“I miss the hole, I miss the hole, I miss the hole, I hole it.” – Severiano Ballesteros
By Ian Hardie
In the post Do you know too much about the golf swing? I talked about a golfer that ‘knew’ the most about the golf swing of anyone I have ever met
At least that’s what they thought anyway!
The ease at which the golfing terminology and theories about the golf swing flowed from their mouth during a game was astonishing
However, despite ‘knowing’ all that stuff – the golfer couldn’t play golf very well at all
In fact, the golfer I was talking about had never broken 100 in a game
Their many years of extensive study of golf magazines and videos that dissected all the theories of the golf swing – hadn’t helped that golfer in the slightest
As they sliced, topped, muffed and hacked their way around the golf course
It doesn’t really make sense – does it?
How can a golfer ‘know’ so many things about the golf swing – yet exhibit so little application of those things when playing the game?
Let’s take a look at a few quotes from the world’s best golfers, golf teachers and sports psychologists to see if they can offer any clues to the puzzle of
Why knowing a lot about how things should ‘theoretically be done’ – doesn’t actually translate into good golf scores
“You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about.” – Bobby Jones
“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
“As far as swing and techniques are concerned, I don’t know diddly squat. When I’m playing well, I don’t even take aim.” - Fred Couples
“The Golf Hall of Fame is full of players with unusual looking swings. Some of the prettiest swings you’ve ever seen in your life are made on the far end of the public driving range by guys who couldn’t break an egg with a baseball bat.” – Peter Jacobsen
“When I ask you to Take Dead Aim, I mean that for a few seconds, you should be calm but aware, putting all your best attention into the moment at hand. You make what I think of as the sweet calculations of the wind and weather and distance. See a sharp picture of your ball striking your target in your mind. Bobby Fischer, the chess champion, said that when it was his turn to play, he considered only one move – the right one. You take out the club your mind tells your muscles is the right one to swing. At this point your imagination is stronger than your willpower. Your body will do what your mind tells it to do. You have no doubt, no fear. For those few seconds you are what you think. That’s Taking Dead Aim. Trust yourself.” – Harvey Penick
The reality for the golfer ‘that knew too much about the golf swing’ is actually pretty simple
They were convinced that the only way to improve their golf was by playing a game that a lot of golfers around the world play each and every week
A game that can best be described as ‘golf swing’
Its main focus (depending on the player) is either to end up with the nicest looking golf swing or one that supposedly fits whatever the current flavour of supposedly world beating technique is at the time
All that time spent focusing on the golf swing and how it should happen
Means that the actual point of the game of golf is being ignored
Which is moving your golf ball from the tee to the green, around the golf course in the lowest number of shots possible, using whatever technique and experience you have to do so
Something that the golfer in the image at the top of this post was extremely good at!
So here’s your challenge if you are a golfer that knows too much about the golf swing
First of all, you need to take a look at all of the Related Posts below and really read each one that you haven’t seen before – following every link that they each provide through to their conclusions
Once you have done that, sit for a few minutes and picture the best shot, hole or round of golf that you have ever played
I’m going to suggest that the one thing that would have been missing from your recollection of that best shot, hole or round of golf that you have ever played
Would have been any technical thought about how you were going to hit the golf ball
Your best shot, hole or round of golf – would have come when you weren’t thinking about any of that stuff
Got the idea yet?