Is Golf Instruction Killing Creativity?
Today's title borrowed from Sir Ken Robinson's landmark TED Talk, stardate 2006. Although his 'shell' expired August last - his spirit lives on - in and out of the golf realm.
Click above for this oh-so witty, moving and meaningful chat. Heard it? Listen again please, for like with all, memories and stories in the country of your mind are constantly shifting. In search of meaning and guidance in your golf endeavors? Click on my logo below for some options.
Then, swing back this way per the norm, and allow Sir Ken's insights answer a few ponderings you may have in regards to the way this game is being played, the manner in which the swing is being taught, and your overall experience in the golf park...
Sir Ken: "We have no idea what's going to happen in terms of the future"
CS: Amen... Nor do you during a round of golf - but that doesn't mean your intention must fall to the wayside. Before the round, what is your goal (it might be a specific score - yes, that's OK, and have a 'back end' and 'in between' as well) specifically? What do you want? Vagaries like "doing your best" don't cut it on the links; that rock star and oh-so creative brain in your skull likes to chase things, and is highly adept at solving problems, adapting and improvisation.
Indeed: unpredictability, chaos and adventure are hiding around every corner on the links (much like on your daily sidewalks of 2020). Are you ready for the adventure - or stuck in some ridiculous quest for consistency, normalcy or past tense?
CONTRIBUTING = CARING
I'll be ready - ready to hit and run - on October 16 to benefit those who have lost so much over the past few weeks amid the horrific forest fires in my home state of Oregon.
I'm contributing by playing a 'quick' round to benefit Oregon Fire Relief while bidding farewell to one of my fav old Speedgolf stomping grounds.
Broadmoor Golf Club in PDX is closing its doors and fairways. Established in 1931, I played many a fast round as the sun rose back in the day, so now I'm giving back - and you can too.
Click on the image above from a Golf Digest article many moons ago (stay tuned for a more recent piece in the upcoming issue...) to help with the cause, and have a chance to win a Nike Golf polo of your choice by predicting my Speedgolf score.
Sir Ken: "Because it's one of those things that go deep with people, am I right?"
What goes deep with you? Some fly in your golf ointment (or stuck in your hair for a few minutes)? A nasty virus in your bag you're attempting to ignore - then lo and behold - it yanks you into the 'golf hospital' unexpectedly? Or, maybe your ball is just not going 'deep' enough - you know - you're hitting it shorter and shorter.
I understand; I too am seeking a bit more clout, especially off the tee. Consider the following to maximize distance, and make sure you are in competent (incompetency is in vogue, but that doesn't mean you have to join that party as well...) hands in your quest:
- Speed. No substitute for it, no doubt. No denying here. And if it's clubhead MPH you're after, then swinging back slowly, pausing at the top, and allowing gravity alone to accelerate the arms, hands and club on the way down, will have you moving to a forward tee box very soon.
- Launch. You know, like a rocket or an airplane. Pop Quiz time: who consistently launches the ball higher?
A. Mr. and Mrs. Havercamp
B. A scratch player
C. A PGA Tour player
D. A long drive competitor
Answer correctly and you'll start to hit it farther... How's that for a prize?
- Equipment. Club, and body. Look yourself in the eye, as Sir Ken is doing to the audience, and answer authentically if you're doing all you can in those realms. Need some direction there? Ping me.
Sir Ken: "Frank sent this"
Hilarious - and poignant. Unafraid to make a mistake, kids are - what about you? Trying to do everything 'perfectly' in your swing? Oops. Stuck in somebody's bias-laden, creativity killing, swing model? Oops again. Did you not get the memo about the "one size fits all" being a hoax? Oops, part III.
You saw it live at the U.S. Open a few weeks back with winner and runner-up Bryson DeChambeau and Matthew Wolff. Rather different motions - n'est-ce pas? Especially the backswing (but then again - you don't hit the ball with the backswing, do you now?).. Both bomb it (there's that 'speed' thing again..), yet do it in incredibly different (creative, dare I say?) manners.
What's the best way for you to swing the stick, and play the game? Time to find out...
And speaking of Frank... one simply cannot have golf chatter without THE Frank, right? Click on the blurry creative genius in the background below, and his fav headcover, for some Fall-time options from my peeps at Nike Golf.
Sir Ken: "You don't think of Shakespeare having a father, do you? Because you don't think of Shakespeare being a child, do you? He was in somebody's English class, wasn't he? How annoying would that be? 'Must try harder.' 'Stop speaking like that.'"
CS: Do you think about what's causing your golf ball to behave as it is? It's not some SM smooth-talker's hocus-pocus or pixie dusted bias - it's the physics (go ahead and debate with physics, but you'll lose that argument..) that occur at collision time between clubhead/face and ball.
And, just what is holding the funny-looking stick with that head on it, anyway? Why, your ever-clever hands, but of course, the pieces that are connected to your arms last, I checked. Have you thought about that lately when the sphere is flying too far left, or too far right, and the 'hit' isn't quite right?
Or, are you wrapped into some wanna-be Shakespeare's foggy notions of pivoting/rotating your body to better manage the the forces, action and movement of the golf club, its head, and face at impact?
I understand, and talk about annoying... You're gonna have to try really hard in that fashion unless you've started to swing with the butt end of the club stuck in your sternum, or attached to your pelvis. If so, please send video for immediate review...
Interested in more legit poop on the subject of your precious, and dazzlingly skilled hands, and how they guide you, and your body? Go ahead: scratch your head and see if your shoulders move. Then the outside of your opposite ankle, and see if your hips turn. Then click below on a pair of rather famous hands (boy, I'm sure glad no one killed Da Vinci's creativity, aren't you?) for an enlightening interview with biomechanist and rehab specialist Dr. Mark Bull.
Sir Ken: "If a tree falls in a forest and nobody hears it, did it happen?"
CS: Wow, quite the question. How about this one: could two humans have a civilized discussion/debate, while actually answering the questions given? Without incessantly interrupting ('tis the sign of a non-listener, BTW...)? Disagree without being disagreeable? Wouldn't that be a creative alternative.
Do you have questions about your golf that remain a mystery? I'm here to help.
Remote and in-person coaching options at Eugene Country Club and Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club (periodically, in season). The development of an optimal practice program for you, your needs, and your schedule. Ideas and referrals in the equipment domain - those sticks in your bag, and your physical body. Science and evidenced-based help in achieving higher mental acuity on the course. A competent, comprehensive and on-going loop for learning, regardless of where you are on the planet.
Contact me for a consultation; click on my logo below for further specifics.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up”
-- Pablo Picasso