Technology – Golf’s New Training Aids
By R.J. Smiley
The Psychic is a man! The Psychic is a golfer! The Psychic’s golf game suffers as father time marches on.
All golfers have made this statement after a bad round, “I think I will just throw my golf clubs in the trash and quit! But… what will I do then.”
After his regular Sunday morning round the Psychic had that feeling. Again! “I can’t stand it! My handicap has gone from 7.7 to 10.8 this season and if I don’t stop playing right now it will be at 13 before the snow flies,” he thought. “Golf is just too hard. Every time I play this stupid game I get shorter off the tee and my ball striking gets worse. That new $500 driver was a waste of money and in the last two years I have bought 5 new putters and none of them work. This game is driving me CRAZY!”
Suddenly an attitude change. A small grin comes across the Psychics farmers-tan face. The grin becomes a full-blown smile, “THIS IS THE REASON WE ALL LOVE THIS DAMN GAME SO MUCH!!!”
The Psychic clicks the Pause button as the 72” screen freezes with Rocco standing on the 18th tee with a one shot lead. The Psychic tips his favorite cocktail glass up and lets the final drops of an Arnold Palmer, with just a hint of Tito’s Vodka, run down his throat. He is headed to his study to discover how golfers will improve in the future.
The Psychic runs the fingers of his left hand through thinning hair as he places the threadbare turban onto his head. The Psychic removes the chamois cover to allow the crystal ball to answer his, improve your golf, questions.
The Psychic is surprised when the now glowing orb overwhelmed him with a series of work out pictures and exercises videos running at warp speed: stretching, yoga, bike riding, weight lifting, step classes, and personal trainers. The Psychic grabs his spare tire and shakes his head. “Maybe I don’t really want to be good.”
Next the crystal ball is filled with mass marketed training aids; each designed to cure one specific flaw in a golf swing or to give the golfer a sense of feel. As the Orange Whip flashes into view the Psychic remembers that one of his foursome buddies once purchased the swing trainer. His game improved and his distance increased. Where is the Orange Whip now? Golfers sooner or later tire of repetitive practice and gradually fall back into old habits.
Suddenly the crystal ball is filled with the words Cray Computers. Like the rapid rolling pages of a Rolodex the crystal ball shows the endless variety of technology based golf gadgets and spin rate indicators and shot trackers. The Rolodex begins to slow and finally stops. The brilliance that comes from the interior of the sphere is blinding and then it appears. Just another golf club.
What does this mean the Psychic questions? How is this club different than his new X-31 or is it an X-32 driver? How can this club make a difference?
In slow motion with no sound the Psychic sees a golf professional with a student. They are working on a swing change. On his iPad, the pro is making entries. Then the student starts another swing. Only a few inches into his back swing the golf club vibrates; the students stops his swing and shakes his head in disgust. Again the pro makes adjustments to his iPad. The student repeats the swing. This time no vibration in the golf club. The golf ball is launched at the optimum angle and the student finishes his swing in perfect balance.
Suddenly the Psychic hears the golf professional tell the student, “Jimmy, that was perfect, we have the exact algorithms for your golf swing. Golf is all about muscle memory. First you have to have muscle, second you must train those muscles to disregard all you have taught those muscles in the past through practicing and playing with a bad swing. Now, before we meet next week I want you to take this SmartGolf Club to the range and hit at least two buckets of balls. But swing it at least 50 times per day.”
Jimmy looked down and said, “That is a lot of time and golf balls!” The pro answered, “It is less expensive and less time consuming than spending two hours with me. Each time you swing the golf club incorrectly it will vibrate. That is the signal that you must stop mid-swing and start over. Never complete an incorrect golf swing. When you swing properly, there will be no vibration from within the club and the shot will be perfection. These repetitive good swings will train your muscles and your mind.”
The Psychic sat stunned. “Where is that SmartGolf Club?” he questioned out loud. “Somewhere in the future,” came the answer, as the crystal ball went dark.
The Psychic returned to the big screen and watched Rocco sink a birdie putt to win by two. “SmartGolf Club?” he pondered.