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The Virtue of Being a Stupid Monkey (and How it can Help Your Golf Game) - Page 2

post #19 of 143

Tough love time:  Beachcomber, Jetfan ... read this!!!!!!!!!!!

 

(Had to put that first so it'd pop up on the teaser) :)

 

I think I'm pretty good at this.  I definitely started getting pretty interested in what causes things to happen, especially when I found this site.  Heck, the ball flight laws essay of yours, Erik, is what drew me here.  Then reading Beachcombers and Jetfans swing threads, among others, and all of the TGM talk and all of the other technical jargon got me thinking "crap, I don't know any of this, I need to study up."

 

Then I eventually came to the conclusion that I don't have enough room in my head to worry about why I'm doing this - isn't that why I pick an instructor I trust?  So he can worry about the 'why?' - but rather just but all of my effort into just actually doing it.

 

That said, I will still occasionally wish I knew more about why I'm doing what I'm doing.  I'll be on the range using the pipoe, or doing little posing shadow swings and somebody will come up to me and ask me what I'm doing.

 

"I'm trying to get my elbows closer together."

"Why?"

"Ummm, because they are too far apart."

"Oh.  What's that mean?"

"Ummm, that they aren't close enough together."

 

(He walks away mumbling "What a stupid monkey that guy is!")

post #20 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

"I'm trying to get my elbows closer together."

"Why?"

"Ummm, because they are too far apart."

"Oh.  What's that mean?"

"Ummm, that they aren't close enough together."

 

(He walks away mumbling "What a stupid monkey that guy is!")

"I'm trying to get my elbows closer together."

"Why?"

"So I don't drop the pipoe ya stupid monkey!"

post #21 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Tough love time:  Beachcomber, Jetfan ... read this!!!!!!!!!!!

 

(Had to put that first so it'd pop up on the teaser) :)

 

I think I'm pretty good at this.  I definitely started getting pretty interested in what causes things to happen, especially when I found this site.  Heck, the ball flight laws essay of yours, Erik, is what drew me here.  Then reading Beachcombers and Jetfans swing threads, among others, and all of the TGM talk and all of the other technical jargon got me thinking "crap, I don't know any of this, I need to study up."

 

Then I eventually came to the conclusion that I don't have enough room in my head to worry about why I'm doing this - isn't that why I pick an instructor I trust?  So he can worry about the 'why?' - but rather just but all of my effort into just actually doing it.

 

That said, I will still occasionally wish I knew more about why I'm doing what I'm doing.  I'll be on the range using the pipoe, or doing little posing shadow swings and somebody will come up to me and ask me what I'm doing.

 

"I'm trying to get my elbows closer together."

"Why?"

"Ummm, because they are too far apart."

"Oh.  What's that mean?"

"Ummm, that they aren't close enough together."

 

(He walks away mumbling "What a stupid monkey that guy is!")

 

a3_biggrin.gif As soon as I read this OP just now (thanks for the link, Zeph), I immediately thought, "damn it, this is me..."

 

I actually think I was inching closer to stupid monkey mode with Mike (mvmac) before I injured my wrist this winter, and that I might have gotten there had that not occurred. 

 

All that said, if I can take another perspective on this, it is this... and I do admit that I'm just playing devil's advocate because being that stupid monkey with a qualified instructor is extremely important to improving efficiently. But PGA Tour players can be that stupid monkey 24-7 because they're so talented. They just hit tons of balls as kids, arrived at some + level index, and went from there without so much as opening a book or doing anything remotely technically related.

 

A lot of the times I need the why in order to understand what I'm being told. There are numerous ways I can interpret "bring your arms down, jackass." How? Why? This feels screwed up. I don't understand the exaggerated picture on the camera you are showing me. What's going on? "Well, you do this because, blah, blah, blah, effects extension rates, head location, power accumulator 4, blah blah blah, flat left wrist, power accumulator 5, blah, blah, blah..." Me: "Ohhhhhhh... okay.... wow, that's brilliant.... okay, now I need to forget all that crap and just trust it now because I have a clearer picture in my head." Beginning to understand how the arms are supposed to work was a revelation for me... and that was made possible by the years of over-education about flexion/extension rates, hip slide, wrist flexions/extensions, foot pressure locations, etc. etc. 

 

The vast majority of the time, I fall into being over-educated. I fully acknowledge that, and have been aware of this for... I dunno, at least a few months now, if not more. However, I do reach points where that over-education leads me to arrive at a much better place, and suddenly, I'm not over-educated but under-educated again (Socrates theory). And my mind becomes clear, and I focus solely on the priority or two. It's just that, now (upon reading this thread for example), I feel I can switch between both modes. I have to know when to use one or the other, and more often than not, I need to be that stupid monkey going forward.

 

 

I know I am a unique student. I've learned that now. I think me realizing that what helps me often destroys someone else has helped me help others here as well, as I no longer write drawn out swing advice on people's threads.

