The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Winter continues in the Burgh, but a little more up and down and there would have possible been a time to play, but I am on a self imposed rest, so no play for me. Today, I am again going to lampoon golf instruction, as I googled, how does the downswing start.  The answers I will list below.  There are a dozen by the way.  What’s interesting, it only took me 14 videos to get these 12 different answers.  Now many will argue some are saying the same thing but in a different way, but I respectively disagree. I will list all twelve with my final commentary following. Here they are.

Shift your weight from the inside of the right foot to the inside of the left foot while turning the hips back to the target.

Move the lower body forward, while feeling that the left foot is driving into the ground

Feel the weight moving from the left heel to left toe while lowering the arms

Feel you are starting the downswing from the floor upwards with the left knee turning toward the target and the right knee turning toward the ball, with the hips turning toward the target

Shift the weight to the left and turn the hips toward the target at the same time, like a throwing motion of a ball

Turn the right knee towards the ball from a position where the weight is on the inside of the right foot at the top of the swing

The left leg straightening with the goal being that the right knee will touch the left knee when the swing is finished

The step drill  where you step toward the target like a baseball swing that will teach you how to start the downswing

The entire lower body shifts toward the target

Laterally move the hips toward the target and then turn the body toward the target

Push up from the ground with the waist pushing through to the target first

From the top of swing work the right shoulder down

Is there any common thread here?  One thing I did not mention, is about 9 out of 12 did mention that you must have a good backswing in order to make the first “correct” downswing move.  Much of this does indeed have to do with movement of the lower body first.  That’s about it. The two about the knees seem to be similar but they are not really.  I had to be as concise as possible here and if you saw the videos they are different, with one more complicated even though they talk about the knees. Even though all of these videos were titled how to start the downswing, many I felt talked about the entire downswing and were not all that clear what the first move really was.   All of this is from fairly well known instructors, that have large golf schools or written books on the subject.  None of this stuff is from what I call Sam Fertilizer golf instruction.  You have seen these videos, where the guy is in his back yard, the kids are running around, the dog is barking, and this guy is going to show you how to play golf.  The purpose is not to critique which of the above is correct, or a better way to do the first move of the downswing.  It is to show just how confusing this can be to someone trying to improve their 25 to 30 handicap or to someone trying to learn the game from scratch. No wonder people give up on it. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am sure if I had gone through the torturous process  of looking at 30 videos of how to start the downswing I would have found over 20 ways to do it. I think the point has been made.  It’s a very confusing golf instructional world out there, and that is a shame. More coming soon.

The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

The new year is upon us and I haven’t blogged for awhile, so with winter really here this year in the Burg, I thought it might be time to put a few thoughts down and update what’s happening,  since the last blog, about 2 month ago.  The holidays were great as I went out to San Diego to see the grand kids and Christmas morning with 3 kids, ages 10, 8, and almost 3 is priceless. I finished off the golf season around the 9th of December and really never did much the rest of the year.   Once the handicap season was over, I tried various experiments and none really amounted to much success.  The weather has been normal you might say and it looks like winter golf will be at a minimum this year, when compared with last year when I had played 10 rounds before March 1.   For me this is a good thing right now, because it is allowing some nagging injuries to hopefully heal up to 100%.  I have been reading  a lot over these last 2 months more than I usually do, which is a lot, and it is very difficult to read and write at the same time.  What have I been reading ?  Brain books baby brain books.

What I would like to write about today is watching golf on TV.  There are a lot of people out there, golfers and non golfers alike, who don’t like to watch golf on TV, and really don’t understand why anybody would want to watch golf on TV.  We golf tournament watchers have to defend why we watch this game that, according to the non watchers, is slow and boring and you can’t see where the ball is going, etc. etc.   We, who watch golf, talk about the scenery and following the super stars who play the game.  Here is one reason that I watch golf on TV, that you may find unique, but it may get non golfers to watch the sport.  It is to see human ineptitude at it’s highest level. Let me explain.   There are only 150 golfers that can play in a PGA tour event each week.  That can also be the subject of another blog on why that is.   Just think, if other sports only had 150 to 250 players at the highest level.  There would only be 6 football teams in the NFL, 6 Baseball teams in MLB, 8 Hockey teams in the NHL and 12 basketball teams in the NBA.  The quality of play would improve dramatically in all of those sports. There would only be 6 NFL quarterbacks.  Every week would almost be like watching an all star game but they would be playing  for real.  You could say this about every Major league sport.  Golf is considered a world sport but still only 150 people are allowed to play at the top level on the PGA tour.  Despite such small numbers you see shots and mistakes that the average player makes everyday.   It would be like Tom Brady throwing 3 consecutive passes to the referees.  Not throwing interceptions, just throwing the ball to the refs.  It would be like watching Bryce Harper strike out 27 straight times or dropping  3 straight routine fly balls.  That is how bad some putts and chips and bunker shots are on the PGA tour.  I do not know the reason for these horrible shots.  People like to blame this on pressure but come on.  I can see missing a 6 foot putt to win or tie a tournament but an 18 inch putt. Some full shots are really bad also.  Drives going into people’s yards, irons missed way left or right and pitch shots in the middle of the fairway hit fat and go only 20 to 40 yards.  Remember were talking about 150 people here, that are allowed to play. It’s not that tough, really, is it.  The toughest thing in sports is hitting a baseball and getting a hit.  Compare that to making an 18 inch putt. If you watch golf you will see an 18 to 24 inch putt missed in every round.  You’ll see a green side bunker shot skulled over the green.  I could go on and on and it doesn’t make any difference if it is the first round or the final round you will see ineptness at the highest level.  So the next time someone bugs you about watching golf, tell them you don’t know what you’re missing.

The blog will be popping up more often now, with some more great insights on this goofy game and when I find the answer you will be the first to know.