Physical Versus Mental Golf Swing Considerations
Perhaps here I should briefly break down the word “easy” into physical and psychological components as it pertains to swinging a golf club. When I have not swung a golf club in a while and then get back to practicing or playing, I am physically every bit as stiff, sore, and fatigued in the days following as I ever was when resuming work after a layoff at baseball or any other sport I used to play. While enduring this discomfort, at least I am encouraged that I am utilizing every part of my body to its maximum in the course of swinging a golf club. To give an example of corporal cause and effect when making an effort to learn certain skills, I can position my fingers to mimic holding onto and throwing a baseball. Upon closely examining both hands, I am able to note that the fourth finger of my right hand (my throwing hand) actually has grown crooked, molded into a position that follows the curvature of a baseball. Of course back then I was having so much fun and was so motivated to play baseball, I doubt I would have cared about what was happening to my body’s growth even had I known what was going on. Heck, one might even be able to take advantage of such bodily development.
Golf has never been any different for me personally, working at it so intensely at times that my hands are torn apart and bleeding by the time I am done, sometimes unbeknownst to me until after I am finished with my session. From this perspective, I consider golf to be just about as intense as most other sports from a physical exertion attitude (walking when playing), especially for those who strive to become highly successful at playing the game. The way I warm up my swing when I want to accomplish it quickly, I am sufficiently winded that I do feel as though I just ran some sprints to get ready.
From a psychological viewpoint of a golf swing, however, there are no fears of getting hit with a pitched ball or concerns of being physically contacted by a competitor, for instance when in the midst of swinging at a puck while playing hockey. Additionally, since a golf ball does not move while one is swinging at it, little or no adjustment is needed to the swing in motion once it begins. From a mental standpoint, therefore, a golf swing is truly one of the easier athletic motions to engage in, if in fact it can really even be considered an athletic movement (more on this later). Given these circumstances, the number of mechanical techniques under which one can successfully swing a golf club (i.e. styles of holding on to the club, swing plane, tempo, etc.) are in fact much more lenient than that required in other sports. Why so many people would have you believe the exact opposite will become more clear in future postings.