Playing golf and technique – what’s more important?

Playing the game is most important – when you play the game your technique will improve anyway.

This is something that is often overlooked or ignored by many. Most try and separate golf into play and practice (think technique). So golf gets broken down into two distinct parts and from here the game gets difficult (impossible might be a better word). What happens most of the time is the technique part of your golfing brain pulls rank and dominates your thought. Poor, inconsistent, weak and horrible play is the normal result.

Understanding that playing not only gives you the best chance of succes (consistency, power and lower scores amongst other things) but also allows your technique to improve is a revelation. You don’t need to expend vasts amount of energy on things like,

What am I doing wrong?
How do I hit the ball?
What was that thing the golf pro told me?

Instead, you can focus on these,

How far away is the target?
What club do I need?
Let’s hit the ball there…

This is playing the game. Less thought and an objective based mindset. It works and leads to improvement in all areas of your golf game – it’s also far less taxing.

The technique based way way is popular but I’m willing to bet has let you down. The hardest choice is deciding whether you want to play the game or remained hypnotised on your technique.

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61 Comments

  • Ray Crick

    Reply Reply September 9, 2011

    Hello Cam,
    Your comments here are 100 % right!! I recently made a commitment with myself that I would not analyse(technique) while I was playing!!
    I can honestly say since I’ve conquered this I’m mentally fresher when I’ve completed the round and this is irrespective of how I’ve played!! Again this just simplifies the game. Auto golf is a long journey with speed bumps along the way, you just have to keep committed and the wins will come!
    Ps- Cam recently read Tim Galweys book, is the Back Hit exercise in hes book the same method as counting or singing to distract the mind?

    Regards,
    Ray

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply September 9, 2011

    Cam I totally agree with the above because I had been really struggling with my swing of late and this in turn has been affecting everything else (score,inconsistent power etc.) but here last Sunday whilst having a game with my mate (technique man)I insisted we have fun and not get too serious and low and behold I thought bugger this I’m going to swing any old how and my old swing returned and I was away.I will admit we did talk about gripping the driver down a bit and to chip off the back foot which in turn did help but as I mentioned to my mate I do not want to get bogged down in technique full stop. So as mentioned above Cam what your saying is correct and having the balls to change the way you PLAY GOLF is paramount.
    Cheers Lukey

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply September 9, 2011

    Lukey. Good stuff. Some very slight thoughts on technique are fine. Gripping down on the shaft or ball position are fine. They can even help you focus. But don’t over do it. Keep playing and the remarkable will happen. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply September 11, 2011

    Cam
    Just a quick little word to let you know that I finally had that break out game yesterday playing stableford.I managed to have a 71 (7 over) off the stick for a total of 47 points.You are also right golf becomes very enjoyable when you just “play golf”.
    Cheers Lukey
    PS Not as good as Steady I know but still bloody good.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply September 11, 2011

      Well done Lukey. Great to hear of your great round.

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply September 12, 2011

    Cam,

    Last November I set myself a challenge, after 5 years of being on the golf lesson/ technique golf swing improvement merry go round my handicap had gone painfully from 9 to 15. I had initially got to 9 with very few lessons. I decided to embrace automatic golf, no more technique golf swing based lessons.
    Over 15 competitive rounds in 10 months my handicap is now back at 9.

    I had got to the point last November where after almost every shot it didn’t matter where it had gone or how I had hit it all I was concerned about was wether I had swung “correctly”. I committed to not thinking about swing mechanics during a round, there have been some slight lapses during the 15 rounds but mostly I have managed to do this. There has been no real giant leaps just a constant improvement in my game my best round has been 43 points.

    By just being aware and in the present moment during my swing I have increased the quality of my ball striking enormously, when I first started last November I became aware of how thin I hit just about every shot and how it hadn’t really registered before because I was so concerned about swinging correctly I didn’t even notice the reality of the shot. I have been able to notice things during my swing and at times easily correct them to improve my ball striking.

    I think my improvement would have been even quicker had I not set myself a goal of getting back to single figures, at times during some rounds it has been a distraction of trying to get a score that would improve my handicap.

    I still go to the driving range occasionally but it is more to notice things rather than trying to correct them.

    Concentrating on technique had taken me away from playing the game I think the movement in my handicap over the last 10 months has proven to me that playing and being aware is more productive than overly concentrating on technique.

    Thanks Cam, the ideas on this website have helped enormously over the last 10 months.

    Andrew

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply September 13, 2011

      Hi Andrew, thanks for the update on your game. There’s a great message in your words that I think can help every golfer.

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