I am pretty good at sports. I learned tennis and badminton and table tennis myself without any coaching. I could hit the ball or the shuttlecock with ease and with little practice I was able to have competitive matches. With golf that ability seemed to have disappeared. After 7 lessons and virtually no improvement in my game, I decided to find out what was wrong with me.
My golf coach never actually explained to me what a golf swing is supposed to feel like. He asked me to take a swing at the ball, then proceeded to criticise every aspect of that swing and suggested tweaks to improve it. He used this video analysis software to show me how I need to change the angle of my wrist, back swing, that I rotate properly, that I shift my weight from one leg to the other in the right sequence and at the precise time, etc… etc… I really tried to remember all these points he mentioned every time I lifted my club. And I never managed to remember them all.
He’d say, oh… you forgot that left knee, didn’t you. That’s why you sliced. The next ball it was my head, the weight shift… it was exhausting. I was pretty certain that the top players didn’t remember 49 steps when they hit the ball. That action had to be natural.
I can anticipate a tennis ball, and I manage to get to the spot it is going to land and get into a position to hit it, and I can hit it into the opponent’s corner. I can do that with table tennis as well, and its a ball that travels very fast. I can do it without remember any sequences, angles or body shits. I do it naturally, and I do it well. Here I have a white ball at my feet and it’s not even moving and I can’t hit it to save my life.
The purpose af the swing is not to hit the ball. It is to send it in my opponent’s corner.
Instead of using a tennis racquet, I use a golf club instead.
All this time I was hitting the ball, and no wonder I always came over the top. If I want to hit the ball, that is what i have to do. Not once have I thought about the actual target. Not even once had my coach told me to pick a target to send the ball to. My target was always the ball.
It is so much clearer now. It’s like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. With the useless tips I was getting from the coach, I would never be able to play golf. I may get enough consistence to lower my handicap, but I would never actually have a natural swing. Maybe that is the purpose of these lessons. Only teach enough for them to come back. Once they learn properly, the customer and the income is gone.
I can’t wait to go to the course or the range to practice. I’m not good yet, but I have clear path to become good, and I now know that I can.