching wedge and the 40-yard pitch. The shot is an easy way to reconnect with my golf swing. For those of you who might not be aware of this one, it’s just:
- Place the ball at the center of my stance (6 o’clock) and grip the club lightly
- Turn the shoulders back to 9 o’clock and make an “L” with your arm and the club
- Turn your hips forward and let the club fall through the ball
- Finish the swing pointing the club at the target toe up, your knees touching, and your belly button pointing to the target
Now, for sure there are many other aspects to this shot that space doesn’t permit reviewing, but the key is to find a swing you can repeat anytime, anywhere. Think back over the last several outings and identify your best swing. Your “happy swing” might be something totally different than mine. Perhaps it’s a three-quarter driver shot or a full 9-iron. Regardless, when you get in trouble…
- Take a few “happy swings” and compare with your troubled swings
- Identify and eliminate any unnecessary muscles and tension
- Then take your “happy swing” feeling into the next shot