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The real reason golfers donít get better with practice


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#1 gatorMD

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 06:25 PM

Interesting article:

https://golfinsideru...-golf-practice/

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  • self-reflection-Zimmerman-2008.gif

Edited by gatorMD, 12 November 2018 - 06:35 PM.

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#2 Jim Waldron

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM

Pretty close to how I teach the shotmaking process and the learning process.

Only criticism is use of the term "swing thought" which I think the author means where your mind is focused during the actual swing, which I can assure everyone is NOT what 99.9% of golfers mean when they use that term.  They mean "talking to body parts" or "picturing body parts". Which I never recommend doing at normal swing speeds or when hitting balls.

I prefer the term "focal point" for where you place your attention during the swing.

Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

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#3 Conner Golf

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 02:14 AM

The real reason most golfers can not improve is because they do not have any swing thoughts that they can trust through the swing process. They take their practice swing, it feels good. Then they get over the ball take their back swing and the doubts set in. They just do not know exactly where they are at. Learning by feel is just not positive enough for most. We need more exacts, where is plane, how exactly to I turn on to it? The turn back to square. How is it exactly accomplished. Sure they say it can not be exact because every one is different and there are different ways to achieve the same goals. But the precision is there to be found. One example if you draw two lines through your ball at set up, one straight with your target line 90 degrees from square and the other 10 degrees clockwise away, 100 degrees from square, both lines intersecting at the center of the ball. If your swing path is on the 90 degree line and you square your club face at contact your ball goes perfectly straight. If your swing path is on the 100 degree swing path and your square up your clubface to that path your ball will go 10 degrees to the right. If you close your club face 10 degrees and swing on the 100 degree swing path when you make your normal square up your club face will contact your ball 10 degrees sooner on the 90 degree line. Starting out exactly straight with draw spin to the left.

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#4 ctmason_98

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 02:25 AM

Why use 200 words when 2,000 will do?

God Almighty......

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#5 Conner Golf

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 02:40 AM

Witty


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#6 jj9000

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 08:13 AM

 larrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 08:01 AM, said:

 ctmason_98, on 13 November 2018 - 02:25 AM, said:

Why use 200 words when 2,000 will do?

God Almighty......

Exactly, it's complete nonsense written by someone who *thinks* they're smarter than the rest of us, but in reality they need to obfuscate what they trying to tell you.  It's like sitting in a meeting with a manager (I'm in IT) who rattles off today's buzzwords when they don't know the first thing about technology.  Once they try to explain something in *clear terms* they fail.

Those guys are just speaking 'Over the Top'.

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#7 PowderedToastMan

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 08:40 AM

The diagram is ok (scientific terminology is a bit much), but itís overcomplicated for most. I think the simple reason golfers struggle to improve is because they donít know how to practice or what to practice. They also lack the perseverance to change and practice their faults.
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#8 oikos1

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 09:48 AM

 PowderedToastMan, on 13 November 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

The diagram is ok (scientific terminology is a bit much), but it's overcomplicated for most. I think the simple reason golfers struggle to improve is because they don't know how to practice or what to practice. They also lack the perseverance to change and practice their faults.
^^^This, just like anything else in life that one wants to excel at.

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#9 davep043

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 10:40 AM

 PowderedToastMan, on 13 November 2018 - 08:40 AM, said:

The diagram is ok (scientific terminology is a bit much), but it's overcomplicated for most. I think the simple reason golfers struggle to improve is because they don't know how to practice or what to practice. They also lack the perseverance to change and practice their faults.
This is completely correct, in my view.  First, many players diagnose their own faults, and almost all of them are wrong.  Most just see symptoms, and never understand the root cause.  Then they "research" on the internet, or by using websites like this one.  They pick one of the recommended cures for their own personal symptom and give it a shot .  And if the first "cure" doesn't cure anything right away, they move on to the next cure, they've got a whole list of them to try.

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#10 juststeve

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:00 AM

Many times golfers don't get better with practice because they practice something different every time they go to the range, often 2 or 3 somethings different in a single range session.   Effective practice is about repetition until you acquire the desired skill.   Its not like a scavenger hunt where you hope to just find something that works.  You won't, or at least if you do it won't work for long.

