According to the rules, any forward movement of the club with the intention of hitting the ball counts as a golf shot. So you can miss the ball and still have taken a golf swing or you can hit the ball without having taken a golf swing.
From a technical point of view, golf consists of five completely different types of strokes and forms of play: the long game, the short game around the green, putting on the green, mental stroke training and the strategy of the stroke.
The first stroke from the tee is called the tee shot or " drive " . Depending on the length of the lane or the desired section, this is played with the appropriate club (a driver , fairway wood or iron) until the next stroke . Professionals can achieve distances of more than 300 meters with the driver. When teeing off, it is allowed to place the ball on a tee, a kind of nail made of wood or plastic (formerly a mound of earth) on which the ball sits as if raised on a platform. This relief is only permitted for discounts. When teeing off with the driver, the ball is teased as high as possible and played gently from the left foot in the upward movement of the club. If another club is hit, the ball is tied lower and placed further towards the center of the stand. If you knock off with a short iron, it is not necessary to use a tea.
This is the typical full golf swing from the mowed lawn between approximately 85 to 250 meters in length. A fairway wood, hybrid, or iron is used to make this shot. With fairway woods, strokes over 200 meters can be bridged, with the irons stroke lengths up to 200 meters. Hybrids are a relatively new development in the golf club sector and are considered the link between long irons and fairway woods for shot lengths between around 175 meters to 225 meters.
This is the typical full golf shot of tall grass. A hybrid or iron is used to make this stroke. In contrast to the fairway shot, the club face is opened a little. This gives the club some bounce and makes it easier to slide through the tall grass. Since there is no direct contact between the club and the ball through the tall grass, the result is often a so-called flyer: The ball does not get any backspin from the rough, flies a little lower and therefore rolls heavily. The exact length of a shot from the rough can therefore not be estimated as from the fairway.
In golf, a pitch (to pitch) is an approach shot from a distance of about 15 to 100 meters to the flag, which is supposed to carry the golf ball in a high arc onto the green . In addition to the putt, the pitch is the most important stroke in golf because, from a strategic point of view, in a short game it is the most common way to save a par if you miss the green. Professional golfers are only able to play a par round in which they have not hit a single green regularly by skillfully pitching. This game is often played in professional golf in the training rounds and is known as misemall ("Miss them all"). The aim of the game is to deliberately miss all the greens and to score the pars by pitching and putting.
The pitch is usually played with a wedge. This can be done by striking with a pitching wedge , sand wedge , gap wedge or lob wedge . These special clubs have a particularly high club loft (between 48 ° and 64 °) and thus enable a high flight curve of the ball, which is intended to prevent or reduce the golf ball from rolling further due to the steep angle of impact on the green. The basic physical rule here is angle of incidence = angle of impact. A pitch that is played with a 22.5 ° angle of incidence on a 22.5 ° upwardly inclined green area thus has an impact angle of 90 ° (2x (22.5 ° + 22.5 °)). Rules of thumb like the "2/3-1 / 3 rule" state that when pitching the golf ball should cover 2/3 of its way in the air and 1/3 on the green, but the angle of incidence = angle of impact usually delivers more precise results, because a ball that bounces upwards at a 90 ° angle, for example, can hardly roll anymore. If you pitch on a green that is above the player, the angle of arrival becomes flatter. If you pitch on a green that is below the player, the angle of arrival becomes steeper. If you pitch over a hill on the green in front of the hole, the sources of error are maximized. If you pitch through a hollow on the green in front of the hole, the sources of error are minimized.
The pitch enables obstacles in front of the green, such as sand bunkers or water hazards, to be played over. In professional sports, almost optimal ball contact often even results in a backspin that lets the ball roll back on the green . This can also prevent the golf ball from rolling into obstacles behind the green. The backspin is essentially dependent on the club loft, the length of the grass on which the ball is lying and the type of grass on the green (Bermuda grass or bent grass). Bermuda grass accepts spin better. The higher the loft and the lower the bounce, the higher the backspin. The shorter the grass the ball is on, the higher the backspin. Example: It is nearly impossible to pitch a high backspin pitch with high backspin on a hard green of bent grass with a sand wedge that has 12 ° bounce out of tall, soft grass. Counterexample: A pitch with a lob wedge with 4 ° bounce, played from hard, short-cut grass to a soft green of Bermuda grass, always has a lot of backspin. The numerous factors that influence the backspin make the aspect of the backspin an unreliable empirical value when pitching, which plays almost no role in amateur golf and is largely ignored by conservative players even in professional golf.
