Getting Better at Golf

The Golfing Machine - Friday, September 11, 2015

Getting Better at Golf

Dear Reader,

We have a problem! It is the same problem Mr. Kelley found when he began taking golf instruction in the late 1930’s that dilemma is instruction, education and teaching golf is still based on the myth that students want their lessons to be kept simple. Well, I apologize but golf is not simple. Although the ball lies still in front of you the complex movements involved in hitting the 1.68 inch sphere are not simple. Someone once said “if it were simple – everyone would do it”, but as you know golf is not simple. Mr. Kelley in The Golfing Machine text said in chapter “1-B. SIMPLICITY Treating a complex subject or action as though it were simple, multiplies its complexity because of the difficulty in systematizing missing and unknown factors or elements. Demanding that golf instruction be kept simple does not make it simple - only incomplete and ineffective. Unless this is recognized, golf remains a vague, frustrating, infuriating form of exertion. "Simplicity" buffs may find Chapter 5-0 or 12.5 sufficient.” Today in 2015 this problem still exists because golf instructors at large believe that you the student want your lesson to be simple.

Similar to Mr. Kelley my observation is that students arrive at the practice range with little or no direction of what to practice or how to practice. Hence this is why they never get better. How many of you set up your practice area with a target line? A stance line?  A specific distance you want the ball to travel? How many of you understand what to look for when the ball does not go the direction, distance or shape you have in mind? If when driving your car it continues to pull to the right do you go out and kick the right front tire? Do you slam the right front tire into a curb hoping to adjust it? Or, do you take to a mechanic?

Golf instructors must be mechanics who understand where to look for the problem that is causing the ball’s unfortunate curve, push or pull. As the student you cannot “see” yourself swing, even if you use video you are too bias to critique your motion. Therefore, the reason The Golfing Machine, LLC trains its Authorized Instructor to make accurate assessments of your golf stroke, they know where to look, maybe your problem is in Zone 1 The Pivot or Zone 2 The Power Package or Zone 3 The Hands and each of these Zones have Components from Chapter 10 which influence their motion. Why do you ask is this important? Well, if your car is pulling to the right as in the above example then you would expect your mechanic to look first look under the car, then at the mechanism that control the steering and then to replace or realign those parts. These are the reasons the Authorized Instructors have taken time and effort to study The Golfing Machine, so they know where to look and you get better and more accurate information from someone who has studied the geometry, physics and biomechanics of the golf stroke than someone who has not.

Next time you go to practice after having a lesson with an Authorized Instructor your practice session will be directed toward the two or three items he uncovered during your lesson and your attention will be on those items. Be patient with your practice and do expect your change to occur over night, according to Psychologists change behaviorally or physically will take about 30 days and this time frame is dependent upon your actively taking a part daily with your practice. You can do some of your practice at home without a golf ball as it is your motion that is changing, when you have to your practice area you will find that your daily effort will pay off. How much time you ask? Just a few minutes per day, put your golf club in your hands and make your motion comparing your old motion to your new motion. This comparison between the two will help solidify the change and replace your former motion with the new updated version.

Compared to your fellow golfer who has little or no attention to detail, you will arrive at your next practice session prepared and attentive upon the changes which you and your Authorized Instructor discussed and you are now implementing. Stay attentive to your changes and your golf motion will improve. Better motions create better strokes and better stokes create ball flight and better ball flight creates greater competence which in turn will result in higher confidence.