Tom’s Tip: K.I.S.S. Method for Golfers

by Dan M | Posted on Saturday, January 20th, 2018

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TOM WARD
TOMPWARD@SBCGLOBAL.NET

Most people know that the acronym K.I.S.S. stands for “Keep It
Simple Stupid.” This design principle was developed by the U.S. Navy
in 1960. The principle states that most systems work best if they are
kept simple rather than complicated. I have my own personal spin on
that well known acronym for golfers. K.I.S.S. translates into Keep it
Simple Slicers.
I was very fortunate to have studied under a great PGA Master
Professional years ago who gave me lots of sage advice. One of his
gems is, which I still use in my golf clinics today, goes like this
“Golf is an intelligent game played by intelligent people stupidly.”
Throughout my years as a golf professional and instructor,
teaching both in the U.S. and abroad in several foreign countries,
there is one familiar theme that resonated and affected golfers all
over the world. Lesson after lesson, in country after country, it is
compromised and made less effective, or worse case rendered useless,
by a tendency to complicate things when it comes to the golf swing. It
reminds me of the old “Too much analysis causes paralysis” syndrome.
People are trying to think of, and do, too many things at once.
To put things in perspective I’ll provide some startling
information supplied a long time ago (when I lived in Memphis) by my
friends at True Temper Golf Shafts. These brilliant gentlemen from
True Temper’s Applied Research group said, if you shot a score of 72
for 18 holes the golf ball is in contact with the clubface for
approximately 0.036 seconds. So next time you are out playing a four
or five hour round, remember that only 0.036 seconds of that round
really matters. With that staggering fact it’s crucial that you keep
things simple when it comes to playing the game.
The secret of both teaching and learning the golf swing is
communication. There have been numerous good books written over the
years on how to swing a golf club. From my experience teaching in
foreign countries with different languages, it is not only difficult,
but almost impossible to communicate in writing unless the terms and
words mean the same to the writer as to the reader.
Remember the expression, “Different words mean different things
to different people.” Communicating your point using only one strategy
will be as effective as a car that runs in only one gear. It’s easier
and more productive to communicate through the proper motion. Learning
through written material only is learning by mechanics. You must
supplement written knowledge by learning feel through good motion. In
the end, to play the game well you swing the club by feel, not by
mechanics. It is said, “To know a thing by its part is science; to
feel it as a whole is art.”
It helps to understand the mechanics (science) of a swing,
however, it should be at least as much to develop the feel (art).
I hope to open your eyes to the endless realm of possibilities by
my golf instructional articles in 2018.
It helps a golfer to understand a good swing if they comprehend
what makes a good golf swing. It has been my experience that players
expect to hit a good shot, without knowing why. For instance, a player
wants to cure a slice, but they don’t know what causes it. It makes it
easier to cure a problem if you know the circumstances that causes it.
I will act as your guide in helping clear up any misconceptions or
questions you may have regarding the game.
Albert Einstein once said, “You can’t solve a problem using the
same thinking that created it in the first place.” You can learn from
your mistakes. Just remember, there is no such thing as failure, only
results. Simply by attempting things you will receive excellent
feedback pertaining to reaching your goals.
Finally, I’ll leave you with some food for thought until next
time. “People work hard climbing the ladder of success only to realize
it’s leaning on the wrong wall.”
I don’t want you to be one of those people, so I will make sure
that the time and effort put into your golf game this year is not
wasteful and that you will be happy with the end results through my
column.
Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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