Steve


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#11 Itsjustagame

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:07 AM

Lets make it really simple. The biggest reason golfers don't improve is because it is a very hard game.
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#12 Obee

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:10 AM

 larrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 07:59 AM, said:

 Jim Waldron, on 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM, said:

Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

What the hell is "meta-awareness"?  "Feel channel"?  C'mon, this kind of double-speak is one reason why golfers don't get better.  One of the biggest (if not the biggest) components in teaching is actually communicating clearly to your students.


"Meta-awareness" is one of the most important things I have learned in my golfing life. All by itself, it has helped me go from a lousy putter to a solid putter under pressure. My putts per round have dropped almost three whole strokes since embarking on my putting improvement journey.

Just because a term sounds foreign to you doesn't mean it's silly. You used "obfuscate" in one of your posts. You chose that word because it precisely fit what you were trying to say. "Meta-awareness" and "mindfulness" are two terms that I find incredibly helpful to describe the ideal state in which to play golf.

Meta-awareness: Heightened awareness of the processes of consciousness, including the processes of thinking, feeling, and perceiving. Along with the regulation of the scope and stability of attention, the cultivation of meta-awareness is an important objective in attentional styles of meditation practice. It is also strengthened indirectly in the constructive and deconstructive families.

Mindfulness: A term that is defined differently in Buddhist and contemporary contexts, but which often refers to a self-regulated attentional stance oriented toward present-moment experience that is characterized by curiosity, openness, and acceptance. In some traditional Buddhist contexts, mindfulness is equivalent to the psychological process that we refer to as meta-awareness.

"Heightened awareness characterized by curiosity, openness, and non-judging acceptance." That's how I would describe meta-awareness. Because it encompasses several different things, it's helpful to come up with a single term to describe it. Not really that crazy, is it, LB? :-)

Edited by Obee, 13 November 2018 - 11:23 AM.

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#13 wkuo3

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:20 AM

Lost interest halfway  through the link.

Over analyzing is a fault in the game of golf.  It's a simple game and should be kept simple.
As many of the iconic golfers in the history didn't have the same golf swing, but they all have one thing in common.  The had the passion for the game and they practiced hard in search of the the one which worked for them.

So, a simple answer for the question of why the average golfers don't improve their golf game with practice ?  They did not practice enough.  Even a horrible golf swing could be grooved into something repeatable and more reliable than a copied perfect swing  which they don;t own.  Own your golf swing.
Need to say no more, let the video of the past great golfers speaks for itself.

Although, a better golf swing will cause less injury and prolong one's golf game, there is no reason why a golf swing which looked awful wouldn't work.  The ability to produce distance beyond one's physical ability is something that can't be practiced and improved.   Otherwise, I don't see the modern day professionals practice their game as often ( much ) as the professional in the yester-years.

Edited by wkuo3, 14 November 2018 - 08:26 AM.


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#14 Jim Waldron

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:22 AM

 larrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 07:59 AM, said:

 Jim Waldron, on 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM, said:

Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

What the hell is "meta-awareness"?  "Feel channel"?  C'mon, this kind of double-speak is one reason why golfers don't get better.  One of the biggest (if not the biggest) components in teaching is actually communicating clearly to your students.

Larry that is a stunningly un-informed  comment.

First of all, you have no idea whether or not I explain precisely what those two terms mean when I work with a new student..and as any of my students will tell you, I not only go into great detail about those two issues, they are literally the very first things I work with a new student about. Within 30 minutes they all know EXACTLY what those two terms mean.

Second, you obviously have not been paying attention the past several years on this forum as I have posted scores of times about those two terms and defined them precisely many, many times. Any one who does a search here can find them.

I should add having a very closed mind to the list of "why golfers fail to improve" through practice.

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#15 Obee

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:26 AM

How anyone can read that article, and not get some fantastic takeaways, is beyond me.

It is full of great insight into becoming better at anything.

