Making your golf swing dance

I enjoyed this article so decided to add an audio podcast to it. Thanks to Holdini for the inspiration

Too many of us treat our golf swings like they’re going to break. We tread carefully. We’re precise. And we take our time to be sure we don’t do anything wrong. But this is not how you get yourself a free flowing and powerful golf swing. Nope. If you want to succeed you’ve gotta dance.

Dancing and golf aren’t generally seen to be the same. But this is the exact mindset you need if you want to break free. When you’re on the dance floor you’re moving to the music, you’re in rhythm and you’re not trying to control every part of your body. If you’re at a party and had a few drinks, the more you move and let go the better you do. But golfers don’t get it.

Maybe it’s the (lack of) alcohol, but overly artificial swings seem to be the norm. When was the last time you stepped up to the golf ball and truly danced? Add a waggle a forward press or some other move to get you started and you may be surprised at how well your swing flows.

I remember a time when I was coaching a guy at the local driving range. He brought his young daughter along and she was hitting some balls in the bay next to him. The Old Man was hopeless – far too serious and thought his golf swing was the most important thing to him. He wanted to know about each millimeter of his swing and why certain shots happened. He didn’t get it and the lesson was going nowhere. In a flash of inspiration I called his daughter over and asked what her favourite song was. It was some Top 40 thing that was poplar at the time and I asked her to hit some golf balls to the beat of the song.

She loved it. She waltzed in (or strolled, skipped) to the ball. She was moving rhythmically and thumped the ball while she was singing away. She danced. And it was the best lesson I could of given her dad. She hit shot after shot while “dancing” away. There was no thought of grip, stance or “what am I doing wrong?”. She was playing the game and it was brilliant. I think the old boy finally worked out what I was on about.

Here’s a comment I have only just received from Holdini:

I dont know what you think of my take on your coaching Cameron but I now play my shot from the moment I walk to the ball. I feel as if I am in constant motion and am dynamic. Previously I would be static over the ball and prone to thinking too much. Now I breeze up to it, give it a waggle and just go for it. Is this my interpretation of your “dance”.

My thoughts: Holdini, you get it. I love the term “breeze”. It’s the perfect word for the walk to the ball. Keep doing this and you’ll do just fine and your game will continue to get better and better. Dancing allows your swing to go where it wants. You’ll have more awareness and with this comes greater joy and performance.

He finished off with this remark:

Keep up the good work Cameron. You do change peoples lives for the bettter.

Me: Thank you.

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19 Comments

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    I can only say after reading the comments from Holdini and your subsequent response to those comments Cam is that Holdini you have got it
    Cheers Lukey

  • Michael Murphy

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    Yes it is all about trying different things and doing what feels best for you.I read one of your blogs about treating the swing like a dance some time ago cam. Well my interpretation of what you said made everything feel very rushed. I don’t usually have any songs in my head. I have a very casual, slower type nature, so therefore I slowly walk in and do my own thing…a very slow dance if you like!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply July 24, 2013

      Dancing doesn’t mean you have to rush. You just need to be brave enough to go where you feel comfortable. If you’re uncomfortable it’s a sign you need to give it more time (your system needs to adjust) or you’re still thinking too much. Keep at it and report back with any findings…

  • Adam

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    Genious

  • Adam

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    Ive been trying to see if distance is truly a factor in golf mainly how far youre hitting the ball. My old golf instructor used to say “its not what you hit its where you hit it.” Makes me wonder

  • Adam

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    How can i learn to hit a slight draw on my longer clubs? When i try i cant get the ball in the air because of negative loft

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply July 24, 2013

      Start with the shorter clubs and work your way down. Tiger Woods struggles to hit a draw with his 3 iron. So this is the end point, not the starting. See if you can bend shots with your 9 iron and go from there…

  • Adam

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    One last thing one time i was dancing and did a split and broke my arm. How you might ask? No idea. Dancing is usually very dangerous.

  • Holdini

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    Michael. I felt rushed when I first tried it! But I stopped and thought about it. I believe I felt rushed because my thoughts (pesky) was trying to keep up with my subconcious. No chance. When I approached the shot with the right attitude (free wheeling and see what happens) I improved like you wouldnt believe. I also took inspiration from watching Keegan Bradley play. All that twirling and motion he does must be his dance. If you look at Camerons blog again and find the right mind set you can amaze yourself!

    By the way, if you try walking inslowly and be relaxed are you not conciously trying to slow things down? (pesky again). Just walk in, feel comfortable and whack it. What your body does, it wants to do!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply July 24, 2013

      Some great stuff here guys. Here’s some more info:

      You’ll feel rushed and uncomfortable if you’re fighting your system. You really have to let go and go where your body wants. This doesn’t mean that you’re bashing the ball and playing some form of crazy hockey. No way, it’s actually the opposite. Because you’re playing freely you’ll unlock your best swing and this swing is what gives you the magic. You sorta have to surrender to the game – stop worrying about each part of the swing (or what could happen or what already has) – you’re in the moment and doing exactly what you want. This is when you’ll have the biggest breakthroughs and the game becomes fun again.

      Also, this dancing thing can be quite confronting for many. When you realise you’ve had the ability to play better all along but you’ve held back, it can come as quite a shock. This is the time to embrace your game and take it to new heights. The best thing any golfer can do is to get outside and swing the sticks. You can read about all this stuff but reading and thinking only takes you so far. But getting a club and “dancing” is the best thing you can do. Action beats reading by a long way.

      Thanks again to Holdini for sparking things up…

  • Michael Murphy

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    Holdini, thanks for the insight,I think you maybe onto something there! You have just opend my eyes up more 🙂

  • Holdini

    Reply Reply July 23, 2013

    I know you will do it! Keep on trucking…

  • Holdini

    Reply Reply July 24, 2013

    How to teach a kid how NOT to dance. I find this quite upsetting.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsmLr9tCdPI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • James Smith

    Reply Reply July 25, 2013

    As usual, Cam, great stuff! 🙂 James

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply July 25, 2013

      Thanks James. Some of my stuff is better than others 🙂 but you need to have the junk to get to the good stuff…

  • James Smith

    Reply Reply August 1, 2013

    What I find strikingly significant with the golf swing being a “dance” is the picture of unity it brings to the overall motion. No part of the body moves independently from the rest. The swing is one united action, not a sequence of individual actions performed each as a result of the other. I love watching old videos of golfing greats, and to a man, when they start to swing, everything goes together, stays together, and finishes together. One team, one fight! You gotta’ love it. 🙂

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply August 2, 2013

      The Oldtimers certainly played with a lot of flow. Less stuffing around too. The notion that one can build a swing bit by bit and then learn to play the game is a flawed one in my opinion.

  • James Smith

    Reply Reply August 2, 2013

    Another observation on the golf dance analogy is the importance of the feet in both motions. I don’t think it can be overstated.

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