The QATSPY Sports Page 4 Golfers
By: Charles W. Boatright
Author of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, Delta Technique Geared for Distance and Control
The Simple Five Steps of The ASPEN Golf Swing Coaching Pyramid
The ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique consists of five simple golf coaching tactics to develop the golfer’s own golf swing sequence and mechanics. The first tactic of The ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique is Apperception that accelerates the golfer’s learning and retention process from years to only months. The four other coaching tactics of The ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique are Sequence, Prep & Performance, ExtraSensory Performance, and Neuromuscular memory. These tactics in the following sections provide the golfer with basic skills to develop confidence, consistency, and distance in their golf game.
The reason The ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique is being presented to the golfer in these five simple steps is because of the increased mental and physical performance of these five steps. The golfer’s mental performance accounts for 90 percent of their golf game, but it also accounts for the most complex part of the golfer’s game to figure out. Yogi Berra referring to baseball that applies to golf just as well stated- Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.
One method of simplifying a complex component is to break it down into an easy- to-understand process. The golfer’s mental performance can be broken down into three processes that allow the golfer to learn, retain, and perform on a more consistent basis. The golfer’s mental game consists of their conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind, or what I refer to as the permanent mind.
Below is a brief description of each area of the mind and what percentage of control each area has in the golfer’s mental game of golf. Remember the quote by Bobby Jones, Sr. about golf- Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course – the distance between your ears:
- Conscious mind– accounts for 10% of the golfer’s ability to learn and perform their golf swing sequence. The conscious mind responsible for the golfer’s logical process for learning, persistence, motivation, golf elements and sequence, and their golf swing techniques. The conscious mind can either think or focus on the golf course. There are significant advantages for the golfer to use techniques that will allow them to focus, instead of think.
- Subconscious mind– accounts for 60% of the golfer’s ability to perform on the golf course. The subconscious mind can temporarily retain the golfer’s muscle memory and motor skills needed in their golf swing sequence. The key word here is temporary. The subconscious mind is like a cup of hot coffee or hot cocoa; you have to warm the coffee or cocoa up periodically; if not, the coffee or cocoa will get cold. This is why golfers experience and develop rust during layoffs.
- Permanent (Unconscious) mind– accounts for 30% of the golfer’s ability. The permanent mind permanently retains everything the golfer has ever learned, experienced, and performed, not just in golf, but in their life, as it’s like the RAM on your computer. It functions like a personal encyclopedia or storage boxes, capturing the golfer’s life as it happens. If you performed that perfect golf shot, it’s there in your permanent mind. You can either try to remember the techniques, which is difficult, or try to understand the process to establish the techniques in making that perfect golf shot. This is like the old adage that states- It’s not WHAT you learn that is important, but HOW you learn that is important to retain and be able to apply.
That perfect golf shot that the golfer made, while remembering is difficult, can be used for motivation, which is a conscious function. The ASPEN Golf Swing Coaching Pyramid provides methods to retrieve these great golf shots and help the golfer to apply these great golf shots on a regular basis, instead of just one for the record books. It is great to have that one great golf shot, but wouldn’t be nice to replicate that same ideal golf shot over and over again?
The Five ASPEN Self-Coaching Pyramid Steps:
Apperception is the first step of the ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique. Apperception takes advantage of a golfer’s existing muscle memory and motor skills in one sport to help establish the golfer’s golf swing mechanics and techniques. One example of Apperception is to take an existing muscle memory and motor skill that is used in the sport of baseball, tennis, or even from the sport of boxing to help develop the golfer’s golf swing mechanics.
During my research for a Kinesiology class that I took, I picked the ergonomics used for the golf swing sequence. Part of the research that I conducted included comparing side-by-side the golf swing sequence to that of the baseball swing sequence and trying to find similarities. From time-lapse photos of both swings, I found more similarities than I did differences. One of the time-lapse photos comparing the golf swing vs. baseball swing is shown below. I even circled the similar lower forearm and wrist action in both swings, which is key. A significant part of my book focuses on the Sync and Preset Maneuver.
