Chapter Four

"Success has eluded many golfers of mechanical excellence simply because they either did not realize the importance of concentration or had been unable to develop this power."

--Byron Nelson, Winning Golf, 1946


Putting It All Together

Learning golf, like learning any complex perceptual motor skill, works best when it’s organized into chunks, forms or katas to be individually practiced until mastered. Once each form has been practiced to the point that it’s become an automatic unconscious skill, you are free to attend to other components of the task. As additional skills are learned, they too are practiced until they become unconscious, effective, perceptual motor patterns that you no longer need to pay conscious attention to, commonly called "muscle memory". (Grinder and Bandler, Trance Formation, Pg. 6 (1981) The Real People Press)

During the first hour of instruction you will learn how the mechanics of the swing can be separated into three categories or mental files. Creation of these files is the beginning of teaching the right side of the brain to make an automatic swing. During the lesson you will learn to access these files with the use of cue words. Cue words are simply sounds that the brain reacts to--they trigger a programmed response and are an extremely effective way to help students learn to use and trust the right brain. It’s similar to the Pavlovian bell-salivation experiments - Pavlov used a ringing bell to elicit his dogs’ hunger response, and I use words to trigger the body’s correct muscular memory. The words I use: Turn, Lateral and Level, represent three main categories consisting of many sub-categories--in fact, everything you will need to know as a performer will be in one of these three files. These words will help the golfer’s body attain the most important asset for satisfying play: consistency.

Mental Filing Cabinet

Rotation: After a period of specific, deliberate practice, the word “Turn” will cue the rotation of the body in the following sequence: shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and feet.

Lateral: Lateral movement is the shift of the body’s center back and forth along the body line as it moves sideways during the back swing. This shift to the right (for right-hand players) is called weight transfer, The shift back toward the center is called the transition . The word “Lateral” will evoke the body’s memory of the correct amount of side-to-side movement necessary for the back swing and down swing.

Level: The correct and original body angles must be maintained throughout the swing in order for the club to remain on the initial swing plane and thus contact the ball with maximum effectiveness. Any change of these angles will disrupt the original path of the club and cause the golfer to make a usually inaccurate eye/hand alteration. The word ‘Level” will trigger the memory of the correct original address position. The angles of the spine, knees, shoulders and arms must keep their position and tone while the body is in motion.

Coming Attractions!
New golf is starting to experiment with the use of "French cue words", epaule-shoulders, hanche-hips, genou-ankles, pied-feet. Cue words are simply sounds that the brain responds to from a memory, and hearing them in French (primarily for English speakers) will hold less left brain association and additionally, bring to "mind" the rhythm, grace and disciplined movement associated with ballet. Neurolinguistics Golf©



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