To Feel or Not to Feel, That is the Question
Steve Whidden, PGA wrote an article in PGA Magazine where he states that it is
necessary to help our students to “play with feel instead of thoughts”. Let us
examine his statement. During this examination we will look at the word “feel”
and its many connotations.
When you ask
someone how do they “feel” are you asking about their state of wellness? Their
psychological state or how they sense something? This word has many different
connotations and many different ways of internalizing its meaning. Everyone has
a different way to explain their “feelings”, therefore, none of us would
explain them exactly the same. For example when asked, “How did you feel about
the movie?,” some will answer it made them sad, others will attest the scenery
made them feel blissful and others still may state the movie created a euphoric
sensation. Everyone watched the same movie, and everyone has a different way to
explain their “feel” for it.
people sense things the same way. Feel cannot be taught and the extraordinary
thing about “feel” on the golf course is that today it was warm and your body
felt nice and comfortable, tomorrow however, it will be cold and rainy and that
will change the way you feel or sense your environment and therefore, change your
“feel” on the golf course. Not only do different people feel things
differently, but the same person may feel things differently each day.
describe themselves as “feel players,” effectively criticizing technical
thought. But if greater consistency is the goal of golfers at every level and a
golfer’s feel can change daily, then it stands to reason that greater emphasis
on the scientific properties of the golf stroke that Mr. Home Kelley espouses
in The Golfing Machine will help many any golfer more consistent.
substantiate that when you are on the golf course you should think about the
environment and what you must do to hit your golf shot safely to your target.
You must think about the stroke you are about to make; ask yourself was this
practice swing strong enough to carry the ball that distance? Only you know the
golf motion from address to finish takes less than 1.5 seconds and the
downstroke takes about 1/2 of a second. The “feel” that you get after a swing
is compilation of that whole motion which included the crashing of the club and
ball. This impact between club and ball creates the experience which most
golfers term as feel. If the ball went exactly where you want it, then it felt
great, but if it were off target then it did not feel as good.
Now, feel is
based upon impact which lasts between 2/10 and 4/10 of millisecond. This is the
precise reason Mr. Kelley states that “golf is a game for thinkers, and that
alignments are more important than positions.”
and working on your alignments then YOUR game will be less likely to fall
apart. Make your motion based on YOUR alignments and you will be happier with
Feel will change
based on the situation at hand but the alignments
are forever and they can be adjusted as you see fit.