 

But Mchepp raises a good point that all this anti-monkey studying has allowed me to learn how to find good instructors. I guess it's sort of a "that which nourishes me also destroys me" kind of thing when I really boil it down. We can use that information to "win the hearts and minds," but when the actual rebuilding begins, we have to step back and become those loyal monkeys. 

 

And Golfingdad: just to scratch the surface, when one's elbows separate in the general sense, the length of the swing arc can become inconsistent and you can have low point issues. It also makes the wrist cock unload too quickly and you'll struggle with maintaining a flat left wrist. And typically, the shaft can tip out excessively as well from down-the-line. Controlling the right elbow location relative to the body can be really important to avoiding all sorts of problems...

 

...And I think I just set your handicap back 2.5 points with that info d2_doh.gif

 

Anyway, this is a very helpful thread, Erik. Thanks, man.

post #22 of 143

Monkey balls!!  

 

I'm going to the range to work on changing my attachment, getting more pitched elbow.  The key to more pitched elbow is getting steeper hips at A3 while retaining PP5 through A4.  I want to have a solid release of PP3 and PA4 and finish high at A8. I'll let you know how it goes! z5_smartass.gif

 

Seriously, though... I may get caught up in the technicalities and instructional doctrine in my practice routine.  But I try to have amnesia when I play golf.  I have one swing thought which is built into my pre-shot routine.  Then once I go into my setup poster, and get ready to pull the trigger, have nothing but 'white noise'.  When I can achieve the state of white noise, I play my best golf.

post #23 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

Seriously, though... I may get caught up in the technicalities and instructional doctrine in my practice routine.  But I try to have amnesia when I play golf.  I have one swing thought which is built into my pre-shot routine.  Then once I go into my setup poster, and get ready to pull the trigger, have nothing but 'white noise'.  When I can achieve the state of white noise, I play my best golf.

 

Sometimes you have to lose your mind to come to your senses! 

post #24 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

A lot of the times I need the why in order to understand what I'm being told.

 

Great. "Why" is important to help you "buy in." But once you know the why, and understand it, become a stupid monkey and just do your piece. Don't get distracted by other shiny objects, etc. Just do the what. The why - during execution - is irrelevant. It can be important before execution, but not during.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

I'm going to the range to work on changing my attachment, getting more pitched elbow.  The key to more pitched elbow is getting steeper hips at A3 while retaining PP5 through A4.

 

Brief aside: no, you want to change your turning rates like I said in your thread. :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

Seriously, though... I may get caught up in the technicalities and instructional doctrine in my practice routine.  But I try to have amnesia when I play golf.  I have one swing thought which is built into my pre-shot routine.  Then once I go into my setup poster, and get ready to pull the trigger, have nothing but 'white noise'.  When I can achieve the state of white noise, I play my best golf.

 

You need to have amnesia when you practice too. Practice like a stupid monkey, PLAY like you're incapable of thought at all. :D

 


 

Summary of the above: you don't have to be a stupid monkey all the time. You do have to be a stupid monkey when you're practicing, and more so when you're playing.

post #25 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

 

Seriously, though... I may get caught up in the technicalities and instructional doctrine in my practice routine.  But I try to have amnesia when I play golf.  I have one swing thought which is built into my pre-shot routine.  Then once I go into my setup poster, and get ready to pull the trigger, have nothing but 'white noise'.  When I can achieve the state of white noise, I play my best golf.

 

And that should be the goal for golfers on the course.  Have a certain amount of knowledge to understand basic ball flight stuff, understand what your priority piece is, how to practice it but when you're on the course, you play golf and focus on hitting shots not making perfect golf swings.  

 

Erik made this clear in his first post but being a "stupid monkey" doesn't mean you're not thinking, just that you're prioritizing.  We do our best when we focus on one simple thing.  Usually that thing relates to something you can visualize: throw the rock over the wall, stretch your right side, crush the bug under your left foot.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Brief aside: no, you want to change your turning rates like I said in your thread. :)

 

 

And like James said....and I said a2_wink.gif  JK Beachcomber

post #26 of 143

I'll have you know that monkeys are capable of intense focus. Though I guess it's debatable whether he's thinking about one thing or two.

 

 

post #27 of 143

Hey check out my signature!  I got the stupid monkey award! 

 

c2_beer.gif

post #28 of 143
I'd like to think I'm pretty stupid. I spent the last 10 months working on the same thing. a2_wink.gif

If I'm being honest with myself, I think I'm decently well able to focus on just one thing. I might look for other faults but I do defer to those who know more about the golf swing than I do, and follow their process.
post #29 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post

I'd like to think I'm pretty stupid. I spent the last 10 months working on the same thing. a2_wink.gif
Probably the smartest thing you could do.
post #30 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

Hey check out my signature!  I got the stupid monkey award! 

 

c2_beer.gif

 

I've never wanted an award so badly before. 

 

 

Me on the left. Erik on the right.

