Subject: Re: "Golfing Machine", "Natural Golf(s)", physics, etc.
Date: Mon, 08 Jan 1996 02:44:54
>Physics as applied to everyday things like the golf swing, flight of
>the golf ball and so forth are fascinating. However, I don't believe
>that one person in a hundred would see a benefit to their golf game
>from understanding the "true facts" of the swing, even if these facts
>were indeed contained in some magic book.
I disagree here. The golf swing contains many illusions, and when the
golfer understands the facts the illusions they no longer mislead him and
can be used to his advantage. One of the biggest illusions of the golf
swing is the turning over of the hands through impact. As in a post I just
made, the Turbo Swing demonstrates this is not the case. Does this "true
fact" help the golfer, yes, probably over half of them. Only those who
can't understand the facts are those who can't apply them. Remember it is
easier to comply with physics than defy them. If understanding the "true
facts" won't benefit someones game do you think understanding the "wrong
facts" will not have an effect on someones game?
>And fewer than one in ten thousand would benefit from any conscious
>thought about F=MA or angular momentum or any other technology when
>they're actually trying to hit the ball.
Agreed. The player doesn't need to think of these things, only the
>In my experience, instructors who are "licensed" dispensors of true
>wisdom according to some guru are not particularly helpful to the
>majority of their students. I guess if you want to be a "Brent's Golf
>Official Certified Instructor" or whatever, you just have to expect to
>send 9 out of every ten students home unsatisfied because they
>prove unworthy of the one true golf swing you are selling. Then you
>just content yourself with the 1/10 of your students for whom that
>particular system seems to work (at least for a while).
From an instructors point of view let me tell you this. Not everyone who
comes to you has the ability to hit a golf ball. If 10 students come to
you 9 will try to hit the ball in their usuall manner, NO MATTER WHAT YOU
SHOW THEM. They will not change because they are afraid to go through a
period of missing the ball. Only 1 out of 10 will do what you tell him and
he will be the one to stand out. A GOOD instructor will not try to sell a
certain method, he will insert or correct components that need fixing or
correction. Those instructors who sell or teach one method (usually known
as method teachers) are not very knowledgeable because they only know that
one method. The 2 most important aspects to improving from lessons is
confidence in the instructor and communication. Remember, complexity is
more workable than mystery is.
>To me, when hearing about or talking to a golf teacher (or any kind
>of teacher) any kind of "true believer" talk is an immediate Get Out
>Of Here Quick flag. My teacher, who I believe is excellent, seems to
>have at least two if not three ways to approaching any lesson. In the
>vast majority of cases, the suggestion he makes first is helpful, but
>if not he is always ready to back off and use other words or another
>drill to make the same point. I'll bet he very rarely has a student who
>tries him for a few lessons, loses faith, and then has to start from
>scratch (no pun intended) with someone else. Yet this seems to be a
>common pattern for many of the dogmatic teacher out there.
I understand this. It is hard being an instructor, one of the hardest
things I ever did (this is why I no longer teach and do research). But a
good instructor should be able to convey the thought or principle in
several different ways. This seperates the good instructor from the bad
instructor. Harvey Penick was know as a good instructor because as he put
it, "he used simple words".
>I think anyone who claims to have made a fundamental discovery
>concerning the golf swing that supercedes all previous knowledge is
>exhibiting a total lack of perspective at best and is amazingly
>arrogant at worst. The biggest lack of perspective is the way many of
>these gurus confuse cause and effect.
The golf swing is cause, the ball flight is effect. This is why the golfer
needs to know how to apply the cause to get the desired effect.
* David Laville *
* Golf Research and Development *