How to Make a Successful Swing Change

By Pat Livingston, PGA Professional

The amount of time it takes to change our golf swing is equivalent to the amount of time it takes to relax and stop resisting the change. Anytime we are fighting or resisting “the move” or any time we are upset about it not yet having taken effect, we are further energizing the tension and resistance to our bodies. We are actually pushing away what we are trying to attain.

Nick Faldo, the most accomplished English professional of modern times was winning his share of tournaments. However, he had not accomplished his goal of winning the British Open or one of the other three Majors. He went to David Ledbetter, a top five instructor in the world to develop the swing he needed to go to the next level. Faldo fought the changes at first but his ball striking became better and he finally accepted the fact (mentally) to accept the changes needed to be made. He went on to win six Major Championships including the 1987, 1990 and 1992 British Opens as well as the 1989, 1990 and 1992 Masters.

Prior to his swing change Nick was known as “Fold-o” because he could not close tournaments with a win. After Nick mentally accepted the changes to his swing from Ledbetter he became a dominate player in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Curtis Strange stated; “After his swing change Nick stared a lot of guys down. He never choked, he had a way of folding his arms and looking at you as if he knew you were going to make a mistake.” Granted, a swing change can take some time. I suppose it can be somewhat difficult too but it can only be as difficult or take as much time as we tell ourselves it will take. Otherwise, with zero resistance what we are trying to achieve would literally unfold instantaneously before our eyes. For our swing changes, the change really happens in an instant. It is our resistance to change that ends up taking so much time.

The game of golf is not how many good shots you hit, it’s about how few bad shots you hit
– Jack Nicklaus.