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The Answer Is, It's All About Feel.

Posted by on in Village Blogs
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Why do you play the clubs that you play? I bet that when you bought them, you told everyone how great they look. They "felt" right to your eye's. I bet that you told everyone that they were some variation of the word; "smooth." They felt right swinging in your hands. They felt right at impact. I recently turned down a brand new, way below cost, hybrid. I didn't like the feel of the shaft or the feel  of the club-face at impact. I would have never used it, regardless of how much it cost.


I recently played a round of golf with my 12 year old nephew. He was playing with "hand-me-down" clubs (I'll keep manufacturer names out of this) that were at least 10 years old. They may even have been as old as he was. Regardless, he shot a 78 from the men's tees that day. He has never received a lesson other than a tip here and there from fellow golfers at the club. He has figured out early on what feels right for him and what works without getting technical and analytical. It's a lesson that can't be taught, it has to be felt. It's a lesson that I fear I may never learn. I analyze every mistake.


During the round, I handed him a brand new driver, bought straight from the store shelf the previous{jcomments on} weekend. It had the same loft angle, the same shaft length and the same shaft flex of his 10 year old driver. He hit it once and said, very matter of factly, "This club sucks." A 12 year old just told me that my brand new club, sucks. I was shocked. I tried to get him to explain why. All I could get out of him was, "I don't like the way it feels." As I played the next few holes I really thought about why he didn't like it. Why wouldn't he want to play the newest golf technology? After he bombed his ancient, ten year old driver 230 yards on the next hole, I realized why. Just as he told me, he simply didn't like the way it felt. His works just fine.


Golf announcers today, over analyze every shot that is played. Players have swing coaches, mental coaches and manufacturers tweaking the club to "fit" them perfectly. Players are constantly seeking advice, switching caddies and spending hours on the range and in front of video cameras trying to build a perfect swing. There's no such thing as a perfect swing (sorry Hogan purists). Hunter Mahan just won the World Match Play Championship. You know what they said his swing coach was working on with him this week? Absolutely nothing. Mahan was playing with FEEL guiding his shots.


Next time that you play a round of golf or make a trip to the range, pay very close attention to how the club feels in your hands. Pay attention to the weight of the club as you swing it. Pay attention to how your body reacts to your swing. It's the first step to getting better at this game. If you can't describe, in detail, how your swing feels, you'll never be able to improve. Also, take notice the next time that you get to play with a low handicap player. Look in their bag. I guarantee that most of the time, you will find at least one club that is at minimum, five years old. Me, I still play a three wood that I was given when I first started playing 13 years ago. You know why? I like the way it feels.