Better Learning
By Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional, CI
Smithtown Landing CC, Smtithtown NY
The game of golf has been being played since the fifteenth century, but
the purpose, objects and elements of the game have not changed at all.
We're still having fun moving the ball with a stick, into a little hole and
trying to take a few swings as possible to do it!
The elements of the shot have always been the distance and direction.
The elements of the swing have always been its shape and source of
power. Every swing made since the fifteenth century was either on plane
or not on plane. The clubhead was either behind or in front of the
player's hands at impact.
The grasses we play on and the equipment we use have improved
substantially in just the past few decades. But golfers' scores have not
improved in decades. The average male's USGA handicap remains at 17
and 30 for women. Why? I believe it is because we have not adapted the
traditional learning methods to those we now know are superior. That's
quite a statement, so let's take a look at what we can do.
If you are not seeing measurable progress it might be time to take a look
your approach. Today, we know that there are learning preferences.
Some of us learn better with pictures, some with feel, some with action
and some words. Your current input source may not be the best source
for your learning preference. You may be attempting to practice
something that you do not actually understand yet. You may need to take
a look at how you approach your practice sessions to gain the most from
the time spent.
First, find out more about your own personal learning preferences. Then
choose your study material based on material that gives you information
in the form that is best for your preference. You can learn more about
learning styles in my video, Golf Mind, Golf Body, Golf Swing or from
reprints of previous articles posted on my Internet site.
Next, do some homework before you go to the practice range. Be sure
you understand what you are currently doing in your swing before you
attempt to make a change. When you decide to make a change,
understand what the specifics of that change are. Once you are
confident you have a complete understanding of your current swing and
an equally complete understanding of the change you are going to make,
you are ready for some implementing.
Before you try to implement the change, determine a step-by-step
approach to making the change. Write the steps down so that you stay
with the sequence you decided on. Go to the practice range with one
step and one goal in mind. Stay centered on that thought throughout
your practice session.
Remember, depending upon what you are practicing, your livingroom
and/or backyard may be more appropriate than the range. We know that
learning is increased 70% when a picture is added and further when the
student associates the picture with a "feel".
When ever and where ever you practice try to mirror or a camera for
instant feedback.
Be gentle with yourself when measuring your progress. The more
thought you put into your plan, the more equipped you are for making
lasting progress.
Copyright Michael Hebron, all rights reserved, 2008