Friday, 26 December 2008

Miguel Angel Carbello.

The images below were taken proceeding the 2nd round of the 2008 Miccosukee Championship. Taken as the result of a chance meeting with Miguel's caddy Juan Lopez who so kindly provided me with shelter during a freak Miami shower. On discovering Juan's position in the game I quickly fired the same question I had been firing at every caddy that week, 'How many players have you come across that can and do work the ball from left to right and right to left and will?'

The now common 'very few to any player' answer quickly cemented a shared passion for the art of shot making and creative golf. He was in full support and shared a keen interest in my mission to re-apply the true fundamentals of this game. Ball flight control from understanding and appreciation of the key basics that ultimately control it. We liked very much what each had to say and continued until the arrival and introduction of Miguel.

Himself very much a natural feel player, growing up in Argentina surrounded by raw flair and a unique sense of instinct for playing with his ball flight he had developed what I like to term, a creative reflex. While such a skill is hugely beneficial to a player, it can go a long way towards disguising and shadowing some real issues that go for a great period of time unnoticed until eventual cracks begin to crumble under the rigour of the tournament spotlight. His ability to manipulate the club within the swing and square the face through impact has clearly saved him on many occasion. His exceptional feel and awareness for the club face within the swing has clearly diverted his attention away from what actually causes the need for such a skill in the first place. As a result his basic fundamentals have fallen out of sink, so causing still further problems as a result.

Within the action of swinging a golf club the hands have the greatest power over everything. While they continue to control it all, they can only go so far in an effort to save anything.



Notice the poorly blended hands.
Right hand is turned to much to the right on the club.



Looking down the line notice the open shoulders.



Hands aren't blended on the club.
Lack of well defined shapes in the address.



Notice how top heavy he looks.
Fails to really get himself grounded into the address.
Looks weak/ open shoulders.

So from the initial analysis you can easily see where Miguel's bad shot is coming from. If the hands shape the shot and the body directs it he has little hope of sending it down his target line with any kind of consistency. From this shoulder alignment he is sending his shots left and with such a strong right hand position he's fighting the club face from turning over and sending the ball straight left in flight.

My advise to Miguel was to simply adjust his shoulder alignment to feel more closed in order to square them up. Making an essential grip change at such a late stage would of proved disastrous. The resulting shoulder adjustment was enough to direct his ball flight with much more accuracy and allow Miguel the confidence to really start committing to his body line swing.

He went onto shoot 70 and survive the cut line.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

SMARTY pants.



The smart golfer will be the golfer who gives up his efforts to control his swing and become solely concerned with controlling his golf ball, allowing his natural swing to unfold under the constant shaping of the basic fundamentals:

CLUBface
Hands
Shoulders
Hips
Knees
Feet
Shape
TARGET

Live and breathe by these elements in learning to shape ones swing with the LAWS of IMPACT.

Take the time to think logically about the art of striking a golf ball towards a target.
Why not simply see your TARGET.
Picture the shot you INSTINCTIVELY FEEL is best suited to the TARGET.
Align the CLUBFACE perfectly square to the TARGET.
Lean the shaft SQUARE to the CLUBFACE.
Place the HANDS on the grip to FORM ones NEUTRAL HOLD on the golf club.
Properly ALIGN the SHOULDERS to match SQUARE to the HANDS and CLUBFACE.
ALIGN the HIPS SQUARE to the SHOULDERS.
FEET SQUARE to the HIPS and TARGET LINE.

Now simply open or close the alignment of the feet relative to the target line remembering to move the ball slightly forward for the open stance and slightly further back for the closed alignment. With the clubface still square you are ready to simply give up any control of the in swing movements and feel the force of the free swinging club.

These two shots are simply the only 2 shots you will ever need.

Attempting to strike a golf ball straight is like trying to draw a perfect circle with a pencil while leaning on a rock.

It's not happening.

The only way to successfully say hi to your game is with trust for the basics set above and understand how each one influences the results you will find at impact. And remember, the only way to read the results is through understanding the BALL FLIGHT LAWS out there in front of you.

Monday, 1 December 2008

THE Process


So you decide to drive your car from point A to point B. How do you complete the journey with such ease and minimal frustration?

Simple, you focus on the journey/ the road ahead of you and never once find yourself wrapped up in the potential complications of gear changes, hand, wrist and arm movements, foot and leg positions and so on. You simply have trust in your car and the instincts you have developed through time on the road.