When pitching, the steep angle of incidence often creates so-called pitch marks . These are dents in the green that the player should repair with a pitch fork . The depth of the pitch mark depends on the softness of the green. If you hit a soft spot, the pitch mark is low; if you hit a hard spot, there may be no pitch mark at all. Depending on the depth of the pitch mark, the ball behaves differently after it hits the ground. The lower the pitch mark, the less the ball rolls over. The softer the green, the more it takes on the backspin of the ball.
Furthermore, the bounce is a noteworthy aspect of the pitch strike. The bounce is the angle of the club sole below the club face. Rackets with a high bounce (around 12 °) are suitable for hits from the rough or on an uphill slope. Clubs with a low bounce (approx. 4 °) are suitable for hits on a downward slope or on hard, dry ground (hard pan lie) or from divots. Clubs with a medium bounce (approx. 8 °) are mainly used in light rough and from the fairway without a slope.
Pitching differs from a similar approach shot, the chip, in that when pitching the club head is usually held more open (parallel-left alignment) and the ball is addressed exactly from the middle of the line connecting the two toes. With right-handers, the left foot is slightly turned towards the target, the right foot is parallel to the club face, the feet are about shoulder width apart. When chipping, on the other hand, the ball is closer to the right foot and the club head is brought at a steeper angle to the ground to allow a flatter shot, the chip . The feet are close together on the chip and both slightly turned towards the target.
When pitching, the club is also drawn out further and the momentum is mainly created by gradually bending the wrists, with the arms remaining relatively stiff and only the upper body swinging when chipping. The bending of the wrists during pitch (wrist cock) is created by pulling both hands vertically upwards. The back swing plane is slightly steeper than a full golf swing. Depending on the length of the backswing, the wrists bend more, but remain essentially stiff (dead hands). A distinction is made between three key positions in the upswing: the 7 o'clock, 9 o'clock and 11 o'clock backswing, with the straight guide arm - viewed from the front - assuming the symbolic role of a pointer on a clock face. The length of the backswing determines the length of the shot. So every player has three different basic pitches with every wedge. This results in a four-wedge system (PW, GW, SW, LW) a total of twelve repeatable carry lengths that every player should know by heart. The grip-down pitch, in which the player grips the club shorter, reduces the shot length by around 15-20% compared to the full length of the grip. This creates twelve more repeatable lengths with a four-wedge system. A well-designed wedge system enables a player to play a ball almost always at 2 meters to the hole with 24 repeatable carryl lengths between 15 and 90 meters, as long as he knows its lengths and can assess how the ball behaves after impact . It is precisely this fact that makes the pitch one of the most important strokes in golf.
The downward movement during the pitch is synchronized (synchronized movement). This means that the hips, upper body and arms do not swing at a different time, as is the case with a full golf swing. The backswing on the pitch is in most cases longer than the backswing. At the 7 o'clock pitch, the backswing ends at 3 o'clock. The 9 o'clock and 11 o'clock pitches have a full finish like a full golf swing. The backswing is only longer than the backswing when the knock-down pitch against the wind or when the height of the grass or other circumstances do not allow swinging through. Special forms of pitch are also the drop pitch, the chop pitch, the rip pitch and the blast pitch, which are only used on very tall grass on the side of the green. There is also the backward pitch, which is played with one arm from behind when a normal stance from the front is not possible, and the cock-it-first pitch, in which the hands are first angled up and then the arms are raised in order to avoid an obstacle in the back swing (e.g. tree trunk).
The Lob is a short shot with a very steep flight curve. The ball should rest immediately after landing instead of rolling a little like with pitch. A lob wedge or a sand wedge with an open club face is usually used for the execution . Contrary to popular belief, the ball is played from the middle of the stand and not from the front. Since you have to go much further for the praise than for the pitch, this golf shot is very prone to errors.
Bunker hit is the hit of the ball out of the sand , which is usually played with a ( sand wedge ). In the bunker it is not allowed to touch the sandy ground before the shot, as this could deform the ground with the club. The bunker strike must therefore be done with the club slightly raised.
