News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

On & Off the Course

October 6, 2012

ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf from the wrong side of the brain

TERRE HAUTE — Imagine this scenario: a woman, small in stature (possibly freckled), walks into a hospital emergency room and says, “I have an emergency, I need a doctor quickly!” The admitting nurse, ever trying to be helpful, asks what the emergency is.

“I have a terrible case of the shanks, and a tee time in an hour!” says the little lady.

Luckily, the doctor on duty at the time also happens to be an avid golfer, and knows what to do. “Call the neurologist, stat!” he orders.

In a flash, in comes Super Neuro-Doctor, dressed in surgical garb and paper footies, ready to serve and protect, as only he can. “What’s the problem?”, he asks?

“It’s my golf game,” she says, “I’ve got a bad case of the shanks!”

“Ah! I know the problem! Your frontal lobes are taking over where your cerebellum ought to be working!”

It might sound like a scene from a bad soap opera, or more likely a comedy, but it’s not really so far from the truth. I have never had to think too much about my golf game. I just got up and hit the ball, and some sort of natural ability took over. Over the last couple of years though, I’ve been playing more tennis than golf, and that’s when the problem of the shank started to rear its’ ugly head. I don’t know the technical term for it, but I think my muscle memory got confused!

I went to the practice range to try to get rid of the problem. At the range there were other weary souls who either had gone through the same problem, or were currently working on it too. The advice I got out there varied from “play one of your sports left-handed” to “Bud Light.”

The left-handed idea wasn’t too bad a thought, because I am ambidextrous, but it would be almost like starting all over again. I didn’t have time for that.

What I ended up doing instead, was getting online and doing some research. I found a very interesting website called, “golfpsych.com” with a blog by Dr. Deborah Graham titled, “Your Left Brain is a Lousy Golfer.”

Dr. Graham explains that we use our left brain for math, logic, accounting, etc., and our right brain for art, music, imagination and creativity. She says, “… the left brain is clumsy and un-athletic while right brain is where the ‘natural athletes’ operate best.”

She goes on to say that you need your left brain to analyze the situation (distance, wind, etc.), but you need for your left brain to shut off once you take your stance over the ball, and let your right brain take over. That made total sense to me, and also explained why I had been struggling so much. I was over-thinking it. And when I’d fail once, I’d get scared, and get my timing off completely. It was a vicious circle.

What helped me a lot was playing a few rounds by myself, walking with tunes playing on my IPhone, keeping my right brain engaged. Being relaxed and getting over my fear was probably the biggest part of what helped. There’s no guarantee that the shanks won’t come back, or that some other problem might arise, but I know that the answer is not in thinking my way through it. Thinking is probably what caused the problem in the first place! Think before you speak, but don’t think before you swing a golf club! Empty your head and let your muscle memory take over.

Quote of the Day: “The most advanced medical brains in the universe have yet to discover a way for a man to relax himself, and looking at a golf ball is not the cure.” — Milton Gross, writer.

 Jennnifer Myers can be reached by e-mail at

jfmyers@xsthe.net.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
On & Off the Course
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct Hispanic Caucus Slams GOP for Border Bill Shifts Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity