The QATSPY Golfer’s Sports Page: Golf Swing Tips
By: Charles W. Boatright
Circadian Rhythm, Golf Without the Blues
There are two terms, rhythm and tempo, that are more associated with the golfer’s game than any other two terms. There is another rhythm that the golfer needs to take advantage of for their mental game of golf, called the Circadian Rhythm. The golfer can use their Circadian Rhythm to build a virtual golf swing coach, right between the ears, to over-come their Blues. I call this process Rhythm, without the Blues.
The first and normal impression that golfers might have of Circadian Rhythm is more systematic of sleeping or eating pattern, not their golf game. But Circadian Rhythm, without realizing it, directly affects your golf game, specifically the golfer’s mental game of golf. Circadian Rhythm can improve the results of the golfer’s training and practice time on the range or backyard, while trying to perfect their golf swing.
But Circadian Rhythm has a major role to play in how effective and beneficial the golfer’s practice and training time will be proven on the golf course. Sometimes this is described as the great divide. The golfer can put in countless hours in making actual golf swings on the range and still have disappointing rounds. Circadian Rhythms have more to do with how the golfer processes and retains information than actually making golf swings. Most of the time, Circadian Rhythm can be used as a Sports Psychology technique also describes the physiological processes of how the golfer’s mind learns and that retains information. Retaining information is the KEY FACTOR!
Statistics from Typical Golf Lessons
Most golf lessons are on WHAT is presented in a directive-type golf lesson, rather than HOW the golf lesson is presented. Statistics indicate that typical golf lessons are not the most effective means to coach or teach golfers. This is one reason why some golfers who take lessons for years do not see appreciable improvement in their golf game.
Here are some statistics that reflect these results- the average golfer has played for 23 years and has a handicap in the high 80’s or mid-90’s. They work on their golf game 1.183 hours per week, play 46 rounds per year, and take two 30- minute lessons per month.
But, if the golfer could use the Circadian Rhythm process, they could see significant improvement in their golf game on the golf course. What has been discovered with the Circadian Rhythm Learning process is what is called episodic memory and Context-Based Learning. Context-Based Learning, or Apperception, uses a collection of prior experiences and applies these in short intervals of time, or an episodic learning process.
Research done by Dale Edgar, researcher and educator, indicates that effective learning and retention of information increase with three factors. First– following a self-coaching sequence rather than a directive-type learning; Second– when there is an immediate application knowledge under actual conditions; and Third– where sessions are spread out over short intervals of time, using mental images, like a baseball-type swing or boxing gloves.
The Circadian Rhythm to Peak Golfer’s Performance
The third factor probably has the biggest impact on the golfer’s game. Because with Circadian Rhythm using mental imagery under simulated conditions, there are peak retention periods that the golfer experiences, and by spreading these training sessions out over short periods during the day, this actually increases the golfer’s retention, due to frequency.
The ESPY Quick Reference Guide for Golfers, in Section 18 of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, keys in on three (3) simple elements (Sync, Preset, and Yaw). These are the same elements found in the typical baseball-type swing. One reason some golfers don’t capitalize on their familiar baseball-type swing elements is that these elements are so instinctive that the golfer doesn’t even consider or realize these as significant components in their golf swing. You’ve heard the statement- The answer was right under your nose. This is the same situation that can be applied to your golf game with the baseball-type swing and by using boxing gloves.
When the golfer can follow a written process with mental imagery in a sequential order, they can dramatically increase the influence of the subconscious mind, their mental game of golf. The Subconscious mind is where a golfer’s muscle memory and motor skills are stored and processed. The advantage of using the subconscious mind is that the subconscious mind can’t differentiate between virtual and actual experiences.
To prove this, look at the television ads for the Galaxy s7’s Virtual Reality Headset. This headset directly engages the subconscious mind to convince the person they are in a different situation than what they actually are. The person wearing the headset is actually experiencing what they are viewing, not where they are.
The benefits of spreading out golf training sessions into short intervals of time is a three fold effect– FIRST- effect is the reps the golfer is receiving, SECOND- the accumulated effect of past experience, and THIRD- reinforcement of skills. The subconscious mind works 24/7, processing new information and to determine how this information fits in with existing knowledge. The golfer has a mental golf swing coach right between their ears. The golfer’s Circadian Rhythms takes advantage of this huge benefit of visualization and frequency of learning.
The Road to a Single-Digit Handicap
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he estimated that it takes 10,000 man-hours to become an expert, or in this case, a professional golfer. This is because achieving one’s goals is based on setting realistic short and long-term goals. The avid golfer’s goals might be reflected by the following objectives:
- Initially- to have a handicap in the high 80’s, or 2,000 man-hours.
- Intermediately- to have a handicap in the mid-80’s, or 4,000 man-hours.
- Ultimately- to have a single-digit handicap, or 6,000 man-hours.
Based on the statistics, the average golfer spends 1.183 hours per week working on their golf game. You begin to see the obstacle facing golfers. Then, couple this with the golfer’s retention rate of only 20 percent with conventional methods, and the 1.183 hour drops to 14.2 minutes. These figures reveal why the average golfer doesn’t see any more improvement than a low 90’s and an upper 80’s handicap after years of hard work. I don’t mind hard work, but I want to see results. Effort without results is very discouraging.