Wedges with a low bounce (approx. 6 °) are used for wet, firm sand. Wedges with a high bounce (approx. 12 °) are used for dry and flaky sand.
The striking technique differs depending on the position of the ball in the sand: If the ball is lying freely on the sand, the club face is opened and the ball is played further forward while standing. If it is half buried, the hit sheet is opened slightly and played from the center of the stand. If the ball is completely buried, however, the club face is closed and the ball is played from behind while standing.
It should be noted here that the ball is not hit directly with a Greenside bunker shot, but the sand must be hit before the ball. With a fairway bunker shot over 85 meters in length, the ball is played technically exactly as from the fairway, but it is taken into account that about 20% of the shot length is lost. The 9 o'clock pitch technique is used for a medium-length bunker loft about 30 to 60 meters away.
The chip is a short, shallow approach shot on the green that, statistically speaking, is played at least 2 to 5 times per round of golf. This stroke is usually performed when the golf ball is close to the green, but a small obstacle (rough, pre-green) still has to be played over. The length of the chip shot varies between 9 and 30 meters. Mainly wedges or short to medium irons are used, rarely a hybrid or fairway wood. The aim of this stroke is that the ball flies just over the obstacle and then rolls as close as possible to the flag. The backswing is short and done with stiff hands. The backswing on the chip is about 20% longer than the backswing. The club face remains square to the target during the sequence of movements. Keep your wrists in front of the club face.
The deeper the chip flies, the straighter the shot. That is why medium irons are often used for the chip. Backspin is an obstacle with the chip because the shot should roll consistently. It is also possible to chip with a putter. This is an advantage for so-called down-lies on the edge of the green, where the ball is slightly buried. Chipping with the fairway wood (wood chip) is sometimes advantageous because of the rounded back of the club head out of the rough. If it is nestled in the rough to the edge of the green, the cock-and-pop chip is worth mentioning, in which only the wrists are used to push the ball from the deep rough into the green.
A longer chip over relatively long distances (up to 120 meters) is called a bump-and-run . The aim of the bump-and-run shot is to hit the ball flat by jumping and rolling to the target. The ball hits the green and bounces onto the green, where it rolls towards the hole. The bump-and-run plays an important role on flat and dry fairways, when there is a lot of wind or when obstacles such as trees etc. are underplayed. The backswing and backswing movement can be compared with that of the 7 o'clock pitch, using a medium iron. The bump-and-run is seldom or not practiced in golf in wind-free areas, but in Scotland it is a widespread and traditional stroke, especially in match play.
A special form of bump-and-run is the so-called Texas turn-down made from very tall grass. The ball is played from the tip of the club with strongly bent wrists in a back swing across the front. The aim is to bring the ball back into play from the problematic situation.
The putt is a hit with the putter on the green in which the ball does not fly, but only rolls (ideally directly into the hole ). It is the most common golf shot with an average of two putts per hole. The one-hole rate of putts among average amateurs reaches around 50% at a distance of 2 meters and then drops rapidly to below 10% from a distance of 3 meters. It is therefore important to play the ball within a radius of less than two meters to the hole in order to have a realistic chance of conversion. The likelihood of making three putts on one hole increases as the length of the second putt increases.
A distinction is made between push-putt techniques, in which the ball is pressed towards the hole with the hand below (well-known representatives Jack Nicklaus , Arnold Palmer) and pull-putt techniques, in which the ball is pulled towards the hole with the guide hand becomes. There are also body putt techniques in which the ball is only hit by rotating the shoulders.
The common grip when putting is the so-called reverse overlap grip, in which the index finger of the guide hand remains extended. However, there are also a number of players who crosshanded putt and swap the role of both hands by grasping them (e.g. Bernhard Langer in the 80s) or who lean an extra long putter on the forearm (e.g. Matt Kuchar). Leaning against the upper body of the putter has not been permitted since 2017. Since 1967 the croquet- putt technique is no longer allowed in golf, in which the player stands behind the ball on the line to the hole (representative Sam Snead ). The putter, on the other hand, is the only golf club that is allowed to have two hitting surfaces.
