Find my best golf swing
My name is James Pope and I have an obsessive mindset. Luckily I do not have to check that every plug in the house is switched off before I leave each time but I do have to fully understand every hobby I ever take up. This may sound like an introduction to AA but it is important to set the scene.
The obsessive nature can be exhausting for both pupil and coach. I cannot just be told that if I hit down on the irons it will create the desired loft on the ball to pitch the ball 20 yards before the pin and bounce a few times before resting a few yards from the hole (not that this happens regularly anyway!). Instead, I get home and I need to watch thousands of YouTube clips to see how the physics of “hitting down” creates the trajectory.
Well, this was all true until I meet Brian Sparks! Brian founded Easiest Swing in Golf on 6 basic principles: turning, weight-shift, balance, rhythm, coordination, and suppleness. What he also taught me was that my golf swing, my golf game and my golf enjoyment (most important) was a philosophy and not a method. He helped me let go of the overthinking and just play. This runs counter-intuitive to anything I have ever done before.
Only a few weeks before my first lesson with Easiest Swing I was finishing a 12-week body transformation with Evolve London. I found Evolve London by typing “Personal Trainer in London” into Google and they specialise in getting people fit and fast. Every step was laid out in great detail, and I knew from week to week what I was aiming for. I knew what food I needed to eat in order to fuel the nutrition. This fulfilled by obsessive mindset and I loved it.
I attempted to take this style into my golf game which had been suffering for a long time. It took a mentor like Brian to teach me this doesn’t transfer to golf! Golf requires a clear mind and relaxed approach! Not quite what I was getting when the personal trainer was “forcefully telling me that pain is weakness leaving the body” as I was nearing the last few seconds of a 60-second plank!
Back to the golf. I fall into the typical “younger” golf mentality. I was focused on the lowest score. I took up golf late, and never had the time to dedicate to practice. A low handicap was never the wisest or appropriate goal. Whilst on the verge of quitting golf I spoke to Brian and he asked me what I enjoyed most?
Find your style of golf
Without hesitation, I talked about the golf shots I hit that felt and looked good. I failed to realise that my “best rounds” were not high on the agenda, but instead, the best moments were the mini moments within the round. So, in his Yoda-style proclamation, he asked me if I would like more of the good moments. Such an obvious question received the obvious answer – Yes!
So why not find a style of golf that increases the good moments in every round. Forget lashing the ball down the fairway for that one great drive, when the other 8 end up with a lost ball. Instead, enjoy the 4 or 5 good shots down the fairway that travel a lesser distance, but feel so much better.
It sounds so simple and I feel foolish not making the link sooner, but Brian was correct. His philosophy and not a method showed me that I didn’t need to over think part of the swing. Instead, learn the basics, trust my body movement and forget about what makes the swing work.
I know that Brian has built his approach with senior golfers in mind, but, if you wish to enjoy golf more and find your easiest swing, I think his attitude benefits all ages.