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What can we agree on?


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#1 vman

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 03:14 PM

It seems that arguments about technique abound. Nothing constructive ever seems to come from these back and forth diatribes. So what can we agree on? What can we constructively pass on as worthwhile about the golf swing?
We tend to use the successful tour pros as our models and their subsequent swing techniques are dissected to the enth degree. The minutiae of positions within movement are picked over ad infinitum and confusion abounds. Is all this analysis helpful to the playing of golf…I'm not so sure.
Golf is a difficult pursuit for anyone wishing to play to a high standard I know that much. It is demanding of talent, time, desire, work and a mind that can absorb information, focus and handle an awful lot of adversity,bad luck and failure.
Is it possible for us all to spend more time discussing the things that are helpful to improvement….Minor rant.

Edited by vman, 06 October 2017 - 03:16 PM.

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#2 PerseveringGolf

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 03:29 PM

I think golf is a simple game made more difficult with over analyses largely brought about with slow motion cameras, stop photography and machines telling us exactly how many revolutions a golf ball has with every club.


How on Earth did golfers in the 1950's-60's 70's etc manage to shoot scores in the low 60's with (non fitted) blades and balata balls and no knowledge of the minute detail we currently have?


Some golf 'experts' out there I liken to Lawyers with their detailed information that we didnt know we needed until they told us we did!!

How many really good players got 'worse' after analysing shafts, swing plane, AoA, spin, plane, clubface direction blah blah blah


Dont get me wrong I really like to know these things out of interest but it doesnt change my physical shape nor the way I swing a club these past decades

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#3 Smash Factors

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 03:39 PM

View Postvman, on 06 October 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

It seems that arguments about technique abound. Nothing constructive ever seems to come from these back and forth diatribes. So what can we agree on? What can we constructively pass on as worthwhile about the golf swing?
We tend to use the successful tour pros as our models and their subsequent swing techniques are dissected to the enth degree. The minutiae of positions within movement are picked over ad infinitum and confusion abounds. Is all this analysis helpful to the playing of golf…I'm not so sure.
Golf is a difficult pursuit for anyone wishing to play to a high standard I know that much. It is demanding of talent, time, desire, work and a mind that can absorb information, focus and handle an awful lot of adversity,bad luck and failure.
Is it possible for us all to spend more time discussing the things that are helpful to improvement….Minor rant.

You have to be able to aim your irons and hit the ball first with a descending blow but don't hit it thin. Whatever you need to do to achieve that is the goal. Please don't ask about the driver.
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#4 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:37 AM

Because the perception of reality is, at best, no better than individual, we can't agree on anything. We can delude ourselves into thinking we agree, but we don't. For example, we can talk about the color red and think we all know, generally, what that looks like, and for most of us, that's that, but each of our experiences is different. What was the shade of red that stood out to us most when we first learned the color (did you think 'fire truck' when you read that?)? How do we even know, when looking at the same red object, that object is imagined as the same color in our minds' eye? We both call it 'red', but you might imagine that red as what we call 'blue' and I might imagine it as 'lime green', or 'cadmium orange'.

In his book The Great Cat Massacre (being a 'weird cat person', it's a title I don't like), Robert Darnton discusses his assertion that we are not all essentially the same but essentially different, and the key to understanding any other person, culture, or era comes from looking at that which puzzles us most. That understanding becomes the basis for mutual tolerance.

There is some TED Talk in which the presenter suggests that a grasp on actual reality is not so important. All we need is a positive enough delusion that we are somehow connected to reality in order to procreate. And, if Richard Dawkins is to be believed, we have no say in the matter as we are nothing but servants of our DNA (I might not have that exactly right).

So, why is it so important for us to delude ourselves into thinking we agree? Do we think, if we're in agreement, then that on which we agree must be a near certainty upon which we can build our methodology? Nicklaus, Hogan and Snead didn't have Trackman. Weren't they wrong about how things go? Aside from the futility, maybe looking at what we agree on isn't so important. Maybe looking at what we disagree on most is more important, and rather than insisting on our position being correct, just simply appreciating and tolerating the differences is of more value.

