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."