I think for me, personally, I’ve always struggled with this question. Am I a feel golfer? Or am I a mechanics golfer? I’ve often been asked this question in one form or another and I feel the need to explain myself. It’s really not that easy. It seems like it’s so black and white but there are so many layers in between and it can ebb and flow. But why? And what do those things even mean?
What it means to be a mechanics golfer…
It is generally felt that being a mechanics golfer, you rely heavily or solely on the mechanics to make changes and decisions on calculations. I truly believed that I started out as a mechanics golfer. I learned the golf swing from video. A lot of swing video. And when I made changes, it was always recorded and analyzed using all of the lines necessary to see if I was moving properly. If something was off, I went to the video. When I wanted to hit different yardages I adjusted where I gripped the club and used ratios on how far I needed to take the club back. Mechanics based golfers may also only use launch monitors to make adjustments. Some of those monitors can display every single number possible in order to make changes. It’s amazing!
What it means to be a feel golfer…
Feel golfers would be golfers like Bubba Watson for example. No instruction. No mechanics. You may know what your stock distances are for your clubs because that’s just practice. But when adjusting yardages, ball flights and other factors, it’s completely based on feel and past experience. Not a lot of camera work is done. When you practice it’s adjusting what you feel could be off or what you need to work on rather than line movements on camera. Naturally, after being a mechanics player and it not going how I wanted, I moved to the opposite end of the spectrum and became more of a feel golfer. I didn’t look at my swing for a few years. I relied heavily on just how it felt.
After feeling like I’ve seen both sides of this, I can say that the best option is to be a little bit of both. I love my current set up. Now I video my swing to analyze every week or couple weeks. I look for just one or two things and that’s what I’ll work on. But after I use the video, I don’t keep videoing my swing over and over to continue to look for changes. That would drive me crazy! I use how it feels so I can pull from that experience in tournament. Even when I’m out in tournament and the numbers just don’t feel right, I go with my gut. I’ve definitely said to my caddy Mom before,”I know the numbers say it’s this club but I just don’t think that it’s going to work.” And I pull the club that feel right.
Where do you feel you fall between these two spectrums? Let me know in the comments below!