What we as golfers so easily fail to realise and commonly take for granted are the basic fundamentals that all of us as road users have so much trust in. Four wheels, brakes, seats, steering wheel and an engine/ clubface, hands, shoulder alignment etc, etc. These basics are the most vital to your success as both a golf course and road user and accomplished driver of an automobile. With these basic requirements consistently in place on every journey, all one has to do in order to be successful is simply focus on the target and have a clearly pictured route to it. Remain focussed on the journey and leave the controlling elements to the basics of setup and human instinct.

Any coLOr you LikE


The best things in life take us on a journey. The more we give up our soul to that journey, the more potent in colour that journey becomes.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

wrong to LEFt /// LEFt to right



I have recently returned from a trip to the States where I have been assisting my good friend Steve Bourbon while working with his star pupil Chris Nallen. The core of my trip was centered around the sunshine state of Florida and Boynton Beach before heading down to Miami for the Miccosukee Championship. So my journey began with three straight afternoons of golfing wisdom at the home of Mr Bob Toski. As we shared a few cool bottles of Heiniken I quickly began to cement the core purpose of my journey. To prove to ones self and sport there is a severe lack of truely creative shot makers striving for the highest honors in this great game. I posed the question, 'How effectively are the Nationwide Tours young guns adopting the skills to truely play with their ball flight, how many are showing a desire to effectively control their ball flight from left to right as well as right to left?

As Mr Hogan so aptly put it in the August 1987 edition of Golf Digest (previously presented on an earlier post) stating he never intentionally struck a straight shot, every shot in golf is going to move one way or the other so you better make sure you decide which way its going to move before you make the shot. Why play the toughest shot in golf when the shot either side of it is so much more reliable and ultimately controllable. I quoted Mr Toski this same statement with a response that startled as much as impressed me, he replied by saying the shortest distance between two points is dead straight, but Mr Hogan who Mr Toski had witnessed live in practice on numerous occasions says otherwise. Yes Paul but so few people truely know the correct procedure for hitting that straight ball, as so few truely take the time to explore the sensations that shape and create it. My argument exactly, now I must state I can't be in full agreement with Mr Toski as far as hitting the straight shot, it simply is the toughest shot in golf and one I simply can't imagine or even begin to feel in a truely creative golf swing.

I mean there's nothing creative about a straight line now is there!

Now Im not saying a shot so very close to it isn't possible, I strongly believe and have experienced many shots that are but I just can't accept the reliability of striving for such an outcome when the two shots either side of it provide such consistent rewards.

My passion for the true art of shot making lay with the means to effectively achieving it.

I can fully agree with the exploration of positive feelings as a powerful source of consistency within a sound and silky action, one free of broken pieces and pointless positional movements. But its how one should go about achieving and exploring these feelings that most concerns and excites me. Everywhere I look I see a shambolic array of poorly positioned players, all in search of the perfectly positional swing. I just don't accept a positive feeling can ever flower from a negative position, what you set is what you get!

My daily walk along the practice ground at the Miccosukee Championship revealed many interesting sights, almost 90% of the players I witnessed were positioned to produce a natural fade swing while everyone of them was working hard to create the feeling for the draw.

Attempting to feel and create a draw swing while fighting the feeling of a fade is a non starter, it can happen yes, but will it stand up to the rigor of the PGA Tour, I think not, the feelings will certainly never withstand the pressure of the highest order. For me the true essence of a pure swing combines a blending of all the individual elements that shape and direct it, and for this matter its essential the swing is swung exactly where the body is aimed to swing. Aiming the swing left and swinging right will only put even greater emphasis on the hands to square the clubface and save the shot, by no means a reliable form of swing and play.

Everyone of the players I viewed would benefit from the notion: AIM CLUBFACE/ HOLD CLUB/ AIM SHOULDERS/ SWING

In the simplest possible terms: The FACE and HANDS shape the shot while the BODY directs it.
From this simple logic we simply have to make a committed swing on the body line.
To swing on the body line when aiming perfectly square can become random if the player is unaware of the feelings and sensations required to do so. But from a perfectly balanced and neutral address position he now has the grounding to fully develope the positive feelings and sensations required to train and ingrain it. He has the best possible chance of executing that elusive straight shot.

But this is where I have issues. I would much rather see a player standing perfectly square and balanced to every shot before simply adjusting the body alignment to slightly open or closed but still square to one another with the feet, knees, hips and shoulders while keeping the clubface square to the target line at all times. From here the player simply has a greater chance of committing to the body line swing in the knowledge that the ball will certainly move back to the target providing the grip is neutral, the clubface is square to the target line and the ball starts left of it for the fade and right for the draw.

It becomes so much easier to commit to the body line when the body isn't demanding a precisely dead straight shot.

Think about how much easier it is to intentionally put hook and slice spin on the flight of your golf ball, easy isn't it?
So how easy is it to control the degree of movement you intentionally put on that ball flight?
Its much easier to limit the degree of movement than it is to totally eliminate it.
Through the correct respect and understanding of the perfectly square and neutral setup you have the potential to play with the shape and degree of ball flight movement through feel and awareness of everything both internally through sensations and externally through course shape, contour terrain and weather conditions.

Movements within the swing are the direct result of positions built before it.





Become an artist not a machine/ MACHINES BREAK DOWN/ artists keep creating art.

LOng to shape iT.

Anyone who claims the game is best played with a straight shot please read on.



Sunday, 14 September 2008

Creative eXplosion/ Chart Hills 2008



The above shots are from a recent trip to Q School where I have just returned from caddying for our star pupil Darryn Lloyd. An exciting prospect with extraordinary ball striking ability, at 19 years of age he was sure to turn some heads and excite some imagination. Excite he sure did, turn some heads he did to, but more importantly he has confirmed to himself and seen first hand the current state of the modern game and the young players failing to conquer it.

From my own teaching angle I have written numerous pieces expressing my feelings towards current coaching techniques and there resulting effects on the game. The past week has provided a first hand experience of the result of such coaching and further highlighted the valued point of possibly the most important Teacher of our time, Mr John Jacob's, who so accurately wrote in his 50 Years of Golfing Wisdom;

I get the impression that many young players are making a conscious effort not to let the clubhead work in the hitting area. In other words, they are so keen on late hitting that they are never actually using the clubhead at all - despite the fact that hitting is surely the most natural thing to do with the clubhead, certainly more natural than trying to hold the clubhead back!

I must of seen at least ten players openly admiring the late hitting, halfway down position. Like Jacob's I have seen many players attempting to create a feel for that late hitting position, though I venture to say the great players never feel such a position, Darryn being one of them, the purest strikers feel a much more complete thing, that of swinging the clubhead through the ball to a target.

This years school was simply littered with players all freely discussing their own golf swings, but how many could actually say they had a swing, rather than just a set of many failing positions?

Darryn can safely say he has that swing and no one can touch it for purity of motion, speed of flow and unity through sound repeatable application of the basic fundamentals of the set-up.

Monday, 18 August 2008

COMMON DENOMiNAtOR





STRIKING THE ART/ FEELING THE FORCE.

DAzZ BAZz DAzE

Pure swing motion of a teenage South African.











Currently a sensation in the making, this kid may well be the front line of a fresh new voice in golf instruction.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

WISE WEISKOPF



Simplicity breeds consistency.

Great golf is built on great shapes.

On viewing the worlds leading players we see certain common elements in all.
Those that perform to the highest level week in week out are those that produce the most consistently efficient shapes in the set-up. A neutral blending in the formation of the hands over a solid base and strong left side supported by a relaxed right.
Mr Weiskopf offers a classic example.

Once the golf swing starts whatever alteration or change there is in the golf swing is the result of movements. If these movements are correct in there proper order, time and place, the clubhead will strike the ball squarely at an accelerated force to drive the ball straight forward.

To perform naturally without need for compensation and recovery in these movements we must first respect the shapes that will position, time and pace them within motion. The simplest way to shape the swing is through the shape of your set-up.

'If you stand in a hole you better expect to swing in a hole!'

Great golf is about controlling the golf ball, controlling the golf ball is a matter of shaping the swing that propells it. If simplicity breeds consistency then simple shapes in the address will naturally shape and influence all elements of balance, equality of movement and speed of motion within the swing.

Focus your attention to the positions in the set-up and leave the positions in the swing to themselves, the swing is a reaction to a target not an ideal swing. How you shape your golf swing is a simple matter of how well you shape your address.



SWING = TURN = SHIFT



The most efficient, neutral address position will allow us to combine a consistently full shoulder turn over a stable right knee on the backswing with an aggressive forward swing in which the left knee leads everything else through impact. It sets up a swing that is simple and relatively free of extraneous, moving parts.

SIMPLICITY BREEDS CONSISTENCY.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

HUMAN/ shaping.


Tell me what you feel.

What is golf to you?
Where do you want to go?
How does it make you feel?
Is what you’re doing right now taking you closer to where you want to go?
I can safely say it is.

So tell me, how long have you been trying to get to this place you’re supposedly going?
What do you need to do to get to this place you’re supposedly going?
I want you to tell me how you are going to get to this place you’re supposedly going?

Paint me a picture

Is this game an Art or Science?
Are you Feel or Machine?

How many times have you changed direction and thinking when faced with failure?

How many different trains of thought have you heard, seen and explored?

Who or what are you going to blame next?

Tell me what you feel.

We’re going to take a journey, together we shall explore the true depths of your thinking and dive to the core of your golfing ideals. You must share your thoughts first to yourself then second to ones golf. Lets paint an ideal, a feeling of resource, a weapon to explore on a canvas called a course.

I ask you to answer ones self, take a look at your face and ask yourself the honest answers to those questions ive just disturbed.

The good of golf depends on it, its yours to explore.

So tell me in your own words, simply put pen to paper and answer the questions in the space provided. Take a look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself some serious questions.

I dare you to lie!












THOUGHT













Lets talk swing and the pictures you’re scrambling.

So lets get straight to the chase and no doubt the most intriguing part of your thoughts.

ARE YOU CAUSE OR EFFECT?

SET-UP Verse’s SWING.

BASICALLY TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE WORKING ON.

How well do you understand the cause of your golf swing?
The foundations that position and shape it?

Well you tell me, write it down and store it away, it tells me what you feel.

As it tells you what you feel.

Before we begin to fully explore the true art of this great game we must first highlight one thing. You are either more focused on the position and path of an effect in the swing, or fully absorbed in a quest for total control of the result through understanding the cause of the effect.

Which are you?

CAUSE/ Set-up?
EFFECT/ Swing?
RESULT/ Ball flight?

Where do you place the heart of your thoughts?

An effect will always stem from somewhere, that's what makes it an effect.
Its the effect of something before it, it grows from somewhere else.

Try adding weight to the left side of the body in the set-up and tell me how the swing feels, I would bet a ton of money the swing becomes more upright as a result.

Now try positioning the ball in the back of the stance with a 5 iron and I’d double my bets you’re going to swing much more to the inside on a more shallow path.

If the shoulders are going to aim right due to the ball moving back in your stance then please don’t expect to swing the club more upright.

The body aims the swing.

So what shapes it?

Try holding the club with the left and right hand turned more to the right on the golf club for a right handed player and see how much faster the hands and clubface rotate to release through impact.

Get a feel for it, see how little the adjustment can be and how varied the shot pattern becomes.
Feel how the legs begin to compensate with a more aggressive drive towards the target in an effort to delay the hands from releasing. They are reacting to the action of the hands.

Everything is in reaction to the action of the hands.

Everything is in reaction to something that went before it - the effect of something else.

The golf swing is simply the effect of the positions that went before it.



Now tell me what comes before the swing?


Think about it.

So why focus so much attention on the positions it creates, it looks like it does because of something before it, something before the swing even engages motion.

Its the foundations of all things successful that make it what it is, a success!




A CAUSE IS ALWAYS EMBEDDED IN A FOUNDATION.

HOW WELL DO YOU UNDERSTAND YOURS?

Do you fEEL me now?


B - BUILD
A - A
S - smooth
I - individual
C - consistent
S - swing

Everything is a reaction to a target.
We must learn to respect and understand the absolute basics, they provide us with a means to our target.
Before one can fully attach to ones target, one must learn to fully detach from oneself.
Detach the mind engage the feeling.
Allow the swing to unfold.
Understand the mindset, ‘give up control to truly gain control’.
Detach from the move engage in the feel.

To control the movements outside the body we must learn to feel the sensations inside the body.

If you and every component muscle in you can remember the feel of a good golf shot, then you can make a good golf shot- and you have become what Percy Boomer describes as a reflex Golfer. The good shot has become your reflex, or automatic response to the sight of the ball and target.

This ‘reflex’ should be noted as a series of sensations which must naturally follow and blend into one another with ease and grace. Each sensation must be connected with those that precede and follow it, they can never be considered or even felt independently. They are simply a series of flowing sensations that blend naturally when initiated correctly.

Once the golf swing starts whatever alteration or change there is in the golf swing is the result of movements. If these movement s are correct in there proper order, time and place, the clubhead will strike the ball squarely at an accelerated force to drive the ball straight forward.

