Albert Einstein once said, “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
With anything technical, there is always a level of confusion. However, with anything that is worthwhile, the simplicity of it will make it better. Golf is very much that way. Sure, there is a lot of technical and even mathematical elements that can be brought into it, but in keeping the swing simple, I think we can better capitalize on how great the game of golf really is.
I have learned a lot about the golf swing in working with kids. They don’t over think it, they always keep it fun, and they are always ready to do better tomorrow. As adults, it is easy to lose sight of these things and make golf nothing but complex, and complicated.
In attempting to keep the swing simple, I think it is important to capitalize on all avenues of learning to create a great, well-rounded golfer.
Visually, we need to see our shot, our lie, and how our swing looks in order to make corrections.
Auditory learning requires, needing to discuss and hear all the principles of a great golf swing, and work to implement them.
Kinesthetically, we have to experience what a great swing “feels” like, and allow for muscle memory and athleticism to take control. In my opinion this is the most crucial element to any age, and any level of golfer. This is what keeps the swing simple.
No other sport, analyzes what is going on with angles, and mechanics more than golf.
In basketball, when that three-point shot happens, we don’t take it back to video analysis and measure where our elbow was in comparison to our foot. Or where our head was as we jumped off the ground. The shot just felt good. After the three pointer, there are usually air bumps fired, and butt’s slapped from your team mates.
Don’t get me wrong, there are mechanics involved, and that is why hours and hours of practicing that three-point shot were made. But then, when it’s game time, you just put the ball in the hoop!
Golf needs to be kept more this way… We practice on the range for hours and hours, go through thousands of balls, and a million different training aids.
After you have done all this hard work, rely on the “feel,” and just get the ball in the hole!
Celebrate those great shots with the air bumps, and the butt slaps, just like you would in any other sport. Recognize when it just felt great! On the times when it doesn’t, follow what you would do in basketball again.
Let’s say you miss a three-point shot, it’s rebounded by the other team, so you get yourself down to the other side of the court, and ready yourself for defense. You don’t over think it; you just get ready for what is next.
So with that line of thinking… you shot your ball into the water, now what?
You don’t pout, snap your 3 wood, and make another terrible shot on your next lie! You plan out the next shot, and think back to what it “feels” like to make a great shot, then execute your defense! All the while, looking for that next opportunity to have a winning shot.
It’s that simple…
Don’t get caught up in making the golf swing more complicated. It already has complex elements that seem impossible to master. Do your homework with the right principles and tools, then trust yourself, and the feel of the game, to just get the ball in the hole.
Albert Einstein also said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you are stuck with the same practice routine, the same frustrations with your game, and the same high score, do something different! Focus on a new element of the game, and go back to keeping the swing simple.