Thursday, November 22, 2007

golf lesson time

I love playing bad golf, but have decided to see if I can learn how to play somewhat *less bad* golf, and have taken a few lessons.

Just for giggles, here are a few highlights so far...

A teaching pro from one of the local (amazingly nice) courses has set up an indoor training facility with the full treatment of cameras, computers, & such.

In the first lesson, he had me work on three things:

  • grip change
  • mindfulness of where my hands are located when I stop my backswing
  • posing for the cover of Golf Digest in my finishing position

Since I surprised him by actually doing daily work on the three homework assignments, we moved on to a new list based on where my work had taken me. So for the next few weeks at least, my focus during practice is shifting to:

  • placing a penny, tee, or other small object between the bottom right pad of my left palm and the grip to see if my hands open up, allowing it to fall
  • keeping my arms in front of my chest instead of opening up at the end of the backswing
  • beginning my address position with a new wrist position, addressing something of a wrist cock that was breaking my posture from the outset

Other details come up during the lessons, and we give them varying amounts of attention. But so far much of this amounts to the two of us working on translating ideas into language and concepts that fit my brain well.

He noted pretty quickly that my day job as a programmer forcing me to think analytically all day contrasts with how I'm inclined to approach golf. Talk of clock positions and such don't seem to connect with me as well as body sensations, visual cues, etc.

When I first walked in the door a few weeks ago, he mentioned a six month time frame to make a change to someone's golf game in general terms. I'm coming at this process in terms of "oh, I think it would be nice to play golf better" instead of "fix my slice" or some other specific goal-directed approach.

I have no idea whether that makes his job easier, harder, or what. But so far we look at what I'm doing on the video/computer system, study it in various ways, and keep making tweaks. It's a fascinating process, really.

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