Briefly following up on my last couple of posts, Golfer’s Brain is a naturally occurring phenomenon and occasional bouts can ultimately be beneficial toward the development of a golfer, swing teacher, clubfitter, etc. Whenever one learns something totally new or more correct than what he previously knew (or could admit to for whatever reason[s]), one will often look back and analyze his bout with Golfer’s Brain, realizing how foolish and ignorant he was when believing what he previously did. Such experiences might help one to develop a little more humbleness, open-mindedness, more logical and less emotional thought processes, and other characteristics commonly present among those who are able to excel at what they do.
But having constant and permanent afflictions of Golfer’s Brain, like so many within the golf industry seem to have compared to most other fields of endeavor, can permanently prevent one from not only becoming the very best one can be, but from becoming even moderately skilled. Everybody makes mistakes of course (this is actually the best way to learn if one’s ego can handle the greater number of failures than is always expected), and thus there also exists Baseball Brain, Gardening Brain, Accounting Brain, and so on for every existing skill. Many people in golf, however, seem almost “proud and determined” to keep Golfer’s Brain at a higher level than others’ activities, beginning with their out-of-touch presumption that their “swing” comprises “greater difficulty and thus exclusivity.” Other common symptoms of and reasons for the existence of Golfer’s Brain can be found throughout my posts. One of several manifestations of this widespread, unfortunate state is that the custom clubfitting trade continues to exhibit that it is arguably the worst in all of sports at competently fitting equipment to its players, with no obvious end in sight.
In moving on, now I would like you to gather your own thoughts regarding how “perfect” you think a fully developed golf swing can possibly become. First, a specific perspective must be chosen from which to analyze swing performance. In the eyes of a beginner or higher handicapper, the swings of just about any tour player might seem like perfection in terms of repetitive consistency. I know I felt unconfident in this way to a degree when I started golfing even though I was already quite experienced and confident in other sports. And then there is the perspective of golf swing consistency from a godlike point of view. I shall try to do a brief analysis from such a perspective, which will hopefully help us all realize where we truly stand as humans.
In the normal course of playing the game, I will begin with some wind speed, direction, and air temperature, measured to the nearest hundredth of a mile per hour or degree, each acting separately upon one’s body when swinging, just to name a few common conditions that will constantly alter “swing perfection.” Next I will add the conditions under one’s feet, which comprise a virtually unlimited number of combinations of indentations, raised bumps, and other irregularities upon the ground (and this assumes that one has perfectly cleaned off the bottoms of one’s golf shoes before every swing). Since I am attempting to be a god here, the number of blades of grass and the positioning of each shall, relative to perfection, also affect each of one’s golf swings in some way. Or perhaps you would like to discuss the fact that one’s body cells are constantly dying and being replaced, never leaving one’s body in exactly the same state from one swing to the next. And these are the more “simple,” physical changes. The psychological aspects are more “complex” and unpredictable, and they must also always be “perfect” in order to perform a perfect golf swing. If there is a golfer at any level of play who has never gotten nervous to the extent that his swing has been affected, never had thoughts of a previous night’s disagreement with his spouse creep into his round here and there, or never thought about the money or trophy he could win right in the middle of a critical swing while trying to achieve such a goal, then let him step forward and speak now.
But alas, as hard I as I have tried to list godlike parameters, it seems that I have not even come close (only hundredths?) to describe what that perspective is truly like. Hopefully, though, I have disclosed enough to make it undeniably clear that from such a perspective, there is no such thing as a perfect golf swing no matter how it might appear to someone. In terms of absolute, godlike perfection, no two identical golf swings are ever performed by any individual, even over an entire lifetime of trying to do so.
Now in this respect of impossible perfection, golf swing performance is no different from virtually any other activity, give or take particular details. For instance, when a moving object is in play and swings must often be adjusted in mid-motion (not generally required in golf), it is harder still to ever be able to perform the identical movement(s) twice in a lifetime. Golf counters in part with a much greater variety of angled slopes and playing surfaces from which to perform, whereas most “moving-object” activities are played on a more “level” playing field for all.
Because imperfection from a godlike point of view is a universal constant among all activities performed by humans, no more or less so in golf than in any other activity, neither golf swing difficulty (nor easiness) can be true reasoning for why an overlapping or interlocking style of holding onto a golf club is prescribed when it is not in any other pursuit (that I am aware of). Next time, however, I will begin to look at something that, even from a godlike perspective, is quite different in golf than in most other activities, authoritatively leading to why gripping a club in the traditional manner is recommended.