Golf Writer, Keith Cook, examines the complication of the modern golf swing and how it’s hurting our game.
I love the game of golf, I really do. I’ve loved it from the first time I picked up a club, to the time each year I pause for winter, to the excitement I feel for the season to be. However, golf right now seems to be less about the game I recognize and more about a fog of numbers, the glaze of technical perfection, and the E=mc2 precision of math.
Golf plus science and technology has made a game once played by fundamentals, feel, and intuition . . . “Seeing the Field” as it was described in, The Legend of Bagger Vance, to one of technical calculations and scientific descriptions like, “I tried to activate my glutes,” used by Tiger Woods, to describe a tight back.
WHERE DID IT GO
I’m not exactly sure when we turned the corner and lost the natural beauty of our game, but it was sometime between the invention of Trackman© and a golf instructor on the Golf Channel actually demonstrating how to “activate your glutes.”
I’m not saying numbers and science don’t have a place in golf (at times they enhance our understanding and knowledge of the swing), but golf is beginning to be overrun by data, by scientific analysis, and by a majority of instruction, which is based on hitting the right numbers on your golf swing, vice hitting the golf ball.
SEEING THE FIELD
I began golf a little later than most at the age of 22. I had never played before and knew very little about the game, its rules, or its history. When I was introduced to golf, I was handed a club, told to grip it like a baseball bat, and hit it hard. There was no talk about axis, pronation, supination, or plane. Not one time did someone talk launch angle, ball speed, or the degree of open or closed on my clubface.
The beauty of golf was it was both easy and hard. No one needed to explain anything technical to me. It was about the joy of hitting the ball and the joy of hitting a good shot. It was about realizing hitting that one good shot, that perfect shot, would bring you back the next day.
GETTING BACK TO AUTHENTIC
It may seem unnecessarily dramatic, but golf, in fact, all sports come to us naturally. We can catch without having the technical parts of “how” we did it explained to us. We can throw without understanding arm angle, inclination, or elevation. And we can once again bring the authentic nature of our game back to the masses by remembering golf – at its core, is simply about hitting the golf ball from one place to the other. Swings can be flat, upright, one-plane, two-plane, whatever! Let’s get back to learning, teaching, and loving golf for the natural game it has always been . . . and will always be.
BIO: Keith Cook has been a writer/blogger/contributing editor at localgolfer.com since 2013. He is a retired U.S. Military Veteran and Ashford University Graduate living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer.
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