“Make the least number of movements in the smallest amount of space”
PHILOSOPHY OF LEARNING
In the last forty years the game of golf has come a long way. Innovation and technology in equipment have improved to a level where tolerances have been maximized. Golf courses are manicured to perfection. The information available to instructors is abundant both from a physiological and psychological perspective. Nothing is left for granted. There are 26.2 million golfers in the United States and the average score for women is 114 and for men 97 and only 22% of all golfers break 90. Why has the average ability level of golfers not improved with all these innovative changes? There are several reasons:
1: Lack of understanding of long and short game fundamentals
2: No plan for improvement
3: Improper golf course management
4: Poor conditioning and flexibility
5: Instructor’s knowledge and communication
6: Work ethic
Almost all tour professionals have an instructor. Their instructor is always checking their grip, setup, alignment, balance, tempo, etc; the same things all golfers work on. This is done because with even the slightest stretching of tolerances the golf swing can deviate causing a shot that goes off line. There is no such thing as total consistency, just more or less. In other words we are searching for improvement but perfection will never come, that is the fascination of the game.
The frustration instructors see in educating students is one of impatience and intolerance for the course of action that is essential for progress. Golfers constantly rely on tips from friends as well as information read in magazines and televised golf instruction which is fragmented and not set forth in an organized and progressive manner. This simply causes confusion and eventually disappointment. The top rated teachers in the world cannot agree on the optimal way to swing a golf club. The frustration many students see is learning from a professional that does not understand what is required for development and applies quick fixes instead of a plan. There is instant gratification, hope and very soon after chaos. Constant experimentation simply does not work. You must have a plan for improvement. This plan is initiated by a qualified teaching professional and is continuous throughout your golfing life.
Application of new knowledge seldom follows a steady upward pattern. It takes time for your mind and body to become accustomed to a change. While continuing to improve keep in mind that all movements in the golf swing are closely related. Changing one aspect of the swing may alter another. All this fine tuning takes time. Be persistent and take heart in the fact that progress will take place as the changes are adapted. Amateurs sometimes mistake the natural learning process for an error on their part, try to go back to their old inferior swing motion and now are half way between their old motion and the new one. This is common and always disastrous.
The solution lies with an acceptance from both student and teacher as to what is required to move forward. Instruction must be approached on a step by step basis. An erroneous beginning can be disastrous. There is only one way to learn and that is gradually. The only short cuts are more knowledge.
All the student requires is patience, persistence and the rest of their golfing days to improve because golf is like life, you never quite get it right so enjoy the challenge of the greatest game of all.
Enjoy the challenge.