Dick’s Sporting Goods runs a TV commercial with a voiceover done by the legendary Arnold Palmer telling viewers to “swing your swing.”
Here is the script.
“Swing your swing…Not some idea of a swing. Not a swing you saw on TV. Not that swing you wish you had. NO…swing your swing. Capable of greatness. Prized only by you. Perfect in its imperfection. Swing your swing…
I know…I did.”
There were mixed reviews about the ad. Many people thought the spot was great and paid tribute to the average golfer who plays for love of the game. Others argued it told golfers not to bother working on their swing.
I fall into the group who loved it. I loved it for the emotion it evoked and for the message.
I have been teaching the game of golf for over twenty years and “swing your swing” has always been my philosophy. Your swing is like your fingerprint…yours and yours alone (or as Palmer says, “Prized only by you.”)
Your natural swing is comfortable to you, so that is how you should play.
Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work to improve your swing. Your natural swing is a starting point to build upon and improve your game.
So focus on your swing…or as Palmer says, “Not some idea of a swing, not a swing you saw on TV, not that swing you wish you had.” You will save yourself a lot of time, effort, energy and some frustration by working with your natural abilities and talents and not trying to emulate someone else’s swing.
(Notice I say you’ll save “some” frustration because let’s face it…golf can be a frustrating game at times. But that’s a subject for another post.)
Your swing is “perfect in its imperfection.” You will NEVER achieve a “perfect” swing. Embracing your swing and working with your innate abilities frees you up to actually play golf.
Spending too much effort trying to perfect your swing can actually hinder your game. Trying to change too much can result in…
- losing your rhythm and tempo
- paralysis by analysis
- stress, frustration
- tension (which is a swing killer)
- losing the joy of playing
Palmer says your swing is “capable of greatness.” Greatness is relative and personal.
You may hit seventeen lousy tee shots in a round of golf, but if that eighteenth tee shot felt smooth as butter, was hit straight down the fairway and was your longest drive, for one moment that day…you achieved greatness. And that’s what keeps all of us coming back for more.
Maybe greatness for you on the golf course is shooting in the 90s. That’s okay. I’m not saying don’t strive to get better and improve your scores. But if you spent a warm, sunny day on the course, with your friends, having fun, playing a game you love…does it get any better than that? Does it really matter what you shot that day? Focusing on what’s really important…that’s greatness.
Why do I bring this up now? Spring is less than a month away (I know, tell Mother Nature that), and soon golfers everywhere will start practicing their swing whether on the course, at the driving range or during a golf lesson. So as you get ready to start playing again, remember, “swing your swing.”
Do you agree with Arnold Palmer (and me) or not? Let me know.