How Long Does It Take To Learn Golf, By Percy Boomer

"Well I am still learning after forty-five years of it!

I have known pupils who hit the ball very well after only four lessons and others who have taken a year or more to do even moderately well, but time is apt to level things out a lot.

Golf is a curious game in being easy of comprehension but (sometimes) very long in realization.

There is much darkness in the early stages, and it is only after a few years at the game that we really come out into full daylight and can assess our own possibilities.

So do not despair if you are trying to learn golf, or better golf, and getting no results.

In finishing this chapter I will return again to the need to make your learning positive.

Don't go out to find out what is wrong with your swing, go out to improve it."

Reference : 'On Learning Golf' Percy Boomer. Part Two On Learning and Teaching. Copyright © 1946 by Percy Boomer. First published in the USA by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Percy Boomer On Learning Golf

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"Some people are inclined to scoff at theory. Not just one particular theory but all theory. Correct theory is knowledge gained from experience and thoughtful study. So to those who would excel in golf, I say, "Heed not at all the scoffers of theory, but be sure that your theory is correct."" Seymour Dunn

Horton Smith The Trouble Shooter

Winner of the first Masters Tournament 1934 (Augusta National Invitational). Golf greats of the 30s and 40s including Bobby Jones, Lawson Little, Patty Berg, 'Babe' Zaharias. Available on Amazon : Golf Memories [VHS]

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"Many thanks for the link to your site. It is great. Thanks for the mention on it.

I have just produced a new series of 6 instructional DVDs, one of which on the long game focuses on the slice cure and have also set it out on the DVD re practising etc. I also have one of my books Advanced Golf up on Kindle and more to follow.

the great thing about curing the slice is to get the clubface and head working correctly where so many pros try to tackle the out to in swing first which as you know is hopeless and the wrong way round.

Keep up the good work and keep plugging away telling pros how to teach!!"

Vivien Saunders, 1977 Women's British Open Champion

Managing Director, OBE PhD FCMI (Solicitor - retired)
Abbotsley Hotel, Golf & Country Club
24 September 2014

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"If we can be clear and decisive in constructing our shots, our reward will be worthy of our intentions and very soon be evident in the improvement of our game." Joyce Wethered

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by Chris Anderson - The secret of happiness

"It's probably a good thing he never got to see one of the first speakers I brought to the TED stage. That was philosopher Dan Dennett. They would have disagreed pretty much across the board.

Except one thing. Halfway through a riveting talk on the power of memes, Dennett said this: "The secret of happiness is: find something more important than you are, and dedicate your life to it."

That is a statement my father would have profoundly agreed with. We are strange creatures, we humans. At one level, we just want to eat, drink, play, and acquire more stuff. But life on the hedonic treadmill is ultimately dissatisfying. A beautiful remedy is to hop off it and instead begin pursuing an idea that's bigger than you are. Now, in your case, I of course don't know what that idea is. And maybe, right now, you don't either. Maybe you want to highlight an invisible community in your town, or do some historical research into a family member whose courage should be better known, or organize cleanup days in your community, or delve into marine science, or get active in a political party, or build a new piece of technology, or travel somewhere where human needs are a hundred times greater than anything you've faced, or just tap into the experience and wisdom of the people you meet. Whatever it is you pursue, if you truly go after it, I predict two things:

  • Yes, you'll find a meaningful form of happiness.
  • You'll discover something that matters far more than any piece of advice you've read in this book: you'll discover something worth saying.

And then what? Well, then, of course, you must share it, using all the passion, skills, and determination you can muster."

Reference : 'TED Talks' The Official TED Guide To Public Speaking' Chris Anderson Head of TED Nicholas Brealey Publishing London Boston Copyright © Chris J. Anderson 2016 Reflection 21 YOUR TURN The Philosopher's Secret Page 247.

by Vernier - Commonly called jerk

"With the 'Vernier Motion Encoder System', the position, velocity, and even the acceleration graph looks great. Just for fun, we created a graph of the time derivative of acceleration, commonly called jerk.

If you think about what it feels like in a car when the acceleration suddenly changes (the time derivative of acceleration is non-zero, in physics-speak) you'll know that this quantity is well named.

