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VegasRenegade

The Golf Swing is not intuitive.

17 posts in this topic

At least not for me.  As I take each lesson starting from stance and grip and move along each step has felt completely foreign to me. Granted this is coming from years and years of doing it a different way.  I made a commitment to take 25 lessons over 10 months and pick Golf Tec .  The step by step instruction and video feed back is just want I needed. If I had tired to just copy a tour swing on my own. I would have been lost. I needed to develop the foundation to build on

Lesson 1: Stance and grip

Lesson 2: Turning and moving weight behind the ball with out swaying.

Lesson 3: right arm connection

Lesson 4: Left arm connection

Lesson 5:depth

Lesson 6 Proper hinge to get to proper top position.

This is where I am at currently. Not that I am not still working on everything else we have covered. Just this week I truly feel that I have gotten rid of the sway.

I feel for me the most important component is that I have completely stop playing Golf. If I had not I am sure I would have given up on the lessons. Currently I can not make solid contact at all.  I am trusting that as we move along this will come. Should start on the transition to the down swing. Next week.

I am sure that many of  you could have picked all this up much quicker or even just did it the first time you started to swing.

Not completely sure where I was going with this but here it is anyway.

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I agree to some extent.  Granted, plenty of guys seem to "get it" easily, in my experience they're folks that were taught from an early age.  Guys that started after highschool or college have a tougher time.   Seems that most have an outside in swing, it is just more natural to turn the shoulders around the hips.

In many other sports, you're taught to "hit" something.  The "hitting" of the golf ball is a major issue for most players, learning how to "swing" the club is tough.   I'm not talking about the group of guys on this board, I'm talking just going out to a driving range and watching people screwing around, the swings are awful...very very rarely hit with a draw....always concentrating on "hitting" the ball with barely any finish.

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Originally Posted by chilly

In many other sports, you're taught to "hit" something.  The "hitting" of the golf ball is a major issue for most players, learning how to "swing" the club is tough.   I'm not talking about the group of guys on this board, I'm talking just going out to a driving range and watching people screwing around, the swings are awful...very very rarely hit with a draw....always concentrating on "hitting" the ball with barely any finish.

This is a lot of what makes it hard to learn a golf swing, because while a batter in baseball still swings, it's a completely different objective. Same with tennis, cricket, and other sports like racketball. Those sports are more of a hit, unless you are trying to apply a specific spin to the shot. Golf is so different in that fact that it isn't even on a similar plane as these other types of swings, because golf is more of a rotational axis than any other. In baseball, they do rotate more than in sports like tennis, but they start with their shoulders in the same position that a golfer's  are at address, and they only rock back slightly for their "backswing". What helped my contact was when I stopped thinking about hitting down into the back of the ball, but focused more on coming into a full finish with a shoulder turn past perpendicular to the target. In addition, golf is on of the only sport where you swing down (slightly) to make the ball go up, with variable lofts depending on the club used. Golf's just so different from any other sport that it's difficult to feel a natural swing at first. It took me almost 8 years to get a natural feeling swing, and that only happened when I started playing golf more seriously than just going out every couple of weeks with friends or family. The best remedy for this would have to be to just swing, swing, and swing some more until it is so ingrained in your muscle memory that you can do it whenever and wherever you are. Keep repeating it until you get to the point where you could do it at 2 AM without though if your instructor called you and told you to. However, remember to have fun while doing this, and don't let it become a second job. Golf is a game played for enjoyment, so just keep that in mind while you practice before you get frustrated, and think about how much better it is than being at work.

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Originally Posted by Audaxi

Quote:

Originally Posted by chilly

In many other sports, you're taught to "hit" something.  The "hitting" of the golf ball is a major issue for most players, learning how to "swing" the club is tough.   I'm not talking about the group of guys on this board, I'm talking just going out to a driving range and watching people screwing around, the swings are awful...very very rarely hit with a draw....always concentrating on "hitting" the ball with barely any finish.

The best remedy for this would have to be to just swing, swing, and swing some more until it is so ingrained in your muscle memory that you can do it whenever and wherever you are. Keep repeating it until you get to the point where you could do it at 2 AM without though if your instructor called you and told you to. However, remember to have fun while doing this, and don't let it become a second job. Golf is a game played for enjoyment, so just keep that in mind while you practice before you get frustrated, and think about how much better it is than being at work.

The only problem with swing swing swing is you forgot to say correctly.  I have been swinging swinging swinging for 40 years.

