What’s “feel vs. real” in the golf swing? Justin Thomas explains

justin thomas swings

You might have heard the term "feel vs. real" before, but what does it actually mean?

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The key to making a good golf swing is focusing on a proper swing thought and executing it time and time again. However, that swing thought can sometimes be different than the motion you are actually performing.

This is where the saying “feel vs. real” comes into play. You can often think — and feel — you are doing one thing, but in reality, the move is much different. That’s why many accomplished players — pros included — will use an exaggerated feel in their swing to produce a result that is desirable.

Take Justin Thomas, for example. The 14-time PGA Tour winner showed in a recent Instagram post the drastic difference between his feel and real, and how they are totally different things.

Thomas explains that on his longer clubs, his swing can get across the line at the top, which causes left misses. To combat this, he will try to feel an exaggerated move to the top in which he’s extremely laid off.

You can see his “feel” in the third video of the post below.

“The beginning of that video is me trying to get lots of width with my hands while feeling it ‘laid off,’ if anything,” he says. “The rehearsals never look the same as the real thing!”

Sometimes, in order to get the results you desire, you need to feel like you are overdoing it. This will break your poor habits in the swing and get you in the exact positions you need to be to hit it flush.

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.