Creating a useful graph of jerk requires that the underlying position data are very clean, as any bit of noise will be magnified by the successive derivatives. Here's the family of graphs for a cart rolling up and down an inclined track.

With sufficiently low friction, the acceleration should be non-zero and constant while the cart is freely rolling. The jerk should then be close to zero in the same time interval. As you can see, the graph of jerk is close to zero throughout the rolling time, but it is non-zero when the cart is launched and caught.

Data from a conventional motion detector wouldn't look nearly this clean."

Reference : 'Measurement of Jerk' Vernier Software & Technology Date Published March 20th, 2014. Subject Areas Advanced Physics, Physics. Vernier Celebrating 35 Years.

by John Behrend - Ronald Ross 1858

"Golf historians might tell you that the first Amateur Championship was won by Alan Macfie in 1885.

This, however, takes no account of the Grand National Tournament of 1858 held at St. Andrews. The previous year a tournament to find the Champion Club had been initiated by Prestwick and the Royal and Ancient Clubs.

John Ball of Hoylake John Behrend 1989For 1858 the committee decreed that it should be: 'a series of single matches to be decided by holes not by strokes and to be open to all gentlemen players who are members of any Golf Clubs'.

This was to give rise to what was probably the first amateur status decision, for an entry was received from one Ronald Ross of the Bruntsfield Allied Club, Edinburgh, who was a very respectable young man but a venetian blind-maker, and therefore deemed to be an artisan. In the local St Andrews newspaper under the heading 'The case of the Rejected Golfer' the following report appeared:

"There is an incident in connection with the arrangements of the tournament which has created some talk. We allude to the throwing out of one of the entered competitors. Amongst the entries for the competition was the name of one of the members of the Bruntsfield Allied Club who in accordance with the rules of the tournament paid his half guinea of entry money in May and the other half guinea before the balloting on Wednesday morning. Just before the time of starting, at half past eleven o'clock, he received a sealed note from the Secretary of the Union Club with his entry money of one guinea enclosed and also an extract from the Minute of a Tournament Committee Meeting held in the Clubhouse at half past ten o'clock of the same morning."

Apparently as an artisan he was not qualified under the third rule. Despite protestations that there were players in the field who are at least in no higher position in society than Mr Ross, the tournament went ahead without him."

Reference : 'John Ball of Hoylake Champion Golfer' John Behrend Grant Books, Worcestershire 1989 The first edition limited to 1800 copies in cloth and 100 author's presentation copies © John Behrend 1989 All Rights Reserved Chapter 3 The Amateur Championship (1881-1885), page 11.

Download : 'John Ball of Hoylake' 3 - The Amateur Championship (1881-1885) The case of the Rejected Golfer Ronald Ross of the Bruntsfield Allied Club, Edinburgh. By John Behrend, 1989.

Download : 'The Book Of Golf And Golfers' By Horace G. Hutchinson, Mr. John Ball V. A Portrait Gallery page 160 (including "this matter of timing", page 77). With Contributions By Miss Amy Pascoe H. H. Hilton, J. H. Taylor, H. J. Whigham And Messrs Sutton & Sons With 72 Portraits New Impression Longmans, Green, And Co. 39 Paternoster Row, London New York And Bombay 1900 All rights reserved.

by Charles Handy - This is another kind of selective perception

"In interacting with someone that we do not know in the round we have to make some assumptions as to what kind of person they are, what their motives are, what their likely reaction or behaviour is going to be in any situation.

In order to do this we:

  • Collect data;
  • Fit the information into categories;
  • Make some predictions.

The order in which the data is collected is important. Box 3.8 offers some evidence to support the view that the earlier information, if received, colours that which comes after it. In part this is probably due to rapid stereotyping based on very little information.

The same set of facts viewed from different angles will look different. This is another kind of selective perception."

Reference : 'Understanding Organizations A New Edition of this landmark study' 5 Perceiving People Box 3.8 An ambiguous picture Page 76 Charles Handy. Published by the Penguin Group First published 1976 Copyright © Charles Handy, 1976, 1981, 1985, 1993 All rights reserved.

by John Jacobs - Good shot making

"The more I teach, play and watch golf, the more convinced I become that the decisive factor in good shot-making is preparation: shot assessment, club selection, grip, aim, stance, posture.

