Educated Hands - The Hands Conduct the Orchestra

Educated hands has a lot to do with hand eye coordination and of course a sense of awareness as to where the hands are at all times…
When I swing or hit, I never feel like the club is just a big blur down there…

A golfer could have an incredible looking swing, moving through all the positions of a great ball striker, and cold top the ball without educated hands…

Spacial awareness is important…

If you stand up straight, extend your arms out from side to side as if you were on a cross (don’t mean to offend anyone here!) then close your eyes, and now touch the tip of your nose with the tip of your middle finger… did you miss? or nail it perfect?

One way to educate the hands is to hit a lot of golf balls…
I have seen some very unorthodox golf swings play some very good golf, if not amazing… I’m sure we can all name a few PGA Tour players who seem to defy textbook ideals yet win millions of dollars!

When I was working with Ben Doyle it would not be uncommon for me to hit 2 milk carton crates of balls, 250 per carton … so 500 balls,
it would take me about 3 hours… I might do this for 5 days in a row…

Second suggestion, practice with blade irons, so you can get the feedback your hands need… I know the entire golf world is in love with “Forgiving”, with all good things, there is usually a catch, or a
ying yang opposite effect… Forgiving helps you today but hurts you tomorrow…

Example, if I hit a tennis racket size driver, I will hit it good, and even on a bad day, I will hit it good… now with persimmon, if if I have a bad day I will not hit it good, so I will practice to find my precision center again…

A bigger sweetspot is not better, just diluted… less feedback…

If you just want to have fun playing golf, and you are not really all that serious about getting better, play the easy stuff…

If you are insanely passionate about your technique, you are doing yourself NO favors hitting anything forgiving…

Look at the stuff Hogan hit in the 50’s, he pured it… hit every fairway and every green on a good day… the best way to lower your scores is to better your technique! I can prove this… I will play with a set from the 50’s and absolutely wax a 10 handicapper, with all the latest space age stuff, …every time, every day of the year for every decade of the century…

If you want to get better, do your swing drills, study G.O.L.F. test your practice sessions by hitting a GREAT set of blade irons, especially long irons, and better yet off tight lies, and even better with lots of wind!..

That’s how you get good…

How good do you want to get?

Had a learning moment yesterday with my grandson. He is now starting to think about other sports like soccer and baseball and some others. I’m not totally sure where his heart is, but I pick him up from grade school almost daily and the first thing he wants to do is play catch with a ball.

He has a “soft” ball we use as he says he’s a little afraid of missing the harder version and being hit in the face when tossing it to him.

So over the past few weeks we have been working on catching the ball with his hands instead of allowing the ball to get close to his chest after it makes contact with his hands. He wasn’t doing all that well. I kept telling him " catch it with your hands and then bring it into your body if you want, don’t use your body to help catch it". HIs eye/hand coordination was good but he just couldn’t get the idea down about when to “clamp” the hands when the ball is ready to be caught. He would be successful about 3 in 10 times probably.

So yesterday in the backyard I thought I would try something different. I threw him a “high popper”. It was up there in the air pretty good. It was like magic. He extended his arms upward, camped underneath it, spread his hands and clamped down like he’d been doing it for years. I was a little startled at his success, so we did it again and it was perfect. He nailed it about 8 times in a row!

So now I revert back to just tossing it straight at his head/chest area, and I’ll be dipped…he caught it with his hands and continued to do so the rest of our session and would now clamp down on maybe 8 out of 10.

There was something about tossing it high that worked, but not sure what it was. Maybe the subconscious treats a falling object differently in perspective and approach than something more directly in line.

This is not germane specifically to this thread, but since it’s related to hand/eye coordination, I thought I would pass it along to others with “youngins”. :slight_smile:

Tossing it high may have forced him to look only at the ball and not at the hands.

Very interesting post lag,

As an ex PE teacher I’ve always been interested in why someone has great hand-eye co-ordination and others dont.

Particular to golf and especially golf pro’s it seems the only common factor is how many balls you have hit before you turned pro.
Take Lee Trevino, Ben Hogan and Mo Norman. All these three have hit hundreds of thousands of balls more than your average golfer. The developed golf club spacial awareness so far superior to your average golfer the difference is chalk and cheese.

Whilst Ben hogan is considered the greatest ever ball striker. I consider him the greatest ever “practicer”. He would play 36 holes a day. Then hit the range while everyone else was in the hotel room after their round.

Trevino worked in a pro shop and hit thousands of balls, We all know Mo hit millions of balls…
Lag you have hit thousands and thousands of balls to develope your great eye-hand co-ordination.
Twomasters is the same.