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#16 gatorMD

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 12:05 PM

 Obee, on 13 November 2018 - 11:26 AM, said:

How anyone can read that article, and not get some fantastic takeaways, is beyond me.

It is full of great insight into becoming better at anything.

agreed.

I have fortunately been getting better this year and just had my best tourney finish of the year.  I can tell when I practice like this I get positive results.  AND when I am not engaged I realize I need to go do something else (meta-awareness) so I am not wasting my time.  

If u can't understand this ur not likely going to get as good as u can, IMO.
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#17 Obee

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 01:53 PM

The process he describes below for "elite" golfers is pretty much spot-on the process I used to go from a rank beginner at age 20 to a 2 by the time I was 22 and scratch by 25 and then +1 to +3 by 29.

At the time, I was a complete novice. I stumbled on it myself because it simply made sense to me to practice this way. I was completely self-taught other than watching others and reading books/watching the occasional video. I mostly just copied what the best players in the world did and molded it into my own style, but always with a mind toward the real goal: Learning to hit whatever shot it was that I was trying to master at that time: low, high, fade, draw, pitch, chip, etc.

Below is from the article: https://golfinsideru...-golf-practice/

Poor golfers’ thinking

Imagine our Golfer has a slice and has headed to the golf range to straighten out his driving.


Below is an example of how they may think and perform. Each point links to one of the bullet points outlined in the model above.
Performance phase – hitting a golf shot
  • Vague target.
  • Unclear swing thought.
  • Hasn’t set up stable learning conditions: no alignment aid.
  • No practice swing (rehearsal) or visualization.
  • Little awareness during golf swing of body motions.
  • Limited evaluation of where the shot finished relative to their target.
Self-reflection phase – post shot thinking
  • Little thought about to what degree their shot outcome was ideal.
  • Limited / no understanding of what in their swing caused a good / poor shot.
  • Emotional reaction to poor shots, that leads to them skipping the forethought phase and grabbing another ball.
Forethought phase – planning for next shot
  • No clear goal set for their next shot.
  • No clear strategy for how to improve on their last attempt.
  • Limited reasoning for what they are about to attempt in their golf swing – a hap-hazard approach.
  • Vague understanding of what swing feeling they are going to attempt to hit a straighter shot.
… and the cycle continues.
Now the example above is quite extreme, but just imagine if half of this sequence sounds familiar to you.
That is a lot of extra golfing development you’re leaving on the table at every practice session. If you are an elite player you need to have this cycle optimized, down to every last detail.  
I’m not saying you can flick a switch and change your thinking, but it does help to be aware of this process.
So what would a great cycle of thinking look like?
The same three steps apply, but they are all optimized. The aim is to squeeze every ounce of learning for each shot repetition.
Elite golfers’ thinking
We’ll stick with the same slice scenario. Also note, current skill level is apart from thinking ability (great thinking will help lead to becoming great at golf).
So feel free to consider this ‘elite thinker’ as a beginner golfer or a Tour pro struggling with a slice – we’re interested in what the optimal process looks like. Below is what I would consider the thinking cycle of someone who will genuinely improve:
Performance phase – hitting a golf shot
  • Clear target, club choice and rationale for choosing that shot.
  • Consistent aim and set up, which takes away variables that could affect the swing and shot outcome.
  • Simple swing thought, but with a detailed understanding of what position / feeling is optimal.
  • 1 – 2 practice swings exaggerating the feeling(s) they are looking for and picturing their ideal swing in their mind.
  • Their practice swings have real purpose – they reflect on each one.
  • During the shot they have a clear focus on what their swing feels like.
  • They have ways of detecting good / less ideal swing.
  • They can accurately say that shot finished ‘x’ yards left/right of the target.
Self-reflection phase – post shot thinking
  • They can clearly rate their shot 1-10 and explain why it has that rating and what is needed to increase that rating.
  • They know what swing principle was responsible for any errors in performance.
  • Whatever the shot outcome (great / poor) they are focused on the process of learning.
  • They know errors are a useful part of the learning process, not something to get angry with.
Forethought phase – planning for next shot
  • They create a clear goal for their next shot – I wish to hit this shot 3 yards closer to my target.
  • They have a clear strategy for how – strengthen my left hand grip and improve left wrist position at the top of my swing.
  • They have clear reasons for why they have come up with this plan.
  • They know exactly what they want to feel in their next set of practice swings and their next golf shot.
…and the cycle continues.

