GOLF/MYSTERY DETECTIVE SHOWS
By Tom Abts
My wife and I love watching mystery/detective shows. The BBC seems to have the best ones… though we did enjoy the Canadian show “Murdock Mysteries.”
The golf swing could make a great mystery/detective show. Every episode could feature a famous golf instructor, or an unknown mad scientist. And, have actors portray great golf instructors of the past. If so, my favorite episode would probably feature Ernest Jones.
Jones was born in 1887 in Manchester, England. He was a Head Golf Pro by age 25 and a very good player – winning the Kent Open and doing well in the British Open. However, in 1915 he volunteered for duty in the First World War and lost his right leg to a grenade. Amazingly, four months after losing his leg, he played golf and shot 83. Unbelievably, a week later he shot 70. On a regulation golf course… with hickory shafts. You must admit this would make a great show. And… the mystery of how could a one-legged man play such good golf?
Well, Jones was a great detective – he believed that he solved the mystery of the golf swing. He was convinced that the secret was about using centrifugal force instead of leverage.
In his own words, “There are, to be sure, more ways than one to strike a golf ball. You can strike it by swinging the club or employing leverage. You can strike it harder with a swinging action than you can in other ways with the power at your command, and still retain reasonable control over your effort. The principal of centrifugal application of force guarantees this. But it is not likely that you will come to a realization of this of your own accord. To do so is not consistent with past experiences. Your natural instinct is to try to turn the power on all at once.”
Are “detectives” such as Bryson DeChambeau discovering more powerful ways to strike the golf ball? Maybe. But little guys like Rory McIlroy and Louis Oostehuizen seem to hit it about as far as DeChambeau… while using a “golf swing”.
What I’m trying to “solve” is what is the best method for the recreational player? I see very few people “swinging” the golf club. I usually see a lot of body action and leverage – mostly upper body. Instead of swinging the club back, I see a lot of lifting the club, then a powerful use of the shoulders to crash the club down at the ball. Would better lower-body action help and/or save this over-use of the shoulders? Sort of. But what is really needed is a “swinging” of the club on the backswing, and then an un-shouldered swinging of the club down and through the ball. A nice, rhythmic, swinging of the arms and letting the body respond naturally.
Please take a look at Ernest Jones writings and videos while you’re playing detective. And, if you’re looking for a great mystery/detective series… I highly recommend “Inspector George Gently.” We think it’s the best of the bunch.