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#5 bph7

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 04:37 PM

View Postvman, on 06 October 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

It seems that arguments about technique abound. Nothing constructive ever seems to come from these back and forth diatribes. So what can we agree on? What can we constructively pass on as worthwhile about the golf swing?
We tend to use the successful tour pros as our models and their subsequent swing techniques are dissected to the enth degree. The minutiae of positions within movement are picked over ad infinitum and confusion abounds. Is all this analysis helpful to the playing of golf…I'm not so sure.
Golf is a difficult pursuit for anyone wishing to play to a high standard I know that much. It is demanding of talent, time, desire, work and a mind that can absorb information, focus and handle an awful lot of adversity,bad luck and failure.
Is it possible for us all to spend more time discussing the things that are helpful to improvement….Minor rant.

I’d STRONGLY disagree that nothing constructive comes from the back and forth. You just have to know who to listen to and who to ignore.  But the impassioned debates tend to produce the best nuggets you’ll get (again, you have to know who’s right).


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#6 Sean2

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:29 PM

There are different methodologies when it comes to the proper way to swing a golf club. In most cases no one particular methodology is best. What resonates with one golfer may not resonate with another. It is up to the golfer to determine which methodology is best suited for him.
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#7 Hawkeye77

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 05:47 PM

View Postbph7, on 07 October 2017 - 04:37 PM, said:

View Postvman, on 06 October 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

It seems that arguments about technique abound. Nothing constructive ever seems to come from these back and forth diatribes. So what can we agree on? What can we constructively pass on as worthwhile about the golf swing?
We tend to use the successful tour pros as our models and their subsequent swing techniques are dissected to the enth degree. The minutiae of positions within movement are picked over ad infinitum and confusion abounds. Is all this analysis helpful to the playing of golf…I'm not so sure.
Golf is a difficult pursuit for anyone wishing to play to a high standard I know that much. It is demanding of talent, time, desire, work and a mind that can absorb information, focus and handle an awful lot of adversity,bad luck and failure.
Is it possible for us all to spend more time discussing the things that are helpful to improvement….Minor rant.

I’d STRONGLY disagree that nothing constructive comes from the back and forth. You just have to know who to listen to and who to ignore.  But the impassioned debates tend to produce the best nuggets you’ll get (again, you have to know who’s right).

Don't always know nearly enough to know who is right (when there is a right or wrong), but my BS meter works pretty well most of the time.  

I'd say consider the source and if a couple credible folks are having a good back and forth pay attention.

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#8 chrisgilly09

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:29 PM

Because of low tech analysis/fittings there were less great golfers in the time of our all time greats, and the kids we see now excelling straight away were given excellent instruction growing up. Most of us were not so lucky, so there is a changing of the guard, so to speak, in terms of skill level from experienced to younger golfers. Added to the fact that golf is hard haha, its not a skill that many can excel at, and is made more difficult for those picking up the game later in life

I happen to think in the future that instruction will be more streamlined, as we start to understand what actually happens and how it happens in the swing. Its just that theres plenty of charlatans at the moment taking advantage of golfers because they know a lil technical jargon, but we still dont know if the info is right yet

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#9 Santiago Golf

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:55 PM

We can all agree that golf is as hard as we wanna make it. The swing is complex and you work on everything at once. You have to break the motion down into parts. And you still have to master the 8 inches between your ear. Though if you are not consistent, its tough have a good mental, except maybe thinking lets have fun and this shot doesnt matter
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#10 PorscheFan

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 10:25 PM

I don't believe instruction will get streamlined in the future, simply because there's the Internet, and instructors want to be famous for something and differentiate themselves.  You have to have your 'way'... your schtick, your method, which defines your brand and makes you worth listening to.  Oh, and give it a catchy name.  It spreads much better that way.

Then we all argue about who's right, when everybody's right and nobody's right.

It's like somebody saying 'I drove down to the bagel shop... I drove a Chevy and took the back roads... worked really well' and somebody else saying 'Well, I got bagels too, but I drove a Ford and took the most direct route... best bagel run of my life'

Who's right?  The one that got there the quickest.  The one that shot the lowest score.  The one that didn't pick cinnamon raisin.  The one that didn't take the Pontiac Aztec.

