Well this article may well get your brain burning, but after reading a book that is considered to be one of the most important golf books ever written I have to get you to consider the possibility that actually golf is infinitely difficult because of the way the brain is wired.
I have already said that I believe golf to be a simple sport from the outset and I stand by that, but I think that is because of the way that I think and how I perceive the sport, but unless you perceive it in the same way you will probably disagree with my assumption.
As with everything that we do, or try to learn if we perceive it to be difficult then it will be difficult as we already have that perception. The same can be said of golf.
But it is the comment of the author of the book that I was reading that perhaps offered a suggestion as to why golf is just so difficult for the masses.
This reason when we consider it, can answer a lot of questions but it also raises one as well.
The author´s belief was that golf is so difficult, as it requires very little reaction or reflex to create the movement.
He compared golf to other sports such as tennis and cricket, I which players have to react to the oncoming ball, and that the more skilled you are at doing so the more natural and reflexive the movement gets.
This brings up the question of if a sport becomes a reflex action, and that the better your reflex action is the better a player you are, then surely those that have a natural ability to act “reflexively” will ultimately be able to turn their hand to any sport that involves a moving object and will struggle to adjust to a sport that requires the player to hit a stationery object?
Well I do not believe that to be true, as there have been and currently are a number of fantastically gifted cricket and tennis players that have played single figure golf for the majority of their golfing career.
How then, if the difficulty of golf lies within striking a stationery object can a world class tennis player or cricketer manage to achieve such a good level in a sport that doesn´t rely on their reflex ability?
I have to come back to the idea that golf is a simpler sport than that of cricket or tennis, in terms of making contact with the golf ball in order to move it in a forward direction.
Why do I believe that it is simpler, well you only have to consider the position of the ball and keep your mind focussed on the ball to be able to consistently hit it.
In tennis for example you have to be able to watch your opponent, the way that they are moving, the shot that they have played and then you have to consider and try and gauge the how the ball will react when it hits the surface, be it hard court, clay court or the more inconsistent grass courts.
In golf we only have to be able to move the club away from the ball and then back to the ball in order to make contact with it.
The difficulty in golf compared to a moving ball sport is generating power and the distance that would be required to get the ball travelling towards our target in as fewer strokes as possible.
And it is there that the difficulty lies within golf.
We can all make contact with the golf ball more often than not, but the difference between each golfer’s ability to perform and score is down to practice, confidence and belief in their own abilities.
Just as with cricket or tennis, golfer of all levels hit bad shots under pressure or when playing from a difficult position.
But one thing that I do know to be true is that if you perceive golf to infinitely more difficult than other sports that you may have played, then it almost certainly will have you pulling your hair out.
Until Next Time,
The Golf Swing Doctor