Why thinking too much may be costing you shots – and caveman golf could be the answer


Tour pros often say that they don't have any swing thoughts while they're out on the course. It's hard to believe that their mind is completely empty while they're hitting pressure shots with millions of pounds at stake, but Richie Ramsay insists that the less you think, the better you'll play. 

"I just need to keep it simple," says 33-year-old Ramsay. "I always believe the best golfers are either the guys who don’t think at all or really think about it and work out a proper plan."

Ramsay points to Dustin Johnson as a prime example of not relying too much on your brain when playing golf. 

"DJ is a great example of that," says Ramsay. "He just stands up and hits it. It’s a simple game when you play caveman golf; see target, hit ball, find ball and see target again. You just have to keep it simple."

Ramsay believes that this carefree approach stands up well under pressure. 

"He looks as though he plays golf under pressure as if he is playing with friends, which is a great ability," says the Scotsman. "Tiger Woods was more intense and obviously knew what he was doing, but DJ does it a different way that also works, as he much more free-flows it.

"It helps, of course, that he hits it 360 yards and straight as well. But I remember seeing him on the TaylorMade truck at Muirfield in 2013 and it struck me how relaxed he was. That’s a good way to be."

Less thinking, more smashing

Ramsay intends to channel his inner DJ in the hope it will bag him a first win of the 2016 season. His last victory came in March 2015. 

"I can get much too fiddly," says Ramsay. "I start asking how far it is to the back edge rather than just picking a yardage and swinging it.

"When I do that I am normally pin high. When you get too much information you can over-think."

Ramsay isn't the only player looking to think less and score better. Jordan Spieth, recently overtaken by Johnson in the world rankings, has vowed to spend less time over each shot, hoping that a shorter pre-shot process will lead to better results.