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#18 farmer

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 03:28 PM

People go to the range without a clue about what they're actually doing, and no clue about how to make a change.  To improve on the range, you need a good teacher, you need to know specifically how to work on needed changes, and you need to stick with the changes even when they feel really weird.  Just a conjecture, but a person has to be fairly serious about golf to even go to a range or seek out a good teacher.

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#19 ebrasmus21

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 04:52 PM

 gatorMD, on 12 November 2018 - 06:25 PM, said:


Really cool article, thanks for sharing gator.  I can see that my mindset during practice still has a ways to go before being optimized but I'm glad to report that over the course of this year I naturally started to incorporate a lot of what this article covers.  As a result I think my practice sessions have improved by a wide margin.
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#20 bladehunter

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 06:38 PM

 Obee, on 13 November 2018 - 01:53 PM, said:

The process he describes below for "elite" golfers is pretty much spot-on the process I used to go from a rank beginner at age 20 to a 2 by the time I was 22 and scratch by 25 and then +1 to +3 by 29.

At the time, I was a complete novice. I stumbled on it myself because it simply made sense to me to practice this way. I was completely self-taught other than watching others and reading books/watching the occasional video. I mostly just copied what the best players in the world did and molded it into my own style, but always with a mind toward the real goal: Learning to hit whatever shot it was that I was trying to master at that time: low, high, fade, draw, pitch, chip, etc.

Below is from the article: https://golfinsideru...-golf-practice/

Poor golfersí thinking

Imagine our Golfer has a slice and has headed to the golf range to straighten out his driving.


Below is an example of how they may think and perform. Each point links to one of the bullet points outlined in the model above.    
Performance phase Ė hitting a golf shot    
  • Vague target.
  • Unclear swing thought.
  • Hasnít set up stable learning conditions: no alignment aid.
  • No practice swing (rehearsal) or visualization.
  • Little awareness during golf swing of body motions.
  • Limited evaluation of where the shot finished relative to their target.
    
        Self-reflection phase Ė post shot thinking
    
  • Little thought about to what degree their shot outcome was ideal.
  • Limited / no understanding of what in their swing caused a good / poor shot.
  • Emotional reaction to poor shots, that leads to them skipping the forethought phase and grabbing another ball.
    
        Forethought phase Ė planning for next shot
    
  • No clear goal set for their next shot.
  • No clear strategy for how to improve on their last attempt.
  • Limited reasoning for what they are about to attempt in their golf swing Ė a hap-hazard approach.
  • Vague understanding of what swing feeling they are going to attempt to hit a straighter shot.
    
Ö and the cycle continues.    
Now the example above is quite extreme, but just imagine if half of this sequence sounds familiar to you.    
That is a lot of extra golfing development youíre leaving on the table at every practice session. If you are an elite player you need to have this cycle optimized, down to every last detail.      
Iím not saying you can flick a switch and change your thinking, but it does help to be aware of this process.    
So what would a great cycle of thinking look like?    
The same three steps apply, but they are all optimized. The aim is to squeeze every ounce of learning for each shot repetition.    
Elite golfersí thinking    
Weíll stick with the same slice scenario. Also note, current skill level is apart from thinking ability (great thinking will help lead to becoming great at golf).    
So feel free to consider this Ďelite thinkerí as a beginner golfer or a Tour pro struggling with a slice Ė weíre interested in what the optimal process looks like. Below is what I would consider the thinking cycle of someone who will genuinely improve:    
Performance phase Ė hitting a golf shot    
  • Clear target, club choice and rationale for choosing that shot.
  • Consistent aim and set up, which takes away variables that could affect the swing and shot outcome.
  • Simple swing thought, but with a detailed understanding of what position / feeling is optimal.
  • 1 Ė 2 practice swings exaggerating the feeling(s) they are looking for and picturing their ideal swing in their mind.
  • Their practice swings have real purpose Ė they reflect on each one.
  • During the shot they have a clear focus on what their swing feels like.
  • They have ways of detecting good / less ideal swing.
  • They can accurately say that shot finished Ďxí yards left/right of the target.
    
