Trying really hard to make a “perfect” golf swing is the WRONG thing to do.
Here are some reasons why:
Nobody in the golf industry can agree on what is the “perfect” golf swing.
Trying too hard takes a lot of energy and you can waste years (yes years).
Some really smart scientists totally disagree with HOW most of us learn a better golf swing.
Nikolai Berstein (1896-1966) is a little known Russian scientist. He was a pioneer in understanding motion and how we learn them. And because he was from the old USSR most of his research remained hidden to the western world until at least the 1960’s.
One of his breakthrough studies came when he analysed the repetitive movement of hitting a metal sheet with a hammer. As you can see in the photo below the path of the hammer is different. It’s not the same each time.
Berstein called this “repetition without repetition”. You’re able to perform the motion but there are distinct differences with each movement.
And here’s the really interesting bit …
Not only is this deviation quite normal in skilled performers, it should be embraced. This variability of motion is functional and leads to improved skill and adaptability.
This is powerful stuff but sadly has been ignored by most of the golf world.
We believe we MUST make the “perfect” golf swing each time. That we should strive to be on plane and make sure our rotation and wrist cock and hip action is precise. We are brainwashed into thinking our grip needs to be exact and that we need to stand perfectly square to the target.
But it’s rubbish! Trying to be precise is wrong. It’s not possible and disrupts the motion so much that any chance of delivering a free-flowing and powerful swing is gone.
And when I look around the local driving range I see golfers who have have disrupted their learning system so much, that they are riddled with fear that they have trouble taking the club away from the ball.
What’s the answer here?
A little bit of variability. You don’t need to be super precise because this kills flow. Golfers need to take the straitjacket off and swing with more freedom. And perhaps, most importantly of all, embrace our own uniqueness.
What to learn more about this swing stuff?
I have written a fairly detailed report on all this that you can read over here.
I call my process Technique Without Technique and it’s mighty powerful. It’s worth the read if you’re golf swing feels YUK and you’re not playing as well as you should be