Golf is not immune to the world of information overload. We have a 24-hour a day Golf Channel, millions of U-tube videos, and a bombardment of conflicting swing philosophies. How do we know what we know? How do we know it’s correct?
An often debated topic, our wise teachers tell us for the sake of practice and improvement, to CROSS-REFERENCE the information with these three principles to recognize “correct knowledge” (Sanskrit: pramana) :
- Trusted source (āgamāh): For example, our teachers, coaches, accurate technology such as Trackman, Flightscope, a launch monitor, along with other science, data, and physics.
- Inference, logic, and/or deductive reasoning (anumāna): Ball flight laws, watching other peoples’ putts, how the ball reacts on the greens are a few samples of inference.
- DIRECT EXPERIENCE (pratyaksha): When we take the teachings directly into our own golf game and life, this is the ultimate test of how we know what we know. We move from an intellectual exercise into an intuitive and instinctive command of the information. For example, during a swing change, it’s not simply limited by the conceptual understanding of the swing, but a deeply applied new motion that becomes automatic.
Whether it’s a swing change or a course strategy, experiential knowledge is the key to better golf. It’s time to turn off the Golf Channel, stop watching Michleson’s risky U-tube flop-shot, and start practicing your correct golf development.
Dodie Mazzuca is the author of “Golf Sutras: Lessons for Transforming the Mental Game with Yoga’s Inner Wisdom” and founder of Golf PROformance. She teaches golf lessons, golf yoga workshops, and Mindfulness for Golf programs in Santa Cruz, CA.