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 The End of my 3-years' Experiment View next topic
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dariusz
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PostPosted: Sun 13:08, 30 Dec 2012 Back to top

As some of you may know, I decided to test my theories on automating the motion in 2009, when the majority of my concepts had already been formulated. Since I usually had no much time for training even these days it was no shock for me to declare to stop spending range hours aimed at improving my game. Only short warming up with a few balls, few chips and putts and go playing, in the majority in tournaments. As promised, this is a brief history of what happened.

When I started the experiment (the year 2010) my HCP was the lowest ever and amounted to 6.7 EGA index (for you Americans, something around index 3 USGA). The goal was to remain the index and to play between 75 and 85 from men's tees in order to fulfill Hogan's dream for weekend hackers. The frequency of my play was once a week or two weeks with some periods of more intense play on occasion of three- or four-day tournament. Courses I played was 100% Polish ones, some easier some very tough, usually tougher than you can meet in more golf-civilized countries because of conditions (usually high rough, sometimes not great greens and fairways). The majority of my rounds were played from men's tee except National Polish Championships that were played from back tees.

Through the first year, I succeed to maintain my HCP practically, it went to 6.9 index. Unfortunately, there were a few rounds over 85, with one or two in low 90-ies. Although I had few 70-ies I was not able to go below 75. I won an important local two-day event that year.
Through the next year (2011) I played similarily, although my scoring was even less regular. I played only once in the 70-ies while bad scores 85+ happened more often. My HCP index went to 7.6 at the end of the season. I was the runner-up in the most important tournament for our region.
Last year of the experiment (2012) was the strangest of all three. Although I played well almost entire season with only one really bad round (90 strokes) the vast majority of my scores oscillated between 82 and 86. In the most important tournament of the region I was 3rd, I was the runner-up in the other important tournament and, finally, became the club champion for the 1st time in my short golfing "career". My HCP went up to 8.7 index and was lowered to 7.5 at the end of the season due to club commitee's decision.

As I can see, although the goals of my experiment were bold I was not able to fulfill them. I must be hard on myself and not blame my short game and putting despite it is always my tee-to-green game which is the most decent. OTOH, what I managed prove is that a weekend hacker as myself can still maintain a sigle digit index without training and still play a decent golf without being a burden in the flight for a good players. One of the nicest moment I had was a compliment from a player that I make surprisingly small number of errors.
However, I failed in proving the most important goal, i.e. in automating the motion the way Hogan dreamed. The conclusion is simple -- it is not possible to improve (or even maintain) the level of play without training.


I would like to wish to everyone in our small forum a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year 2013 with lots of golfing successes. I also want, as usually, both to apologize to these that I mistreated as well as forgive these who mistreated me somehow during the ending year.

Cheers


Last edited by dariusz on Sun 13:11, 30 Dec 2012; edited 2 times in total
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BenneHone
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PostPosted: Thu 9:35, 11 Apr 2013 Back to top

Where do you think the inconsistencyor regression came from, Dariusz ? What could be the need for training when the goal is not to improve but to maintain current form? New neuronal connections need not be established, there will hardly be any myelin sheath decay in a 3 year period. Pre-synaptic neuron response to seratonin should have remained similar. And on a personal note, will you be at Binowo Park next month for the Sczesczin Open?
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dariusz
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PostPosted: Thu 21:18, 11 Apr 2013 Back to top

First of all, welcome to our community.

It is not so easy to answer your question, at least, it is not easy for me. I am not a specialist in neurology since my researches referred to the hard structure of human organism only. I was looking for the best way to automate the motion through hard structure settings at setup.
Not touching neuron level, neither even soft structure level (muscles and ligaments) the most importan phenomenon to be blamed can be human joints' inability to response correctly and repeatably to the whole hard structure settings. Neglecting -- on purpose -- soft structure could appear to be a mistake here, however, on the other side, I cannot imagine a mechanical way to control it.
Last but not least, it is also very probable that my concepts as e.g. bio-k grip, diagonal stance, certain joints' presets, etc. are not ideal and I was too dumb not to be able to find better ones that would have let me to maintain my initial level and not just single digit level.

