Swing Doctors? Top L.p.g.a. Players Prefer To Heal Themselves
No matter. It works for her. Suwannapura, 25, said she has not had a full-time swing coach since she ventured from her native Thailand to begin competing internationally at age 13. She had no choice. She said her family couldn’t afford to have either of her parents travel with her, much less an instructor.
“I own my swing,” she said. “I’m with it every day. No one comes and fixes this or that. I tried a couple coaches, and they had no idea how I hit the ball. When you take care of your own swing, it teaches you how to be patient and how to survive out there when your swing is not working.”
When it comes to the swing, pride of ownership can provide a powerful advantage. Karen Stupples, a former major winner and now a Golf Channel analyst, said: “It gives you the confidence to go out and play golf. It’s not about who has the prettiest swing, and as soon as you take that worry out of the equation, it frees you to focus on just getting the ball in the hole.”
For more than two years, Jutanugarn worked with Gary Gilchrist, whose clients at one point included three of the top six women in the world. During their collaboration, which began in 2016, Gilchrist left Jutanugarn’s swing largely untouched and tackled her confidence, which required a complete overhaul after she missed 10 cuts in a row during one crushing stretch in 2015.
In August, though, Jutanugarn left Gilchrist. “I want to rely on myself more,” she said this week.
Jutanugarn, 22, continues to employ the mental coaches Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, with whom she also began working in 2016. With their help, she faced her fears of failure, of falling short of others’ expectations, and realized this: When her swing breaks down, it’s usually a mental glitch, not a technical one. She didn’t commit to the club in her hands, or worried about pulling off the shot, or feared that she had let people down with her result.
“I was worrying, so that causes problems with my swing,” Jutanugarn said.
As she sees it, whether or not she has an instructor, “If I’m still scared, I’m not going to have a good swing, anyway.”
Jutanugarn said she recently started consulting with another instructor, Chris Mayson. But before she reaches out to him, she said, she watches videos taken by her caddie to try to correct her swing by herself.