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What "On Learning Golf" is About (Introduction: Part 5)


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I have started to write "On Learning Golf" twenty times in the last twenty years and I might still hesitate to write it had I nothing more than the theory of a satisfactory golf swing to impart.

But now, teed up for my twenty-first start, I know I am going on until "On Learning Golf" is finished. And why? Because this time I feel I have a solid contribution to offer to the teaching and learning of golf.

It is upon an aspect of the matter which has been practically ignored by writers, teachers and players alike — but one which I have proved beyond doubt to be of fundamental importance.

So in this blog-book, superimposed upon the fruits of my knowledge, experience, and theories of the game, you will find my account of the relation between the physical and the psychological in golf — a relationship which lies at the root of every form of control — of both individual shots and of one's game as a whole.

Until I realized the importance of this relationship and discovered how to use it everything that I wrote seemed inconclusive and unimportant.

At so many points there seemed nothing further to be done but to shrug one's shoulders and repeat "Golf is a funny game!" But once I realized the relationship between mental and physical, these blanks filled in — and the practical results in teaching were astounding.

"On Learning Golf" is not a blog-book on the science of golf, but about learning it. Everything on the science of the game has been written, continues being written, and will continue to be written. But there are not many books on how to learn it.

So I outline a method of learning and stress certain points about the golf swing. And please remember that long experience has told me what to emphasize when teaching.

Some of the points which you will find me making a fuss about are considered minor details in the science of the game, but they are important to me because they relate to feel rather than to mechanics — and it is through feel that I play and teach.

I believe that the mechanical details, like the golf swing, should become incidental. They are of course of extraordinary interest and if you have a particular interest in the fundamentals of the golf swing, you already have access to the Golf Swing Magic (an abriged version of Joe Dante's classic Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf, which focuses on this very important part of the game.

But that is another matter.

In brief, the plan of this blog-book is that in the six sections of Part One of On Learning Golf I outline my theory of golf, and explain how I came by it and why I hold it.

Part Two of On Learning Golf consists of sections which elaborate the various technical points, interspersed with Interludes for Instruction and Reminiscence which enable certain very essential points to be emphasized as well as providing a little light relief from the more solid matter.

On Learning Golf Introduction: Part 4.

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