So while I agree hitting is a low maintanance swing and allows you to hit straight consistantly. nothing beats the hard earned spacial awareness you get from hitting thousands of balls over your lifetime…

Does anyone else feel to truely own your own swing you have to have hit thousands and thousands of balls over many years to have any chance of being scratch or turn pro? no matter how good your natural skill or coach is?

tsdean 1980: Interesting post, considering the great ballstrikers you mentioned all have the commonality of hitting a great number of balls. The reason I think it is interesting is because it is hard to know if someone could get to scratch or the professional playing ability without hitting thousands of balls, and only doing modules. It would be great to have a complete beginner find ABS and do the modules for a few months before striking a ball.

 When I was 12 to 16 I use to play 18 everyday I could, and hit between 100 and 300 balls 5 days a week. That was great because I enjoyed working at it and figuring it out, but I was a kid. I had all day to practice and play, and it took a lot of maintenance to play consistently. Now I have to work everyday with time being much more limited than it was then. I go to the range once twice a week and hit maybe 60 balls each time at most. I work on the modules at night instead of worrying about going to the range to figure out why the ball is going right, left, high, low and so on. If I am hitting it left, I know which module to work on. If I am hitting it right, I know which module to work on. Trust me I have tried both ways, and modules are by far the superior way to improve ballstriking. That being said, the funny thing is now I am hitting it MUCH better than when I was constantly having to hit balls. There are people here at the course that hit 500 balls a week with no improvement in the quality of their strikes. It is always the same thing when they get the balls, they say just trying to work it out.

Good point flatlies.

When I say Hogan was the greatest ever practicer I mean it in the sense he practices correctly.

As the saying goes, “Perfect practice makes perfect”. You have to practive correctly. Hogan obviously had the correct analytical brain to figure out why certain things were happening in his swing and was smart enough to change.l

Im sure all of you have seen that guy down the range with 4 buckets of balls slicing every single one over the fence. seemingly not changing anything and expecting the next one to go straight.

But it is interesting to see if someone could become scratch starting ABS with zero exposure to golf. I dont believe it can be done as you need to develop club head awareness. The main difference between a scratcher and a 10 handicapper is this awareness of your club head, this is most apparent when transitioning from the range to the course and playing on different lie angles from my experience

the 10 handicapper and scratcher can smash balls comparitively at the range, add in a 5 degree up/down or left/right slope and your 10 handicapper starts to top,skull or fat a few more shots. The scratcher tends to pure shots regardless of lie.

I myself have only 8 months golfing experience, 5 of which are ABS and while im scoring well(best 79) Im no where near scratch. I have great hand-eye co-ordination in other sports but so far its not fully translated into my golf game. Put me on a downhill lie and i’ll show you the meaning of a worm burner!

Don’t worry, I’ll be showing you how to hit off sidehill and downhill lies.

Ball beating alone is not the answer. I have know many fanatical ball beaters that never got much better than shooting 75.
One thing that really helped me was growing up on a good golf course. I learned how to play every combination of lie angle and all those combined with all the wind combination’s. The course has small greens so I learned to reign in my focus, and with smaller greens I learned to chip and hit out of deep greenside bunkers. I also learned how to play out of and around trees… something that many people are not learning on modern courses.

I think there is value in ball beating to some degree, but only if you are heading in the right direction with your golf swing. This is where I think the module work here can really help.

To get to scratch, you also need to learn how to putt. I don’t think it’s necessary to practice on perfect surfaces either. I think you actually learn a better stroke on less than perfect greens.

If you do hit balls, hit off grass not mats. Better concrete or a wood deck than mats. But even better off grass and sidehill lies. Shagging your own balls also… and I completely agree with LCD regarding his conversations on the How to shoot 65 thread.

My best practicing was always out on the golf course late in the day. Hitting 5 balls into a green, or hitting 5 balls off the tee box. Chipping and putting around a real green… making all the shots count for something. That’s the nice thing about playing alone sometimes.

You need to play a lot of rounds… 36 in a day is great. That can really help get you into the zone. Competition is great also… really to motivate you. If you have a competitive spirit, then you are not going to like being beat… and you will be beat in competition, so that should push you harder.

A fully well rounded regime is best. I wouldn’t hang your hat on just one thing. Having good golf swing fundamentals however is a great place to start, but once you have that, the best way to learn to play is to spend a lot of time learning to score out on the golf course. You will quickly learn the importance of putting, chipping, and a tight wedge game…as well a driving the ball in the fairway on any proper golf course.

I’ve always had a thing for training aids…much less though since becoming a part of this forum. I do, however, find this one intriguing and I think it fits right in line with ABS:

It looks like you would be swinging a sweetspot on a shaft. I think this would help hand-eye coordination, but I also think it would help clubface rotation. It looks like there is no room on the club between the ball and the hosel, so if you have the face open at impact it will rotate the hosel into the ball.