Mechanical Breakdowns

By David BreslowJuly 26, 2006, 4:00 pm
As most people know, golf is a game consumed with mechanics and golfers spend hours at the driving range trying to hone their golf swing. When golfers hit poor shots on the course the first thing they usually do is begin to look for where things went wrong with their swing. Some mechanical breakdowns in your golf swing are purely mechanical issues to be sure but many times they are not. When a golfer hits some poor shots on the golf course what is one of the first things they do at the end of the round? If they have the time they might go to the driving range to find their swing again. When they find their swing at the range they often remark; why couldnt I hit it like that on course?
 
If you can hit the ball in one moment and not the next there is something else going on. There are basic and undeniable cause and effect principles of physics which most golfers relate to. When the club head is open the ball will slice. When the club head is closed the ball will hook and these laws are quite predictable in terms of the effect on the golf ball. It would make sense that so many golfers would turn immediately toward their swing mechanics when things go wrong with their results, however, some mechanical breakdowns are triggered purely by poor mechanics and many are not. What does this mean? It means that when your golf swing starts out sound and then it breaks down during a round the cause is often in your mind.
 
YOUR MECHANICS AND MENTAL LAW
Just like the law of physics there are mental laws that effect how you swing the golf club. These laws will impact how well or how poorly you perform.
 
If youve read any of my articles on The Golf Channel you know that Ive often described the reality that the mind, body and emotions are connected. Just as the law of physics, the mind/body/emotion laws are undeniable and are just as predictable in how they affect your game. I believe people relate to the laws of physics more easily because it is a physical law. When you open the club face the ball slices. The feedback is clear and immediate. When it comes to the Mental Laws it is not as clear for many people because they dont believe the feedback is immediate but my clients see very quickly that THESE LAWS ARE very clear, in fact just as clear as the laws of physics.
 
When your swing seems to breakdown on the golf course, in addition to identifying your mechanics here are some suggestions that can bring your attention to some inner triggers that impact your golf swing. Remember, when you misuse these laws they will affect how you swing the golf club.
 
What Are You Thinking?
When you notice your mechanics slipping stop and ask yourself what you are thinking! Are you beginning to over think mechanics? Are you worrying about the results of your shots before you strike the ball? Are you trying too hard? Check it out because your thoughts will affect your emotions and your physical body.
 
What Are You Saying?
Along with your thought often comes a stream of inner dialogue that might not be very effective for you. If you are saying things like, here we go again or this shot always give me trouble or Im a horrible golfer, then you cannot be surprised if your mechanics are affected. Thoughts and words affect your emotions and your physical body and can cause a poor golf swing to take place.
 
Your Tension Level
Tension is subtle. When I work with players on the golf course they are amazed to discover their bodies are more tense then they thought. Since the mind affects the emotions which then affect your physical body (muscle tension) it is important to be aware of it. When your body is too tight it will affect the way you swing the golf club and cause mechanical breakdowns to take place. When you are anxious or nervous or negative over a certain golf shot you can speed up, slow down, take the club back poorly, use your hands more than youd like, not make a good shoulder turn, not bring your hips through the ball, etc. Tension can cause all of these things to happen!
 
There are more Mind / Emotion / Body cause and effect laws influencing your game all the time. Clients discover that a breakdown in swing mechanics is not just mechanical; they learn that many times it begins in their minds. If you just focus on your mechanics when they break down you may be looking at the symptom rather than the solution.
 
NOTE: For those who are interested I also work with players on the golf course. You play a round of golf while I observe, offer feedback and you implement strategies right on the spot. In addition, you leave with a summary report for extended success. If interested in more info; email, David@theflowzone.net.
 
Also, if you have any questions or comments on this or any article please email, David@theflowzone.net. We love hearing from you!
 
Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    <
    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.