Having feel in your golf swing will help to make you a better overall player, and it will make you a better player under pressure. If you are just trying to make a ‘paint by number' swing where you check off each position as you get to it, your mechanics are likely to fall apart when the nerves set in. That shouldn't happen if you have great feel for the club head all the way through your swing. Feel contributes to rhythm, and it is rhythm that will allow you to perform well even under pressure.

Feel Lesson Chart

Before getting further into the discussion on feeling the club head in the golf swing, there is one point that needs to be made right off the top – it is important to have a light grip pressure while swinging the club. If you are squeezing tightly on the handle of the club, you are never going to have much of a feel for your swing or for the position of the club head. There simply is no reason to squeeze tightly on the club, as doing so will only lead to trouble. As long as you are holding on tight enough to maintain control throughout the swing, you should be good to go. Whether you are hitting a long drive from the tee or just a short putt only a few feet from the hole, your grip pressure should be light and relaxed throughout the round.

To play great golf, you need to have great feel. But what does that mean? You have probably heard plenty of talk about feel in golf over the years – whether in person at your local course or while watching golf on TV – but the concept of feel can be hard to define. It’s certainly a good thing to have on your side, but what is it?

In this article, we are going to talk about feel from a variety of angles. First, we will attempt to talk about what golfers mean when they mention feel, and highlight how it can be beneficial to your game if your feel is dialed in. The rest of the article will then be dedicated to helping you perform better in this area. If you are able to successfully improve your feel in the near future, it’s likely that your scores will quickly come down.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

— What is Feel in Golf, and Why Does It Matter?

How To Best Improve Short Game Touch And Feel
How to Create the Correct Clubhead Feel
How To Feel Comfortable In Your Golf Swing Set Up
How To Feel The Golf Club Throughout The Golf Swing
Increase Your Feel and Distance Control with a Insert Putter Head
Adjusting Your Golf Feel On The Course
Why you Need Clubhead Feel
Focus On The Target Not The Golf Ball To Enhance Feel
Focus on Target, Not Ball, to Enhance Feel
Feel Your Arms Hanging To Keep Relaxed In Your Golf Set Up

What Is Golf Club Head Feel And Why Is It Important?
Advice on Putting Feel
Fine Tuning Your Putting Feel
Improve Feel With Slow Motion Swings
Feel Comfortable With Shots From 100 Yards And In
Feel Of The Golf Club At Address
Feel Of The Golf Club During The Backswing
Feel Of The Golf Club During The Downswing
Enhance Your Feel with an Insert Putter
Feel Of The Golf Club During The Short Game
Hands Need To Feel The Club Head
Feel On Short Golf Shots Is Crucial
Putting Feel Controls Pace
Feel The Basic Releasing Golf Swing Motion
How Should the Clubhead Feel During the Golf Swing?
Feel the Tempo in Long Iron Takeaway

Corded Grips Feel Like New After A Quick Shave
Make Your Clubs Feel Like New With A 1 Grip Clean

A Great Feel Drill To Improve Distance
Golf Putting Drills, How To Improve Your Feel

I Feel Rushed On The Golf Course How Can I Play Faster?
Connected Golf Swing, What Should I Feel?
Should I Feel Like I Lift The Golf Club During The Back Swing
Should I Try To Feel Where The Club Head Is During My Golf Swing
What Do People Mean When They Talk About Club Head Feel In The Golf Swing?
How Can I improve My Feel Focus on target not ball?

Another Great Exercise To Add Golf Distance Feel

Feel is not something that you will find in the rule book when learning about the game of golf. It doesn’t really have an exact definition as such, yet nearly every golfer would know what you are talking about if you use this term on the course. Generally, feel comes into play when you need to do something other than hit a standard shot with full power. If you need to adjust the distance that the ball is going to travel for a particular shot, or if you need to alter the shot in some other way that makes it different from a typical shot, feel will come into the picture.

It might help us clear up that definition if we talk for a moment about what it is that feel can help you with on the course. By knowing why feel matters, you will gain a better understanding of what it is, and in turn what you can do to improve in this area of play.

