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The Virtue of Being a Stupid Monkey (and How it can Help Your Golf Game) - Page 8

post #127 of 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post



Just be "dumb" and do what you're told. The hardest part is ignoring all the faults that jump out at you when looking at your vids. If your coach hadn't said anything about them, it means they're good enough. Could they be better? Yes, but they're not a priority yet so ignore them. That is the hardest part. Most of us who hang out here a lot are way over-educated on swing mechanics and that can become a real problem because as good as we are at spotting flaws, we generally suck at identifying the priority piece that will have the most impact. A good priority piece will fix a lot of faults at the same time. A bad priority piece (also known as a guess) will just suck you into a viscous cycle of chasing your tail forever.

This is probably, by far, my biggest problem. I'll be told to work on something then I'll watch the video and spot something that I think is wrong and start obsessing and questioning it *i.e. "are my hands high enough?"*. I don't know if I have it in me to be a stupid monkey, but I sure hope so.

post #128 of 132


When I read Gallwey's "the Inner Game of Golf" years ago, I came to a similar, yet quite opposite, conclusion. From listening to pro's on interviews to my own experience, I realized good golfers came in two distinct categories: 1) very smart individuals who had found ways to harness the power of their thinking minds, yet still let their subconscious body actually 'play' the shots, and 2) fairly thick individuals, who have difficulty holding two different thoughts in their head at one time.

 

To me, Jack Nicklaus is the supreme example of type 1 - he's clearly a smart guy, and he harnessed his conscious brain for visualization, letting it inform without directing his subconscious. Fred Couples seems to be the example of #2 (not that he's not a very nice guy, just that I suspect he's not the guy you'd want to discuss philosophy, literature, or physics with.) I played a lot of golf with a #2 type; he always hit it down the middle because that's all he could think of. Grip and rip, indeed.

 

Your average golfer ("AG") falls between these two extremes. The more active the mind, the more the tendency to fill it up with more 'knowledge' about the swing, mechanics, equipment, etc. But when it comes time to hit the ball, the AG's mind is so busy with thoughts and instructions - what Gallwey calls the 'sergeant-major' barking drill instructions - that the poor body gets confused. As Yogi Berra once said about baseball "I can't think and hit at the same time!". The whole point of Gallwey's book (and it helped me immensely) was to find ways to distract the sgt-major and occupy the conscious mind so that the body - which effortlessly co-ordinates all the variables in muscles, bones, tendons, etc. while walking, a task which modern computers have only recently become capable of imitating closely - can take control and make the swing.

 

When I'm on the range before a round, I use my conscious brain to evaluate how I'm hitting that day - am I hitting it thin? hooking the short irons? whatever - and I work on one swing thought to fix that. I carry that thought all day, and I trust my subconscious to make the right swing while my conscious is tied up with "Make a full turn" or "See the club hit the ball", or whatever I worked out on the range.

 

I wouldn't exactly call it 'stupid monkey', but I definitely agree that learning how to quiet and control the conscious mind is a huge part of the mental game.

post #129 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOldCaddy View Post
 

I wouldn't exactly call it 'stupid monkey', but I definitely agree that learning how to quiet and control the conscious mind is a huge part of the mental game.

 

FWIW, while your points are fairly closely related, the thread pretty much deals specifically with receiving and making the most of your instruction, not necessarily "how to limit swing thoughts on the golf course." Closely related, I grant you, but not exactly the same.

 

Very good post though, and welcome to the site.

post #130 of 132

Golf is a movement towards a target and the mind is a target focused mechanism... 

 

Bryan

post #131 of 132
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BVAI777 View Post
 

Golf is a movement towards a target and the mind is a target focused mechanism... 

 

Thanks, but that doesn't really speak to the topic of this thread.

post #132 of 132
Was thinking of this thread this morning. I have been trying to follow the advice I have been given (stop the right elbow from drifting behind on the back swing - so it will be in proper position on down swing and impact) without looking at other things. Recently though, I have been struggling with straight and pull draws. Not with the shorter wedges, but anything from my PW on. I have hit some nasty ones with the driver.

Anyway, its not really playable right now unless I try to open the face at impact a lot. Sounds easy, but it has been hard for some reason. This seems to me like key #5 (club face control) issues.

Anyway, would this fall into not being a stupid monkey? By working on clubface control at the same time. Like I said, the shots I have been hitting right now are not really playable.

This is more a general question. Just used my own struggles recently as an example.
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