‘The golf swing is a measure of time which very few people have truly learned to pace’ Toski.

Its common belief in many students that swinging a golf club and striking a ball is a complicated checklist of positions and swing thoughts. You simply can not learn to play golf by memory and must quickly learn to appreciate the positions of the swing that must be performed in their entirety, as one fluid motion.

As a Teacher I must ingrain this understanding, its vital my pupil has this train of thought as its this grounding that freedom of both mind and body will flourish.

As we stand to the side of the golf ball, one must first understand the shape and direction of a pure swing. Yes the golf club has its most efficient path or journey as it swings so lets respect it and begin the journey to repeating it through a free flowing motion.

We must paint a clear picture or impression of the golf swings speed, shape and direction of force in motion.

I could focus all of our attention to the positions a natural swing creates only I would soon lose all my pupils to the fascination of constructing them as opposed to the feelings required to attain them naturally.

Nothing more than an appreciation for the correct path and shape of clubface as it presents itself before, during and after impact.

The art of teaching is the art of communication.
To understand is power, to communicate is control.

As a teacher we must find the most effective means of communication to gain control of our pupils thought process.
We must provide feel, awareness and sensitivity to what the golf club is trying to do within the purest form of swing.

The art of the swing contains pure Swing / Turn/ Shift.
Take one away and all else will fail.

The shape and function of the fingers/ hands/ wrists & forearms is totally governed by physics.

LATERAL FORCE x VERTICAL FORCE = ROTATION.

Check the fact - lateral and vertical force create rotation.
So to does the purest golf swing.

A general awareness of the golf clubs path and purpose as dictated by the left hand and arm is essential before the mind can truly relax and fully detach from the human instinct of control.



We all have a pure golf swing, initial human instinct just gets in the way.

TosKi taLEs..................





Tales from a trip in 2007. My time with Bob.

Do U fEEL mE?


Everything is a reaction to a target.
Before one can fully attach to ones target, one must learn to fully detach from oneself.
Understand the mindset, ‘give up control to truly gain control’.

The complete skill of golf is an art.

The art of striking a golf ball with supreme consistency, power and accuracy is totally dependant on the physical position and mental state of the player when addressing the golf ball.

Players must be prepared to allow the shape and contour of the swing to develop naturally from the correct positioning of the body in the set-up. From this point they have the opportunity to produce the most consistently efficient and free flowing swinging motion possible.

Detach from the action, attach to the feeling.
Connect with the target/ detach from the body.
See the shape to the target, set-up for the shape, react to the target.

Allow the swing to unfold!
Feel it begin to flower.
Something natural is something reliable, reliable is consistent, consistency is golf.

This free flowing action is the rawest and purist element in golf.
Finding it is the richest prize in golf.
We all have it, we just need to respect and understand the basics that shape it.

Give up control to gain control.

“Feel the force don’t force the feel” Toski.

The freedom of golf is what the ball does, which is dependant on what the club is doing at impact.

Clubface Alignment - Open/ Closed/ Square.
Swing Path - In-to-out/ Out-to-in/ Straight.
Angle of attack - Steep/ Shallow/ Correct for the club.
Speed - Relevant to the club and shot to be played.

Its the combination of these factors that shall determine the characteristics of the resulting flight of the golf ball.

How we influence these factors to produce a variety of ball flights is totally dependant on how the body and mind are prepared, balanced, blended and aligned in the set-up.

Key fundamentals.

Clubface Alignment - relevant to the ball to target line in the address.
Shaft Alignment - relative to the position of the ball, relative to the feet.
Hold - the position (strong/ weak/ neutral), pressure of the hands and their relationship to one another.
Shoulder Alignment - relative to the clubface, shaft and formation of the hands as a unit.
Spine Angle and Tilt - leaning forward from the hips then tilting to angle just behind the golf ball.
Hip Alignment - relative to the clubface, shaft, hands, shoulders and spine.
Ball position - relative to the club and shot selection.
Feet/ Knee Position and Alignment - relative to the clubface, shaft, hands, shoulders, spine and hips.
Weight distribution - as a result of the above the weight shall favour the right foot.

The final fundamental is mental state, a players understanding, their vision, their belief, their confidence. It’s all an effect of the players mood towards the art.


The ball flight holds the key, its the single most important source of feedback for both the player and coach.

All knowledge of the art will develop from here.





