Karl Morris joined Mark Immelman on the On The Mark podcast to talk about the art of playing golf and elaborates on various thoughts in the book.
Karl Morris is joined by Gary Nicol and Markus Westerberg for a ‘fireside chat” about the Lost Art of Golf book and the key concepts surrounding the book.
Karl Morris was joined by former European Tour star and Sky Sports presenter Nick Dougherty on The Brain Booster podcast to discuss a variety of topics including how golf can help balance your life, his broadcasting and playing experience plus more.
Understanding the science behind the art of preparing for golf can help you use your precious time more effectively
There can be no other sport where so much effort in practice goes so unrewarded in the game itself.
Many golfers spend their entire life working hard at their game with little to no actual progress.
This cannot be because we don’t have the ability to move our body in a certain way. It certainly isn’t the equipment, which is so very much superior these days. For us, it is to a large degree because golfers have no real idea of how to train effectively..
Instead of thinking you are going to go practising golf as you have always done, when you think in terms of training for the game you open up a whole new dimension. A surgeon will train to become a surgeon and then he or she will practise surgery. A lawyer will train to be a lawyer and then he or she will practise law.
We want you to shift your mindset completely so you train to play golf and then go and practise being a golfer on a golf course.
You become a golfer by creating golf shots in the only place that really matters – the golf course.
Go on YouTube and there will be hundreds if not thousands of experts telling you how you should move your body, what positions the club should be in, using all of the fancy terms for angles and planes, yet we promise you very little video space will be informing you of how to train in a way that will maximise your return on investment both in terms of time and money.
The research is very clear: if we want to take our golf game onto the course itself we need to understand how we learn, we need to understand how to transfer skills but above all we need to learn how to train effectively. The most exciting part of this adventure is just what could be possible for you in the future. We firmly believe that no matter what your age is you could, in the next 12 months, transform your game and release the golfer in you that has been hiding away all of this time.
When you fully grasp the concept of training for golf you will get the opportunity to write a completely different story. You will become the director of your future golfing performance.
Do you feel you have spent a good part of your golfing journey hitting the ball reasonably well on the range and yet the ability you show doesn’t ever seem to transfer to the golf course when it really matters? Join the club.
So many of us have lived through the endless frustration of not being able to take our range game with us to the course.
We have a golf lesson. We get told to do something in our swing.
We go to the range and start to work on this new move. After a while we maybe start to hit the ball better and we feel like we are getting somewhere. All we have to do is then take this particular swing thought to the course and we will be fine.
We get to the 1st tee and try to think about the same swing thought that worked so well on the range. Yet the swing doesn’t seem to feel the same and the ball certainly doesn’t behave in the same way.
We start dropping shots and we get frustrated. We try harder to make the swing thought work. We get worse. We go back to the range to work on our swing a little bit more. Sound familiar?
It is perhaps the universal complaint of golfers all over the world.
We can either keep doing the same thing and hope for a different result or we can step out of the loop of insanity and do something different.
The key concept to understand is that of transferability.
Does the work you do on the range, putting and chipping green actually stand a chance to transfer to the golf course?
Golf is an inherently unpredictable game – how do you cope with variables from an uneven stance to a bad bounce?
Imagine this for a scenario. The temperature is warm every day. The wind never blows. The only thing visible in the blue sky above is bright, golden sunshine. Every blade of emerald-green grass on every golf course is perfectly manicured. Every lie you find in the fairway is perfectly flat. Every time your ball finishes in a bunker, it sits up perfectly. Every lie you find in the rough is exactly the same, perfect. You always have a perfect yardage from the middle of every fairway to a hole cut in the middle of the green. Every green is the same pace and all your putts are flat and straight. Positively utopian.
Sounds pretty awesome but at the same time ridiculous, right?
If this were the case, it would make total sense for you to go to work on your golf swing, hitting 20 balls on the range with each club in a bid to perfect your backswing and numerous other positions to allow you to hit the ball dead straight, exactly the same distance and direction time after time.
You could then head to the short game area to practise the same pitch shot from the same distance and the same perfect lie with the same club for half and hour before repeating the same process for chip shots.
Once you have mastered them, you could place a few balls in perfect lies in the practice bunker and repeat, repeat, repeat.
Bunker play perfected, now it would be time to head to the putting green to work on your perfectly flat, perfectly straight putts from your favourite distance of two feet.
If you believe this is the way forward, the way to become more consistent, please think again.
In all probability, you are practising shots that you will rarely face on the golf course. You may feel you have put in some time and effort and to the casual observer, you probably look like you are working really hard and deserve to reap some rewards for your efforts.
The fact of the matter is, in reality, your practice session bears virtually no resemblance to what you will encounter on any given day on any given golf course.
Yes the temperature may be to your liking certain beautiful days but everything else – including wind, uneven lies, sloping greens, breaking putts and awkward distances – will almost always be a factor. So what do you do then? Do you react or respond? How do you deal with them? Do you in fact deal with them or do you bemoan your bad luck and ill-fortune that the ball is sitting down in the rough?
You can’t believe how unfair it is that you can only get one foot in the bunker and your first putt of the day looks faster than Usain Bolt! Do you complain or do you adjust and or adapt?
Take a minute or two to think about this. Are you practising for utopia or are you training for the reality and inevitability of the diverse conditions you will face and the shots you will have to create when you play golf?
Golf is the ultimate game of adjustment and adaptability. The golf course and Mother Nature demand that we have to adjust and adapt constantly, yet the majority of golfers fail to prepare or train for this inevitability.
In order to improve, you must be prepared to adjust and adapt.
Think about the last three rounds of golf you played and the shots you had to create. What percentage of those shots have you previously practised? How many of those shots required a skill you have neither trained or even thought about working on? Probably quite a few.
Would you approach any other game, pursuit or business situation in the same manner? Unlikely.
So why is it that we practise one thing then act all surprised when we have to adjust and adapt on the golf course?