Tag Archives | Articles

In Defense of the Game of Golf

I’m getting a bit tired of reading about the “problems” with golf. Check out a recent article in GolfWorld Magazine titled “Intensifying the Solutions Search- Hack Golf Seeks Grow-the-Game Ideas From Any and All”: “…Golf participation is dwindling in the United States, and there is no indication the decline is about to stop. According to Joe Beditz, CEO of the NGF (National Golf Foundation), the game has lost 5 million golfers in the last decade. Moreover, the number of core golfers-defined by the NGF as playing at least 8 times a year, a subset that is responsible for 90 percent of the rounds played and spending in golf- has dropped by 25 percent. Golfers ages 18-34 used to comprise 18 […]

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How to Play Golf Without Thinking

“…When you throw a ball to me, without thought, my hands go up and catch it, When a child or animal runs in front of your car, you automatically apply the brakes. When you throw a punch at me, I intercept and hit you back, but without thought. ‘It’ just happens. ‘It’ is the state of mind the Japanese refer to as “mushin”, which literally means ‘no-mind’. According to Zen masters, mushin is operating when the actor is separate from the act and no thoughts interfere with the action because the unconscious act is the most free and uninhibited. When mushin functions, the mind moves from one activity to another, flowing like a stream of water and filling every space.” […]

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Why They’re Good and You’re NOT

What could be so hard about it? Well, I’m guessing that most of you who are reading this right now have been playing golf for a while, and because of that, you realize that the game is anything but easy. If you’ve ever read anything that I’ve written you know that I spend a lot of my time extolling the difficulties of our chosen sport. I can state unequivocally that anyone who calls the game easy either doesn’t play (or doesn’t keep score when they do), is on crack, or is one of the rarest of rare individuals, a naturally good player.

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You Mean You’re not Supposed to Hold it Like a Bird?

If you had been using the proper concepts and still were as bad as you have been, you would have good reason to be depressed about your chances of ever being any good. But since you have never given your body a chance to try it the right way, you don’t know just what your potential might be. So instead of being annoyed at spending so much time on the wrong track, you should be excited about finally getting on the right track. I think you will start to make some tremendous progress once we spend some time incorporating your new conceptions into good mechanics and correct feel.

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Thinking About NOT Thinking? THINK AGAIN.

“…When you throw a ball to me, without thought, my hands go up and catch it. When a child or animal runs in front of your car, you automatically apply the brakes. When you throw a punch at me, I intercept and hit you back, but without thought. ‘It’ just happens. ‘It’ is the state of mind the Japanese refer to as “mushin,” which literally means “no-mind”. According to Zen masters, mushin is operating when the actor is separate from the act and no thoughts interfere with the action because the unconscious act is the most free and uninhibited. When mushin functions, the mind moves from one activity to another, flowing like a stream of water and filling every space.” […]

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8 Keys for Greater Distance

Everyone who is anyone who talks about golf these days is talking about distance. The question on everyone’s lips is “How far is too far?”, and of course they are talking about how far everyone, it seems, is hitting the ball. I was at one National Club Pro Championship in New Mexico where the driving leader averaged 330 yards, with a long drive of over 390 yards. Even though the event was played at 5000 feet of altitude, those are still some serious numbers. The crazy stats are seen every week now. Give a long hitter a fast fairway and little bit of helping wind and drives of close to 400 yards are commonplace. Here in the Middle Atlantic Section […]

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Working On It

Ask any serious golfer how he or she is playing and you’re bound to hear, in some form or another, the same answer: “I’m working on it”. That one phrase sums up the essential nature of the game. Everyone is always “working on it”. The game demands it. The best player in the world can’t hit a fairway, and when he is asked about his struggles he constantly replies, “I’m working on it, it’s coming, and I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. I like what I’m working on.” The fact that everyone is “working on it” suggests that no one, not even the best of the best, “have it”: if they “had it”, they wouldn’t have to […]

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How to Change Your Swing

I am often asked whether I enjoy teaching, and to the surprise of those who cannot fathom spending 8 hours a day instructing the needy, I always reply with a positive. While I love to play, I don’t depend on my playing to pay my bills. I tried that, and found it an incredibly difficult task. The game is hard enough with its precipitous ups and downs without adding the pressure of earning a living. I certainly feel pressure when I play in tournaments, but not the kind of pressure that accrues when your finish means everything. My events mean a lot to me personally, but a bad round or poor finish does not mean my family won’t eat or […]

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Golf Dreams

O.K., admit it. You’re in the midst of your morning shower, another day of work ahead of you, and there you are, eyes closed, conjuring up the sensation of that one sweet swing that flights the golf ball in the absolute optimum trajectory, arcing in toward the flag with an almost arrogant assurance, digging into the firm surface of the green with enough spin to send it recoiling back to the cup for a tap-in birdie. For you it might be the last hole of the club championship; for another, the tee shot on the water guarded par 3 where disaster is inevitably met, especially when playing with a group of far superior golfers; for myself, it is the 17th […]

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The Art and Science of Learning Golf

As you probably know I have been deeply involved in music over the last 7 or 8 years, trying to learn to play the blues harmonica. I have found the learning process to be remarkably similar to that of learning to play golf, and since I teach golf for a living, being involved again in the attempt to master a skill that involves both technique and feel has helped me to assess and improve my own teaching skills.   When I was a kid I didn’t really ever have formal instruction in golf. My Dad showed me a few basics (a good grip and set up, one piece takeaway, left shoulder under, head behind the ball, legs drive toward the […]

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