Do pros have swing thoughts?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

Professional golfers do have swing thoughts, but it varies from player to player. While some professionals may have specific swing thoughts in their practice sessions or when working on certain aspects of their game, many of them try to minimize the number of swing thoughts they have while playing a round of golf.

The reason behind this is that having too many swing thoughts can lead to overthinking and paralysis by analysis, which can negatively impact performance. Golf is a game that requires focus and mental clarity, and having too many thoughts can create distractions and hinder a player’s ability to execute their shots effectively.

In fact, a study conducted by Dr. Debbie Crews, a sports psychologist and professor at Arizona State University, found that 75% of PGA Professionals had no swing thoughts at all while playing. This suggests that these professionals have reached a level of mastery where they trust their training and rely more on their instincts and feel for the game.

While it is important for amateurs to have some swing thoughts to help them improve their technique, it is generally recommended to keep it simple and focus on one key aspect at a time. For example, a player might focus on maintaining a smooth tempo or keeping their head still during the swing.

Having one clear swing thought allows the player to stay focused and committed to that specific aspect, rather than getting overwhelmed with multiple thoughts. It also helps in developing muscle memory and consistency in the swing.

However, during practice sessions, professionals may experiment with different swing thoughts to work on specific aspects of their game. They may try different drills or techniques to groove their swing and make adjustments to their technique. This allows them to fine-tune their skills and improve their overall performance on the course.

It is worth noting that the swing thoughts of professionals can also change over time as they continue to evolve and refine their game. They may adopt new techniques or adjust their approach based on their performance and feedback from their coaches.

While professionals do have swing thoughts, they tend to minimize them during actual rounds of golf to maintain focus and mental clarity. It is recommended for amateurs to have one clear swing thought at a time to improve their technique, but during practice sessions, it can be helpful to experiment with different thoughts and techniques to groove their swing.