Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Why So Many Golfers Look and Feel Uncomfortable

Bobby Jones wrote for the benefit of the so-called average golfer as well as the expert. He sympathized with the struggles of the average player. He recognized that the teaching on the golf swing has done very little to help the average golfer improve. And he recognized the reason why.

Bobby, in the second chapter of the book Golf is my Game, wrote:

    "Those players we see today who have the appearance of naturalness and ease in their play are immediately identified as having begun to play as youngsters. I think they have this appearance because they first thought of the game in terms of striking the ball. So they set about doing this with no more self-consciousness than we would associate with chopping wood, throwing stones, or beating rugs.
     I am confident that the adult golfer can and should approach the game the same way. He may not have the time available to the youngster, but he has the advantages of adult understanding... The unskilled golfer looks uncomfortable, strained, unsure, sometimes even unhappy, but he hardly ever presents a ludicrous aspect. I think that a great deal of his discomfiture is derived from his conscious efforts to follow prescribed routine, to look and move like someone else, or as he has been told. I think he would present a more natural appearance if he should put his mind upon striking the ball, rather than swinging the club."

I think Bobby really hits upon the biggest problem with most golf teaching. It focusses on the swing, rather than how we need to strike the ball. He goes on to write:

    "Golf is played by striking the ball with the head of the club. The objective of the player is not to swing the club in a specified manner, nor to execute a series of complicated movements in a prescribed sequence, but primarily and essentially to strike the ball with the head of the club so that the ball will perform according to his wishes.
     No one can play golf until he knows the many ways in which a golf ball can be expected to respond when it is struck in different ways. If you think all this should be obvious, please believe me when I assure you that I have seen many real good players attempt shots they should have known were impossible."

Bobby Jones has nailed the real issue for many players who are struggling. They are caught up in thinking about swinging the club when they should be focussing on striking the ball. He goes on to explain in some detail in this chapter about how the ball must be struck to produce a variety of shots. I have included this information in my article entitled The Wisdom of Bobby Jones: Striking the Ball.

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