Feel Golf Lesson Chart

  • Distance control on the greens. This is where the story is going to start with feel. A player who has good feel will typically be able to roll the ball the proper distance putt after putt, all day long. That doesn’t mean that every single putt will be hit the perfect distance – no one is that consistent – but most putts will have a speed that allows the ball to stop close to the hole if it doesn’t fall in. The reason feel is so important when putting is that you are virtually never hitting the ball with full power in this setting. Think about it – when hitting a driver, you usually just make a full swing and send the ball as far down the fairway as it will go. Solid technique is required, but there isn’t much feel involved. On the other hand, when putting, you almost never hit you putter as hard as you can. Instead, you are using your feel to judge exactly how much swing of the putter is required to send the ball the correct distance. Depending on the putt, you might need to barely move the club at all – sometimes, just a tap is needed to get the ball started, and the speed and slope of the green will do the rest. Hitting the ball the correct distance when putting can be thought of as the cornerstone of your feel game, so improving in this area will be a big boost all the way around.
  • Chipping and pitching. It’s probably not surprising to see that feel also plays an important role when you are off the sides of the greens. Whether you are hitting a chip or pitch shot, you’ll again need good feel to leave the ball close to the hole. As with putting, these are shots that you aren’t hitting their maximum distance. Instead, you are taking something off the shot with the hope of landing the ball in the right spot to let it bounce and run the rest of the way to the hole. Some chip shots will need to be hit only a couple of feet in the air to reach their target, while longer pitch shots could include those in the 30 – 50-yard range. Chipping and pitching is a little more complicated than putting from a feel perspective because you need to factor in the variable of making solid contact. That should be easy to do while on the greens with a putter in your hand, but it’s a little harder when playing out of the rough with a wedge, for example. While talking about feel, it’s important that we don’t overlook the value of technique here, as good fundamentals can make it easier to achieve clean contact, and that clean contact will help to improve your distance control. A blend of good fundamentals and a nice, natural feel for the game will lead to the best results.
  • Creating shots. When practicing on the driving range, you will see most players just swinging away while trying to hit the same shot time after time. For instance, a player who favors a draw will often attempt to hit nothing but draws on the range for an entire practice session, trying his or her best to repeat the same shot over and over again. There might be some use to that, but it doesn’t do much to develop your feel and ability to handle the situations you’ll encounter on the course. Golf is not played on a symmetrical, predictable field – it is played out in the open, on a course with countless little elements that can make life complicated for the golfer. To best handle what you find on the course, you will want to have the ability to create shots as you go. A player with a great feel for the game may be able to come up with a shot on the spot that is able to get the ball out of trouble and back into position. It’s still a good idea to use your preferred, natural shot in most situations, while knowing that you can get creative when necessary to deal with whatever the course throws your way.

To say that developing your feel can help you lower your scores is a dramatic understatement. Think about the last round you played and how many shots were lost to things like three-putt greens, poor chip shots, etc. There are probably several strokes you can think of where a better feel for your swing and the game as a whole could have led to improved results. It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of perfect technique in this game but striving to sharpen up your feel is one of the best things you can do as a golfer.

— Three Pieces of the Feel Puzzle

Feel is a hard thing to teach, because it is so individual. You can’t just tell someone how to hit the ball the right distance on a lag putt, for example – they have to find a way to feel it for themselves. With that said, we hope to point you in the right direction by offering three pieces that can come together to build good feel in your game. If you work on these pieces consistently, and assemble them in the right manner, you might find yourself with better feel than ever before.

Feel Golf Lesson Chart

  • Solid mechanics. That’s right – we are actually going to start building feel by working on technique. While it might seem that feel is the opposite of technique in some ways, these two are also closely related. If you have good mechanics, you will be most likely to repeat your swing or stroke from shot to shot, and repeating your motion is going to make it easier to have good feel. Even a player with a natural touch for the game will struggle without a foundation build on good fundamentals. The trick here is to work on your technique without becoming so obsessed with the details that you forget all about using your natural feel to hit shots. One good way to think about it is that you should be building your technique in practice while letting your touch shine through on the course. In practice, go ahead and get deep down into the details of creating reliable technique. Then, on the course, set those thoughts to the side and let your preparation carry you through. Learning how to work on technique without letting it overwhelm your thoughts is a valuable step in your development as a player.
  • Plenty of practice. There is simply no substitute for practice when it comes to developing feel. In fact, if we had to point to one key above all the rest, this would be it. Practice is important because each shot you hit is going to provide you with feedback and information that you can use on future shots. And, the beauty of this process is that much of what you develop won’t even be in the way of conscious thought. For instance, you won’t necessarily have to think about how much pace is needed in your stroke in order to send a 25-foot putt all the way to the cup. With practice, you’ll naturally develop an ability to handle such a putt, almost without having to think about it. You will still have to pay attention, of course, to make a read and execute your mechanics, but you might be surprised to find how automatic your feel can become as your game develops. Unfortunately, many golfers fail to practice the parts of the game where feel is of the utmost importance. For instance, plenty of players will walk right past the short game practice area in order to visit the driving range – and those same players will again walk right past the putting and chipping area as they head back to the car. This is a shame. If you are willing to evenly divide your available practice time between the short game and the long game, it will be possible to make huge strides in the quality of your feel. We’ll talk more later about how you can design your practice to improve feel in your game.
  • An open mind. Golf is a creative game. It has to be, because golf courses are so big and have so many variables that you have to deal with as a player. If you aren’t creative on the course, at least to some degree, you will have almost no chance to progress and reach your goals. Keeping an open mind is an important part of being creative, and it is a key piece in the development of your feel as a player. What does it mean to keep an open mind in golf? Basically, it means that you are open to thinking about a variety of ways in which you can get the job done. For most shots, there is more than one option available, and a player with a good feel for the game will be open to the various options until he or she picks one that seems to be the best plan. It’s hard to have a good feel for your golf game as a whole if you are locked in on only one way of doing things each time you step up to evaluate a shot.