All references are towards the right handed golfer.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

GREEN wedge of Birkdale.

position of EMERGENCY

We’re currently at the helm of possibly the most individual sporting endeavour on the planet, only why does one see a sport seemingly starved of genuine individuals. Ok so we have a few fancy dress men, bold colours, silky cuts, a slight sense of imagination. Creative fashion icons yes, highly creative shot makers? Im not convinced! Don't get me wrong, to perform at the highest level of any sport requires a certain level of creative imagination, but how imaginatively creative are the modern players of today? And how are we as coaches adopting the skill to fully engage in this truly fascinating and highly powerful area of the modern golfers make-up?

Are we as creative today as the golfers of yesterday?
In embracing new technology where do we draw the line?
Creative, natural, human instincts?
Or mechanical (positional) movements?
Long and straight or short and shaped?
Where’s the tipping point, when man becomes machine?
Have we become obsessed with position and power to the extent of destroying creative instinct?



When viewing modern players of today one sees a vast array of seemingly scrambled robots each wondering aimlessly across some of the most beautiful pastures on this green earth without a care in the world for creative expression. All but a select few appear to be following the same machine like mentality, with many talented players falling into the same grey hole of analysis, each in search of a deeper understanding of positions and power moves. The video camera, while providing us with an unparalleled understanding of biomechanics and trendy in vogue swing positions, appears to be drowning human instinct in its quest to destroy any element of natural flair and individuality. While I can fully respect new technology and embrace it at any opportunity I can also see the great danger it presents. Especially to a sporting public that continually searches to control and master every element of what makes life so real and exciting. To truly live is to embrace chance, anxiety, hope and fear. The game of golf should be no different, these are just some of the elements that combine to make it what it is.

In trying to control and understand every element of physical motion and human emotion will we create the ultimate human golfing machine? I think not, for sure we may have success but at what cost?
Its been said, “a true genius makes complex things simple”, so why are we seeing and hearing so much complexity?

“Life is really simple, but men insist on making it complicated.” - Confucius
Technology is a great thing, don't get me wrong, but lets think logically, why does man create new technology? To make complex things simple and challenging things less of a challenge, right? But what if complex things aren't that relevant and the challenge holds the key to the real heart of success? What if certain complex movements within the golf swing aren't that vital to the success of the individual? And what if these complex moves could be looked after and trusted as reliable if totally left to the control of the basic fundamentals in the set-up? Surely the more complex we look the more complex we are, and the more complex we are the more dependant we become and ultimately rely. Reliance on something so complex can only mean danger.


I have seen and experienced first hand the great danger in temptation technology such as the video camera brings. A personal quest to improve leads to a great desire to perfect, perfection in one area can easily overlook another more vital one. As I personally discovered myself, in seeing to much of a complex movement one becomes obsessed with perfecting to please the eye. Before long the quest becomes an obsession, a tiresome, lonely obsession. Totally obsessed with a look rather than a unique, individuaL and reliable reaction to what's important, the target. From a great set-up (application of the fundamentals) all one needs to nurture is an instinctive reaction to the target, the shot, a shape in the sky, its this vision of the mind that paves the way for the resulting golf swing.

TARGET + NEUTRAL FUNDAMENTALS + REACTION = SWING = BALL FLIGHT

As my boss keeps saying, “BULL$[-]|t baffles brains”, and it seems to sell, especially to a golfing audience still searching for the elusive secret. The great Ben Hogan not only controlled the golf ball better than anyone, but in his discovery of his secret he was able to control the naive golfing public as well as his fellow competitors by fooling them into believing it was as simple as adopting a few key swing moves. What he chose not to fully reveal and never really sell was the true secret, the element to which all success is based both in life and golf. His secret lay in his respect and understanding for sound fundamentals, the foundations from which great things flower, without the perfect application of sound fundamentals nothing will truly flourish with any lasting effect. From a solid foundation you can trust human instinct to perform naturally and develop into something long lasting, reliable and completely natural to itself, the individual. Combine this as Hogan did with an extraordinarily disciplined brain and an undeniable will power to achieve and you have the true makings of the human golfing machine.

As a coach, may I ask?
How many modern coaches are truly educating their pupils in the basic understanding of ball flight laws, swing path and clubface alignment with the intention of ingraining a total respect for the fundamentals of the set-up?
How many are preparing their pupils with the knowledge to self teach and self analyse without the use of high tech video?
And how many are simply creating a dependancy on the coach?
Maybe this is the role of a modern day coach? To feed and nurture the better players appetite for a complex technical understanding, forming a reliance or dependancy on the team element?

