When golfers get a little nervous they tend to fall back on the expression 'trust your swing’. They've heard it from their mates, their local pro or read it in a magazine; but what does it really mean and can it really help to lower your scores?
The expression is often used to try to stop a golfer over compensating for wrong moves normally made during the backswing. As human beings it's inherent in us to try to compensate for mistakes, but often our attempts to right a wrong are overdone. And this can lead to even more trouble.
For example, imagine if driving a car on a long, tedious journey, you fell asleep momentarily, then woke up to find you were steering towards a grass verge. First reaction would inevitably be to panic and swerve across the road, away from trouble, only to end up in a ditch. Had you merely kept calm and strayed onto the grass verge you would at worst have ended up with a dirty car, instead of a wreck or worse.
In the same way, a golfer who feels slightly out of position at the top of the back swing will often try to steer the club onto the correct line in the downswing. The end result is normally worse than if they had trusted the swing. By over compensating, a golf shot that maybe would have ended up ten yards to the right, often ends up 20 yards left and possibly out of bounds!
To trust your swing make a practice swing and hold the finish. When you come to hit the ball, make sure you finish in the same position by replicating the practice downswing. It might be that your ball ends up on the right edge of the green, but if you had tried to guide the ball at the target it would have ended up further from the flag.
John Hoskison is attached to the Newbury Golf Centre and plays on the European Seniors Tour. For further information visit John's website at www.johnhoskisongolf.com