Don’t overlook this critical part of golf swing | Steve Wozeniak

What’s the most important part of any golf swing?

What’s the most important part of any golf swing?

Grip? Stance? Backswing?

Sure all important, but while playing try this.

A critical aspect of any golf shot you play is the walk to the ball. Sound a bit strange? Let me explain.

The walk to the ball is critical because it is the time you need to get your head in the right place and automate your swing. If you’re walking to the ball thinking about your swing then you’re in big trouble.

You need to have a clear head by the time you reach the ball. Your mind needs to be in the present - allowing you to feel relaxed and confident.

I’m aware that walking to the ball is not all that exciting - that most golfers would rather work on swing mechanics or hitting the ball a long way. It’s for this reason that it gets ignored by most players.

If you want to ensure your golf swing becomes automatic and, more importantly, stays automatic for the duration of the stroke, then you need to pay attention to the few steps you take before getting to the ball. Here are some key points for your consideration:

Do all your thinking behind the golf ball. This includes picking a target and choosing a club.

Play quickly. Although it’s not necessary to play quickly, I have found that golfers can benefit from speeding up their play. You can take your time behind the ball, but once you’ve decided on the shot get on with it.

If you find your mind getting too distracted you should stop and start over.

By the time you get to the ball your focus and concentration should be pointed. You should feel relaxed and in your own little bubble. This is the perfect mindset to play remarkable golf.

I can’t expect golfers to get too excited about working on this part of their game, but it is well worth the effort. When you can walk up to the ball with a consistent thought pattern and step into the ball automatically the game magically becomes easier. Have fun and keep it simple.

Steve Wozeniak is PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue/Lake Spanaway Golf Courses. He has taught more than 50 tour players and over 100 PGA and LPGA teaching professionals, including Jim Colbert, Rocco Mediate, Emily Klein, Jim Dent, Marco Dawson, Jim Mclean and Leonard Thompson. With his easy-to-understand, rid-yourself-of-the-nonsense approach to the golf swing, he is one of the top instructors in the country. Readers can contact him at or