When putting, direction and speed are the main factors. Speed is more important than precise direction. In order not to stay short, the ball is usually hit lightly over the hole. If you putt in the direction of the grass, the ball accelerates. If you putt against the grass, the ball is slowed down. The negative role played by dimples in putt is worth mentioning. A short putt that is hit directly on the side of the dimple has a lower probability of one hole. Direct contact with the ball surface is only possible with longer putts, as these are hit harder.
Special forms of the putt are the chip putt with the straight lower edge of a wedge. This is done when the ball is directly on the edge of the fairway leading to the green and it is not possible to swing the putter without resistance.
In amateur golf, hitting out of the water is rather rare. In professional golf this is practiced in half-submerged positions. The stroke technique differs from that of the bunker stroke only in that the golfer hits more decisively and usually gets rid of his shoes before hitting in the water.
According to Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schabus, an expert in the prevention of sports injuries at the Vienna University Clinic, golf swing is a technically demanding sequence of movements in which 124 to 130 muscles are used. A bon mot often rumored in the press and among golf teachers of unclear origin also states that the golf swing is the most complex movement of all sports after the pole vault and next to figure skating .
There are a number of theories that describe the golf swing and identify one or more optimal movement patterns. In some cases, these concepts differ considerably, some are even represented by a single golf instructor, while others have acquired a larger following over time and are spreading through professional training structures. At the end of the day, the proportion of the player's body and their club fitting are decisive in determining which technique is the most successful for them in the long term.
First and foremost, the teaching methods of the various PGAs should be named, which can claim a certain claim to leadership, since most golf instructors are members of these associations. However, many PGA golf instructors do not or only partially adhere to the official canon. In particular, some prominent golf instructors who teach well-known tour players have developed their own concepts that they sell in the form of books or videos (e.g. John Jacobs , Oliver Heuler , Moe Norman , Count Yogi , Nick Faldo , David Leadbetter , Dave Pelz ) . These trainers have set up branches of their golf school in some countries, where lessons are exclusively based on their system.
Essentially, the following Schwung typologies have been established over the past 100 years :
- The traditional one-plane swing according to Ben Hogan , as it is described in detail in his book " Five Lessons of Golf ". Representatives of this swing technique were and are among others Harry Vardon , Bobby Jones , Ben Hogan, Matt Kuchar , Zach Johnson . In this swing type, shoulders and the extended guide arm are on the same level at the top of the back swing. Body weight remains centralized during the swing. The result is usually a straight and controlled flight of the ball without noticeably large shot distances in favor of more control.
- The two-plane swing according to Harvey Penick . Representatives of this swing technique were and are, among others, Tom Kite , Ben Crenshaw , Fred Couples , Greg Norman , Jack Nicklaus . With this swing type, shoulders and the extended guide arm at the top of the back swing are on two different levels (guide arm slightly above the shoulder line). The weight shift during the strike happens from the back foot towards the target. The result is usually a targeted draw ball flight with a good shot distance.
- The power swing according to Mike Austin . Representatives of this swing technique were and are, among others, Mike Austin, John Daly , Bubba Watson , Jamie Sadlowski , Colin Montgomerie . With this type of swing, the extended guide arm swings upwards almost vertically far above the shoulder line and can therefore reach an unnaturally wide swing. The result is an overswing with a " flying elbow ". From there a number of acrobatic movements are necessary to compensate for the overshoot in the downswing. If compensation is achieved by tilting backwards and an unnaturally high finish, the golfer can achieve enormous distances. The result is usually a so-called power fade with slice tendencies.
- The stack-and-tilt swing . Representatives of this swing technique were and are, among others, Alexander Cejka , Martin Kaymer , Lee Westwood . In this swing type, the golfer shifts his weight towards the target (stack) from the start and tips backwards during the moment of impact (tilt).
- Alternative swing techniques . There have always been players in golf who - often through self-taught training - have perfected alternative techniques that have contradicted any textbook opinion. Often these players swing from the inside out on a loop, breaking the wrist inwards or playing with a weak grip. The phenomenon of how these players can keep up in professional golf from time to time has not yet been clarified. In such cases, it is probably a matter of a gifted coordinator that cannot be taught. Well-known representatives are Eamonn Darcy , Ray Floyd , Jim Furyk .