I’m a huge proponent of using boxing gloves to coach golf. Essentially, the golfer is just trading in their golf glove for a different type of golf. Boxing gloves are a great coaching technique to teach the Sync and Preset elements to the golfer. It is almost like the light bulb going off in the golfer’s mind.
Apperception offers a huge advantage to the golfer by providing them with confidence, mechanics, techniques, elements, and training for their golf swing sequence. These characteristics that the golfer currently has registered in their permanent mind can be used to support their subconscious and conscious functions in golf to execute that perfect golf shot. This is like having all of the golfer’s capabilities available to them during the coaching, learning, and especially the performance process in storage boxes, shown below.
The golfer can accelerate this learning/coaching process by improving their retention rate, up to 90 percent, with Apperception and self-coaching. Apperception and self-coaching is one of the factors that is common in all accelerated learning processes. Apperception maximizes the golfer’s ability to move up the ASPEN Golf Swing Coaching Pyramid. Offering the golfer step-by-step learning/coaching processes accelerates their learning process, from years down to months. This is the reason on-line courses are set up according to this step-by-step format.
The next four sections in this article on The ASPEN Golf Swing Coaching Pyramid describe the function of the three areas of the brain. These three areas can be utilized to learn and retain information faster and more effectively. For example, repetition is the function of the conscious mind, because the conscious mind learns at a slower pace compared to that of the subconscious or permanent mind, which is instantaneous.
A SIDE NOTE: This is the main reason people, especially Veterans, can suffer from PTSD and not be conscious of that fact. The subconscious and the permanent mind can retain instantaneously the event or circumstance, while the conscious mind doesn’t, as it is a protection mechanism. This is why athletics, like golf, is very important for people dealing with PTSD to engage in. Sports allows the conscious mind to start to deal with the dynamic issue.
2nd Step- SEQUENCE
The Sequence step is an incremental learning process. Boot camp in the military is structured in a sequential process, of a 1-2-3 sequence. The golfer in the ESPY Golf Swing technique is presented with three simple, incremental elements (Sync, Preset, and Yaw). These elements are presented with the corresponding key muscle and technique needed to perform each element. For the right-handed golfer, the ESPY Golf Swing sequence consists of:
- The Sync technique is the first element in the ESPY Golf Swing sequence. The corresponding muscle is the right Pronator Quadratus Muscle and how it is Cammed.
- The Preset technique is the second element in the ESPY Golf Swing sequence. The corresponding muscle is the left Hypothenar muscle and how it is Cammed-Over. This is where the boxing gloves offer the golfer great visualizations, see the diagram below.
- The Yaw technique is the third and final element in the ESPY Golf Swing sequence in the takeaway swing. The corresponding muscle is the right Brachio-Radialis muscle and how it is used to flex, or bend the right forearm at the elbow to take the handle of the club to the top of the golf swing. This is the golfer’s compound cantilever action. Critical to the golfer’s game.
- The Drop element, a part of the downswing, is the only element left after the SPY elements have been established. The golfer just drops the handle of the golf club along with the forearms, down along the slot.
The golfer can perform these techniques, one sequence at a time, at a slow pace at first, until these elements can become instinctive. The reason the Sync and Preset can be performed one step at a time is that these elements are performed with the right lower forearm and the left wrist, respectively. This preset of the forearm and wrist should place the forearms and wrists into the Lock Position, shown below.
A similar Sync and Preset maneuver was explained perfectly during an interview on Golf Channel. Charlie Rymer interviewed David Duval about his preset technique. David Duval’s golf swing reflected similar elements, as shown above and in the ESPY Golf Swing sequence.
Charlie Rymer was so impressed with David Duval’s golf swing technique and results that Charlie Rymer described David Duval’s preset technique as That Wrist Thing. I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in improving their golf swing technique for consistency, distance, and control to watch this interview next time when it is aired, or watch it on You-Tube.
