Do you ever remember the first time you heard your voice on a voice recorder? I’m sure your reaction was similar to wait that’s not me. It works the same way with seeing your golf swing for the first time. What we feel we are doing usually never matches reality. The perception of what our golf swing looks like in our mind never matches the one we see on video.

When trying to make a change in the golf swing whether it’s setup or swing mechanics, it is imperative that you take video of yourself. Time and time again I take video of students and the number one response I hear is “I didn’t know I was doing that”. That’s because the picture that we have in our mind of what our golf swing looks like is distorted. Until you can actually see with video what you are doing, the setup or swing change becomes easier.

Perception is something that can hinder a golfer’s ability to make a change in their swing. I had a student last week that was slicing the ball. I made him aware that the face of the club needed to be more closed at impact. After a few balls the pattern was still the same, out to the right. I then told the student I want you to close the face so much that you hit it into the net on the left. You can probably guess where the next ball went, perfectly straight. His perception was that the face of the club was pointing left towards the net, but in reality it was perfectly square. After he struck the ball he told me I can’t believe that went straight. I proceeded to tell him that you never know what hot is until you experience cold. Sometimes when making changes in the golf swing you have to over exaggerate the feeling of what you are trying to do to get the desired result.

Rico Riciputi, PGA