Importance of Hand-eye Co-ordination

Having a discussion with my brother yesterday, after a round of golf with his mate who seems totally incapable of hitting the ball… we had the following discussion

Aside from all the drills etcto develop muscle strength and correct movements here at ABS. How much do you think your own hand-eye Co-ordination impacts upon your golf swing? You can be on plane,hit from inside have all the correct movements, you can return the club face back square through impact, but how well can you return that club face to the ball on the sweet spot with regularity? especially on the course with up/downhill lies?

Im sure everyone here has been at the first tee-off and seen a mate swing a club like a frog in a blender and you’ve thought to yourself “no way on this earth will he be a scratch golfer” yet you see another who seens a total natural and hits it fine.

I used to be a Phys-Ed teacher and from my experience fundamental hand-eye co-ord skills are developed in early childhood. Its extremely difficult to develop
them as an adult and even late adolosence have difficulty I found, while you can make yourself alot better through practice its multiple times slower than children given the same practice time frame.

Its why most champion golfers started at rediculously young ages, there are exceptions im sure but not many I can find.

The low handicappers on this site, at what age did you start golf? Lag? twomasters?

So my quesiton is, what limitations does each person have in there ability to play golf which is influenced by the skills they did or did not develeop as a child?..

Eg can someone at age 40 who has almost no hand-eye skills ever be a scratch or single didgit handicapper?

I would say generally yes, but it depends in large measure on their own internal drive. You can’t force this game…you have to go get it. :slight_smile:

Good topic.
I have fairly good hand-eye coordination - I’m good at tennis, badminton, table tennis, soccer. I don’t feel that it has been a big advantage at golf which I started only about 3 years ago after having meddled with golf in my teens where I wasn’t very good either. The more I think about it the more I think that the golf fundamentals are more important than the hand-eye coordination part. Good hand-eye coordination won’t give you a good pivot, or show you how to hit a crisp iron with a divot after the ball. I think in golf we need time to activate all the right muscles while quietening all the wrong muscles with the proper training. Given that we hit through the ball and not at the ball, perhaps having good hand-eye coordination can even be a hindrance? I think a lot of higher handicappers are basically relying on their hand-eye coordination to scoop the ball in the air until they get to the point where they start understanding the various fundamentals about golf which are not all that intuitive IMO.

Everyone can improve their hand eye coordination through the biomechanical work done here.
However, I don’t believe hand eye coordination alone is the major criteria for striking a golf ball properly.

Many great athletes that have fantastic hand eye coordination such as Micheal Jordan are horrific golfers.

Knudson summed it up best “golf is not a hand eye co-ordination game” and I agree I don’t believe it is well not on full shots anyway, chipping, pitching, putting maybe, at the risk of sounding arrogant I have exceptional hand eye coordination that I developed as a child and I think its actually a hindrance because no matter what you do you can always make contact with the ball from pretty much any position good or bad so your brain does not get the same feedback. The best thing to do is practice with your eyes closed; it’s a really strange feeling that fights against all your natural tendencies but it proves what knudson said is correct. Knudson once shot something like a 66 playing all full shots with his eyes closed.

I’ve been told that Hand-eye coordination is in its most shapable condition 'till youre 15 years old.
That’s why it is recommendable for children to exersice all sorts of different sports, and choose their “main” sport only after 15. This way they develope a large base of coordination and motor-skills.
From 15 to 18, learning new coordination-skills is still relatively easy, but after 18, its damn hard.

So, in conclusion: The MOST important thing in all of golf is STARTING BEFORE YOURE 15!!! After that, its a walk in the park.

Maybe this is why you ABS-people feel the need to hit to a bag full of old rugs ten million times?

