Is there value in a swing tip ?

More swing keys

Swing Tips: We have all seen them; we have all heard them; industry publications largely make money because of them.  Swing tips are so prevalent in golfers’ lives that they largely go unchallenged. Walk up and down any driving range in America and you will hear people giving them to others, trying to remember what their golf pro told them, or trying to master some they read about in the latest magazine, or saw on an instructional TV show.

After giving thousands of golf lessons, taking thousands of golf lessons and working with numerous golf professionals, I am struck by the reliance golfers have on swing tips or keys they believe will help them play better golf.  Swing tips might hold some value for some golfers – I am just asking how much value.

Typically when a golfer goes to the driving range to practice or to the course to play a round, he or she has been taught that having one swing thought to focus on will help them perform. This by its very nature goes against other traditional teaching that asks the golfer to simply play golf without any thoughts. Which approach is the best? Let us examine the process of a swing thought or key.
Typically, a golfer will start with one swing thought or key. For example, “follow-through”, the first time the golfer practices with that swing thought they are very successful, they make a conscious effort to follow-through and they are also paying particular attention to what they are doing, feeling, and experience during this time. However, when the golfer goes to practice again using the same swing thought, a disconnect begins to emerge as the swing thought does not have as much power, and the golfer’s performance begins to suffer. As more time passes, the golfer begins to lose faith in his or her original swing thought and ultimately giving up
and searching for an applying a new swing thought. This happens so frequently that some golfers might go through dozens of swing thoughts in one practice session.
If this occurs and we can discard the swing key or thought that is going to transform our game until it doesn’t, how valid are they? Do swing tips really make a difference? Do they really help? I believe that my good friend and golf professional Fred Shoemaker described it best:  “Swing tips don’t work; people do.”

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