I think we can agree that technique has to defer to results, and results have to defer to enjoyment.


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#11 chrisgilly09

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 11:39 PM

I just think eventually there will be enough information for teachers to make informed decisions about the what/why and how to apply it. Then what you said about differentiating yourself is gonna be be even more important. Basically itll be easier to teach but harder to make a living imo

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#12 vman

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:23 AM

View Postbph7, on 07 October 2017 - 04:37 PM, said:

View Postvman, on 06 October 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

It seems that arguments about technique abound. Nothing constructive ever seems to come from these back and forth diatribes. So what can we agree on? What can we constructively pass on as worthwhile about the golf swing?
We tend to use the successful tour pros as our models and their subsequent swing techniques are dissected to the enth degree. The minutiae of positions within movement are picked over ad infinitum and confusion abounds. Is all this analysis helpful to the playing of golf…I'm not so sure.
Golf is a difficult pursuit for anyone wishing to play to a high standard I know that much. It is demanding of talent, time, desire, work and a mind that can absorb information, focus and handle an awful lot of adversity,bad luck and failure.
Is it possible for us all to spend more time discussing the things that are helpful to improvement….Minor rant.

I’d STRONGLY disagree that nothing constructive comes from the back and forth. You just have to know who to listen to and who to ignore.  But the impassioned debates tend to produce the best nuggets you’ll get (again, you have to know who’s right).
Maybe there are some nuggets to be had but it's the being right I have issue with and the annoying desire to over analyse, nit pick and use complicated and convoluted explanations to, for example, describe the use of the right elbow throughout the swing. What are the technical aspects that are "right".
Is it possible to nail down crucial aspects of golf swing technique that will help the golfing population to improve, and, can this information be passed on in such a way that it can be utilised. For example, for a right handed golfer the little finger of your left hand and it's hold on the club makes such a difference to the control of the club face. Perfect posture, or how it appears visually, is not as important as balance. Also your ability to maintain grip with the inside of your right foot in the backswing as you pivot needs greater emphasis,etc.
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#13 vman

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:33 AM

View PostSean2, on 07 October 2017 - 05:29 PM, said:

There are different methodologies when it comes to the proper way to swing a golf club. In most cases no one particular methodology is best. What resonates with one golfer may not resonate with another. It is up to the golfer to determine which methodology is best suited for him.
There are different methodologies but I don't understand why. There isn't a best way to swing a golf club but there are impact factors and acceptable, resultant ball flights. I suppose my problem with golf instruction is the diversity of ideas when everyone is looking to achieve the same thing. I'm not after standardisation of method either more a pointing in the right direction of what is necessary to improve ball flight. The student must find their game with guidance but ultimately on their own. The thing is what can we agree on to get them there?
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#14 Millbrook

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:02 AM

Things might change when the current instructors who write books or publish on the net pass on and the next generation use their deliberations as source material and build on it.

Jim Hardy is a good example. He has some great insights but his solutions seem flawed and when he changes or adds a new insight which contradicts previous thoughts he does not acknowledge it.

This doesn't even begin to address the issue of the quirks each individual wanting to learn brings with them though.

Edited by Millbrook, 08 October 2017 - 08:04 AM.

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#15 Petunia Sprinkle

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

View Postchrisgilly09, on 07 October 2017 - 11:39 PM, said:

I just think eventually there will be enough information for teachers to make informed decisions about the what/why and how to apply it. Then what you said about differentiating yourself is gonna be be even more important. Basically itll be easier to teach but harder to make a living imo

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#16 NoTalentLefty

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 08:43 AM

You got to swing a club? You got to grip it? And you need a clean bum...
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#17 TB07

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 09:34 AM

Different styles have different requirements for each position. For example grip, posture, etc will be different to achieve model A vs model B. There are good instructors who can be polar opposites in their model. Forums are more for swing theory debate. You just have to do your homework and decide who you want to work with.

