What's a good swing?

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More specifically, what's a good swing for you? Aside from all the models and perfect positions we all have in our head of what we should look like, what do you want from your swing at it's most functionally level? Strictly thinking in big picture terms. Regardless of score, what needed to happen for you to drive home after a round saying to yourself "I swung it good today."

If I have good distance and a one directional miss, I'm happy with whatever swing followed me to the course.


I like to relate that to number of greens hit. Even if I mess up a tee shot and punch out, now I am playing m 3rd shot, if I hit the green that's a good sign for me (even better if I didn't mess up the tee shot). This tells me that I made a good swing and the ball essentially went straight. In my 20 years of playing golf I have found it very hard to hit the green by accident. If you are hitting greens at some reasonable rate (maybe 50% of the time, say) you have good distance control, good clubface control, and you are able to make adjustments based on the lie.

In order to go home at the end of a round pleased with my ball striking I have to do several things:

1. Hit the ball solid all day
2. Feel comfortable over my shots; not over thinking/second guessing my swing mechanics or club selection
3. Hit my driver on a good trajectory without ballooning anything.

If I can do those things I will hit well over half of the greens...I would consider 14 or more a good ball striking day on a typical course.


Hitting it solid all day. It does not get better than that for me. The days when you just never seem to hit it solid are the ones that make me crazy. Club selection is a farce on those days and the times when you take an extra club are the ones that you flush over the green.
1. Feel in control (relatively speaking)
2. Ball is pretty much in front of me all day; good shots and misses are what I expect them to be
3. I can hit partial shots effectively, and can swing as hard as I want to on select full shots

Whenever I've left the course feeling good about my swing, these 3 things are what those rounds all have in common. I'm usually longer on those days, too.


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The golf swing has only one purpose: to deliver the head of the club to the ball correctly, and to achieve such impact repeatedly. Many unorthodox players achieve correct impact -- so long as it's repeatable, it's OK. If golf were about getting into correct positions throughout the swing, then the greatest players in the world have had it wrong. The only position that matters is the club's at impact, which is determined by the clubface alignment (the most important factor), the path of the swing, the angle of attack and the speed of the clubhead. The biggest step in becoming a good player is understanding how the flight of the ball teaches the correct geometry of impact.
From: John Jacobs: A Life Full Of Lessons: Golf Digest


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They all could give 99.99% of us here at least a couple strokes a side:
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If I hit it out the middle and I feel completely in balance all the way through, even if I'm giving it a wallop. And I have to do the "pick up the tee just after I hit the ball" thing every time, like this:

On days that happens I usually 3 jack every hole.
A good swing for me always ends with a balanced finish and me thinking 'yesss! that felt really good and sounded great' before I look up to find the ball. I evaluate the discrepancy between what I had visualized before the shot and what I feel like I actually executed. Then re-assess with actual ball flight. The more my visualization matches my execution the better the swing, regardless of where the ball ends.
If I'm not hitting the ball well, then I think first and foremost about making an "anti-left" or "anti-right" move through the ball. So I'm worrying more about what not to do rather than what to do.

If I'm playing well, then I only have to exaggerate one specific swing thought to make the ball curve the way I want it to.

One thing I can't ever do is play without swing thoughts on the golf course. That's impossible. For me, that's something akin to walking through the dark in a house I don't know.


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Pretty good alignments:



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