“There’s nothing new, just more analysed”
This quote appeared recently with reference to golf and while I believe to be correct in some respects is wildly inaccurate in others.
Golf is a game with an infinite number of effective technical combinations to get the job done in all areas of the game at the very highest level. We only need to sit and watch some tournament coverage to see that this holds true and it’s this fact which ensures that no one is going to create a wheel that has not already been invented at some point in time.
This does not however legitimise the statement that I opened with, it ignores the role of research and analysis as a tool to connect the dots between players and efficacy. As we understand more about how dynamic club movements are created, how the body moves to create these movements and perhaps most importantly how we enable the player to not only understand it but also how to learn it!
I specialise in wedge play and spend the majority of my time teaching it, researching it and analysing it. I enjoy the challenge of unlocking the vault which contains better performance for every level of player and I often find myself challenging the status quo in order to do this. Have I claimed to have discovered a ‘new way’? Not at all, just a better understanding of how things happen around the greens, how to make things more predictable and how to teach them. Within this there is a lot of different information for coaches to use and for players to improve, this says more about what has become common teaching practice in the short game over the past few decades than my prowess as a creator of NEW!
The short game in particular has suffered through the process of shallow simplicity, “Hey, this seems like a simple way of doing it, it’s not what I do but would be great for you”. In my world this changes to “It’s a way of doing it, here’s what will be easy and difficult about taking this approach and these are the shots you will be capable of producing this way”
Now moving back to golf instruction as a whole, there are always going to be things that are new to coaches and these new things are going to excite them, motivate them and work for them. The problem I see on social media is what borders on evangelicism (look it up, or just look up #joke), a passion and a loyalty to what is new to them and that’s ok if you see it for what it is.
Personally I think golf instruction is going through a very important and exciting phase and the game can only end up better for it. I’ll end with a revision on the quote I opened with provided by Gregor Monks (@gregormonks) this morning..
“No one’s reinvented the wheel.. we just have a better understanding of how it moves!”