Golf instructors and coaches use the term muscle memory casually to describe how the golfer should perform their golf swing sequence, instead of using swing thoughts. And I totally agree with this approach. But to develop one’s muscle memory, wouldn’t it be logical to identify the key muscle involved? I would say YES! Which is the main premise of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach.
Before you start getting bogged down with the series of muscle memories the golfer will need to execute in their golf swing sequence, take some comfort in one simple term. The term is Kinetic chain.
If the golfer can preset one key muscle for each element, then the subconscious mind will automatically take over and set up the series of muscles needed to support the maneuver. Trust me on this one, it will occur. To verify this, take, for example, the impact position, where the golfer doesn’t have to issue a command for the wrists and lower forearms to unlock, or un-cock, through impact. This will happen naturally as long as the sync and preset are done properly.
The key in the Sequence step is the checkpoints that I have listed in my book for each element in Section 4.4. I have developed key checkpoints for each Sync, Preset, Yaw element. The golfer can use these checkpoints to establish their muscle memory and develop the proper feel and visualization in their golf swing sequence. Checkpoints are a great coaching technique, such as the checkpoints used by Justin Rose or Chris Demarco.
PREP & PERFORMANCE
The next step in the ASPEN Golf Swing Coaching Pyramid is Prep and Performance. If you noticed, I didn’t use the term practice, because the golfer’s practice sessions don’t resemble conditions on the golf course. This is how the golfer develops their disconnect in their golf game. I refer to this disconnect as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Syndrome. The golfer can perform one way on the practice range; then walk 30 to 50 yards to the first tee box and totally perform differently. Does this sound familiar?
The golfer may vary well practice using their conscious mind on the range, but I can guarantee that the golfer will play using their subconscious mind.
The golfer may vary well practice using their conscious mind on the range, but I can guarantee that the golfer will play using their subconscious mind. The reason for this is that the golfer’s subconscious is where muscle memory and motor skills are temporarily stored, and this accounts for 90 percent of the golfer’s game.
If the subconscious mind doesn’t recognize the conditions on the golf course as to how the golfer’s practice sessions are set up, the subconscious mind will defer to what it does recognizes under those conditions.
So, the subconscious mind reverts back to the program that matches conditions on the golf course, not the new techniques that the golfer spent hours practicing on the range or in the backyard. According to the 10- Mental Rules of Golf, Rule No. 7 states- The subconscious mind always prevails in conflicts with the conscious mind.
In my book, I have a training drill in Section 7.0 that is called The 405- Training Drill. This drill allows the golfer to prep and train, similar to their performance and conditions that they will be playing under on the golf course. This is as if the golfer took a page out of the football coach’s play book, called scrimmage games. While it is not actual playing conditions, it does develop the adrenaline level the golfer will experience on the golf course. The subconscious mind can come closer to identifying with the prep and training work in the 405- Training Drill with playing conditions.
If you look at each step in The ASPEN Golf Swing Coaching Pyramid, the Prep & Performance section is the bridge between the golfer’s conscious mind, how the golfer preps, and the subconscious mind, and how the golfer will actually perform on the golf course.
One reason that repetition is important during the golfer’s prep work is that the subconscious mind only maintains current muscle memory and motor skills for short periods of time, like a few weeks. This is the reason the golfer feels rusty after a long layoff period. The S–P–Y Golf Swing sequence can also be performed even during your layoff period and at your work, as an ergonomic relief exercise called the overload underload golf training.
EXTRASENSORY PERFORMANCE and NEUROMUSCULAR MEMORY
ExtraSensory Performance and Neuromuscular is a subconscious function in the golfer’s game. ExtraSensory Performance is the fourth step in The ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique. The first three steps addressed the conscious mind, which is the first stage of the learning process, using Apperception, Sequence, and Prep & Performance. The last two steps focus on the subconscious mind’s function, and represents 90 percent of the golfer’s capability.
ExtraSensory Performance, or ESP, is a technique the golfer can develop which is similar to what can occur to a driver on a scenic or familiar highway. What occurs in ExtraSensory Performance is that the subconscious mind develops enough confident instinct, memorization, and routine that the subconscious mind confidently takes over the actual driving duties under certain conditions. These are the same conditions that are available to the golfer to help them develop a confident, instinctive, and routine golf swing.
