Sunday, September 11, 2011

back to basics

After several months working to get back to a low single digit handicapper and eventually to scratch, I  seem to be moving backwards. So I took some time to process the journey I have been travelling. Looking backwards I can see that the trip has not been a straight one.

Like most of my students I allowed the desire for short term gains to influence the overall journey. In other words I kept changing paths, for awhile I was strictly conventional, then a bit of stack and tilt crept in, followed by a relapse into "natural golf". I ended up with a swing focusing on style rather than substance. Some how I forgot the purpose of the journey was to prove that the simple "Turn - Turn" swing could get a golfer to the best golf of their life.

I spent a little time on the range yesterday going back to the beginning. Neutral set-up, turn turn swing, rhythm and tempo. Results were great. On the flag with my wedge and in flip flops too!

I think it is important to examine was caused me to alter my path. DISTANCE!!!

Like everyone else I started looking for more distance instead of lower scores, disaster. So I reread the early part of my book, and remembered that distance was the last of the key outcomes.
  1. Smooth full turn around a fixed axis, creating powerful weight shift with the proper sequence of movement.
  2. Consistent rhythm and tempo
  3. Controlling the bottom of the swing arc. . .hitting the ground exactly where I want.
  4. Predicting and controlling the balls flight.
  5. Distance. Be long enough and just long enough.
When the focus moves from the first four outcomes to the fifth outcome (distance) too early in the journey, those first four skills are not automated and habituated so they must begin to fail. That is what happened to me over a very frustrating and discouraging few months. Each outcome-skill must be developed and habituated in the correct sequence. This is a very valuable lesson for me as both a golfer and an instructor, I have to be patient with myself and help my students be patient with themselves.

There are no short cuts.

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