Psychology of Teaching
In teaching the golf swing, a teacher must examine the reasons why people act, think, and feel as they do when attempting to learn and play this great game. People are attracted to the game for various reasons, but once they are involved, they must “prepare” themselves as students and players to create success in playing the game so that they can enjoy it more often! This is where the importance of good teaching comes to be a big part of the learning process.
The teacher must impose upon the student that golf is a non-violent game played violently from within. The golf swing is “effortless power,” not “powerless effort.” Not a game of brute force, but controlled force through a “swinging effort.” The swinging effort is controlled and felt, starting from a putter rolling the ball on the green towards the target. As we create success patterns from this club, we then progress on to the more-lofted clubs to send the ball into the air. The player then experiences the difference in length and loft of the golf clubs. The body parts now become more active to produce the bigger arc and accelerated motion of the golf clubs.
During the process, the player experiences and learns the proper holding of the club, the proper position of the clubface at address, proper ball position, and the path the club will travel as it swings around the players’ body.
Three very important happenings now begin to be apparent. There is a swinging force, a turning force, and a shifting force. They must blend and work as a team through tempo and rhythm to produce an effective, controlled, and balanced golf swing. Once this is accomplished, the player begins to see controlled ball flight, with greater distance and accuracy.
A word of advice to the learner: the swing, turn, and shift are not forced in the process – they must be felt through proper instruction by the teacher. Remember – “Feel the force,” do not “Force the feel.” This is the only way you can control and time the blow of the clubhead.