..A fool? Maybe not. In the end, we all teach ourselves. Who else is going to get us to the right teacher, make us practice and give us the drive to get better? Maybe we just need a little help.
As I’ve said before, our knowledge of the golf swing is changing. I think we’re starting to understand the real mechanics of a good swing for the first time. Sure, there were great teachers who had a feel for it, and players that could capture it for brief periods, but I think we are close to having tools that will give us the real mechanics. But that in itself doesn’t make us better golfers. Even if you know the mechanics of a perfect baseball swing, that doesn’t make you a .400 hitter. There’s a lot more to any sport or game than just mechanics.
It will take time for a new breed of teachers to adopt the new tools, but it will happen. I still think there’s some magic in the game that needs to be uncovered. The golf swing is very complicated when you look at mechanics, what amateur among us can learn the game that way. I think we’re more likely to learn by understanding some key imagery that will put our minds in the right place for our bodies to execute.
That’s a bit obtuse, so I’ll try to explain it with an example. Let’s say the correct image is of throwing a golf club towards your target. Think of a clock around your body while you’re swinging. 12 is over your head and 6 is where the ball is. The image is to swing your club like your objective is to throw your club when it gets to, say, 8:30. Only you have to hold on. Maybe that’s the way to learn golf. (I do recall in the far reaches of my brain that someone was actually having their students throw clubs.) Perhaps the mechanics only come in when trying to correct small things.
I envision a machine that is able to capture all your mechanics on a good swing. There are video tools out there now that go a long way in this direction already. When your swing goes off, they’d plug you into the machine to see what small things might be out of wack. Most often I think they are in the setup – grip, stance, alignment and posture.
Or maybe you’d just go back to your ‘image’ again and practice that. Throw the club. Forget everything else. Leave the mechanics for a ‘tune-up’ teacher. You’d be your teacher for the basic imagery. I had a decent ‘arm’ as a kid. I could throw pretty hard and was accurate. I never thought about mechanics, I just thought about a throwing image. If only I could hit a golf ball as consistently as I could throw a baseball, there’d be hope for me.
If anyone out there has a key image that works for them, please write in. I need some help!