OF CRACKS, VACUUMS and VOIDS
vacuum has existed for a long time in vitually all typical
education programs, including golf. There is a range of important,
basic information which has failed to find its way into the
mainstream. We get our reading, writing and arithmetic and even
our physics, calculus, chemistry and history. However, most are
never touched by the basic insights that help us understand our
own and other's behavior. Hence, there is a void in one of the
most fundamental areas of information needed for both work and
play. To be sure, we need it for our daily activities, not to
mention our golf games. But it is especially vital to golf,
because of the solitary nature of the game.
Most golfers appear not to be aware of this mammoth omission. Some even believe that behavioral information is puposeless, demeaning, and/or malevolently and prejudicially intended to categorize people. Truth is, they don't know the relevance of that information, so they've had no reason for concern. That means their motors have been running on another kind of fuel. There are plenty of golfers who want to score in the 60's. Problem is they have little or no clues to the necessary ingredients to get there. Conversely, there are a few golfers we know who have learned to respect the stages of growth and development in human life and know that those forces also affect the development of a golf game. They also have learned that it takes time to complete their development. The majority of players, however, would prefer to arrive without having to make the trip.
Add to those two
missing elements the entire knowledge and action bases that are
required to understand and implement the
automatic process, and you have a "formula" that
prevents elevating the game to the next level - a
"place" that golfers persistently cry out for at every
turn. Visit any golf forum to see and hear it.
There are a few professionals who are fully informed in all these areas. They know how to foster the implementation of the basic principles of human development for learning and playing processes in golf. Where others may only teach "swing," they help players learn in balanced fashion, incorporating the mental and physical essentials.
of course, many found on forums and at "learning
centers" who promote and rely upon corollaries to the
essentials, believing them to be basic principles. Corollaries
are good as far as they go, but they tend to focus attention on
symptoms and problems rather than solutions. That promotes
skipping the process in trying to get to a "cure."
Sometimes that may even work - for a moment - and then it's gone
again. Bandaids have a way of falling off before the wound is
healed. That is partly because corollaries are like spokes in a
wheel. They function better when seen and used as they are, not
as a substitute for the hub. They can be great supports, but they
are not central in their functional value. At some point in life,
we may want to stop looking at the headache and the aspirin and
take a harder look at the self-management necessary to deal with
the causes of the aches. Perhaps we can eliminate them
altogether. Unfortunately, the corollary route leads to
overloading with opinions instead of principles and that produces
yet another set of garden paths.
Simply put, golf's mental game is an activity, not just a way of thinking and feeling. It's a whole New Golf Psychology, bringing balance to the game and eliminating "headaches."
It is now
very clear that the physical game, made up primarily of swing
skills, cannot be completed, mastered and memorized without a
full grasp, and understanding of what is required for DOING what
the mental game calls for. Simply put, one cannot master, or
habitualize, the swing without mental mastery. Conversely, a
mental game isn't worth having without the swing to match.
BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE.
Teaching from a balanced perspective makes it possible for anyone, and everyone to play the game at his/her own best level as readily as they put on their clothes, drive their cars and brush their teeth on a daily basis. Anyone willing to listen and learn can do it. It is being done already by players we know. From 9 years old to 85, and from "muny" courses to the professional tours, the new chapter is being written now.