 

I will soon learn to cope with my newly found intelligence.

 

But in the end, I think Erik may regret creating us when we all start shooting in the low 60s and our egos get out of control.

 

post #31 of 143

Don't know how I missed this thread.  Probably a good thing I found it.  Mike, I am sorry for my sins, and I hope you can forgive me. d1_bigcry.gif I promise when I take my lessons from now on I will not ask "why" one time. a1_smile.gif  I can't think about more than one thing at a time anyway when especially when practicing, because I am pretty dumb and have had a few too many head injuries(Lets see, a tree fell on my head once, diving catch in baseball years ago and landed on my head,at least as far as I can remember anywayd3_drool.gif).  This probably explains a lot to some of you guys, but this is a very good reminder to focus on "what" is really important.  Plus if I am taking a personal lesson, which I have only done twice(before evolvr, no I am not cheating here), I did not like to waste time asking questions.  If I am paying for it, I want to shut up and learn.  Similar to what Beach said as well, when you are playing your best the swing thoughts for me are pretty much "hit ball, find ball, hit ball again."

post #32 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

Hey check out my signature!  I got the stupid monkey award! 

 

c2_beer.gif

post #33 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by cipher View Post

Don't know how I missed this thread.  Probably a good thing I found it.  Mike, I am sorry for my sins, and I hope you can forgive me. d1_bigcry.gif I promise when I take my lessons from now on I will not ask "why" one time. a1_smile.gif  

 

Erik can disagree with me on this but knowing why is fine, what needs to be avoided is getting into the super intricate pieces of why.  Or having "why" be the focus rather the "doing".  Because then it becomes about trying to make the swing look a certain way rather than it being a functional motion.  The basics of "why" helps the student trust the info and the instructor.  The biggest problem I see is students getting ADD when they practice.  They don't focus on the priority piece, they "try" different things or completely ignore the instructor's recommendations.  Look at how long it takes Tiger to make a swing change to where he's comfortable, it's years.  Why do golfers think you should have it after a bucket of balls?  

 

When I was recently in Erie, I watched Dave give a lesson and I gave the student a "tip" towards the end.  He was making some nice changes but to do so had to make some very different and maybe even awkward feels.  I asked the student what he felt on a scale of 1-10 in terms of exaggeration.  He said something like 8-9, I recommended that when he practices on his own he makes sure to exaggerate at a 9.  Seems like common sense but this is something I have to make sure I do and it's easy to get lazy and not have the same discipline when you're on your own.  

post #34 of 143

This aligns nicely with the Shawn Clement line of thinking.

 

He makes it quite clear that you don't need to be focusing on positions in your backswing for example.  You need to focus on the picture of the shot you want, and delivering the needed feel into the picture.  If you do that successfully, your central nervous system will put you in the right position on the backswing.

 

I was watching the LPGA coverage today and I believe it was Brittany Linsicome who said (paraphrasing), "I had gotten too much into positions and technical detail.  I just decided to go back to being me and swinging the club like I always have."

post #35 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

Erik can disagree with me on this but knowing why is fine, what needs to be avoided is getting into the super intricate pieces of why.  Or having "why" be the focus rather the "doing".  Because then it becomes about trying to make the swing look a certain way rather than it being a functional motion.  The basics of "why" helps the student trust the info and the instructor.  The biggest problem I see is students getting ADD when they practice.  They don't focus on the priority piece, they "try" different things or completely ignore the instructor's recommendations.  Look at how long it takes Tiger to make a swing change to where he's comfortable, it's years.  Why do golfers think you should have it after a bucket of balls?  

When I was recently in Erie, I watched Dave give a lesson and I gave the student a "tip" towards the end.  He was making some nice changes but to do so had to make some very different and maybe even awkward feels.  I asked the student what he felt on a scale of 1-10 in terms of exaggeration.  He said something like 8-9, I recommended that when he practices on his own he makes sure to exaggerate at a 9.  Seems like common sense but this is something I have to make sure I do and it's easy to get lazy and not have the same discipline when you're on your own.  

So well put Mike. My brother is a 12 handicap, has an iron swing without any lessons that has a lot of potential and strength. I hope he sees this thread, I will show it to him. He gets frustrated after going to the range once or twice and playing one round of golf. I tell him "you have not really worked on anything, you are not allowed to be frustrated with your golf game". I would give him some help more help but yeah it is probably going to be "that feels weird I tried it at the range and it does not seem to work". If he really wants it bad enough then we can go from there and I have recommended evolvr to him, but made him aware that you have to commit to it. As an evolvr student I ask myself each day if I am one of the hardest working golfers out there, and what does getting better mean to me. What is the end goal? We each know if we have put in the work or not, and how much getting better means to us.
post #36 of 143

Good post, Mike.

 

I realize the language of using "monkey" and "evolution" in the same sentence is fairly crude from a scientific stand point. But I think I finally get this image now b2_tongue.gif:

 

 

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