If you can master these departments you have every chance of playing golf to the best of your full capabilities, whatever those may be."

Reference : 'Play Better Golf' with John Jacobs. Chapter 12. Faults, Causes and cures reviewed. Final Thoughts on Learning Golf. Based on the Yorkshire Television Series written in collaboration with Ken Bowden. Stanley Paul & Co Ltd, Copyright © Yorkshire Television 1969.

by Tommy Armour - To hit a good iron shot

"To hit a good iron shot, your club must contact the ball before the sole of the club gets to the bottom of its arc.

This gets backspin on the ball, eliminates hitting behind the ball, and gets the hands ahead of the ball as the shot is hit.

Having the weight borne more on the left foot than on the right as you're coming into the ball is the way of getting the correct downward path of the iron."

Reference : 'How To play Your Best Golf ALL THE TIME', Illustrated by Lealand Gustavson, Copyright © 1953, by Thomas D. Armour. Published by Simon and Schuster, Inc. New York, 1953.

by DT - Michael Hart Project Gutenberg

"Michael Hart, who died on September 6 aged 64, was the father of Project Gutenberg, a seemingly quixotic, scheme to copy the texts of tens of thousands of books into electronic form and distribute them for free; he thus gave birth to what has become known as the ebook revolution.

Project Gutenberg effectively began in 1971 when Hart, a student at the University of Illinois, was given an operator's account with a virtually unlimited amount of computer time at the university's Materials Research Laboratory.

At the time there was more computer time than people to use it; operators were expected to play around, to increase their proficiency. Computers of the era were cumbersome machines with whirring tape decks attended by acolytes dressed in white lab coats. The internet was two years old and was used only by academic and military researchers. Microsoft had not been born; email had yet to be invented; and the Web would not come along for two more decades.

But Hart decided that what he should do with his time was download historic texts — the works of Shakespeare, the Bible, the American Constitution and so on — and make them accessible in the public domain. As the United States bicentennial was coming up, he started by typing in the Declaration of Independence, which became Project Gutenberg's first e-text.

For the next 20-odd years Hart typed away in obscurity, stockpiling books on tapes, floppy disks, CD-ROMs and hard drives. By 1987 he had typed a total of 313 books. Then, with the help of a computer programmer, he began to recruit an army of sympathetic volunteers around the world. As a result the project was able to grow much more rapidly.

He kept Project Gutenberg going on a shoestring, begging and borrowing equipment; using home remedies rather than paying to see the doctor; and building computers from discarded components. As he did not own a car for many years, he carried equipment around on a cart attached to his bicycle.

Many thought that Hart was mad, and he faced numerous setbacks. Changes to copyright laws forced him to abandon some nearly-completed projects. Academics were, for the most part, hostile, refusing to donate texts to Gutenberg because of its policy of unlimited distribution. In the early days, even those with access to the internet made little use of his archive, as downloading something like the Bible used up too much computer memory

But as networking, computer memories and text scanning technology mushroomed, Hart's idea began to be taken more seriously. In 1991 he set himself the goal of giving away a trillion books by 2001, distributed to the 100 million computers he believed would be up and running by then. "I want a world where you can walk into a public library and get 90 per cent of the information you need copied on a disk that you don't have to return," he proclaimed.

Hart's freedom of information campaign provoked a fair amount of scepticism. But Project Gutenberg has proved a boon for both lay readers and academic researchers, aiding, for example, the linguistic analysis of Hamlet and the comparison of texts to throw light on who an anonymous author might be.

As of June 2011, Project Gutenberg claimed more than 36,000 items in its collection, in 60 different languages, with an average of more than 50 new ebooks being added each week - stored in plain text to make them accessible to all. They include everything from the Bible to the Tarzan books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and from cookbooks and reference works to issues of periodicals."

Source : The Daily Telegraph Obituaries, Michael Hart, September 8, 2011.

by Glenna Collett - Soling the club

"I always had very definite ideas about the soling of the club.

I find that many fine players have queer (unusual) notions of how they wish to place the club on the ground previously to taking the swing.

