Trapped in a "Blind Struggle"?

By Dr. Matthew M. Rosman, GSEE
Director of Biomechanics and Sports Science, The Golfing Machine, LLC

Many golfers often express concern to their instructors or to other golfers as to how hard it is to “change old habits”.  This common theme prevails in complaints of “fighting a hook”, “trying to tame a slice”, “battling the yips”, “swinging harder than I want to”, and so, on. Despite “best intentions”, these golfers execute motions that commonly feature personal, distinct, consistent, and persistent, aberrant motor pattern traits often identified as their personal “swing signature”.

This re-occurring, redundant, dominant, display of the less than desired, specified, stroke pattern characteristics of motion only mildly varies from, what Mr. Kelley describes in Chapter 2-0 (The Golfing Machine, 7th Edition), as the “accustomed manner” of execution.  For example, “accustomed manner” based golfers who are plagued by a “slice” persistently always retain a core version of a specific, personal “slice” execution, aberrant pattern.  While, “accustomed manner” based golfers who are plagued by a “hook” persistently always retain a core version of a specific, personal “hook” execution aberrant pattern.  

Creating significant, authentic motor pattern transformation actually must begin with the identification of all subjective based, counterproductive, attachments to, personal core values regarding “how to make a motion”.  The attachment to subjective based, counterproductive core values (a belief system), is so anchored in the mindset of this type of golfer, that it is very hard to create any significant, alternative, more permanent, motor pattern changes.  

Due to this unawareness pertaining to the existence of an array of personal, subjective based, counterproductive core values, many golfers are trapped in what Mr. Kelley refers to as a “blind struggle” rather than a “guided struggle” (The Golfing Machine, 7th Edition, Preface, page XII).

A “blind struggle” based golfer never fully attains the consistent positive improvement that they desire.  To commence a productive solution to this issue, there is the need to examine the library of compiled, erroneous, and subjective based, counterproductive core values, so that a competent remodeling strategy may be designed and implemented.

Helping aspiring student golfers identify their current inventory of personal stroke pattern core values first, separating productive from counterproductive core values, and then replacing the subjective based, counterproductive core values with appropriate “lawful”, objective based, core values permits the ability to transform the “blind struggle” to the “guided struggle”.

Any aspiring student golfer seeking to incorporate productive alterations, adjustments, as well as meaningful modifications to the manner and method by which the stroke pattern is to be executed may derive benefit by first contemplating the following:

•    What specific counterproductive aspects of how I make a motion through the years have consistently and always remained despite attempts at alteration or change?
•    What specific aspects of my execution frustrate me the most that I never can seem to reduce or eliminate?
•    What specific compensations do I need to utilize in my execution to keep the golf ball in play during a round of golf?
•    What specific elements of my execution would be “off-limits” with regard to adjustment or modification suggestions if I was taking a lesson with an instructor and was going to play a round of golf later that same day?
•    What specific features of my execution do I feel a very strong bond of emotional attachment to?

From these questions (as well as other key questions), and perhaps for the very first time, an aspiring student golfer may begin to discover what their steadfast, subjective based, counterproductive core values pertaining to “how a motion is made” are.  This discovery and examination process must commence first before classic instructional intervention methods are implemented.  If not, the aspiring student golfer may be unable to create the motor pattern alterations that are required to produce long term, more permanent, lawful, skill enhancement.    

Golfers entrenched in a “blind struggle” and who desire substantive change but express concern that despite heartfelt attempts at change, sometimes over years, continue to persistently struggle with the same basic execution maladies, have missed a key first step in the process of creating the desired changes and improvements that they seek. That first key step is identifying the personal, long term, subjective based, counterproductive, core values that are the hub around which their aberrant stroke pattern was built.  