All of the swing types mentioned above contain certain parallels that act as constants in the sequence of movements:
- Grip: The grip is the most important element of the golf swing. Most of the errors in the complete sequence of movements are caused by an incorrect grip position. Good golf starts with a good grip. The most common grip technique of the racket is the so-called Vardon-Grip (also called Overlap Grip), in which the two hands are united by overlapping the little finger over the guide hand. Less widespread variants are the interlocking grip (crossing of the little finger and index finger) and the baseball grip (10-finger grip). The leading hand on top (for right-handers, the left) holds the racket with the hand (handle) at two points on the ball of the hand and with the curved index finger, while the other fingers are only gently placed around the racket without pressure. The thumb of the guide hand is pressed briefly (short thumb) and not long on the shaft of the racket directly from above. The hand lying below (the right hand for right-handers) overlaps the hollow between the index finger and middle finger of the guide hand with the little finger and only holds the club shaft slightly in position with the lower part of the ring and middle finger (finger grip). The thumb and forefinger of the lower hand form a V between which the club shaft is hooked with a slightly protruding index finger, whereby the heel of the hand below the forefinger exerts pressure on the club shaft in the direction of the target.
- Setup: The swing technique used by the majority of all golfers begins with addressing the golf ball (often referred to as "setup"). Depending on the racket, the player stands about shoulder-width apart and has the ball in front of him. The upper body and knees of the player are slightly bent, the club head is behind the ball and normally points towards the target. The setup is used to aim and to prepare for the golf swing. Some waggles follow.
- Upswing: Then the so-called upswing begins in which the golf club is lifted until it is over the shoulders and the shaft points horizontally to the ground in the direction of the target. The player's hands are initially a unit with the shoulders, which is referred to as a one-piece take-away , and are gradually bent from about hip height, which is referred to as a wrist cock . In order to be able to provide more rotational energy in the body, the hips and shoulders are rotated circularly in the direction of movement during the upswing , whereby the muscles between the hips and shoulders are to be tensioned.
- Downswing: This attitude will initiate the downswing . The player lets his arms fall vertically on an elliptical path down and forwards towards the ball, while the shoulders and hips rotate in this direction. The bent elbow touches the hip. At the crucial moment, the moment of impact , the club head hits the golf ball slightly from the inside out. The kinetic energy of the racket is transferred to the ball and makes it fly in that direction. The wrist of the guide hand is bent towards the target at the moment of impact.
- Follow-through : Immediately after hitting the ball, the club head reaches maximum speed in the so-called follow-through . The guide hand is rolled over by the lower hand (release) and braked in the swing on the ellipse described with the club head .
- Finish: The golf swing ends with the finish . In this position, the club is behind the player's head while the player has turned fully towards the target and the right foot ( left foot for a left-handed player ) is on tiptoe.
The trajectory of a golf ball usually describes an upward parabolic curve that drops steeply at a turning point. This fact is due to the buoyancy that the ball receives from the dimples (small depressions on the ball surface) and the backspin in the air channel. Independently of this, the golfer has the option of changing the trajectory by technically varying the sequence of movements. Errors in the sequence of movements can also lead to undesirable trajectories of the ball. Depending on the flight path of the ball, a distinction is made between different variants (for right-handers - left-handed golfers swap right and left) :
- Straight : The normal, straight trajectory hit.
- Draw : A golf stroke in which the ball does not fly to the target in a straight line, but starts to the right of this line and lands in the target after a gentle left turn. The draw can be used to adapt the trajectory to local conditions - e.g. B. to the left bend fairway - and also has the advantage that its stroke length is approx. 10% longer than that of a just hit ball at the same start speed.
- Fade : Like the draw, but from left to right, the fade also flies higher and therefore also shorter than the straight stroke.
- Slice : a shot that just starts and then makes a (mostly) unwanted right turn.
- Hook : Like Slice, only with a left turn.
- Punch : Hit with a straight but deliberately flat trajectory. This shot is played against the wind or under an obstacle.
- Push : Straight shot, but starts to the right of the finish line and lands accordingly to the right of the target.
- Pull : Like push, only to the left.
- Push-Slice : A punch that starts to the right of the finish line and turns even further to the right during the flight.
- Push-Hook and Push-Draw : Shot that starts to the right of the finish line and turns to the left during the flight.