Anyhow, I do not think I wasted my time. I helped many people (me included) and proved that, even I cannot find a way to a complete automatism, I found the way to a partial one for sure.


As regards Szczecin Open 2013, I most probably will not be able to drop even to see the event (and this year there should be a good pack of pros there) since I am engaged in home with lots of things plus I need to drive with my son to the National Team meeting and drive back to home exactly in this terms.
And are you going to play in the event ? Are you a pro ?

Cheers
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BenneHone
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PostPosted: Thu 22:51, 11 Apr 2013 Back to top

Thank you for the reply. Been a pro since 1989 and still not sure if I will play at Binowo but I coach a few playing pros who are thinking of going there the day after the Prague Open finishes.

I can imagine the mechanical movements taking up most of your research. Only so much time and energy, specially when exploring a subject as deep and intense as youseem to have.

I personally often compare Golf to Formula 1.......the swing being the car, the brain being the driver/pilot and the course being our racetrack. Different teams have different car set ups......high downforce or high top speed, dependable or only good every other race. In Golf, it happens quite often the lesser car wins just because of the drivers ability to know the strong and weak points of both himself and his machine. What good is a car that no person can drive? Should the car be built....from the core out......and what is the core, the engine or the person telling the engine what to do?

I certainly won't dare suggest you wasted your time, far from it. But since your goal seemed
To be an overall scoring or at least play oriented one, i.e. maintain your handicap and shooting between 75 and 85, I just presumed , incorrectly that you would have included the racecar driver as well as the car, that s all.

The myelin sheathing increases the speed with which the neurons can interact. It is a fatty tissue that wraps around the axons, or neuronpathways. Imagine a forest full of trees.........to make a certain movement, 2 trees in different parts of the forest need to communicate..........if a person walks between the 2 trees a few times, a path begins to develop....and every time it will be easier and faster to walk between the trees. Over simplified but you get the idea. It takes quite sometime to develop a complete network, Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book outliers where he mentioned 10.000 hours in order to become an expert. People now tend to use his number as a guide to how long you need to work. In Golf it means things like...........when you walk into a bunker, the sound the interaction between shoe and sand makes, needs to somehow become connected with the part of the brain that is responsible for the amount of force needed to swing the stick. The color of the grass the putting stroke, your inner ear notices a slope, your stance needs to be adjusted, just thousands and thousands of these things need to be developed in order to play well.
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dariusz
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PostPosted: Thu 23:09, 11 Apr 2013 Back to top

It is always a honour to host a real pro here, especially a coach for playing pros. Kudos.

Binowo is not a top of toppest quality course, rather easy but sometimes tricky. Greens are the weakest part and the most tricky part there.

I like your race car analogy. Of course, I blame the driver. Perhaps I should explain it wider, but automatism I was looking for was a subconscious-friendly one, i.e. you leave all conscious thoughts at setup and the last one is the trigger compression phase (forward press) while the whole motion from this point is thoughtless. Not even one thought a'la Nicklaus. A cascade of unintentional events. Like you drive a car it is not your conscious brain do it, but your subconscious one while you are thinking about a round of golf or cute girls.
This may be also an issue since maybe, just maybe, our brain needs a goal to patronize a given motion (can be golf swing). I mean, perhaps a single thought of the day e.g. keep your buttocks pressed is better than none ? I will have some occassions to check it this season anyhow.

I know more or less this myelin theory. Correct me if I am wrong but as far as I remember it was brought up by Foley recently. It is strictly correlates with repetitions, which was the antithesis of my work during these 3 years. No drills, no reptitions, only a setup-dependent swing.