Bringing together the three pieces listed above – good mechanics, sufficient practice, and an open mind – should help you take your feel to new heights. And, once you start to see how improved feel can translate into lower scores, you’ll only be more motivated to keep working on further improvements.

— Developing Your Feel

Given the personal nature of feel in golf, it’s a good idea to work on developing your own ways to practice this part of the game. You will know best what it is that you need to work on, and which areas are already strengths, so you can design your own practice routines to make the necessary improvements. To help you in this endeavor, we’d like to point out a few keys that can help you develop your feel during practice.

Feel Golf Lesson Chart

  • Plenty of long putts. When you practice your putting, where do you usually spend most of your time? If you are like most amateur golfers, you typically hover within a few feet of the hole. You’ll probably hit a bunch of putts from the mid-range distance – roughly in the 10 – 20-foot category. There is nothing wrong with hitting those putts, but you aren’t going to hit your approach shots that close to the hole very often. More likely, you’ll be putting from longer range on many occasions, so you’ll need to learn how to manage those longer putts successfully. Make it a point to hit plenty of long putts during each practice session, and also as you are warming up before you go out to play a round. Not only will hitting long putts help you learn the speed of the greens for the day, but it will also help you develop your feel as time moves along.
  • Challenge yourself. It’s easy to fall into the habit of setting up nothing but simple, straightforward shots in practice. Those shots will make it easy to succeed, and who doesn’t like the feeling of success? The problem with this approach is that you won’t be pushed or tested into developing your feel for the game. If all you ever deal with in practice are easy shots, how will you be ready for the tough shots that are going to inevitably present themselves on the course? This concept can apply to all different kinds of practice shots, from the short game to the long game. For instance, when practicing your chipping, don’t always chip the ball from a perfectly flat lie on short grass. Find some tough lies around the chipping green and use those opportunities to test yourself and grow your skills. Over time, this habit of difficult practice should pay off in a big way on the course.
  • A variety of shots. In addition to presenting yourself with tough lies, also try hitting plenty of different kinds of shots to enhance your feel for the club and the ball. For instance, again when talking about chipping, try hitting both high and low chip shots with a few different clubs. If you are able to produce varied trajectories with a few different clubs, and you have a feel for how far those shots will travel, you can deal with countless circumstances around the greens during your rounds.

Developing feel is not something that is going to happen overnight, or even over the course of a few practice sessions. This is something that should improve gradually over time, and you should notice the improvements start to show themselves on the course a little bit at a time.

— Solving Common Problems

You will need to pay close attention to your game in order to notice that you are struggling with feel. Issues with feel aren’t quite as obvious as something like a hook off the tee or a slice from the fairway. For instance, poor feel might lead you to hit a lag putt three or four feet past the hole – and you may then miss the comeback putt and walk away with a bogey. This kind of mistake doesn’t look at ugly as a hook that finishes out of bounds, but it hurts your scores just the same.

Let’s quickly look at some of the feel problems that may come up in your game, and how you can address them.

Feel Golf Lesson Chart

  • Poor speed control on long putts. Generally speaking, amateur golfers struggle with this part of the game. Many players think they need to dramatically improve their swings to score better, when it is actually something like better lag putting that could go a long way. If you are struggling with long putts, try spending more time during your warm up rolling putts back and forth across the putting green. This will help you dial in your speed control for the day, and you should see better results in the end.
  • Failing to read the lie. You can’t take the lie of the ball for granted when getting ready for any shot, and that certainly holds true when hitting chip or pitch shots. If you have been struggling with distance control on these kinds of shots, be sure to take a moment to closely examine the lie and determine which club and kind of shot is best for the situation. As you gain experience reading your lies, you’ll get better and better at predicting how the ball is going to react when you strike it.
  • For extra touch, relax your grip. Holding onto your clubs too tightly, especially on short shots, is a problem that can interfere with your ability to feel the shots you are trying to play. During practice, work on using less grip pressure on your chips and putts. While it might be a little uncomfortable at first, you should notice that your performance gradually starts to improve as you continue to work. Not only will a lighter grip help your touch overall, it should also help you when the pressure is on and your nerves set in. Put the control over your short shots in your big muscles while keeping your hands and wrists calm and relaxed and you are likely to be impressed with the results.

It’s a huge advantage to have good feel on your side when you head out onto the golf course. Obviously, you’d love to pair that feel with solid swing technique, but a good feel for the game can carry you through to a decent result even when your technique isn’t quite in place. We hope the information in this article will help you develop your feel during upcoming practice sessions. Good luck!