Pro tip: To work on those major swing changes, use a mirror or window and take good notes, too

Updated: December 31, 2020

Editor’s note: This is part two of Ryan Young’s column about working on swing changes during the winter months:

Pro-Tip #1: To help during Phase 1 of major swing changes, work at home in front of a mirror or window reflection. Working on the physical changes and at home drills are more important than actually hitting balls.

Pro-Tip #2: Take notes, journal, and record changes throughout the whole process. Documenting how the swing changes felt versus what actual mechanics changed will help the brain understand and lock in new muscle memory.

Phase 2 – The Sub-Conscious: Right Brain – In Phase 2, the emphasis should be on transferring the conscious mechanical swing changes into the sub-conscious muscle memory. You need to also focus on transferring these changes to the course to understand the new benefits. This phase should take anywhere from one week to two months.

Week/Month Three is dedicated to locking in muscle memory. The goal is to find one swing thought that ties everything together, something more natural and athletic like “smooth tempo” or “stay balanced.” Think of these swing thoughts like the glue that holds all your swing changes together.

Then start transitioning to the course. You will need to strategize and manage your new ball striking to help you score better. At this point you should easily understand your typical misses, or even avoid them altogether!

Pro-Tip #3: Don’t expect to memorize and implement every single swing change from Phase 1. If some of the changes transfer to the course, then consider it a win. It will take more off-season work to implement everything. Like Nike says, “There’s Always Better.”

Pro-Tip #4: I mentioned it earlier, but make sure you have a PGA Coach available that you trust and communicate well with. You will be spending weeks if not months together. Both of you need to be on the same page based off the goals you lined out from the start.

Pro-Tip #5: Make sure you enjoy the process and have fun! If not, what’s the point?

Pro-Tip #6: choose PGA instructor you trust and communicate well with. Will spend weeks/months working through each step. Elaborate from intro.

Pro-Tip #7: Enjoy the process or what’s the point.

Ryan Young is the Director of Instruction at Chambers Bay Golf Course. He can be reached at