While Driving Hypnosis is unsafe for driving a vehicle down the highway, it works great for driving a golf ball down the fairway.
This situation is known as Driving Hypnosis. The driver that drives under Driving Hypnosis doesn’t remember driving past certain landmarks or stretches of road for short period of time, usually between 3 to 5 minutes, but they are still able to negotiate traffic and the route of the highway. While this is unsafe for driving a vehicle down the highway, it works great for driving a golf ball down the fairway.
If the golfer could transfer ExtraSensory Performance, or Driving Hypnosis, from driving a vehicle to driving a golf ball down the fairway, they could create the zone-like performance. When athletes are interviewed after a tremendous performance or win, they describe this as not being conscious of their performance, like it was natural to them, as if someone else was performing.
The ESP provides the golfer with a significant advantage in that they are able to execute their golf shot without having to think about their golf swing mechanics or techniques. Here are the three conditions that must be present for Driving Hypnosis to occur:
- Normal and routine tasks and conditions must exist.
- Rely on a high degree of relaxation, confidence, and muscle memory.
- The conscious and subconscious minds are focused on two different situations.
These conditions are essential for the golfer to develop during their prep work and performance training. Here are some key words for the golfer to focus on during their prep work and performance training sessions:
- Routine- The golfer needs to develop a natural routine that doesn’t deviate between their prep work and performance on the golf course.
- Conditions- The conditions that the golfer preps and trains under must resemble those on the golf course, mainly to develop adrenaline. The 405- Training Drill develops a degree of adrenaline needed to train under.
- Relaxation and Confidence- Routine and conditions are engines for being relaxed and confident. If the golfer deviates from their routine and/or the conditions aren’t similar to their prep work, the subconscious mind will override the conscious mind’s sequence.
NOTE: Conditions aren’t just limited to weather, lies, your playing partner, or the type of golf shot required. Conditions also refer to the lapse of time between golf shots and distractions. A golfer on the course isn’t making 40 some odd shots (tee, layup, and approach) from the same spot in short order as on the practice range. If the batter wants to get in the head of the pitcher to interrupt the pitcher’s cadence, the batter would just step out of the batter’s box.
One routine the golfer needs to develop is the ability to focus. This is the third condition to develop, along with the ESP, on the golf course:
- Focus- The conscious mind can pursue two courses of action. One is for the conscious mind to think, Wrong thing to do! The second and preferred course of action is to focus. The golfer wants to focus on two main objectives; one is their routine and the second is the target area.
- Pre-Shot Routine- The first part of my pre-shot routine allows my conscious mind to focus, while I’m standing behind the ball, to acquire my target and picture the ball’s flight, like shown in the golf ball tracer below. The second part of my pre-shot routine is where I go through setting my key muscles (left Hypothenar, right Pronator Quadratus, and the right Brachio-Radialis) in a pre-shot routine.
The crucial part of my pre-shot routine is to close my eyes, after I have acquired my target and gone through my golf swing sequence routine. Then I step into my batter’s box, where I can just focus on the golf ball and home plate that I have flipped around, shown below. The point of home plate is pointing toward my target area. This places me into my zone for a short period of time, like Driving Hypnosis does to the driver.
Here’s a question for those of us who have played either baseball/softball. How many times do you remember stepping into the batter’s box and thinking about your swing mechanics or techniques? I would guess NEVER! In my case, it takes all of my focus just to pick up the movement of a 90-mph fast ball. Use the same approach in your golf game.
To learn how to develop your own ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique and a consistent golf swing sequence on and off the golf course, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach from the links below, or visit your local bookstore:
My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157
My book can also be purchased on-line at:
Health and Fitness Program Golf Exercise for Power
This book is based on a self-coaching forum (ASPEN Pyramid). The ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique provides the beginner and advanced single-digit handicap golfer with a safe, ergonomic classic golf swing mechanics. The ASPEN forum for coaching golf provides basic skills for more power and control in the golf swing sequence without debilitating injuries that are common with some modern-day golf swings. As part of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach forum is a workout program that includes golf exercises with medicine ball designed especially for golfers.
