Category Archives: golf psychology

Golf really isn’t rocket science – part two!

Angular Parameters of Elliptical Orbit

“A physicist can describe the perfect golf swing and write it down in scientific language, but the smart golfer doesn’t read it. The smart golfer gives it to his opponent to contemplate.”Dr Fran Pirozollo

By Ian Hardie

In the post Golf really isn’t rocket science! I discussed the fact that over the past 10 to 15 years

Most golf instruction seems to have become extremely complicated

Let me make it clear though, that I’m not suggesting for one second that the game of golf isn’t an extremely complicated subject

It’s just that I seem to remember being taught when I was a young golf professional that the art of teaching golf was all about developing the ability

To take the complicated and present it to the student as simply as possible

As opposed to confusing them with so much science and jargon that they never returned

These days though, the bulk of the information about improving golf seems so full of all of this science and jargon – that unless you are a rocket scientist – as well as being an extremely high performance golfer

You will be unlikely to find much of it to be of use to you at all

In fact, it’s almost as if the prevailing mind-set is whatever the level of golfer being ‘helped’ at the time – they will only improve their golf game – after being plugged into a high-tech machine or two as well as having multiple video cameras covering every angle of their golf swing

This overload of information that is being fed to them while they are trying to improve – in most cases results in worse performance afterwards but more dangerously

Creates a group of golfers who are dependent on these machines and their information

I was going to go on to discuss more about this but as luck would have it – as I’m writing this – the final round of the 2015 US Open played at Chambers Bay is on television and is presenting an ideal illustration of my point

By the time you read this, you will no doubt be aware that the winner of the championship – after an extremely tense and trying final round – was Jordan Spieth and if you did manage to catch any of the coverage of the final round

You will be aware that with virtually all of the world’s top male golfers struggling to make sense of the Chambers Bay course – as was this legendary golfer who was just watching!

The result of the championship was ultimately decided by a few odd bounces of the golf ball and some extremely wiggly putts

Putts that were made on greens that well, some people – like this guy – just plain didn’t like

“What’s all that got to do with golf instruction being so complicated” – I hear you thinking?

Well, at the end of the day the real reason that Jordan Spieth was able to triumph on that extremely difficult golf course – were simple traits like excellent preparation, a strong focus on the task at hand, acceptance of bad breaks when they arose, perseverance to keep grinding away and above all else – a desire to play golf as it should be played

Starting the round by focusing intently on playing the first tee shot as well as possible

Into the best position to play the next shot from

Then playing every subsequent shot as well as it can be played to eventually be able to navigate the course in the lowest number of shots possible over the entire round

While not letting those weird bounces, greens that were like ‘broccoli’ – according to one competitor or the sometimes bizarre contours of the greens get to him

The things that helped Jordan Spieth to win the 2015 US Open

Were nothing to do with complicated golf instruction, science or jargon

In fact, they reveal more about his character and mental fortitude than anything else

This is an area of the game that a lot of golfers either completely ignore or neglect to take seriously when looking to improve – as the lure of the high-tech machines seems much more exciting than improving something as mundane as – how you approach and prepare for a round

I’m pretty sure Jordan Spieth understands which one is actually more useful in the middle of the US Open – when there isn’t a power point in sight to plug the high-tech machines into or an instructor beside the golfer spouting jargon and science about the golf action

Now, if what you have just read has made a lot of sense to you and you are wondering how to find some good information on just how to do that for your golf

I’d suggest that it would be a great idea to take a look at this program that will help you to assess exactly where you are at and what you need to do to improve your golf in those sorts of areas over an extremely short period of time

However, if you are thinking that you’d rather go and spend lots of money on complicated golf lessons while being hooked up to a few high-tech machines to make you feel better – I’m going to leave you with a simple question to think about for a few minutes

What’s of more use to you in the middle of the golf course?

A bunch of science and jargon swimming around in your head or a calm and focussed mind that allows you to play the best you can with the skills that you have

I know which one I have found more useful over the years and which one Jordan Spieth was drawing on when he won the 2015 US Open

If that’s something that you think you could do with developing – click here to find out more

By the way, if you were wondering what the image at the top of this article is all about

It shows something called “Angular Parameters of Elliptical Orbit” which is part of that most basic piece of rocket science – The Tsiolkovsky rocket equation – which according to Wikipedia:

The Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, or ideal rocket equation, describes the motion of vehicles that follow the basic principle of a rocket: a device that can apply acceleration to itself (a thrust) by expelling part of its mass with high speed and move due to the conservation of momentum. The equation relates the delta-v (the maximum change of velocity of the rocket if no other external forces act) with the effective exhaust velocity and the initial and final mass of a rocket (or other reaction engine).

Personally, I think that the image is also a really good representation of the content of far too many free videos that supposedly help people to play better golf – as I’ve written about before here

But just remember – I’m a golf teacher, not a rocket scientist!

Play well


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