As far as the importance of taking the game up early, Nicklaus was 11, and Larry Nelson was near 20 or more I think, and a fierce competitor.
The fact that some great athletes are miserable at golf, and can’t buy a better game, only makes it makes it more precious, and adds to its allure.
But it’s probably not an advantage to wait, and I think Captain would agree with the advice “don’t save sex until old age.”(or golf either)

The story I heard is that upon exiting the womb and being slapped on the cheeks by an inspiring nurse as his welcome to the world…not a whimper was heard from the baby Captain by anyone in the room. Surprise was abundant while seeing instead a newborn give a flirtatious “wink” to the curvaceous nurse who delivered the blow. :astonished:

YE Yang started playing golf when he was 19 after taking a job at a range to pay the bills. Maybe he’s an exception but hard work and patience has paid off for him so I would think that the same could work for any of us. I think hand eye coordination helps golf only to a certain extent - just bc you can hit the ball doesn’t mean you have a repeatable swing.

Probably as good a spot as any to drop this. Some words from Hebron that are nothing new but strong words to consider.

[b][i]Golf is a Creative Process
Your understanding makes the proper swing. The proper swing does not create understanding.

You are a Biocomputer - your brain is the computer hardware, your body is the print-out, and your images are the software. Your body will do what the software programs it to do.

Your body movements are always “efficient.” Your body will only do what it has been told to do by your brain. When your swing produces a shot you are not happy with, please realize your brain produced that swing. The swing did not just happen, your body responded to the message your brain sent out, “efficiently.”

Before going on, I have just stated in my view, that the most important keys in golf are the concepts and visualizations of the swing that are stored in your minds eye.[/i][/b]

Those words always kind of floated my boat! :laughing:

Hand-eye coordination is everything in a swing. Even if you feel like you’re doing it with your legs, hips and core, it’s because you have already trained your hands and arms to function properly. The pro’s (and even George Knudson and Hebron) just THINK they do nothing with their hands, because it’s a learned motion

I hope all the hours I spent watching videos in The Vault has burned the image of a good swing into my brain! :smiley:

Without question hand-eye coordination is a strong key regardless of how you move things. I think body dynamic awareness and spatial interpretation based on intentions perhaps plays a more critical role however.

I think what Hebron was getting to is this. If I toss you a basket ball at 10 mph from 15 feet away, you probably won’t do anything but catch it efficiently with your hands. However, if you were to know beforehand that the ball is filled with mercury, then I’m sure there would be postural adjustments made by the biocomputer for the additional mass coming at you. It’s unavoidable…unless you consciously override the process…but then you might be knocked to the ground.

Good topic :slight_smile:

The images obtained by watching videos is a good starting point but won’t take one very far. More important are the images and feels of how mass is physically harnessed and used as it’s moving around in space. And more importantly IMO “why” it should happen that way. I’ve always felt that once someone knows cognitively WHAT needs to happen and WHY it needs to happen…it’s all downhill from there. :slight_smile:

yeah, i’ve always thought that’s the story Range, better players just flat out see it differently & i’ve regularly tried to key into useful visualisations of the process in an effort to improve it - yet i think i’ve heard TM say his procedure has been basically…see the shot then step up & hit it…presumably no conscious messages or visualisations from the brain there at least, though likely a subconscious ‘knowing’ of how to swing it

RR - I agree 100% with your last post. I was trying to be sarcastic but its hard to get that across. I love The Vault and the commentary by everyone here bc it helps explain the WHY so well. Knowing the WHY helps me transmit the WHATs more effectively into my swing.

Can’t happen…we cannot not think, or feel, or see…unless we’re dead!

That said…there are a few what I call “bubble zones” :laughing: You can play “out there”, you can play “in here” or play within the two like a Venn digram. :slight_smile:

yep i understand our minds have to see it first before we do it, what i meant was no awareness of the visualisations - so i’m questioning whether visualisations that one is aware of are useful, are they too gross (clunky/coarse) to be useful ?.. thoughts on that ?

I’ve done all my shot preparation in my practice, in my feel of the practice swing and in my mind- so when I go to actually hit the shot the program is already in there and no extra thoughts can make it go haywire and short circuit…even though sometimes it may :laughing: I guess that means playing in sub conscious

I agree Two…but just before you pull the trigger there is an awarness of anticipation for the upcoming event that you’ve already planned. It’s that small magical moment when you know it’s time to go. Isn’t that how you sense it. :slight_smile: