I don’t play golf, but in 2010 I wrote a book called Golf Sense that has since received acclaim from players and coaches worldwide. And I also admit that what I know about golf can be written on the back of the proverbial postage stamp. So why did I choose to write a book about a game that can frustrate millions of players all over the globe?
It started with a golfer who came for lesson in The Alexander Technique in 2007. He initially came for help with lower back pain he suffered sitting at his desk at work. We didn’t even talk about golf at the time because he was in so much discomfort he didn’t risk going to the course in case he was tempted and injured his back further. After about three lessons we reached the point where he’d had two weeks without pain and I agreed he should try just a few holes at first.
The following week he came for his fourth lesson and he was pleased to report he’d played nine holes without a twinge. He also stated that applying the movement and awareness techniques we covered in the lessons, he found his swing improved and he felt more in control of his club. I asked him to bring along his putter along to the next session and we looked at how he prepared, got into his stance and completed the putt. Later I went to the driving range and looked at his swing.
Again, he was pleased to report how much more he felt in control, and surprisingly, how much less effort he used.
Following this success, I ran a workshop at the golf club and tested out The Alexander Technique on eight more players. I was pleased to see that all felt the exercises in awareness and observation helped to eradicate a number of bad habits they were completely oblivious to previously.
Encouraged by the results I decided to research further and write a book! As I stress to players of many sports I know little about, I do know quite a bit about movement and how the mind plays a huge role in performance. I admit I was a little wary of how it would be received, but I needn't have worried.
You can't please everyone but the majority of comments have been very favourable, including...
"This book has many self “experiments” and most are done without a club. They are really quite eye-opening."
"Palmer understands the psychology of this great game of golf and makes it easy to understand and apply"
"Amateurs and golf pros can both benefit from this book... a must read for all golfers!"
"I love this book and have used the author's suggestions with my students with great success."
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