Wednesday, September 7, 2011


There is a current hot button emerging in golf reporting that heightens a discussion about putters. Should long putters be allowed? Do we need a rule change? Who is for it and who is against it?

A sub-topic begs some to wonder if there is an advantage one way or another. Does it provide an unfair advantage if one goes to the long job? Such mental concerns as what it does to confidence, if not what it does for any mechanical issues, and then there are players like Watson and Woods who believe that it may interfere with sound putting mechanics, apparently aimed at the theory of both arms functioning equally, which appears to be movement that is modified by the "longjohn."

We are wondering what happened to personal preference on the one hand, and if it is a rules issue, why the USGA has not jumped in to make some sort of declaration, if for no other reason than clarification.

Clearly, those who have opted for the longer models have shown signs of stirring the order of leadership positions on tour, but is that tool-related, mental comfort-level related, or just plain player-preference related?

We suspect that there are some who believe that it has some bearing on player response to pressure in the game, which ultimately will be found to be no more than a temporary relief - but then that's been the lot of players for centuries - change something, anything, and you get a different response for awhile. Does it not cause one to question why there is so much temporary relief in the game?

Meanwhile, back to the putters. We all know someone who changes putters (and Drivers) often, looking for The One that will work, and most of them work for awhile. Johnny Miller named that the WOOD method - Works Only One Day. And that teases most players into a false hope that it is a solution to whatever problem is invading the game.

Sooner or later, players will discover that it is something within themselves, not in their equipment that is eating their lunch. But then that bears another look, too, because one can be suffering from ill-fitted equipment, which may need yet another kind of attention.

Until we see something of greater effect, we will opt for all the hullabaloo being related to personal preference, and if that affects one's mental frame of reference, find some help to deal with it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Golf's Predictable Missteps

One may think that very little in golf is predictable, and based on typical views and perceptions of the game, it might seem that way. However, have an honest and unbiased look at what we believe to be a new insight into the game, or if you prefer, take the ostrich route and don't bother yourself with this blog.

Even a passing glance at a few golf forums is revealing. Just saw one post that asked for help with a repetitive "reverse pivot" problem - getting over it, that is. Respondents gave typical advice, pointing to mechanical "fixes," but none indicated they really knew what caused that issue. Some thought they knew where it started, but each one thought the "where" was in a different location in the body.

It certainly is in a different body part from any we saw mentioned. It starts in the mind (the front part of the brain) and ends in the back part. We have completed more than 50,000 player profiles in the past 25 years, each one telling a "story," and those collectively have painted a portrait of predictable swing faults such as "reverse pivot."

The profiling we do shows a number of issues, among them being a players genetically influenced personal style, changes that happen to that style from the player's intention, and responses to pressure that the player encounters, among others. 50,000 later, we have found that when players' intentions alter the genetic style that was given, there are universal consequences that emerge in the game.

If the player takes a "defensive game-posture" by lowering his/her normal, given intensity, typical missteps tend to follow, including deceleration in swinging and putting, "reverse pivot," inability to make a fully rotated movement in the swing, tension that restricts proper weight shift, and shortened back and through swinging along with shots that travel uneven distances with the same club, to name only a few.

If the player takes an "offensive game-posture," the glitches will commonly include over-swinging, balance issues that promote "over the top" moves alternating with "coming off shots," putts that are "popped" rather than stroked with poor distance management, and less than solid impact between club face and ball, among a number of others.

Such stumbles are typically blamed on mechanical faults, when, in fact they begin in the mind, as the cardinal principle says, "Every action is preceded by a thought and followed by a result." There is no such thing as a "thoughtless" action. That comes from innate (built-in) human conditions that we did not create and cannot change. And it makes no difference whether we see it or not, believe it or not, care about it or not. It is just as firmly entrenched in life as your heart beat, your lung action and the law of gravity, whether we like it or not or agree with it or not.

All that is testimony to the need for balance in life and golf between thinking and acting and a clarion call for golfers to get with it and stop the feeble attempts to solve all golfing problems by changing their swings or imitating somebody famous. The mind is the last frontier for every golfer, including Tiger Woods, you and me.

Before anymore of that is allowed to go on, it's time to get thinking clarified and straightened out so we can all play "a whole game."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Search for the Impossible

"I very much like Tiger's new action, so much so that i've decided i'm going to start changing my action to approximate it as closely as I can." Those are words that showed up on a golf forum yesterday. Seems like a "nice resolution" for 2011 !...Right?

One of the most revered misconceptions among golfers at all levels of competency is "players need to play like the best is the game," which translates to "model your swing by someone else's."

If you do not know that there are no two folks exactly alike in this world, then you might benefit from a bit of study and research. It is futile to try to play like someone else. It is also not possible, at least not with any degree of success. You can try it, and maybe get the ball around a course, but your result will be nowhere near what your capability allows if you think you are doing it like Tiger or any other player or instructor.

But then, most won't know whether that is true or not since they most likely lack a set of principles against which to measure good, bad or indifferent in the result of a golf game. Oh we have an idea of what we will find acceptable, but we don't even know if our judgment has any basis in fact.

Unless you know behavior styles, have a grasp of golf swing essentials (imperatives),have an understanding of how people learn and how that is affected by years of growth and development, and truly believe that there are no two people exactly alike - even twins - then you will merely be lost in a maze of self-appointed confusion.

So Happy New Year to all, with a wish that you find a means to make judgments that are real, reasonable, measured, valid and tested.