Feeling versus Reality

Feeling versus Reality

By: Nick Bockenfeld, PGA
⌚8 Minute Read


Golf is a challenging sport. No matter what you do, the difference between what you feel like you are doing and the reality of what you are doing tends to be very different. For instance, you may feel like you are slotting the club perfectly and coming from the inside, but that is often not the case. This is prominently shown in an interview Ian Poulter did years ago. He was asked what he felt about trying to hit a fade. He answered that he wanted his path online with where the ball needed to start and aim where he wanted the ball to finish. That's a great feeling, but in reality, if he did that, he would miss the green right. Instead, he pulls his face on that starting line and swings left of that, which makes a fade to the pin. In this post, we will go in-depth about ways to fix the difference between what you feel and reality.


CTRL Swing Master Training Aid

Feeling vs. Reality is one of the best things about the CTRL Swing Master training aid. No other device in the world gives you immediate feedback on the swing you just took and the swing you are trying to take, your ideal swing. You may feel like your tempo was on, your face was square, or your path was in to out, but that doesn’t mean it is. With the CTRL Swing Master Training aid, you know if you're hitting your ideal tempo, face, and path every time you swing. It's impossible to get into a bad habit when you get feedback on what you are doing in reality instead of just feeling like you are making a good move. This feedback on every shot will help bridge the gap between real and feel and keep you building your consistency on every single swing you take.



Video is a decent option to see real vs. feel. You can learn a lot from a video of your swing and what you need to work on, but the feedback you get from it is slow and limited to what you understand about the golf swing. To set up for a swing video, it is imperative that you set the camera at hand height and directly down the target line. The information you gain can be wrong if you do not do this. For instance, it may look like you are very vertical or shallow depending on how low or high you place the camera, and if you move it left or right of the target line, it can get messy. The best coaches in the world will refuse to look at a swing video that isn’t down the proper sequence and at hand height. That is the first drawback to using video. The second drawback is the slow and arduous setup time, and pressing record, taking a swing, then walking back and pressing stop, then slowly moving through it. Using this method, you only get so many swings in because it is so slow, and you only get any value out of it if you have excellent knowledge of the golf swing; until then, you will most likely be hurting more than helping your swing. Video is great if you have all the time in the world and know exactly what you are doing.


Mirror Work

Mirror work has some of the same drawbacks as videos; you get your perspective, which is great, but do you really get what you need from it? Mirror work is working on your swing while watching yourself in a mirror. This is best utilized at the beginning of a swing change or for swing upkeep. Again because the feel is very different than reality, it will help give you the reality check you need if you know exactly what moves you are trying to make, how to make them properly, and how they should look. I am 100% for mirror work, but its limitations are numerous. The main limitation is that you can’t get feedback from mirrorwork and hit a golf ball simultaneously. You must look at the mirror during the swing to get anything from the mirror. Again, this is great to connect reality to feeling, but it is only step one; you can’t get that feedback every time you swing. I use mirrorwork sometimes just to see what is going on and if the feeling is right when I am making a swing change; however, I know what to look for in the swing, but many people don’t.


There are also drills and single-use training aids you can use to connect feel and reality, but they get expensive and usually only have one use. This means that you need a different drill or training aid for each feeling you are trying to connect to reality. If you have access to all those training aids, excellent, but this can also make you dependent on the drill if you don’t use it properly. Typically you want to use a training aid once and then take a swing without it. That way, you do not build dependency. However, this is where the CTRL Swing Master training aid differentiates itself. Because you get feedback after the swing, and you learn from it, you won’t build a dependency on it, and it will still connect reality and feel, so you get better and know the feeling you are going for is the same as the reality it follows.



Feel vs. actual is one of the hardest things to differentiate in golf. These are great ways to connect the two so that you know what you are doing. However, only one is easy to set up, can be used for every swing, and you don’t become dependent on it. If you struggle with feeling vs. actual, do yourself a favor and stop wasting time, get yourself a CTRL Swing Master Training Aid, and start dropping strokes the day you put it on.

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