Muscle Memory and Golf
Today as I reached the 9th hole of my local golf course (Penmar by the
Sea), my buddy Dave, after hitting a tremendous drive (for us a
tremendous drive is 240 yards), turned to me and said, “Match that!”
Usually when that happens, I find myself tensing up and not hitting a
good shot. I had not hit an exceptional drive up until that point. As I
stepped to the tee, I then tuned into a visual memory and a physical
memory, otherwise known as Muscle or Motor Memory. I “flipped” through
my golf pages to a month earlier when I watched a great piece on the
golf channel- with Lee Trevino and George Lopez. Trevino was working
with George on rounding his turn and flattening his shoulder. This was a
great picture for me and I’ve used it ever since.
As I stepped to the tee I took a few practice swings with that visual
concept and without thinking, and knocked my drive 10 yards past Dave.
All the research out there says that repetition is vital to sports and
especially golf. I am sure that if most golfers had 8 hours a day to
practice their swings, even swings that were awkward, ugly and not
exactly on plane, that they would score better. Basketball player Larry
Bird’s shooting form was unorthodox, but he could knock them down. He
also took 1000 shots a day. Given that most of us don’t have the time,
patience, ability, or discipline to practice that many hours, here are a
few ways to do accomplish a repetitive golf swing.
Things to do to assist your Muscle or Motor Memory skills.
Step 1: Watch your favorite golfer, Tivo him or her and see what you can
Step 2: Find your rhythm on the course. Many of us jump at the ball.
Step3: Practice your golf movements at home without your club. Try and
get your body to remember the movement you want on the course.
Step 4: Enjoy the day and don’t take yourself too seriously. In fact,
this may be the #1 place to start.
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