        Self-reflection phase Ė post shot thinking
    
  • They can clearly rate their shot 1-10 and explain why it has that rating and what is needed to increase that rating.
  • They know what swing principle was responsible for any errors in performance.
  • Whatever the shot outcome (great / poor) they are focused on the process of learning.
  • They know errors are a useful part of the learning process, not something to get angry with.
    
        Forethought phase Ė planning for next shot
    
  • They create a clear goal for their next shot Ė I wish to hit this shot 3 yards closer to my target.
  • They have a clear strategy for how Ė strengthen my left hand grip and improve left wrist position at the top of my swing.
  • They have clear reasons for why they have come up with this plan.
  • They know exactly what they want to feel in their next set of practice swings and their next golf shot.
    
Öand the cycle continues.    


Bingo.  Itís taken 4 years but I identify with everything you wrote on the player who is in tune and hyper aware .  Thatís why some donít improve.  They are not putting in the same effort.  Or focused effort.   And Improvement is relative to actual skill.  Most anyone who works at it focused improves.  They may not be an elite player. But they improve. Itís a fallacy that people who work donít improve in my book.  

I havenít read the article yet but Iíll have time later on this evening. Very interested in this.

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#21 Obee

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 06:42 PM

View Postbladehunter, on 13 November 2018 - 06:38 PM, said:

View PostObee, on 13 November 2018 - 01:53 PM, said:

The process he describes below for "elite" golfers is pretty much spot-on the process I used to go from a rank beginner at age 20 to a 2 by the time I was 22 and scratch by 25 and then +1 to +3 by 29.

At the time, I was a complete novice. I stumbled on it myself because it simply made sense to me to practice this way. I was completely self-taught other than watching others and reading books/watching the occasional video. I mostly just copied what the best players in the world did and molded it into my own style, but always with a mind toward the real goal: Learning to hit whatever shot it was that I was trying to master at that time: low, high, fade, draw, pitch, chip, etc.

Below is from the article: https://golfinsideru...-golf-practice/

Poor golfers' thinking

Imagine our Golfer has a slice and has headed to the golf range to straighten out his driving.


Below is an example of how they may think and perform. Each point links to one of the bullet points outlined in the model above.
Performance phase – hitting a golf shot
  • Vague target.
  • Unclear swing thought.
  • Hasn't set up stable learning conditions: no alignment aid.
  • No practice swing (rehearsal) or visualization.
  • Little awareness during golf swing of body motions.
  • Limited evaluation of where the shot finished relative to their target.

Self-reflection phase – post shot thinking
  • Little thought about to what degree their shot outcome was ideal.
  • Limited / no understanding of what in their swing caused a good / poor shot.
  • Emotional reaction to poor shots, that leads to them skipping the forethought phase and grabbing another ball.

Forethought phase – planning for next shot
  • No clear goal set for their next shot.
  • No clear strategy for how to improve on their last attempt.
  • Limited reasoning for what they are about to attempt in their golf swing – a hap-hazard approach.
  • Vague understanding of what swing feeling they are going to attempt to hit a straighter shot.