“Bobby Jones once told me he used to run back to Stewart Maiden during those seven lean
years of his career for lessons. He said that when he learned to be able to correct himself on
the golf course, control his own game and do it himself, that's when he became a good player.
Now, if your going to continue to rely on somebody every time, you never end up doing it
yourself.”
-Jack Nicklaus 1991

As a coach and student of the game I can see the basic relevance of such technology as the video camera when reassuring and relating certain feelings within a swing, but this is the line. Beyond the positions of the set-up and the feelings in the swing I see no other place for such vision, certainly not when transmitting in swing positions back to our pupil. Could it be said the video is nothing more than a clever selling tool or smoke screen for the weaker less instinctively capable coach?

Most scientists, due to such an intense drive to understand more, will always struggle to communicate effectively without the use of technology. A true golfing artist will only ever go as deep as thought safe for the individual. As a result he communicates through his knowledge, respect and great depth of passion for what's truly vital to golfing success, the art of natural instinct, human flow and creative expression. All totally unique to the individual and so only truly controlled naturally when influenced by the basic fundamentals of the set-up. Surely, as the great coach looks he feels, he sees and understands the language of the golf ball, its telling him what's happening, what's there and what's not, all things lead him from the ball flight to the set-up. The swinging of the golf club should always be an individual, natural reaction, the shape and function of certain key elements within this movement are totally under the control of the fundamentals in the set-up. Combined with factors such as mental state (determined by an understanding of one’s self and subject), tension (a result of mental state) and physical condition, we have the controlling powers of the natural swing. How we influence the resulting factors of the natural swing will depend totally on our application and communication of the fundamentals. How we lead the pupil to perceive and respect this crucial area of the art will depend solely on our ability to communicate, with the aim of providing the pupil with the knowledge and skill to self analyse and self coach when away from the practice area. The greatest skill of any coach, beyond his knowledge of the fundamentals and their influence on the ball flight lay with the art of his communication, knowledge is nothing without the skill to communicate.

The video camera; help or hindrance?
Sign of a great coach or poor communicator?

As a coach and dedicated lover of the game I consider myself open minded and able to embrace the use of new technology and appreciate its place in the modern world of sport. What I just can’t accept is its potentially negative impact on the future of such a creatively rewarding one. Golf, for myself is a hugely rewarding and dynamically creative sport, it allows and rewards freedom of both mind and body on many levels. I see a modern game appearing to be falling into a dark grey hole of technology, coated with an appetite for power, ease of use with an all out diversion of good old hard work, we seem to be missing the true essence of the game. Individuality and creativity, two of mans most cherished and human qualities are constantly over shadowed by Power, distance, length and yardage. These terms now dominate the golfing press, physical profiling, dynamic power, strength conditioning, all things long, all in the interest of one thing, distance!

Is it fair to say that with distance we have a perceived view of entertainment?
And with entertainment revolves money?
At what point do we lose the true essence of the term skill?
How tough is the attainment of power?
Compared with the attainment of instinctive creativity?
Longer lasting; Strength and power/ Machine movements or Creative/ Instinctive imagination?
Which is real entertainment?
Which is golf?
What's the secret?

Lets look at the heart of the game, how it evolved, the creative shot making, the flair, the artistry and respect, the skilful qualities only found through a long and lasting desire to master, understand and acknowledge the unique challenge it brings. The secret lay in the realisation, that there is no secret! To master the game is to understand the challenge it is, one of a life time. The secret will never be found in the latest piece of new technology, latest 5 point swing positions or fancy new teaching method, it always has and always will be a life long quest. In this quest as in life’s long quest one will only truly prosper through good practice of the absolute basics. A sound understanding of the fundamentals is all one really needs to fully prosper at this great game, this and a single minded desire to play, create, express and ultimately improve.

So I conclude with one final thought, how much longer can we go on analysing, perfecting, looking to understand and control the natural elements that simply should not be controlled, but left to the respect of the fundamentals.
Is it a life sentence?
A black hole to deep to retreat, or will it as most things usually do, go full circle and make that welcomed return to simple human instincts, reactions to a target. A ball in a hole.


Golf; ‘A platform for self expression.’

For a slightly more creative angle hit: www.myspace.com/autogenicgolf



paUL Creasey 2007

Monday, 28 July 2008

BEAT TO MOVE/ DETACH TO FEEL.