- Pull-Hook : a shot that starts to the left of the finish line and turns even further to the left during the flight. An extreme version of the pull hook is the snap hook , in which the ball turns even more to the left and also flies very flat. This is due to a clubface that is so tightly closed due to the strong rolling over of the wrists ( snap ) that it practically no longer has any loft .
- Pull-Slice and Pull-Fade : Stroke that starts to the left of the finish line and turns to the right during the flight.
Error in the sequence of movements
Failures in golf are mainly caused by errors in the golfer's movement sequence or by faulty equipment (e.g. club too long; driver too little loft). If the mistakes are repeated unnoticed during training, the golfer trains himself to the mistake until he has deepened it so that a correction is only possible with great difficulty. The result of the correction then often leads to the counter error, which is why it is advisable in golf not to practice on the driving range without guidance than to practice a mistake. The golf industry has propagated a number of utensils that should enable players to correct their mistakes in the golf swing (e.g. holding devices, corsages, helmets). Often, however, the players train themselves to make additional mistakes through the aid. Since in golf it is initially possible to compensate for a mistake in the golf swing by another mistake, there are a large number of amateurs who - up to a certain level - make the golf shot from a labyrinthine collection of compensating errors in the movement. A great risk of failure in golf is therefore to confuse yourself over the years in misguided mechanical considerations, or to allow fellow players to confuse them with well-intentioned advice. There are a number of classic golf mistakes that have been given academic terms over time:
- Over The Top : In the downswing, the player swings from high above from the outside in onto the ball instead of slightly from the inside out through the ball.
- Sway : The player sways his hips far to the right and left when going up and down. This prevents the hips and shoulders from rotating in the backswing.
- Reverse Pivot : Incorrect weight shift during the swing. Load on the left leg in the backswing and load on the right leg in the backswing.
- Weak Grip : The guide hand is turned too far under the shaft.
- Strong Grip : The guide hand is turned too far over the shaft.
- Overswing : The backswing is way too long. The golfer can often see the club head directly in front of him when swinging back at the top of the back swing.
- Timing : The timing of the swing is not correctly coordinated.
- Yips : Yips are uncontrolled muscle twitches that occur immediately before the shot when chipping and putting. The golfer loses control, which can lead to failures of any kind.
- Laid off : The club shaft points far away from the player's body at the highest point of the backswing.
- Cross : At the highest point of the backswing, the club shaft points well above the player's head.
- Spooning (including spoons ): The golfer spooning at impact to bend towards the finish the ball with their wrists in the air rather than the wrists. In the worst case, he hits the golf ball twice during the stroke, which is counted as a penalty stroke. By spooning, the golf swing loses both range and control. Often spooning takes place with increasing club length and decreasing loft of the club. Most spoonbills can therefore not hit a 3 iron further than a 5 iron. If beginners get a driver with too much length and too little loft, they train themselves to spoon.
Failures due to incorrect ball contact
- Socket : failed hit in which the ball is hit with the heel (called the hosel ) of the racket. With a socket with the iron the ball flies almost at right angles and flat to the right and with a socket with the wood accordingly to the left.
- Air strike (also called airshot ): the ball is missed completely, it remains in the same place, but according to the rules of golf, a movement intended to hit the ball counts as a stroke.
- Ball hit thin : a ball hit "too high" (near the equator), the trajectory is flatter than usual. The increase is topped because you only hit the ball with the front edge of the clubface. The trajectory is then extremely flat to the front or, if hit near the pole, even down and then bounce off the ground. In the case of short strokes, such as the pitch, the effect is usually particularly drastic, as such a ball then flies and rolls much further than intended. With such a stroke there is also an increased risk that the ball will subsequently be unusable, since it will be hit with the club edge and not with the face. The cause is often a lifting of the upper body in the back swing.
- Bold hit ball (also known as Benzinger or heel ): The bat hacks into the ground in front of the ball and is slowed down so that the stroke is clearly too short. Often a large divot (cloth made of earth and grass) flies through the air on this stroke, which affects the golf course. That is why these players are often pejoratively called " hackers ".
- Embezzled ball : The racket hits the tee below the ball when teeing off. The ball is hit with the top edge of the club and flies straight up into the air. The cause is often too steep a downturn.
