Be the Ball Danny
Yes, I know we have all quoted this famous line about a million times, but Ty Webb was on to something. For me, I rediscovered its value about 3 weeks ago. This spring, I had been working really hard on improving the mechanics of my swing. You know, reading tons of magazines, watching YouTube videos and generally obsessing. Fortunately, it was paying off and I felt like I was getting better. From May to June I went from shooting mid to high 80’s to low 80’s. Then in early June, just one day prior to a tournament, I played 12 of the worst holes I had played since February. I was beside myself and was clueless as to how to fix my swing. It was on the 13th hole where I decided I was going to finish the round just trying “to make solid contact”.
First a note on “making solid contact”: I once heard a pro say that all he thought about while standing over the ball was “make solid contact”. While I neither believe anything a pro says nor think that it has any relation to our game (look for a future blog post on this subject), it did make me think.
Back to the story, I finished the last 6 holes 2 over and was just blown away by how natural my swing felt. Since that 6 hole stretch, I have blocked out any swing thoughts other than “make good contact”. Well, to be fair, I do think about a light grip, but that is not really a swing thought. In other words, “Be the Ball”.
I am not sure if this theory works without having a decent swing to begin with, but I believe that over thinking your swing can result in a downward spiral of confusion. On the other hand, take the act throwing a baseball. Have you ever thought about the mechanics of throwing a baseball? Of course not, but anybody with just an ounce of coordination can just pick up a ball and throw it without thinking about mechanics. While you many not hit the strike zone every time, you are likely not to throw it sideways. I mean can you imagine throwing it sideways? Umm, paging Mr. John Wall. The point is, if you over analyze, the task sometimes gets a whole lot harder.
So if you get bogged down with swing thoughts on the course, give it a try. Just think about making solid contact and “be the ball Danny”