… and the cycle continues.
Now the example above is quite extreme, but just imagine if half of this sequence sounds familiar to you.
That is a lot of extra golfing development you're leaving on the table at every practice session. If you are an elite player you need to have this cycle optimized, down to every last detail.  
I'm not saying you can flick a switch and change your thinking, but it does help to be aware of this process.
So what would a great cycle of thinking look like?
The same three steps apply, but they are all optimized. The aim is to squeeze every ounce of learning for each shot repetition.
Elite golfers' thinking
We'll stick with the same slice scenario. Also note, current skill level is apart from thinking ability (great thinking will help lead to becoming great at golf).
So feel free to consider this 'elite thinker' as a beginner golfer or a Tour pro struggling with a slice – we're interested in what the optimal process looks like. Below is what I would consider the thinking cycle of someone who will genuinely improve:
Performance phase – hitting a golf shot
  • Clear target, club choice and rationale for choosing that shot.
  • Consistent aim and set up, which takes away variables that could affect the swing and shot outcome.
  • Simple swing thought, but with a detailed understanding of what position / feeling is optimal.
  • 1 – 2 practice swings exaggerating the feeling(s) they are looking for and picturing their ideal swing in their mind.
  • Their practice swings have real purpose – they reflect on each one.
  • During the shot they have a clear focus on what their swing feels like.
  • They have ways of detecting good / less ideal swing.
  • They can accurately say that shot finished 'x' yards left/right of the target.

Self-reflection phase – post shot thinking
  • They can clearly rate their shot 1-10 and explain why it has that rating and what is needed to increase that rating.
  • They know what swing principle was responsible for any errors in performance.
  • Whatever the shot outcome (great / poor) they are focused on the process of learning.
  • They know errors are a useful part of the learning process, not something to get angry with.

Forethought phase – planning for next shot
  • They create a clear goal for their next shot – I wish to hit this shot 3 yards closer to my target.
  • They have a clear strategy for how – strengthen my left hand grip and improve left wrist position at the top of my swing.
  • They have clear reasons for why they have come up with this plan.
  • They know exactly what they want to feel in their next set of practice swings and their next golf shot.

…and the cycle continues.

Bingo.  It's taken 4 years but I identify with everything you wrote on the player who is in tune and hyper aware .  That's why some don't improve.  They are not putting in the same effort.  Or focused effort.   And Improvement is relative to actual skill.  Most anyone who works at it focused improves.  They may not be an elite player. But they improve. It's a fallacy that people who work don't improve in my book.  

I haven't read the article yet but I'll have time later on this evening. Very interested in this.

I did not write that. It's from the linked article. :-)
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#22 Jim Waldron

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 06:51 PM

View Postlarrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 05:09 PM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 13 November 2018 - 11:22 AM, said:

View Postlarrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 07:59 AM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM, said:

Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

What the hell is "meta-awareness"?  "Feel channel"?  C'mon, this kind of double-speak is one reason why golfers don't get better.  One of the biggest (if not the biggest) components in teaching is actually communicating clearly to your students.

Larry that is a stunningly un-informed  comment.

First of all, you have no idea whether or not I explain precisely what those two terms mean when I work with a new student..and as any of my students will tell you, I not only go into great detail about those two issues, they are literally the very first things I work with a new student about. Within 30 minutes they all know EXACTLY what those two terms mean.


The fact that you have to make up your own terms and explain their definition to students is the problem.  Just talk in clear concise every day terms.  This isn't brain surgery, it's body movements.

Once again you are completely clueless as to what I teach and how I teach it. It is always stunning to read stuff like this on the Internet from total strangers who have never worked with me.  I have a drawful of testimonials from students who have worked with me and one of them most common things I hear from those students is exactly the opposite of your criticism - that I clearly define terms and help to achieve a level of clarity about what the body should be doing in the golf swing that they had never had in the past.

"Problem" you say - what problem? The "problem" is one entirely that you yourself have made up. Folks who have actually worked with me don't have any sort of problem.
'
You obviously have an axe to grind, but you might try actually knowing what you are talking about before posting.

"Meta-Awareness" is not a "made up term". It is a word used in Neuroscience to describe a specific aspect of high mental function which is the ability of the mind to observe itself. Something you clearly lack.

For 20 years I used the cumbersome phase "awareness of awareness". Meta-Awareness is simpler and the term that is becoming more widely used.

And again - anyone who follows me in this forum knows that I have posted in great length about Meta-Awareness and about using your feel sense to understand what your body is actually doing in the golf swing. You can look it up using the search function. Or you can just react like you did and engage in bullying and toxic behavior. It might make you feel better but it sure don't make you look good.

