The Difficulty of a Golf Swing: Be Careful What You Wish For

As one who has spent the first half of his life playing predominantly baseball (along with several other sports also), and the second half working at golf, I can tell you from firsthand experience how easy, comparatively speaking, it is to develop a swing and whack at an object that is just sitting still as opposed to swinging at and hitting something that is in motion.  To gain a better perspective, conditions must first be equalized that would otherwise be different.  Consider for a moment the playing of tennis matches, and then rounds of golf played with a tennis ball.  Analyze the ability it takes to consistently hit a tennis ball while motionless off of a golf tee or the grass when golfing relative to tennis matches where, even with a much larger implement to hit the ball with, the typical player would not fare as well.  Baseball is another clear example of trying to hit a ball that can first be here, then there, and at different times.  Compare and contrast that skill to playing golf with a regulation size baseball, upon which a more impartial judgment can be made regarding the dexterity required to perform each action.  With methods of teaching a golf swing running the gamut from relative simplicity to extreme difficulty, be careful what you wish for; that is what you will get.

Regardless of one’s playing ability, we all have our days when we wish the ball could be bigger, but the inconspicuous truth of the matter is that it is quite necessary to make the ball in golf smaller, or the game would generally be so unchallenging it could bore us to death in due time.  Do not confuse certain other aspects of the sport, such as the just-mentioned size of the ball used to play it, with how difficult it is to learn to swing a golf club.  Now I could theoretically change the rules and make the ball smaller still so that most tour players would have a tough time even seeing the ball in the grass let alone hit it consistently.  But does this all of a sudden mean the years of hard labor these golfers put into their swings are worthless and that the golf swing has instantly become more difficult than these players are capable of?  No, of course not.

All other factors aside, the reality is that virtually any activity where one chases after a moving object is fundamentally more difficult to learn and execute than when an object is stationary.  So does swinging a golf club demand as much skill as swinging a baseball bat or a tennis racquet in the course of performing those sports?  Sorry, not even close.  In baseball and tennis, one may have to swing very close to his/her body and at the knees one time, far away and at the shoulders another time, and all the while attempt to gauge how fast or slow the ball is approaching.  Correspondingly, the swing is often sped up or slowed down in mid motion, while with sharp senses, quick calculations are made as to the best way to hit the ball back.  But stay tuned to learn about some critical factors that can turn even a simple, good golf swing into a poor swing fast.