It seems to me that every boy and girl could see the necessity of not handicapping himself more than is really needed. Then why turn the face of the club inward when the ball is addressed?

It seems to me that it is obvious that in so doing the loft of the club is completely changed, and that there is no way of getting a shot with a beautiful smother (stop the motion of the ball or shot) to it.

Again I query, why cock up the toe of the club?

I hope all good players of the future will be careful to place the club wholly on its sole and let it take the natural lie as provided for by the make of the club."

Reference : 'Golf For Young Players', with illustrations, Copyright © 1926 By Glenna Collett, Printed in the United States of America. Women's National Amateur Champion.

Available on Amazon : Golf for young players

by Paul Runyan - All the way to the power shots the process is the same

"As I have said, your body does turn as you go back on these shots, and so the clubface does not remain in a fixed position with relation to the ball, as in a putt or a chip.

Yet the clubface does stay in a fixed position with relation to the body. If on a pitch your shoulders, say, turn ten degrees to hit the shot, the face of the club has also opened ten degrees with relation to the ball. In relation to the shoulders or body, however, it is still square. In other words, there has been no pronation or supination of the wrists, independent of the body turn. All the way up to the power shots the process is the same. If the shoulder turn or pivot is a full ninety degrees, or even more, the clubface opens by that full amount, and that amount only.

Its position with relation to the shoulders is still the same as it was at address. Let me repeat that the wrists never open the clubface by themselves. Body turns does it (or more particularly shoulder turn, since on fuller shots they turn farther than the hips). Yes, it is body turn alone which opens the face, and then only with relation to the ball.

On the downswing the body, arms and wrists return to their original position, not stopping there, of course, but going on through.

On these pitch shots you must avoid all feeling of trying to help the ball up into the air. The loft on the face of the club automatically takes care of this for you. The grip should be kept crisp enough to make for precision. Shots of average height and average spin call for firmness, with the wrists uncocking only to their original position, and not past it in any sort of scoop.

As the arms swing on by the only subsequent wrist motion would be caused by the club's momentum, and not by any conscious effort of the hands."

Reference : 'Paul Runyan's Book For Senior Golfers', The Pitch Shots, Chapter 8. Dodd, Mead & Company, Copyright © 1962 by Paul Runyan.

by Walter J. Travis - The principal causes of slicing

"So many things are responsible for slicing, either singly or collectively, that it may take even a first-class coach some little time to put his finger on the actual seat of the trouble, and the chances are that it will take you much longer, unassisted.

Don't be discouraged, however.

"Genius," Carlyle, I think, says, "is simply the capacity of taking infinite pains."

It may not be amiss to here recapitulate a few of the principal causes of slicing:

  • Hitting off the heel.
  • Pulling the arms in.
  • Improper position of the hands in gripping.
  • Gripping loosely with the left hand, and tightly with the right.
  • Standing too far back of the ball.

Practical Golf by Walter J. TravisEach of these faults has already been treated fully in a previous chapter."

Reference : 'Practical GOLF by Walter Travis. Illustrated From Photographs. New & Revised Edition. New York and London Harper & Brothers Publishers 1903', extract from Chapter VIII General Remarks page 99. Copyright, 1901, by Harper & Brothers May 1901.

"Walter J. Travis (January 10, 1862 - July 31, 1927) was born in Maldon, Australia and became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1890.

Nicknamed "The Old Man" because of his late start in the game, aged 35 - Walter Travis was the most successful amateur golfer in the U.S. during the early 1900s.

Travis won the U.S. Amateur Championship in 1900, 1901 and 1903. In 1904, he became the first foreign player to win the British Amateur Championship."

Source: Walter Travis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

by Tom Watson - How do you stop a slice?

"The most commonly asked question to me is how do you stop a slice?

Everybody seems that they slice the ball and they want a solution.

Well, there are several things I tell. The first thing I look at is the grip...

A lot of the time, that's the only solution that's necessary for people who slice the ball."

Reference : Tom Watson's Lessons of A Lifetime DVD, Instruction from one of Golf's Greats, Your Step by Step guide to a better game in 44 lessons. Two Disc Set & Instructional Booklet © Copyright 2010 Tom Watson Productions,

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