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#18 bph7

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 09:38 AM

View Postvman, on 08 October 2017 - 06:33 AM, said:

View PostSean2, on 07 October 2017 - 05:29 PM, said:

There are different methodologies when it comes to the proper way to swing a golf club. In most cases no one particular methodology is best. What resonates with one golfer may not resonate with another. It is up to the golfer to determine which methodology is best suited for him.
There are different methodologies but I don't understand why. There isn't a best way to swing a golf club but there are impact factors and acceptable, resultant ball flights. I suppose my problem with golf instruction is the diversity of ideas when everyone is looking to achieve the same thing. I'm not after standardisation of method either more a pointing in the right direction of what is necessary to improve ball flight. The student must find their game with guidance but ultimately on their own. The thing is what can we agree on to get them there?

I don’t think there’s much in a total vacuum that everyone is going to agree on. Maybe if you there was a specific student that a bunch of instructors were trying to fix, there could be consensus on certain things.

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#19 PorscheFan

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 12:39 PM

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 08 October 2017 - 08:15 AM, said:


My dad said the PT Cruiser looked like a hearse for midgets.

I almost spat my coffee out!

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#20 gvogel

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 08:33 AM

I think that one of Ben Hogan's secrets is that he kept his own notebook.  He was meticulous in recording his swing thoughts.

How many of us keep notes on what works for us, and what doesn't?  When your swing gets off track, do you have a notebook of the swing thoughts that were working when you were playing well?

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#21 gvogel

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 08:35 AM

View PostMillbrook, on 08 October 2017 - 08:02 AM, said:

Things might change when the current instructors who write books or publish on the net pass on and the next generation use their deliberations as source material and build on it.

Jim Hardy is a good example. He has some great insights but his solutions seem flawed and when he changes or adds a new insight which contradicts previous thoughts he does not acknowledge it.

This doesn't even begin to address the issue of the quirks each individual wanting to learn brings with them though.

In his most recent book, Hardy maintains that there are two different types of release, for different types of swing patterns.  How in the heck are you supposed to determine which is right for you?
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#22 PerseveringGolf

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:10 AM

View Postgvogel, on 09 October 2017 - 08:33 AM, said:

I think that one of Ben Hogan's secrets is that he kept his own notebook.  He was meticulous in recording his swing thoughts.

How many of us keep notes on what works for us, and what doesn't?  When your swing gets off track, do you have a notebook of the swing thoughts that were working when you were playing well?

yup, when the swing falls apart I refer back to my 'previous working well swing' and find theres usually one key area I'm forgetting to do to enjoy golf again, that's right dont use a golf ball as they only cause issues

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#23 andrue

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 10:28 AM

A timely question. I seem to have solved my summer long problems with long clubs..and I didn't even know what I was doing different at first. They all just started working on the back nine of my Saturday practice round. Since playing yesterday with my mate I now know that I'm taking a truncated back swing with my longer clubs and only just getting them vertical. The longer the club the shorter my back swing.

But as for technique - I have no idea. I just address the ball, swing, and watch it fly off into the distance.

Now probably I could get some more distance with a full back swing but I'm already getting 190 from my 3h and over 200 from my driver and frankly I'm happy with that. I need to get rid of a tendency to push the driver but that should be easy enough.

Otherwise - I dunno. Hand me a club, put a ball in front of me and I'll make the ball go away. Presumably there's some fairly clever stuff going on inside my head but I'm not privvy to it.

Edited by andrue, 09 October 2017 - 10:33 AM.

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#24 Atrayn

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 01:07 PM

I was going to sit and write some basic "must haves" in the golf swing, but while I pondered those, I realized that there are exceptions to every rule....
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#25 rangersgoalie

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:52 PM

When I stand my arms and hands always hung naturally very close to anatomically "neutral"
At 55 and a lifetime of competitive hockey as a kid, and golf throughout my life, my right arm hands
Rotated inward a bit, but my wrist (due to injuries) also has impacted my right hands' natural position.

In effect, my "neutral has evolved into a slightly stronger left hand grip, and a much weaker right hand.
The shaft is steeper halfway back and my arm swing is shorter.  I consciously hinge it less due to my
Right shoulders inability to rotate externally as it used to.

