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"Sorry folks, the park is closed:"  Mary's Room 

"The moose out front shoulda told you," the quote ends, uttered by the incomparable Wallyworld park guard John Candy, from National Lampoon's Vacation (circa 1983).

Click above for a refresher - then swing back this way for some thoughts on how you, Mary (Mary - wait a minute - who's Mary? And what about Mary, and her room?), + our omnipresent self-appointed moose - uh, I mean 'experts' - might navigate the links should our golf parks ever actually close (I gather some folks think they have already..).

Visual reminders/hints from this week's Ryder Cup venue, Whistling Straits.

Mary's Room

Voilà above what your golf vibe may be in the not too distant future if our out-of-doors environments become too inhospitable.

But wait... some are already embracing such warm & cozy situations under the guise that such experiences and the learnings gleaned from within, will actually help you once you venture upon the random, chaotic and unpredictable realities of a golf course. 

Uh, obviously some not only didn't get the memo from the beast about the park being closed - but the scientific principle of context specificity (thank you as always, Dr. Christina) when it comes to learning that endures, and transfers to the (any) playing field. 

Before elaborating and enlightening further (and yes, what about Mary and her damn room?!), suffice to say that the sterile, comfortable, always-a-perfect lie and never any consequence indoor arena being picked-on, does have some usefulness, albeit limited: 

- Bulk/block/repetitive practice regimes when building or developing a new skill (like with most beginners).  It's also fantabulous for creating false confidence. 

Then this shows up, complete with a "wee zephyr" blowing in your mug:

So what, you claim - you've practice all the shots in that comfy living room scenario - right?  You're highly skilled at hitting different shots, clubs and distances  - plus - that handy-dandy (and overpriced) radar thingy, spitting out reverse algorithms, verifies you've got things dialed in... 

And, you've mastered the putting & chipping puzzles off of pristine & predictable lies, never-changing green conditions, and convenient do-overs to your heart's desire.  

You are, in fact - an expert golfer- like our brilliant neuroscientist Mary is, in color vision

Or are you? 

Click on either of the golfy settings just north on your screen to finally meet Mary, and begin to ponder what the moose shoulda told you in regards to enhancing your performance, in the still-open golf parks. 

Then swing back my way for some insight and ideas; CS' 'help park' is not closed. 

The Knowledge Argument

Do you think having the knowledge + the proper information of how to do something automatically allows you to do it?  For example: you understand the dynamics of a swing or stroke motion perfectly, intellectually and conceptually.  Or, you have the cognitive understanding of how to respond to adversity. 

Whoopsie - that's like yanking one into Lake Michigan.  The knowledge, information (if it's valid)  and understanding of a concept can help - yet there remains no substitute for physically being able to do and/or experience something - and in the context it is to take place.


BTW, you'll need some good footwear this Fall to make it around Whistling Straits, or wherever you like to tee it, chase it, and wander.  Click above for some current offerings from my peeps at Nike Golf. 


"Subjective qualities that you can't actually describe or measure."

"Unique to the person experiencing them."

"Physical facts can't completely explain mental states."

Seems there's a good deal of disagreement - even arguments - about the Mary's Room thought experiment amongst philosophers and scientists.  

Not dissimilar from the discussions on swing technique - largely based in opinions, biases and preferences.  Did we forget about the age old 'truth' called physics?

You can go ahead and argue with the physics, but that argument you shall lose every time.  

We now have the ability to measure so many things in a golf swing; it's time to stop assuming and guessing.  I'm fortunate to have so many of the brilliant individuals doing the research in my Rolodex, and continually share those findings with my students, all while finding the best way for each human to swing the golf club, and play the game. 

Looking for some guidance in real live golf parks? I'm available at Eugene Country Club, Puerto Los Cabos, and for remote coaching wherever you might be.  Click below for specifics. 


"Can we learn to have constructive & meaningful dialogue instead of arguments? Can we come to understand the beliefs, viewpoints and choices of others - even though we may not agree with them? Can we agree to disagree, to do so without being disagreeable, and strive for concessions instead of angry divisions?"

The two just below did (even Mary can see that in her black & white world), in 1969.  Perhaps that's the greatest message of all, of the Ryder Cup..


          ~ CS ~
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