For example, under pressure, a golfer with a history of “round-housing” might greatly prefer making contact with the golf ball, dealing with the anomalous golf ball behavior display of a “slice” rather than miss the golf  ball, top the golf ball, make contact with the ground behind the golf ball, and so, on.  If that means that the ability to play and make a motion for the moment has to involve “coming over the top” to “survive” the hole of play, then despite the emotional dissatisfaction and frustration, this specific “blind struggle” golfer will execute a displayed pattern that maintains the subjective based, counterproductive core values as a part of the features of the displayed stroke pattern.

This specific golfer may utilize an action of poses, based upon prior experience, that is composed of, subjective based, core values, pertaining to execution performance, that may recruit, elements of: round-housing, clubhead throwaway, bobbing, over-acceleration, and so, on.  Hence, a “golf survivalist’ in action, mired in a “blind struggle”.  

Being out on the golf course for many “blind struggle” based golfers is a battle of the mind and body instead of a synergistic, cooperative partnership of mind and body.  This battle between mind and body in essence transforms this category of golfer with such firm attachment to subjective based, counterproductive core values from a player participating in a sport of challenge into a “golf survivalist”, attempting to overcome, the “irregularities” present in their execution, to make it through a round of 9 or 18 holes.  Even if the aberrant execution produces an inconsistent, hard-to-control slice, or an inconsistent, hard-to-control hook, the key elements by which the malady is created will be reluctantly safeguarded as being the “lesser of two evils” or a “consistent flaw” that provides some certainty to be able to “survive” a round of golf.  

What is “a” best next step?  Mr. Kelley addresses this when he states in (2-0):

“The Three Imperatives and Essentials operate to correct faulty procedures.  So, if they seem elusive, it is invariably because you are trying to execute them while you hit the ball---in your accustomed manner.  That must all be reversed. Learn to do those things even if you miss the ball—until you no longer miss it.  There is no successful alternative (3-B).”

Aspiring student golfers require the help of an AI (Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine) to transition from a “blind struggle” to a “guided struggle”.  Such a transition of education, must include the following as central tenets of lawful, objective, scientific, core values, as the foundation for the technique blueprint map by which their Central Stroke Pattern is developed:

•    The Line of Compression, The Three Basic Essentials, and The Three Basic Imperatives (The Golfing Machine, 7th Edition, Section 2-0, page 12).
•    1-L, A, B, C (Page 9): Clubshaft Control (Inclined Plane), Clubhead Control (Pressure Points), and Clubface Control (Left Wrist).
•    Chapter 9-0 (Page 121): Law (Cause), Means (Execution), and Ball Behavior (Effect).

Notice that in the above Chapter 9-0 reference, connecting Effect to Cause is Means. Means defines how the golfer performs a motion as represented by a Central Stroke Pattern. The execution of a stroke pattern by the golfer, represented as a pattern of pose choreography, operated by the biomechanical system (with the goal of comporting to a TGM based technique blueprint map), relies upon the sum total of the golfer’s level of proficiency, pertaining to “how” to make a "lawful" motion.  Evidence of proper, "lawful" application is that Means used by the golfer which provides the proper use of Law (Cause) so that Ball Behavior Display (Effect) matches intended goal.

If there are counterproductive subjective based core values in the system, the execution (Means) will never produce the desired Effect (Ball Behavior Display). Means (execution) is conducted by the biomechanical system of the golfer. Means should be based upon Law (Cause).  It requires as per the TGM-BIA™ Fusion System the utilization of A.R.T.™: proper Alignment assembly and utilization, displayed with well-orchestrated coordination (Rhythm) to result in “Right” Timing (6-F-1).

Proper objective based core values for the golfer must be derived from the scientifically valid and correct principles of Geometry, Physics, and Biomechanics.

Thus, all golfers must learn to “make a motion” in a deliberate manner of execution, that purposely excludes, the previously counterproductive “accustomed manner” of “making a motion”, that incorporated "unlawful", subjective based core values.  With such awareness pertaining to the counterproductive attachment to subjective based core values identified, aspiring student golfers increase their opportunity to transition from a “blind” struggle to a “guided struggle”. 

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