Golf fitness is, apparently, big business these days. Didn’t used to be, in the days when tournament champions sported beer guts and nicknames like Walrus, Golden Bear and Big Mama. Now they are Tiger and Bam Bam and Popeye.
It’s commonplace to see commercials or ads touting flexibility programs or strength training routines or infomercials with the latest repair for the common swing faults. All of them grab the avid golfer: Hit it longer…Hit it straighter… Be more accurate….if you just do this. Not so easy. Not so fast.
Having played some golf in my day, I wonder at the folks who spend on these “fix it” programs. And at the people who design them. The ‘experts’ who study the movement and the mechanics and find a market for their (a) program or (b) gadget.
The problem with the program is transferability. (I think I coined a word.) More strength or flexibility, even targeted at the appropriate body parts, doesn’t translate to longer drives. Even though ‘they’ say so.
The problem with the gadget is assembly line break down. A strap to keep your left arm straight fails to address the multitude of other break downs in your back swing and power-losers in your through swing.
The golf swing is complex and full of places we can go wrong. That little white ball heads left or heads right or dribbles into the creek, even after we have stretched and strengthened AND kept our left arm straight!
Oh, we need to be strong and reasonably flexible, for sure. But to make a pass at that ball that sends it in the intended direction with sufficient distance every time is elusive, no matter how well we move.
Your typical golf instructor can look at a golf swing and offer 100 different things to remember in the midst of it. Head down, eyes on ball, hands forward, club face square, weight equally distributed…and I haven’t even started my swing yet! Most of us give up at this point. Or if we don’t, if we are actually able to make a pass at the ball, the results are generally pretty disappointing.
But the best teacher stands back and watches for a while, seeking the underlying key. The one thing that, were you to get that just right, would cause all the links in the chain to fall into place. Then you could just let ‘er rip.
Golfers call this ‘playing in the zone.’ When, without thinking, everything just clicks. All the instruction and all the practice is just the backdrop to the beauty of a perfectly executed shot. Just focus on the One Thing and the rest will come.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ~ Matthew 6:33
Takes a Great Teacher, a dose of discipline and total trust. Could it really be that simple?