Decoding One’s True Golf Swing DNA: Part Five
In addition to eliminating one’s golf clubs or other devices and all of one’s apparel in striving to acquire one’s true golf swing DNA, there are yet other influential factors that can be considered and accounted for. These might include weather phenomena such as wind, rain, and temperature, all of which can affect and alter one’s true golf swing DNA. Then there is the type of surface off of which one swings (a well manicured fairway as opposed to a driving range mat [which might be curled up around its edges and/or move some when swinging on it], or one’s feet being dug into sand as examples). There is also the angle of that surface (uphill, downhill, sidehill). These elements and likely more that do not immediately come to mind can change one’s swing DNA. On paper, they should be eliminated (or made consistent to established standards if elimination is not possible) in order to capture one’s truest swing DNA. Now there would be a theoretical sight to behold indeed, which would be me performing my swing while stark naked and without any clubs while on level fairway grass. If it is any consolation to you (and in accordance with making consistent the above-noted weather elements as much as possible), at least I would be indoors and thankfully kept off the streets reserved for normal people. I never claimed that securing one’s genuine swing DNA would be an easy task or might not require some sacrificing of one’s pride, perhaps even being publicly illegal to obtain.
Even in an idealistic sense, it can be debated about whether every potential swing-DNA-altering element should always be accounted for when trying to decipher one’s true swing DNA. For instance, one’s apparel use comprises many choices and conscious options including what to wear and when to change, such as exactly when one’s sweater or rain gear might most advantageously be put on or taken off. But for other elements like the surface played from and weather conditions (assumes conformance to the rules of play), there are generally no options available to a golfer regarding such conditions when it is his time to play. Thus, even at deep levels of acquiring one’s golf swing DNA, certain swing-altering elements might be intentionally added, subtracted, or adjusted for the purpose of determining specific data under specific circumstances. Such deliberations, however, are beyond the scope of this particular discussion and I more simply compile a comprehensive listing of factors here that can at some point alter one’s true swing DNA.
Keeping this theoretical framework in mind, I will now plug in some reality and see where it leads. The fact is there are no rules requiring one to change his/her apparel for every golf stroke (there are no rules requiring one to change golf clubs either, but history has shown that it is reasonable to allow such changes and the rules permit multiple clubs). More often than not, one finishes his practice session or round of golf wearing the exact same apparel he started with, having gotten used to any nuances of that apparel early on in the day and staying with it throughout the day. Thus, a more practical comparison of one’s apparel versus golf clubs as they pertain to effects on one’s swing DNA is that one’s wearing apparel is more akin to swinging the exact same club all day long and being able to become as accustomed to that club as is reasonably possible (as opposed to switching between different clubs every stroke). The specific rules developed for golfing promote this justifiable adjustment in reasoning for reality from what might have been determined when discussing pure theoretical reasoning. Such adjustment is still scientifically sound.
One might argue that there can still be issues in swinging one’s best immediately after an apparel change on the course (such as putting on or taking off a sweater). There is truth in this, and one must do the best one can under such circumstances while becoming fully acclimated to any changes. I personally find that, without really thinking about it, I tend to make more, fuller, and harder practice swings immediately after such apparel changes but before I make a swing that counts. I cannot currently state with certainty whether this has always been intuitive to me or whether it is something I slowly learned based on my performance(s) of the past immediately after making such apparel changes. And it does help. So why, you ask, can you not simply do the same thing when switching golf clubs every stroke? Well, you can if you like. But I will tell you with certainty how grateful I am that I do not have to prepare for every single swing with the same intensity I often do immediately after making infrequent apparel changes during a round. For one thing, I am often still a bit out of breath at the time I am required to begin a stroke that counts after a stroke preparation that involves more physical exertion. This is not a situation I want to create for myself on a regular basis. So here again, a modifying of the theory developed is defensible due to the reality of human physical capacity, and one is in essence back to making only one swing with any given club when golfing before changing clubs again.
In confirming above that one’s wearing apparel is actually more like being able to get used to the same golf club all day long and not as significant a concern as if having to make apparel alterations every stroke, perhaps one might breathe a sigh of relief and think that at least an acceptably usable DNA of one’s swing could be acquired without having to be in a completely unclothed state. While presumably a comforting thought, this conclusion is not necessarily correct. Even consistently utilizing the same apparel and/or club does not ensure success at decoding one’s true golf swing DNA, as will be explained next.