Myth of the Golf Swing

The truth about golf is that virtually anyone can learn to play the game well and with relative ease. People are good not bad. Yet it is a sad fact that most people think that golf is hard and that there are only a chosen few that can learn to play the game well. Even people who have been successful all their lives in other sports struggle and become frustrated with their lack of improvement in golf.

The problem is not with the student, but with how the game is taught. Since the early 1930s or so, golf instruction has been plagued by the idea that there is a golf “swing,” and that if one learns to do this “swing” perfectly they will hit perfect shots. If they hit imperfect shots then there is something wrong with their “swing” and they must proceed to identify the offending body part or area of the “swing” which is in need of correction. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As many golfers have discovered, this approach leads to a tremendous amount of frustration and confusion. And yet, this "Swing" philosophy thrives despite mountains of evidence to refute it.

It will become abundantly clear that the best and only way to learn golf is through a task oriented method. I believe that golf is a hand-eye coordinated activity. You use a tool, or club, to hit a ball. It is that simple. If you know what part of the ball to strike, how the tool is designed, and how to make the most of that design, then you have all the basics that you need.

By definition, a hand-eye coordination task requires the development of a "fine" motor skill, and this is really good news! Fine motor skills are the birthright of every individual, and they can be used to increase skill development throughout one’s life.

Champions such as of young and old prove that a swing does not need to be perfect or pretty to be exquisite in execution. Despite all the praise that Jack Nicklaus has received, you rarely hear that he has a great swing.

Still "The Perfect Swing" theory condemns the aspiring golfer to follow a path to frustration and despair, chasing a "perfect swing" that doesn’t exist. In contrast, this truth about impact method is built on the fact that golf is a stick and ball game. I believe that you already have the ability to play and play Ill to a high degree. It is a natural activity that is easily accomplished when you use the fine motor skills to perform the task and not the gross motor skills of the major muscles.

The fine motor skills reside in your fingers, hands, and forearms. It took five billion years for the brain to develop this amazing ability and it must be honored. Watching any accomplished typist or pianist should confirm that skill development of the fine motor system is far from unreliable, it is truly magnificent.

First we must break the Myth of the Golf Swing:

There is a golf swing I must copy and if I don’t swing the correctly I won’t hit good shots

  • This swing idea has produced volumes and volumes of conflicting information, and the result has been an endless stream of “tips” passed around and around from teacher to teacher, teacher to student, and student to student. Virtually everyone has a swing theory based primarily on hear say.
  • The truth is that you hit the ball with a club not a swing.
  • The truth is that the goal should be control of the ball, not body positions.
  • The truth is that golf is a “stick and ball” game, and needs to be learned the same way that say Ping Pong is learned
  • The truth is that the only model that makes sense is the one of a ball, a stick, and hand-eye coordination.
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If learned through this model golf allows for individual creative expression. If learned through this model a person can learn a reasonable level of expertise, and maintain it even without constant practice. It is a model that taps in to the miracle of the fine motor system, which is a birthright that we all possess, that allows for continued skill development. This model frees the player from the ridiculous idea that golf is extremely hard, and because of that you must suffer through years of being lousy before you get to the promise land.

This model explains the baffling phenomena of why really good athletes in other sports cannot play golf well.