Almost every golfer after a lesson will have come away with something they need to work on and a swing thought. However, are swing thoughts good when playing on the course?  

Swing thoughts are perfect while practicing on the driving range changing or adapting your technique as there is no pressure on the outcome of the shot compared to the golf course.

There can be multiple swing thoughts that may be present in your mind such as, set up, where your backswing should be and how your body rotates. (At Peter Field Golf we have a 3D vest called KMotion which we can use to help you understand your body rotation better!) These are the perfect things to be focusing on when practicing on the driving range as you are fine-tuning your technique. Furthermore, to enable these swing thoughts to flow freely onto the golf course, you should have a simple trigger thought. For example, if you were working on bringing the club back lower to the ground, your trigger may be sweeping the grass as the club moves away. Something as simple as this takes the mind off the mechanics and onto something simpler.

Rory Mcilroy has one trigger when he is playing a tournament and under pressure. He picks a spot a foot in front of the ball and hits over it — hard. That takes his mind off the outcome of the shot and keeps him in the process.

In comparison, Hunter Mahan pretends there’s a pressure gauge under his left foot and pushes down as hard as he can as he brings the club down to initiate as much force and power as possible. (If you would like to learn more about force and pressure, please get in contact with us about Swing Catalyst and how we can help you!)


Both however only have one swing thought maximum on the golf course. This is because they have done all of their mechanical swing work on the range not worrying about the outcome, but on the golf course, they have to trust their swing and try and focus on what the ball is doing, course conditions and other external factors. Therefore, having that simple trigger that I mentioned earlier to help them focus is essential. If they were to have 3 little thoughts, they wouldn’t be able to focus fully on the shot and especially under pressure when your mind can start to wander and think negative thoughts.

Something that I like to encourage myself is a ‘think box’ and a ‘play box’. The purpose of this is that any swing thoughts or decisions that you are making in regards to the kind of shot you want to play are made in this box. As soon as these are made, you then cross a decision line and into the ‘play box’ with total commitment. If you were to get into this box and doubt something, you must retreat back to the ‘think box’ and come up with a plan you trust. 

If there was a box to take more time in, it would be a think box where all decisions are being made. The decision line acts as a doorway between the two boxes and as soon as you enter the play box, doubt must be left behind and the shot must be played in a short amount of time so that doubt doesn’t have a chance to creep back in.


It is important to work with your coaches to find the method that works for you, because like everything, what works for one person may not work for another. 

All our coaches here at Peter Field Golf are only an email away if you are working on your game in your garden and want to perfect that trigger in your game. So don’t be afraid to get in contact, we would love to hear from you!!

 Jasmine Campbell  

 Peter Field Golf