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The Golfing Mind?

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The Art of Golf. The Essence of the Golf Experience

 For those seeking truth in their lives, arguably, the game of golf is one of the greatest teachers of human behavior. Perhaps no other sport , at its core, contains as many demands and rewards as this enlightening and perverse experience.

 Many people believe that golf is a boring and unappealing game with few redeeming qualities. Those who play the game view it quite differently. They even consider the sport as a premier challenge, as large as life itself.

 The game of golf can invoke a high state of relaxation, creativity and insight into ones self and his environment.

 Ben Hogan described it wonderfully ” a perfect golf shot resonates off the clubhead, travels up the shaft and lodges in your heart. ” Michael Murphy in Golf and The Kingdom wrote of “true gravity” as the holy grail of golfers. Shivas Irons, Murphy’s major character,struggles with his human limitations with golf as his guide. Now that is something special!

 The physical part of the golf experience can  be , and is , taught in a variety of ways. Even though the fundamentals of the golf swing are not brain surgery, many brain surgeons think it is! The huge amount of written material and TV exposure points up the uniqueness of the game. More is written about golf than politics, and the rest of the sports world combined. Tiger Woods, at his best, was a larger than life individual and a greater inspiration than most of our sporting role models. The game made him special, as it did Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Bobby Jones, and those who make up its history.

 The novice golfer  seeking instruction has many options. The most common and least productive aspect of golf instruction is the “tip” approach, also called a band aid lesson. Typically this lesson is 40-50 minutes of instruction to “cure” a golf flaw. It is problematic if the golfer ever gets much from the experience. The golf swing is presented as a somewhat disjointed action with too many moving parts. What this common type of instruction lacks is an integration of technique and feel.

 These instructional techniques of course, are hardly unique to the golf swing, but the game definitely makes greater demands of the player regardless of his skill level.

 Likely the most productive long term instruction is the multi-day golf school. In a well developed school program, the process of integration of mind and body is a predominant characteristic of success. This is not a quickly learned skill. Done correctly, with an emphasis on swing fundamentals, (not playing!) the 3 day golf school will provide the player with the most lasting results for future improvement.

 The essence of the golf experience is however the six inches between the ears. The golfer, at all levels, must utilize his right brain/left brain for long term success. Golf is much more than a simple physical action or an athletic move.

 Indeed Many golfers coming to the sport late in life need a remake of their mental processes.The art of golf does create mental anxiety (because of the nature of the game) Self-control and mental acuity demand much of its participants. The better the player, the more demands-no one masters this game!

 Golf is not a do-it-yourself process. Patience and technique(AND GENTLE ACCEPTANCE OF THE LUCK OF THE BOUNCE) demand much of all of us! Your body, your mind, and your spirit, are constantly engaged , and the individual is tested with each swing of the club.

 If you the gentle reader disagree with the above comments, when you next encounter a golfer, order up a drink or two and ask him why he plays the game at all!.

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