Cheers
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BenneHone
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PostPosted: Fri 7:17, 12 Apr 2013 Back to top

The mere fact of being a pro should not warrant any compliments. The availability of information affords everyone the chance to study the game on a deeper level then most if not all PGA's can hope to offer. Remember Saint Exupery in le Petite Prince! The fact that most of the people I work with play golf for a living is caused by several factors of which knowledge is relatively unimportant. Being fortunate enough to have an extremely talented young player at your club early on in your career , good marketing and sales skills, looking and acting the part, having impressive playing record, being the correct nationality and most importantly telling people what they think they want to hear are far more important in acquiring a reputation and a stable of top players then the actual quality of the information that is passed from coach to player.

All I can remember from Binowo is that the front nine were relatively easy with a few tough holes on the back a par 5 that dog legs sharply to the right, a tough 17th par 3 and a tough 18th. I can't vouch for Sean Foley but the process is only one small part of how the brain enables people to learn new motor skills and implement them in the real world.

As far as consciousness is concerned do you refer to the voice inside your head? This voice finds its origins in the part of the brain that is called the interpreter located in the left hemisphere behind the motor strip just above Wernike's area. Although intuitively people think this voice initiates all thought and movement it actually is quite the opposite it is the last part of an intricate chain of events and unfortunately has very little to do with reality or the motor functions of our body. Michael Gazzaniga and David Eagleman have done fantastic research on this. They compare it to the headlines of the newspaper it only shows what the editor deamed important to tell you about and is no guarantee for what actually has happened. It is always after the fact and the actions the body makes happened long before the interpreter tells the player becomes aware of them.

You refer to Jack Nicklaus as having only one I swing thought. It might sound contradictory but Nicklaus having one swing thought actually allowed his subconscious to work better then if he had no conscious swing thoughts at all. Zen Buddhists say thinking is a disease and the only way to get cured is by replacing it with another disease . They focus on one particular sound or thought and repeat this over and over and over again until they lose all thoughts. If you do not have one specific thought it leaves the interpreter part of your brain susceptible to unwanted or negative thoughts. Basically if you don't think of anything specific your brain will do it for you, which as we know, on the golf course usually spells trouble. Which opens the whole can of philosophical debate, who is you who and how much of you is you? Although they do not need to be specific swing related,golf related or have anything to do with motor skills. The mere fact that the interpreter says rotate, arm or extend has no effect on the actual action. Thoughts always appear after the fact, the sequence is always emotions actions thoughts. People subconsciously want a particular car because it makes them happy then they make the subconscious decision to buy the car, this is the action and then they start giving themselves justifications, reasons why this was a particularly good buy , they will note fuel efficiency assumed dependability necessity as reasons for buying the car but again this is only the editor his version of the story.

Anyway, way too much rambling and look forward to your future posts, greetings from Holland
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dariusz
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PostPosted: Fri 13:31, 12 Apr 2013 Back to top

Your memory is good, mate. First nine in Binowo is easy with only two tough long holes going uphill and usually against wind (one par5 and one par4). The par5 dogleg to the right on the back nine is easy, however, both two last holes are very tough, par3 over water as well as finishing par 4.

No, I do not associate subconscious with a voice in my head. Subconscious has no voice, it acts without your knowledge at the backstage. You're so much accustomed to it that you merely feel its exists. It does the majority of any job for you, it complements and often amends conscious actions.
That's why one of basic assumptions when building a setup-dependent swing concept was to build a 100% subconscious-friendly motion.

Asa regards the one swing thought and your great sentence: "It might sound contradictory but Nicklaus having one swing thought actually allowed his subconscious to work better then if he had no conscious swing thoughts at all." -- that's why I said in my previous post that I am not so sure if getting rid of every possible swing thought was not an error. I tend to agree to you today and the only thing I need is verification as soon as the season starts (hopefully very soon as there is almost no snow already).

DI like discussing things with wise people.

Cheers
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