One of the greatest things about golf – we are always learning. Some of the bests of all time have had multiple coaches over their successful careers, yet many have also failed in “the search of perfection”. This could also apply to the best coaches on the planet who have lost their jobs teaching former number one players on professional tours. There are vast philosophies in systems and methods that have worked for some but not others. Who really knows why Norman, Faldo, Woods, Ko, Wei, McIlroy, Rose, Mickelson, and so many others have sought alternative coaching?
Was the swing truly the answer or the problem to begin with? Above all, we must recognize that the golf swing may be simple in theory, the machine that performs it is extremely complicated. The greatest challenge to the teacher/player lies in the recognition and treatment of the individual differences. Self-discovery is a big part of learning and hearing something different might trigger a new pattern of confidence and belief to a more productive or simpler approach to improve. Mr. Penick once said, “try learning to say the same thing 10 different ways”.
Coaches can impart useful knowledge, yet the skill and work ultimately come from the student. Trusting your plan is critical.
Here are some words of wisdom from some of the best that have ever played the game:
Ben Hogan – “The average golfers’ problem is not in the lack of ability as it is from the lack of knowledge of what he or she should be doing. “
Bobby Jones – “The one influence most likely to assure the satisfactory progression in the swing is clear visualization in the players’ mind and movements. This can do more for a player than anything else he can possibly do, and I always stress that point. “
Alex Morrison – “The excellence of your game will depend upon the extent to which your mind takes charge, and the way your body responds to its commands.”
In sports/golf, you experience every possible emotion and psychological state as you are forced to respond to constantly changing circumstances. You can always go back to what worked best. But remember, only make changes that result in you playing better versus swinging better.
By Buck Mayers
Buck Mayers is the Director of Instruction at Escondido Golf & Lake Club in Horseshoe Bay, TX and can be reached at www.buckmayersgolf.com