Swing Thoughts – Some Are Better Than Others?

John Stahlschmidt
PGA Director of Instruction
JW Marriott Camelback Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

More Information

Are you the type of person that has to have a swing thought in order to play your best? I have clients who can’t draw the club back without a swing thought and others who get messed up if they have any swing thoughts. The mental side of golf is fascinating. So, are some swing thoughts better than others?

There has been a lot of research conducted on the mental game. Most of this research consistently preaches the importance of having your “right brain” activated while hitting shots on the course versus your “left brain.” There is now a golf product on the market called the Focus Band that actually monitors your right brain vs left brain activity. So why is it so important to use your right brain while hitting golf shots while playing? The research indicates you have a much higher probability of enhancing your performance state while using your right brain versus your left brain.

Take a look at the picture. To keep it simple, the right brain is your creative side while your left is your analytical-technical side. If you want to get into the “zone” you need to be using your right brain. 

A great way to activate your right brain while hitting golf shots on the course is to be present with more sensory thoughts. We all know there are 5 senses and we primarily use 3 for golf – touch, sight and hearing.  

The next time you are at the practice tee, I want you to hit 25 shots following this sequence: hit 5 shots visualizing your target, hit 5 shots visualizing your ball flight, hit 5 shots feeling good balance, hit 5 shots feeling  soft grip and arm tension, and hit 5 shots humming your favorite song. Were some easier to do than others? If the feeling of good balance for example resonated with you, try to commit 100% to good balance over every shot on the course during the next round of golf. You will be using your right brain and hopefully the result is an elevated performance state.

John Stahlschmidt is the PGA Director of Instruction at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. John is ranked #12 in the state of Arizona by Golf Digest and ranked as a “top 30” teachers by Golf Tips Magazine. To book a lesson or learn more, visit johnstahlschmidt.com.