The earliest pharmacological knowledge has been dated back to the Egyptians in 1550 BC. Today, pharmacies regulate safe and effective use of prescription drugs. The practice of having a doctor prescribe a drug for their patients ensures that the correct drug and dosage is taken. The government prevents the average person from buying a drug that is not prescribed. This however is not the case with golf instruction. Average golfers are self-medicating with the wrong diagnosis and prescription for their golf swing. I find many of my students self-medicating directly in front of me while I am trying to teach them. They are telling me what they are doing wrong when in fact they are randomly guessing. Occasionally one of their uneducated guesses will be correct.
The average golfer bases his or her next swing off of the result of their most recent shot. If they hit a shot to the right, with their next swing they are aiming left and end up missing to the opposite side. This causes complete chaos in the brain and random thoughts flood the frontal lobes. Golf is not a game of compensation, but a game of creating consistent good habits. If you hit an errant shot you must hit the reset button in your brain. Do not self-medicate and try to make a compensation to correctly hit your next shot. In order to create a good habit one needs to continue to focus on the correct fundamentals and listen to a diagnosis from a licensed PGA golf professional. They will help you understand what flaws you have in your golf swing and how to correct them. Golf is a game of survival and the human brain is always evaluating the last shot that was hit and whether or not there is approval. Try to hit the reset button and focus on what will help you become better and not what you thought was the problem on the previous swing.
The most common excuse I hear for a bad swing is, “I picked up my head.” This fault is used all the time for every ball that is topped. In reality the head is not usually the culprit. When students try to fix this problem they end up burying their head into their chest on the downswing, preventing the body from rotating naturally into the finish. This in turn will cause the length (or straightness) in the arms to shorten and a topped shot will be the end result. This is the perfect example of self-malpractice.
There are no laws prohibiting the average golfer from diagnosing their own swing, or presenting oneself with a prescription. If you would like to improve your game you must see a PGA golf professional and get the correct diagnosis and prescription. Once you understand your flaws, create a mental pharmacy and regulate what information is being implemented.
Darren deMaille is the Head Golf Professional at The Bridge in Bridgehampton. Prior to The Bridge, Darren worked at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida and The Country Club of Fairfield in Fairfield, Connecticut.Darren has had many top 100 instructors influence his philosophy but most of his principles are based on Jack Nicklaus’ way to play golf.