My impact is now more shallow, all this in comparison to my younger "self.  

So the one constant in my swing from then and now, is I'm still fat


Sorry, I posted incomplete....
So my point, is just in one persons lifetime, the foundations of my swing have dramatically changed, but I have been  very fortunate to grow up with good teaching, and as and adult, teachers who were able to tailor the coaching to me

Edited by rangersgoalie, 09 October 2017 - 03:59 PM.


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#26 BigBad

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:06 PM

Feel isn't real.  The one golf constant.

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#27 vman

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:48 PM

View PostAtrayn, on 09 October 2017 - 01:07 PM, said:

I was going to sit and write some basic "must haves" in the golf swing, but while I pondered those, I realized that there are exceptions to every rule....
There are so many exceptions, anomalies and variances of successful swing technique….but I'd still like to hear your "must haves".
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#28 wmblake2000

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 05:22 PM

View PostPetunia Sprinkle, on 07 October 2017 - 08:37 AM, said:

Because the perception of reality is, at best, no better than individual, we can't agree on anything. We can delude ourselves into thinking we agree, but we don't. For example, we can talk about the color red and think we all know, generally, what that looks like, and for most of us, that's that, but each of our experiences is different. What was the shade of red that stood out to us most when we first learned the color (did you think 'fire truck' when you read that?)? How do we even know, when looking at the same red object, that object is imagined as the same color in our minds' eye? We both call it 'red', but you might imagine that red as what we call 'blue' and I might imagine it as 'lime green', or 'cadmium orange'.

In his book The Great Cat Massacre (being a 'weird cat person', it's a title I don't like), Robert Darnton discusses his assertion that we are not all essentially the same but essentially different, and the key to understanding any other person, culture, or era comes from looking at that which puzzles us most. That understanding becomes the basis for mutual tolerance.

There is some TED Talk in which the presenter suggests that a grasp on actual reality is not so important. All we need is a positive enough delusion that we are somehow connected to reality in order to procreate. And, if Richard Dawkins is to be believed, we have no say in the matter as we are nothing but servants of our DNA (I might not have that exactly right).

So, why is it so important for us to delude ourselves into thinking we agree? Do we think, if we're in agreement, then that on which we agree must be a near certainty upon which we can build our methodology? Nicklaus, Hogan and Snead didn't have Trackman. Weren't they wrong about how things go? Aside from the futility, maybe looking at what we agree on isn't so important. Maybe looking at what we disagree on most is more important, and rather than insisting on our position being correct, just simply appreciating and tolerating the differences is of more value.

There is SO SO MUCH variance - in our bodies, our skill levels and in how our minds work - it's amazing to me that we can agree that we're trying to hit a ball in the hole with a stick.  By the time we get to verbal descriptions, there's no - zero - hope of consensus.  And just to top it off, add the huge range in how we believe learning works.  

I think you're right on target...
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#29 ScratchyDawg

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:54 PM

Golf is hard.

Agreed?
"Give up control to gain control" - George Knudson

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#30 Atrayn

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 07:06 AM

View Postvman, on 09 October 2017 - 04:48 PM, said:

View PostAtrayn, on 09 October 2017 - 01:07 PM, said:

I was going to sit and write some basic "must haves" in the golf swing, but while I pondered those, I realized that there are exceptions to every rule....
There are so many exceptions, anomalies and variances of successful swing technique….but I'd still like to hear your "must haves".

Must haves:

1) A grip on the club
2) A path to the ball that enables consistent contact that produces an intended ball flight that leads to the fewest strokes over the course of a round.

How one gets there is up to the individual.
Of course there are some who like it pretty, but pretty doesn't always produce #2

Scientific analysis has pretty much determined what the ideal swing looks like, however, I haven't seen too many successful scientists on the course.
Ben Hogan & Tiger Woods are what we call "outliers" in my business. 6 sigma if you will. Though our purpose is to achieve this very high standard of quality, we always seek out the "mean".
This is consistency. To achieve this consistency, we treat the outliers as just that and we strive for process control for overall stability.

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