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I've heard a good discussion recently that talked about the true definition of intuitive.

When we say something is intuitive, it doesn't mean it's instinctive - it simply means it follows a pattern we've learned before. The first time you encounter something intuitive, it's not intuitive if you haven't had a chance to learn the pattern before-hand.

The first time you put someone down in front of a computer, they don't know how to use a trackpad let alone go to the "File" menu to expect to see "Save" or "Open." That's intuitive. Nothing about using a computer is instinctive.

The golf swing is neither intuitive nor instinctive. :)

Take lessons from a great instructor. There aren't many of them. Good luck.

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Well i would say one thing, i don't know if its just being able to be a quick learner, or the ability to think way outside normal constraints, some people seem to just have some ability to have that intuitive nature to pick up things quickly. I think it might some sort of thing we call intuitive, but it might just be the speed at which they learn makes other's think there is something mystical about it.

I do agree, having a great instructor really speeds along the process, but i do believe there are certain people who take up the game quicker, but some circumstances might expediate that. Like my cousin, he can shoot in the mid 80's to low 90's and only been playing golf for the past 3 years, no lessons at all. But he's played sports his whole life, and played division 2 college basketball. I would say there is a lot of correlation between golf and basketball, especially with a solid set-up, but also being athletic, and able to learn a sport quicker than others.

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Of course it's not - that's what makes it so great.  One of the things I really find interesting about improving my swing is how I see, feel and understand things differently than when I first started.  I see things in pro swings on tv that I never would've seen 2 years ago.  The feel of swinging the club is totally different to me now than when I started.

And the great thing is I still suck so there is so much more left for me to enjoy.

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From a Golf Instructor POV I understand what you are going through. Please do not take this wrong but I cringe when I have an older student who has been playing for some time without proper instruction or self taught, and then comes to me for lessons. Only way I will accept those kind of students is IF they take at least 6 to 12 lessons. Reason is obvious because of what you are going through right now. YOu have a lot of bad habits and muscle memory none of which is near correct or acceptable parameters. It takes a long time to un-train what you thought you knew. You basically have to forget everything you thought you knew about the swing. But hang in there. Do not rush the process. Keep practicing each step until you have mastered it before progressing to the next step. The reward will come. :-D
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Not for me either! I'm 64 and swung my first club last December. I had a few short lessons from a golf pro back in May, but it didn't seem to help much. I do take as many tips as I can from players who are much better than I am and weed out what doesn't work. I read a lot on the internet and watch a lot of golf tip videos and still have to weed out those that just don't work for me. I have improved some these past ten months but it's been a very slow process.  I'm sure for me anyway the reason progress is so slow is because I started golf so late in life and although I stay fit and exercise regularly, I never played many sports other than the occasional softball or volleyball game.  I do love this golf game though. It's such a challenge, and that's why I love it so much even though I really suck at it. My handicap is about 40 which is down from around 50 not too long ago. My short game is getting a little better and I try to practice at least once a week on chipping and pitching in my yard and try to get to the driving range weekly as well. One thing's for sure, some people pick it up and improve much faster than others and I just happen to be one of the slow learners. My biggest problem has been my inner clock. I'm an "A" type and have found it very difficult slowing down and not trying to kill the ball, and have a decent tempo. When I do manage to check my tempo I can hit some decent shots but I always tend to speed back up after a few shots.....

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but i do believe there are certain people who take up the game quicker, but some circumstances might expedite

Well that is very true. 9 out of 10 of those people are already athletic and there bodies and minds already understand the mechanics. Baseball, tennis, and hockey players make excellent students, especially if they are younger. Adults are the hardest to instruct, especially if they have been playing for some time without instruction. Give me a Jr High or High School kid who is a decent baseball player and I will have him making solid contact in just a few lessons. And if the kid puts some real effort into it and makes a commitment, I can have him playing collegiate golf with single digit handicap.

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Originally Posted by dereckbc

From a Golf Instructor POV I understand what you are going through. Please do not take this wrong but I cringe when I have an older student who has been playing for some time without proper instruction or self taught, and then comes to me for lessons. Only way I will accept those kind of students is IF they take at least 6 to 12 lessons.

Seriously?

Wow.

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Originally Posted by VegasRenegade

The only problem with swing swing swing is you forgot to say correctly.  I have been swinging swinging swinging for 40 years.

When I read the first sentence, I thought you were referring to the song, "Sing, Sing, Sing". Then I read your second sentence and felt bad for my assumption.