- Missing the sweet spot : The sweet spot is the ideal meeting point on the club face of a golf club. It is located in the middle of the vertical central axis of the club face, slightly below the horizontal central axis. If this point is missed at the moment of impact, a source of error arises.
Due to the fact that the golfer has much more time for a golf swing than an athlete for a swing in many other technically comparable sports, the mental aspects of the golf swing are given special attention in sports psychology . Golf coaches such as Bob Rotella or Bernd Litti have specialized almost entirely in mental training of the golf swing. The aim is to develop methods that dispel anger, fear or doubts about your own game. The mental preparation and initiation of the golf swing is limited by the following vocabulary:
- Hitting Routine : The routine is a ritual that every golfer has before making a golf swing, in order to mentally prepare for the swing. The routine is always executed in the same sequence. If the routine is interrupted (e.g. by a spectator), the golfer starts over with the routine.
- Practice swing : The practice swing is a full golf swing, which will be completed before the actual golf shot and part is the impact routine. The golfer stands visibly far from the ball and makes a test cast. Some golfers take the test swing a little slower and repeat it twice. Others use the same pace as in the actual swing. During the test swing, the stroke must not affect the area around the golf ball. For example, tall grass must not be removed by the test swing or the tee area of the golf course damaged so that the golfer can make the actual shot easier.
- Waggle : A waggle is a small preparatory shot that the golfer performs immediately before the actual shot and is part of the shot routine. The club head is shaken slightly backwards. The aim of the waggle is to loosen up the muscles for the actual swing and to anticipate key positions of the actual swing. For example, Ben Hogan advocates a waggle in which the wrist is angled slightly upwards, the left elbow rotates toward the target, and the right elbow hits the right hip while the wrists move forward toward the target. As a result, three important elements of the full swing in miniature form are loaded several times into the short-term memory of the muscles shortly before the actual stroke. The waggle is not to be confused with the trial swing, which is a complete swing made before the ball is hit.
- Tee-Off : The very first tee -off in golf is known as the " tee-off " and is the stroke in a golf tournament that the golfer executes under the greatest pressure. Often the golfer is observed by spectators from the clubhouse on the first tee and has not yet been properly warmed up, which is why the mental aspect on the first tee is of particular importance. It is generally advisable to leave a lot of time here for the golf swing and to focus confidently on the swing.
- Hot Streak : A Hot Streak (something like " luck ") is a series of perfect golf shots on a round. Most golfers experience this phenomenon at least once, which plays a special role in mental training. Often the players describe that during this time they “ didn't get in their own way ” and didn't think about the mechanics of the game. The aim of mental training is to internalize the mentality that the golfer has during a hot streak.
- Swing Crisis : The swing crisis describes the loss of any ability to make a good golf swing, even though one is actually excellent at it. Most golfers experience a swing crisis in their career. The reason for the swing crisis are often technical, mental and training-related problems that accumulate when the player is under pressure. Henrik Stenson stopped playing the ninth hole at the 2001 European Open due to a swing crisis. Ian Baker-Finch only used the putter on the last three holes of the 1997 British Open because he couldn't hit any other club.
- Caddy : The caddy is the only companion on a round of golf who is allowed to give advice to a golfer during the game. Caddies who only accompany one player know him so well that they not only carry his bag, but also give him mental support.
Golf club strategy and management
Since most golf courses are designed for three to five golf shots, golf shots are always executed as a series of successive golf courses. In this context, the above-mentioned stroke variants must be strategically coordinated with the space available and with one another in order to achieve an optimal end result.
- Rain and moisture : When it rains, it is advisable to take one more iron than you would use in dry conditions. If the grips are wet from rain, the club head slides easily in the hands at the moment of impact, which is why the player must keep the grips and hands dry before making the golf swing. Special golf towels, waterproof shoes, rain suits and absorbent grips and gloves are used for this.
- Dryness and heat : as the outside temperature increases, the balls fly on. As the pitch becomes increasingly dry, the balls keep jumping. It is often advisable to use one less iron for the golf swing. Long, flat iron strokes often roll further than a fairway wood on very dry and hard fairways.
- Altitude of the course : The higher the course is above sea level , the lower the air pressure , which means that the balls fly further.
- Wind conditions : In windy conditions it is advisable to keep the ball flat.
