Monday, 5 June 2017

What Should You Look At?

I must admit that I don't watch very many golf instructional videos. First of all, they deal almost entirely with the golf swing, or parts thereof. And I've been there, done that. If, after fifty years of hitting golf balls, I still have to figure out how to do it, I probably have no business considering myself any sort of golfer; even a poor one.

And yet, these videos seem to still flourish. And the consumer of them cannot just be people just taking up the game, because I'm told that the numbers of new golfers out there are not increasing astronomically these days. There still seems to be a demand out there for swing instruction; even among long-time players. The search for the perfect golf swing, like the Holy Grail, seems to continue, and likely always will.

The other day, as I watched videos, I was surprised to see that one of the popular newer methods had a video on what you should be looking at when you hit the ball. I kid you not. Apparently, there are golfers out there wondering what they should be looking at when they are trying to hit the ball. If true, I'm glad for their sake that they are golfers and not carpenters, because they'd have seriously damaged and deformed thumbs if they were trying to hammer nails instead of hitting golf balls. 

Only in golf could such a question arise. Would a batter, in baseball, ask what to look at when trying to hit a pitch? Would a tennis player wonder what to look at when attempting to hit a backhand? Perhaps, but I find that extremely doubtful. But this is just another indication of how mixed up golfers can get. 

This particular video about what to look at comes, I gathered, as a result of the assertion that the flat point, or bottom, of the professional's swing is four inches past the ball. That may be interesting information to know, if it's true. But I've somehow managed to get by so far without knowing it. And I hope to hell I don't start thinking about that the next time I tee it up. Quite frankly, I've got enough things I'm trying not to think about as I'm hitting a shot as it is. This might be the thing that finally convinces me to just hang it up. Information overload.

The rule of thumb in golf, as in life, is that you should ideally be looking at the object you intend to hit. That's why I've never really asked, or been asked, what I should be looking at when I'm hitting a golf ball. It's a dumb question. If it's the ball you're intending to hit, I'm willing to bet my shady reputation on the fact that it is the ball you should be looking at. And, if the question really troubles you, and requires more clarification, it is probably best to look at the part of the ball you intend to strike. If you do that, you'll likely be fine. However, if you need to be told that, I suggest you consider taking up fishing instead of golf.

The only video I've seen that was dumber than this one was the one where the teacher advised us to hit balls with a basketball between our knees. That was the "piece de resistance" as they apparently say in Paris. Teachers get big bucks for coming up with this stuff. I guess I just don't think outside the box enough to be a golf teacher.

Getting back to what the video said you should be looking at; I must confess that I never got there. I decided to move on to another one that promised to teach me how to get more lag in my swing before that video was finished. I've always wanted more lag. But, I hope the reknowned teacher said it was the ball. Because, if he didn't, I've been doing it all wrong for fifty years.