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From a motor skills angle, the golf swing is very intuitive for humans because it's a fundamental 'striking' skill. We humans have immensely powerful systems for learning complex skills - walking is a hugely complex movement... Also, shoelace-tying, bike-riding, typing, and hundreds of others. In these other skills we don't concern ourselves too much with following or copying any intricate, detailed technique - yet we master the skill. Our problem in golf is that we tend to override these systems - we stifle them - when we focus on technique. This is the non-intuitive bit - breaking down a striking skill into too many pieces - our information-processing systems can't cope and our coordinative systems break down. We disrupt the body's natural, co-ordinative capabilities and actually slow down our rate of progress. The same happens in other high skill sports like skiing or gymnastics - in these sports athletes focus on the 'big movement picture', not the small details. Much as we all love swing theories and detailed swing analysis - it's probably not our best route to improvement. So the good news is - the simplest way is best!

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Originally Posted by dereckbc

From a Golf Instructor POV I understand what you are going through. Please do not take this wrong but I cringe when I have an older student who has been playing for some time without proper instruction or self taught, and then comes to me for lessons. Only way I will accept those kind of students is IF they take at least 6 to 12 lessons.

Reason is obvious because of what you are going through right now. YOu have a lot of bad habits and muscle memory none of which is near correct or acceptable parameters. It takes a long time to un-train what you thought you knew. You basically have to forget everything you thought you knew about the swing.

But hang in there. Do not rush the process. Keep practicing each step until you have mastered it before progressing to the next step. The reward will come.

You hit it on the head. My swing was terrible and I have to relearn everything that Is why I signed up for 24 lessons. I know it will take at least that long so far 8 lessons and we start the transition next time.

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Originally Posted by retgi

Not for me either! I'm 64 and swung my first club last December. I had a few short lessons from a golf pro back in May, but it didn't seem to help much. I do take as many tips as I can from players who are much better than I am and weed out what doesn't work. I read a lot on the internet and watch a lot of golf tip videos and still have to weed out those that just don't work for me. I have improved some these past ten months but it's been a very slow process.  I'm sure for me anyway the reason progress is so slow is because I started golf so late in life and although I stay fit and exercise regularly, I never played many sports other than the occasional softball or volleyball game.  I do love this golf game though. It's such a challenge, and that's why I love it so much even though I really suck at it. My handicap is about 40 which is down from around 50 not too long ago. My short game is getting a little better and I try to practice at least once a week on chipping and pitching in my yard and try to get to the driving range weekly as well. One thing's for sure, some people pick it up and improve much faster than others and I just happen to be one of the slow learners. My biggest problem has been my inner clock. I'm an "A" type and have found it very difficult slowing down and not trying to kill the ball, and have a decent tempo. When I do manage to check my tempo I can hit some decent shots but I always tend to speed back up after a few shots.....

If  you can take at least 12 lessons. You will improve quickly

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Originally Posted by ChrisGSZ

From a motor skills angle, the golf swing is very intuitive for humans because it's a fundamental 'striking' skill. We humans have immensely powerful systems for learning complex skills - walking is a hugely complex movement... Also, shoelace-tying, bike-riding, typing, and hundreds of others. In these other skills we don't concern ourselves too much with following or copying any intricate, detailed technique - yet we master the skill. Our problem in golf is that we tend to override these systems - we stifle them - when we focus on technique. This is the non-intuitive bit - breaking down a striking skill into too many pieces - our information-processing systems can't cope and our coordinative systems break down. We disrupt the body's natural, co-ordinative capabilities and actually slow down our rate of progress. The same happens in other high skill sports like skiing or gymnastics - in these sports athletes focus on the 'big movement picture', not the small details. Much as we all love swing theories and detailed swing analysis - it's probably not our best route to improvement. So the good news is - the simplest way is best!

I think your statement is correct but not you conclusion It is a striking skill but there are many ways of striking the ball. My way for 40 years has been to hit it. with all arms..

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Originally Posted by VegasRenegade

I think your statement is correct but not you conclusion It is a striking skill but there are many ways of striking the ball. My way for 40 years has been to hit it. with all arms..

Exactly, but another factor to consider is the fact that you are not striking something with a straight stick. The face is offset, which I know throws off a lot of beginners. Whenever you were a kid, if you picked up a bent stick, it was always harder to hit something when you played pretend baseball, and its the same with an offset (not down the centerline of the shaft) face, compared to one that isn't.

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