- Avoid weaknesses : If a golfer has a weakness in a particular golf swing, he can avoid this by managing his game. Jack Nicklaus, for example, had a poor bunker game and strategically avoided playing near the bunkers during the long game.
- Lightning and thunderstorms : Since golf clubs are made of metal, a golf shot should not be performed during thunderstorms. Professional golfer Lee Trevino was struck by lightning at the Western Open near Chicago in 1975 (and survived).
Humanities aspects of golf swing
Although the humanities aspects of the golf swing currently receive little attention, they are a traditional topic. The golf stroke embodies a geometry applied to the proportions of the respective human body, which enables people and their tools (clubs) to establish contact with the vast landscape ( world ) through physical intervention on a point in space (ball) . The center of the elliptical and circular rotational movements is the navel according to the proportion studies by the architect Vitruvius. The head embodies an almost immobile mental constant in the course of movement. The arms are raised and swing freely up into the firmament . The legs are solid foundations and pillars of the player. As development progresses, the golfer is consequently assigned an expanded awareness of geometric and worldly relationships, which lead into a philosophical construct that is able to contribute to his incarnation . On closer inspection, the golf swing is a form of architecture that is directly applied to humans .
Records and curiosities
- Alan Shepard played the first golf swing on the moon (Apollo 14, 1971 ). Obstructed by the astronaut suit, he could only hit with one hand, but in the second attempt he managed a punch over about 350 m (with 6 iron).
- Kelly Murray scored the longest golf shot (according to the Guinness Book ) in 1990: The ball flew (and rolled) 684.8 yards (approx. 610 m) over an airport runway.
- Mike Dobbyn achieved the longest tee shot in a tournament on a golf course with 551 yards (approx. 503 m).
- The longest hole-in-one over 406 meters was played in 1965 by Robert Mitera at the Miracle Hills Golf Club in Omaha, Nebraska .
- In 2006, the astronaut Mikhail Tyurin hit a golf ball from the space station ISS towards Earth, which circled the earth 48 times within three days.
- The professional golfer Jim White sank 16 balls in one round in the tournament at a hole in the same water hazard.
- Dave Pelz's " Short Game Bible " - Chapter 7 "The Pitch" - Hardcover: 448 pages Publisher: Doubleday; Edition: 1 (May 11, 1999) Language: English ISBN 978-0-7679-0344-8
- Dave Pelz's " Short Game Bible " - Chapter 8 "Chipping and the Bump and Run" - Hardcover: 448 pages Publisher: Doubleday; Edition: 1 (May 11, 1999) Language: English ISBN 978-0-7679-0344-8 .
- Dave Pelz's Putting Bible Hardcover: 416 pages Publisher: Doubleday (June 6, 2000) Language: English ISBN 978-0-385-50024-1
- Jack Nicklaus "Golf My Way" paperback: 304 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Edition: ed (March 7, 2005) Language: English ISBN 0-7432-6712-5 .
- Ben Hogan " The Golf Swing " Chapter 3 - Hardcover: 120 pages Publisher: van Eck Verlag; Edition: 5 (September 15, 2016) ISBN 978-3-905501-51-3 .
- Harvey Penick: "Little Red Book" Hardcover: 208 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Edition: Anniversary (May 8, 2012) Language: English, ISBN 978-1-4516-8321-9 .
- Ben Hogan “ The Golf Swing ”, Chapter 1 “The Handle” - Hardcover: 120 pages Publisher: van Eck Verlag; Edition: 5 (September 15, 2016) ISBN 978-3-905501-51-3 .
- Gary McCord " Golf for Dummies " Paperback: 338 pages Publisher: Wiley-VCH; Edition: 4th (September 11, 2019) Language: German ISBN 978-3-527-71504-6
- Dr. Bob Rotella " Golf is not a Game of Perfect " - 224 pages Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Language: English ISBN 0-684-80364-X
- Süddeutsche about Stetson's abandonment of the game https://www.sueddeutsche.de/sport/golf-piele-der-eismann-greif-an-1.735568
- Trevino, two others survive lightning bolts . In: Eugene Register-Guard , June 28, 1975, p. 1B.
- Trevino's survival a minor miracle . In: Eugene Register-Guard , June 29, 1975, p. 1B.