If the golfer takes advantage of Circadian Rhythm, the golfer can improve the effectiveness of their workout sessions. The golfer has the ability to actually achieve a single-digit handicap, with what is right between their ears, by using their subconscious mind, as their mental golf swing coach.
Again, the major advantage of using the subconscious mind is that it can’t differentiate between virtual and actual playing conditions. The golfer using the subconscious mind is like having the Galaxy s7 Virtual Reality Headset on during their golf sessions. This is how the golfer can take just 10 minutes during each hour and work on their golf swing with a golf baton. The hourly workout frequency allows the golfer to use their Circadian Rhythm process to work on their golf game for maximum retention particularly anywhere. I proved this in an interview I did with a Vietnam P.O.W. in Hattiesburg, MS.
During the course of the day, the golfer can take twelve, 10-minute sessions working with the golf baton. The golfer can virtually follow three simple Ergonomic (S-P-Y) elements during each 10-minute session and build a consistent golf swing. Because these golf baton sessions are spread out over the course of the day, the mind can readily retain up to 90 percent of the (S-P-Y) elements. That is 120 minutes, or 2.0 hours per day. At a 90 percent retention rate, that would be 1.80 hours per day, or 12.6 hours per week, plus the biggest factor, the Circadian Rhythm, or the Apperception X-Factor.
The Impact of the ASPEN Self Coaching Technique
In my article called ESPY APP- Self Coaching Techniques, I discuss the ASPEN self-coaching technique that the golfer can use to improve their golf game. Below is a brief outline of the Five Step- ASPEN Self Coaching Technique developed by my grandfather, H.Q. Boatright, in 1927.
Apperception– Process that builds on existing motor-skills and techniques the golfer has already developed from other sports, i.e., Baseball-type swing and boxing.
Sequence– A succession of basic elements (SPY) to develop a consistent routine. The subconscious mind works at optimum level by following a written procedure, e.g., The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. This Sync/Preset process allows the golfer to build muscle memory by using a key muscle in the wrist, the Hypothenar, to Sync a key tendon in the right lower forearm, the Palmer’s (Palmaris Longus) Tendon, and Presetting the left Thenar muscle for the right-handed golfer. This Palmer’s Tendon is easy to locate and sync.
The Palmer’s Tendon is on the medial (inside) part of the right lower forearm, shown in the illustrations below:
Prep & Performance Training– Replicate exact conditions during training as the athlete will perform under and can allow the golfer to achieve the desired results to build confidence. This utilizes the twelve-10 minute workout sessions. Even Jack Nicklaus credited his performance to his preparation time that he did. Matter of Fact, other professional golfers stated in interviews, that no one prepared better than Jack Nicklaus.
ExtraSensory Performance– The ability for the athlete to develop strong mental images and feeling to engage the muscles and mind to execute their routine. This is like the golfer putting on the Galaxy s7 Virtual Reality Headset during their workout sessions. The golfer can use their baseball-type swing to build a consistent golf swing.
Another technique the golfer can use is to set up an area in the garage where they can perform short chip/pitch golf shots. The same S-P-Y maneuvers are the same for these as they are for the full golf shot. But this allows the golfer to develop finesse in their golf game. There’s nothing more nerve wracking than the golfer executing a short chip/pitch shot around the green.
Neuromuscular Performance– Conditioning and training muscles for top performance with consistency, where the golf swing becomes a natural response.
If you use the ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique, the golfer could reduce the man-hours of training by half. It allows the golfer to take their softball/baseball-type swing from the batter’s box to the tee box without difficulty. If you do the math using the ASPEN Self-Coaching System, the golfer could obtain the following:
- Initially- Shooting high 80’s, or 1,000/(12.6 x 52) = 1.53 yrs.
- Intermediately- Shooting mid- 80’s, or 2,000/(12.6 x 52)= 3.05 yrs.
- Ultimately- single-digit handicap, or 3,000/(12.6 x 52)= 4.579 yrs.
This is based on the beginner golfer who has never stepped foot on a golf course just using what motor-skills they developed from the softball/baseball-type swings. Other golfers will experience a shorter duration time.
I was able to confirm the Circadian Rhythm that the ESPY Golf Swing is based on in an interview I did with a Vietnam P.O.W. This P.O.W., Colonel George Robert Hall, used his love of golf to survive his seven-and-a-half years at the Hanoi Hilton in North Vietnam. Six weeks after his release, Colonel Hall shot his handicap of four (4), at the New Orleans P.O.W. Pro-Am Open. This was a remarkable performance even for a professional golfer, much less a single-digit handicap golfer.
The ESPY Golf Swing is basically based on the golfer properly syncing the right lower forearm and presetting the left wrist. This procedure was discussed on Golf Channel’s, Morning Drive show. Charlie Rymer was interviewing David Duval about what Charlie described as, “That wrist thing.” David described it as setting his wrists, and my book refers to “That wrist thing” as Syncing/Presetting the lower forearm/wrist with two simple maneuvers (Sync and Preset), as noted in the Figure below. This was also demonstrated in great detail by Ken Duke with Lisa Cornwell on another interview on Golf Channel
An additional article about applying ASPEN Self-Coaching Technique and Sports Psychology to your golf game is:
To get more information on how to set the wristbands in your golf swing and use the Circadian Rhythm, purchase your copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach using the following links.