“I will warm up/practice/play with a purpose” aka “I will NEVER just beat balls”
In case you missed it, Hank Haney is doing a reality show with Charles Barkley on the Golf Channel. Here is a picture of Charles during one of his sessions, where he hits 800 (or more) golf balls in one day. http://twitpic.com/y5up
Charles definitely needs all the help he can get, however, we need to be smart in how we go about training our golfers. I’m not picking on Hank Haney, because this probably makes for great TV. I am picking on “beating balls”. As I grow older, I’ve realized that golf instruction must include a thought as to how the body will be affected. 800 balls in one day will lead to injury, especially for a non-golf pro like Charles, who I’m guessing is in his 40’s. As a matter of fact, I’ve got a Hippocratic oath for golf: “Don’t make the golfer worse AND don’t injure the golfer!” Actually, I try to spin in a positive way, “let’s get dramatic improvement & let’s feel good while we’re doing it”. Either way, both of these criteria must be met or I think the “practice” is failing.
As this blog unfolds in 09, I’m also going to be giving you book reports. I’m going to be reading golf books and sharing with you my thoughts on that book. My guess is that Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott (see www.vision54.com) would not be big fans of hitting 800 balls. Their book, “Every shot must have a purpose” is excellent and I’ll be exploring it in blogs to come.
I’m just going to throw this out there, but my bet is that you wouldn’t be able to give full focus (like is required during a shot during a round) to each ball. Maybe the first 50, maybe. The book report is coming soon, in the meantime, I strongly recommend reading this book as soon as you can!
Now, you might be saying, “Charles swing is a bit like a solar eclipse, you can’t watch it with your naked eye or it could blind you, and he needs 800 swings to change it.” My response would be, “who has time to hit 800 balls? especially when you can do Tour Tempo/the Speedball for no more than 1 hour and for most people 30 minutes per day, and did I mention the Speedball is much safer than hitting real balls?” Why hit 800 balls when you can do it with 30-60 minutes of intense training? Why run a marathon, when 10 sprints will do the trick?
As always, the proof will be in the pudding. I’m sure Charles will improve…..but…did he really need that 800 balls? Ask yourself the same question when you practice. Make 09 the year you practice smart and get the results you want.