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.
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,
Also, if you have any questions or comments on this or any article please email, We love hearing from you!
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    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: or visit the web: To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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