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#23 BrianMcG

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 06:59 PM

Its that same reason that not everyone that does Crossfit will look like or be as strong as Rich Froning.

I very rarely ever see any golfer practice. I've seen tons warm up hitting balls before their round, or bat three balls to a couple of holes on the practice green then off to the first tee.   The few that I did see practice were always the scratch golfer (club champ or elite amateur) or aspiring junior on their way to college.  Everyone else is just warming up and playing.

Edited by BrianMcG, 13 November 2018 - 07:00 PM.

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#24 Z1ggy16

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 07:06 PM

IMO, one reason is horrible teachers. I've been lucky to have found some really awesome teachers (Monte and Larry Cheung) and they have worked well with me. Their words and my feels can align, and I've shown visible progress. I had one teacher who made me progressively worse, and I was smart enough to only take 2 lessons from him. I hate to bad mouth anybody, but he was horrible. Had a nice golf swing but I hated everything he did to teach me. Won't get into it because it's here nor there, but first and foremost is find a teacher that works for you.

#2 IMO is most golfers expect instant, or near instant results. Monte told us at his clinic, even with daily or multiple time per week practice (of CORRECT technique) it may take 3 to 6 months for real results to show up. I forget where I read it, but I think I've read it takes the brain around 21 hours or so to really learn a new movement well. Think how much you truly practice per week... that 3 months or so isn't so far off. Golfers fail or don't meet their goal within weeks or even a month, then they go right back to whatever fault mechanics they had in the first place. Rinse and then repeat. There's your endless cycle of never improving.

Lastly for me, is practicing the right and best way. Working on a million things at once is tough for me. I like to focus on just one feeling/thought/goal and that's it. Most of the time when I'm first starting to try and work in a new move, where the ball goes isn't my goal usually. It's just concentrating highly on that 1 item of the session, and evaluating my performance on each shot. I usually only do 50% swings... If I can do 5 or 6 in a row correctly, I will move on to 75%. If I fail just once... I move back to 50% again until I can do 5 more correct. I usually do not make it to 100% full swings until maybe session 4 or 5. Going out and wailing on balls and/or not reflecting after each shot is a total waste of time. Practice correctly or you likely won't "make gains".
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#25 Obee

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 07:15 PM

View Postlarrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 05:09 PM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 13 November 2018 - 11:22 AM, said:

View Postlarrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 07:59 AM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM, said:

Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

What the hell is "meta-awareness"?  "Feel channel"?  C'mon, this kind of double-speak is one reason why golfers don't get better.  One of the biggest (if not the biggest) components in teaching is actually communicating clearly to your students.

Larry that is a stunningly un-informed  comment.

First of all, you have no idea whether or not I explain precisely what those two terms mean when I work with a new student..and as any of my students will tell you, I not only go into great detail about those two issues, they are literally the very first things I work with a new student about. Within 30 minutes they all know EXACTLY what those two terms mean.


The fact that you have to make up your own terms and explain their definition to students is the problem.  Just talk in clear concise every day terms.  This isn't brain surgery, it's body movements.

I'm surprised to see you say things like this, LB. Jim's stuff has always resonated with me. So much so, in fact, that I referred my son to Jim for help in overcoming his driver yips.

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#26 BMC

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 09:48 PM

The real reason golfers don’t get better with practice...


Because some don't have the motor skills or or god given ability to get better.

Sure practice and instruction could allow somebody
who shoots 110 to shoot 100.  But some people max out their potential.

Some people run fast, jump high, or hit a tennis ball coming at them at 140 mph.  Some people just have a natural ability to hit a golf ball straight and far.  And didn't  "practice" that much to be able to do it.
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#27 Obee

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 10:23 PM

View PostBMC, on 13 November 2018 - 09:48 PM, said:

The real reason golfers don’t get better with practice...


Because some don't have the motor skills or or god given ability to get better.

Sure practice and instruction could allow somebody
who shoots 110 to shoot 100.  But some people max out their potential.

Some people run fast, jump high, or hit a tennis ball coming at them at 140 mph.  Some people just have a natural ability to hit a golf ball straight and far.  And didn't  "practice" that much to be able to do it.

