The other week I was listening to one of my favourite podcasts, the Golf Science Lab which is aggregated on our website at Flagstick.com. A simple statement I heard during an episode resounded with me. Host Cordie Walker referred to each golfer as being “A Case Study of One.”
Five words, big meaning.
As golfers, we have a history of bunching ourselves in with others. If a golf club is good for our favourite pro or a swing tip is working for somebody else, it must work for me. Right?
As a result, we often end up taking detours from playing better golf, or enjoying the game more.
Another phrase I heard from a fellow pro recently was “Seven billion people, seven billion swings.”
I really wish I had heard, and understood that, much earlier in my golfing journey.
Like many I was a victim of homogenization when it came to golf and learning about technique and equipment. It was accepted that there was a “best” or a “perfect way” that everyone needed to follow.
There may be some principles to follow but they all must work within your own framework. How your mind and body works. Your preferences and limitations. The conditions your play in and the equipment you use. As we are beginning to accept, there is only a best for YOU, not everyone.
This should be a guiding principle for all golfers.
I recently read an article by former PGA TOUR winner and now TV analyst Brandel Chamblee pondering why nobody taught the swing of Jack Nicklaus since he is considered the “greatest” of all time in golf.
The answer is simple – because nobody else is Jack Nicklaus. What he does might not necessarily be a perfect fit for another human (physically or mentally) or produce even near the results.
When I started coaching volleyball, I was wisely mentored to “coach the athlete, not the method”. I have carried that through in my work as a golf professional. Every bit of technical knowledge should be adapted to the individual to facilitate learning.
Diversity is what makes us each special in this world. Even if people share some common traits there are normally many more in which we differ.
When you look at the top golfers on the planet today, be it Lydia Ko, Dustin Johnson, or many others, you will find that although they produce magnificent results, they do so by getting there in their own way.
This is in the face of pundits who believe technology would eventually make golfers all look like robots with the same motion. In fact, technology has helped the teachers of the game find out better ways to help the individual golfer, being an average soul or a tour pro, find their unique way forward.
When you think about it, the term “best” is hard to define in golf. You may like one style of golf course more than another. The driver that you love may appear hideous to your friends.
The message here is that many times we get caught up in what is laid out for others as being the standard.
For you to get the most out of golf in 2017, and moving forward, I’d suggest you take more time to look within and use that as your guide.
Get golf equipment that suits you, be less concerned with what top 100 lists of golf courses say, and be accepting of your own ideas. When it comes to improving your skills, be sure the instruction you receive is tailored to you. A quality professional is there to guide you in creating your own form.
I assert that you’ll be much happier and have more positive outcomes.
Yes, there are many generalizations in life but don’t be afraid to question whether they always apply to you.
After all, you are a case study of one.
/ Scott MacLeod