I have also included a FREE SR925 Diet program that anyone can access, where I lost over 40 pounds and 7.5-inches in my waist within nine-months. I went from 37.5 inches in November of 2014 down to 30.0 inches in July of 2015 with the effective SR925 Diet Program that I developed, see detailed below.
Please take advantage of my SR925 Diet Program, where I lost 6 inches in my waist in 3- months (FREE of CHARGE) with the CASPER Fitness Program, detailed in Section 20 of my book, great golf swing workout:
One component in my CASPER Fitness Program that I follow is using a Medicine Ball golf swing workout to perform what I call Stocking the Shelves, illustrated below in the figure:
A part of the CASPER Fitness Program are golf exercises with medicine ball – that includes Stocking the Selves and medicine ball exercises Burpees. For endurance and a full body workout, I also include a boxing glove-punching bag exercise.
Please include an exercise routine in your weekly schedule.
Additional Motivation to Develop a Fitness Program
If you need addition motivation, which the subconscious mind works from and consist of 90 percent of the classic golf swing, include a fitness and exercise program designed for the golfer daily schedule. This type of exercise provides the critical overload underload training to improve the golfer’s power and speed in the golfer’s game, please look at another golf fitness enthusiast: The Fit Golfer Girl
Operation DOG TAG
Sports, such as golf, along with fitness and an exercise regimen that includes yoga, has been proven to be a great Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for trauma victims. Veterans and those who have experienced a traumatic situation where the mind has been traumatized and disrupted can use golf and yoga to help re-establish connection and pathways in the brain. Golf also provides an excellent opportunity for trauma victims to reconnect in a social setting to develop a dialogue without the pressures of clinical visits.
Section 2- Operation DOG TAG | Objectives and Scope
Section 3- Operation DOG TAG| STRUCTURE GUIDELINES
ESPY Golf Swing Coach- Rhythm Without the Blues
ESPY Golf Swing Coach- ESPY Golf App Develops the golfer’s Rhythm w/o creating the golfer’s Blues. The ESPY Golf Swing helps the golfer establish the correct wrist action in golf swing demonstrated by David Duval in an interview with Charlie Rymer on Golf Channel.
Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop natural Rhythm without experiencing the Blues in your golf game to build confidence; learn how to take your baseball-style swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
THE LOCKER ROOM a source for golf tips
Please visit “The Locker Room” for an Index of all my golf articles to improve your golf game and life. Discover how you can take your baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
Learn How to take your baseball-style golf swing from the batter’s box to the tee box.
Time-lapse photography that I reviewed during my Kinesiology Xerox Box Golf Research Project compared the golf swing vs. baseball swing and how similar the Sync/Preset wrist action in the golf swing was to the baseball swing sequence.
For Comments or questions please contact me at 1-888-514-1228 Mon – Fri from 9 am to 4 pm CT Zone.
A Recommendation for your Golf Game:
I would like to recommend an interesting radio program that I regularly listen to originating from my home state Arkansas on my I-Heart Radio app on KARN 102.9 FM station, out of Little Rock. They air a golf show called Arkansas Fairways and Greens, at 7:00 AM CT each Saturday morning, hosted by Bob Steel, and co-hosted by Jay Fox and Charles Crowson. Bob occasionally as has his guess Alex Myers with Golf Digest and Ron Sirak with Golf Channel. I was interviewed on his show about my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. This show is worth tuning into for golf news and information.
Jay Fox is an Administrator with Arkansas State Golf Association that discuss amateur golf and rules of the game.
Once you learn WHY, you don’t forget HOW!
Two decisions that you can make for yourself and your kids are to get a copy of my book and place the book and a golf club into their hands. You will never look back, but only forward. You will not miss with this for yourself and/or your kids.