Stan Gets the “Feel”

By Wayne | Articles: Lessons with Stan

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John Neeson May 10, 2013

Hogan once said he ‘played’ by feel. But he practiced and developed his technique like hell. I think I have a pretty good ‘feel’ for the game and for most shots but if your swing mechanics are at a level below what you aspire to, you are constantly dissatisfied.
I am the poster child for this. On an average day, I can slap it around in 75 while my best buddy, (who is the best ball-striker no-one has every heard of), might shoot the easiest 72 you’ve ever seen. The thought that always occurs to me is that, I would have shot 68 hitting it like that. Feel can only take you so far.
My best ball-striking rounds can be up to 16 GIR on a middle of the road members’ course in competition, (6,600 to say 6,900 yds). And they are mainly due to how I am feeling and if the timing is ‘on’. If my feel is off and I can’t find ‘swing thought of the week’, my GIR drops dramatically. So a 70 one day can be 81 the next.
Feel is also a deceiver since I can make swings in practice which ‘feel’ radically different. But when played back, I often see no difference.
If a player has naturally good feel and timing, the advantages of this should be magnified if married to a better technique. That’s just common sense, but there’s a lurking demon. Attempting to change your technique can often impair your natural rhythm and timing because ‘feels’ that have been there for years are thrown out of kilter. This is sometimes not experienced until after the initial honeymoon a swing change often brings. The temptress lures you in and you pure it for a day, or a week or a month. Then you lose it again and often resort to old, comfortable habits. I know there is no solution except perseverance. We all hope for a shortcut, but I for one, have never found it and it’s just plain hard.

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