We all know the fastest route from A to B is the direct smooth one with no sudden turns or changes of speed.
Most people feel that their golf swings resemble these types of paths - smooth and continuous. The truth is that they often don't.
An ideal golf swing, although slightly differing for everybody because of body dimensions and club dimensions, would trace a smooth arc. If it were easy to examine the swing in fine detail, we would often find it would look a little like a carnival wire loop game.
With a wire loop game, a buzzer goes off to let us know we've gone off course. With your swing, you don't have such glaring feedback which is why is has been so easy to ignore these deviations in swing path.
Even the most minor deviation will a) make the swing path longer, b) slow your swing down and c) eat extra energy, making it more difficult to keep swing speed high throughout a game so we want to minimise these deviations as best we can. It's worth mentioning at this point that the deviations are a symptom of something much more fundamental.
With the loop game, there is a buzzer. Though not as glaring as a buzzer, you have a feedback system too.
Your senses, especially your proprioceptive abilities, are your feedback.
Swings are so highly rehearsed they have often became unconscious behaviours that are skewed in such a way that most of the player's focus is on the ball and their club. How much attention are they simultaneously paying to themselves as they swing unless pain is present? And if they are unaware of what they are doing in detail, how can they hope to swing with precision? If they can't even feel that they stiffen their ribs, how can they let them open to get full power in a swing? If they can't feel that they shift their weight too little or too much, is it any wonder that they habitually pull or slice their shots.
Try this little experiment for a second. Read the step and do the movements before going on to the next step:
1) Close your eyes and slowly lower your nose towards the floor and back to the starting position a few times.
2) Do the same, this time paying attention to how straight the line you trace feels. Do you deviate at points?
3) Close your eyes, take your nose towards the floor one more time and keep it at the bottom position and open your eyes. Without repositioning yourself at all, where does your nose point to? Does it point exactly between your feet, your belly button and your sternum? Most people don't, therefore when most people think they are taking their nose directly down (the instructions didn't say to the left or right), they aren't aware that they are doing something else.
A player's lack of proprioceptive awareness, which is usually general rather than specific to golf, is an underlying driver for suboptimal swing paths.
If you want to hit longer and straighter for golf and are struggling to in spite of lots of practise, improving your proprioceptive sensing can really accelerate your progress.
Through giving players very specific experiences through which they can upgrade these skills, I have seen drive lengths and accuracy improve within minutes without any technical coaching or strength work.
Sense yourself better. Golf will be much easier as a result.
Arton "Get the buzzer working, then straighten the wire" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Injury Rehab and Performance, Harley Street, W1