Tension has no place in any golf stroke. The opposite of tension is relaxation.
Too many people, including golf instructors, think that to be relaxed is to be in a limp, lifeless state from which no activity can emerge. That is only one kind of relaxation, which is body-driven.
There is another kind of relaxation, which begins in the mind and is transmitted to the body. This is an active relaxation that allows the body to perform with power and precision.
To relax your mind, stand with good, straight posture and get your mind moving by repeating the meditation described on page 15 of The Golfing Self before you address the ball. This should take only a few seconds. Feel your body softening, the tension releasing. Let the air out. This is relaxation by rule of mind.
Apply this to golf by being vigilant at three key points:
– the instant the club starts back,
– the instant you start it forward, and
– the moment before impact.
The goal is to maintain active relaxation throughout the stroke. These are the spots where relaxation can be lost.