While this is absolutely true and I repeat it frequently, I think it's also true that many people who play golf never get close to their full potential. More so in golf than in other sports, actually. I don't have any "proof" of this, it's just an observation after playing the game for 30 years after playing other sports growing up and baseball in high school and college at a high level. Golf is a truly unique sport in many ways....
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#28 BMC

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 10:38 PM

View PostObee, on 13 November 2018 - 10:23 PM, said:

View PostBMC, on 13 November 2018 - 09:48 PM, said:

The real reason golfers don’t get better with practice...


Because some don't have the motor skills or or god given ability to get better.

Sure practice and instruction could allow somebody
who shoots 110 to shoot 100.  But some people max out their potential.

Some people run fast, jump high, or hit a tennis ball coming at them at 140 mph.  Some people just have a natural ability to hit a golf ball straight and far.  And didn't  "practice" that much to be able to do it.

While this is absolutely true and I repeat it frequently, I think it's also true that many people who play golf never get close to their full potential. More so in golf than in other sports, actually. I don't have any "proof" of this, it's just an observation after playing the game for 30 years after playing other sports growing up and baseball in high school and college at a high level. Golf is a truly unique sport in many ways....

I agree with this as well.  At some point, with many players, improvement comes in very small increments.  You, for example.  As a +1, if you improved by 1 stroke over six months, that could mean making a cut or not.  You obviously have the talent to improve, because you're already a high level player.

But the guy who's been a 7 handicap for 10 years, and playing a lot of golf (me), I'm not going to practice my way to a zero handicap.  I just don't have the god given talent to get there.  But, that's OK.  I don't like to practice, I like to play.
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#29 PowderedToastMan

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 10:49 PM

View PostObee, on 13 November 2018 - 07:15 PM, said:

View Postlarrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 05:09 PM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 13 November 2018 - 11:22 AM, said:

View Postlarrybud, on 13 November 2018 - 07:59 AM, said:

View PostJim Waldron, on 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM, said:

Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

What the hell is "meta-awareness"?  "Feel channel"?  C'mon, this kind of double-speak is one reason why golfers don't get better.  One of the biggest (if not the biggest) components in teaching is actually communicating clearly to your students.

Larry that is a stunningly un-informed  comment.

First of all, you have no idea whether or not I explain precisely what those two terms mean when I work with a new student..and as any of my students will tell you, I not only go into great detail about those two issues, they are literally the very first things I work with a new student about. Within 30 minutes they all know EXACTLY what those two terms mean.


The fact that you have to make up your own terms and explain their definition to students is the problem.  Just talk in clear concise every day terms.  This isn't brain surgery, it's body movements.

I'm surprised to see you say things like this, LB. Jim's stuff has always resonated with me. So much so, in fact, that I referred my son to Jim for help in overcoming his driver yips.
While I would agree that Larry needs some more tact, I know many golfers donít want to spend 30 minutes talking about meta-awareness. Iím not accusing Jim of doing this, but I donít like the use of scientific jargon when not speaking to those in the field (See George Orwell, Politics and the English Language).

The difference here is that people come to Jim to learn, so he can teach them all he wants, how he wants. The mental game is huge and Jim has something really good going that a lot of people like and implement with success...

but certain people are going to get turned off by the jargon. Iím personally a fan of how Bob Rotella does his thing, zero jargon but gets his ideas across in a way that is super easy to understand. No offence to you Jim, just different approaches. Rotellaís got a PhD and he talks like a regular guy. I like that approach, but I also know a lot of people think heís too simplistic.

Alright, Iím done playing mediator!
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#30 ctmason_98

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 01:04 AM

View PostJim Waldron, on 12 November 2018 - 06:43 PM, said:


Of all the items he listed, having good meta-awareness in general and especially in feel channel on the body when learning are most important, by far.

I think it is fantastic if you teach people successfully. I donít know anything about how you teach, and donít care.

So with all that said...this sentence is complete gibberish.

And if it makes any one feel better, by all means just chalk it up to me just not being as smart as you.


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