Dancing to the beat of the target
Cross platform - Dance to Golf.

Movement through Expression/ Disco-necting is Connecting.

Sing and dance with the target.
Beat and rhythm flow through the body in expression of itself to its goal.
The goal forms the starting point, its a constant - everything leads to and from a goal.
All one needs to do is connect with it to allow the movements of the body to unfold.
How we shape these movements is simply formed by the body shapes laid down in the set-up.

THE TOUGH BIT IS LUBRICATING THE BODY TO ALLOW THE MOVEMENTS TO UNFOLD.

Sublime movement of the body will only truely take shape when the mind is detached and fully trusting of its tools.
CONTROL and LETTING go of it is the single most challenging human instinct to shape.
With it you have the key to all success.

The shape in which it forms is the rawest form of natural human expression.

‘If you follow your sole, you will find your way’.

Trust not control.

Control comes from the basics of the set-up, the basics we all learn in life, the simple things that set us up for the road.

When you dance you follow the beat, as you swing you feel the beat, the beat of the swing is transported from the ground, through the feet and into the arms. The hands and arms simply express the beat through rhythm. The rhythm is simply a combination of force and beat, force from the club, beat from the feet. The art of the execution lay with the detachment, total out of body detachment from what the mind is trying to control.

Giving up control is the shortest route to gaining it.

The game of golf provides us with a stage to fully express the art of living life with complete freedom of both mind and body.

When we dance we let go.



Freedom to explore.

URBAN WHAt?


URBAN ATTRACTIONS.

No other game combines the wonders of nature with the discipline of sport in such carefully planned ways. A great golf course both frees and challenges a players mind.
Tom Watson

A free and open mind is surely the key to all success, weather it be life or death, work and play, freedom is ones meaning to live, its freedom we all strive for. Freedom of mind is simply trust of instinct, as living beings we all possess one single most unique and ultimately most powerful tool - INSTINCT. We all have it, though very few of us actually allow it to perform to its fullest capabillity. The mind usually takes over, limiting us to certain boundaries, boundaries only found through over analysis, the mind desires control while control battles instinct.

In trusting instinct we practice freedom.

If freedom is key how do we play free, simple, give up control, give up anticipation be ready for mistakes as mistakes lead to new and unpredictable new challenges. Learn to embrace new challenges as exciting new times. As a free and open mind one must thrive on the next challenge, accept mistakes to erradicate mistakes. With this open mind set one will never make another mistake in his life. This is your life as in work as in play, instincts rule the mind as the mind rules free.


So whats this urban thing? Simple, its free. Open to all for all to see.

Golf has a playing field like no other in the world. Mountaineers, hunters, fisherman, trekkers, cyclists and scuba divers may well command the most extensive landscapes in which to pursue their challenges, but among the games that require a formal playing field, golf offers by far the most unique possibilities. Like no other game on the planet it provides one with not only a battle with ones self, ones place on that planet but ones battle with that planet. Its this ever changing natural battle with nature that makes this game so unique.







www.paulcreasey@mac.com

Sunday, 20 July 2008

RHYMESLayer/ The art of communication is the correct use of terminology.



How can we as golf coaches fully utilise the art of sound to effectively instill certain elements of rhythm into a players golf swing.
The effect of timing is a unique one as is the touching of different sound waves on an individuals being.

Freedom to explore through sound on a players swing is one we should all grab with both hands and simply feel the beat.



Im having fun with it.

Right FLex Knee.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

revOLutions.



As a wheel moves both laterally and vertically in motion it creates rotation.
As the golf club swings laterally and vertically into the backswing, it creates rotation in the hands and forearms.
Which in turn creates one.
The resulting turn of the upper torso is in response to the force of the golf club. Force seeks flight and so determines the natural fluid rotation and hinge of the hands and wrists in the backswing.

Everything is in response to the force of the club.
The hands will shape the resulting body movements as they either move to support or attempt to delay.

Call it what you like, its an art and only the artist can decide.



Just be an artist.

FREE NELSON.



You see this guy?
Its pure, its simple, its all things swing, with a little leg of course.

You wouldn't possibly think of walking without moving your arms now would you?
So why would you think the swinging of the arms would be any different?

When we walk we create rhythm, with our arms we have rhythm, it supports balance and creates flow in our movements.

So as you swing you naturally turn, shift and feel your legs as a source of support and base to feel a beat.

The beat to your swing lay in the flow of those feet.

Its time to start feeling that beat in those feet.



Food for thought.