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Which is more technical, skiing or golf?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Well, which is it?  Any golf pros here who also teach skiing?

What to you folks think?  

post #2 of 26
As an amateur golfer and skier I vote for golf. Some little error somewhere in movement and the result is catastrophic. And those errors just appear out of nowhere, all the time.


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post #3 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skise View Post

As an amateur golfer and skier I vote for golf. Some little error somewhere in movement and the result is catastrophic.

 

Right.

 

You make some little error and the ball goes careening off into the woods, bouncing out-of-control off one tree after another until finally coming to rest in a place where it is unlikely to be found.

 

That's certainly catastrophic compared to what can happen in skiing.

post #4 of 26

I would say golf but It's a difficult comparison for me as I'm not as qualified to discuss skiing technique as I am golf.  Two things I would point to as indicators:

 

1.  Cause and effect with ski technique seems more direct than for golf.  I can find my own flaws in skiing directly by what I'm doing, without the help of a pro.  With golf there's generally a chain of cause and effect where the root cause is often not easy to figure out, even for experienced teaching pros.

 

2.  The natural variation in the human body's attempts to produce repetitive athletic movements over time is far more disruptive to golf than skiing.  Golf requires constant attention to deal with unintended changes in movements.  Skiing, while it may feel and become better by monitoring, drills, etc., doesn't so heavily rely on it.  Far less maintenance is required with skiing technique.

 

Perhaps if I knew more about skiing or were at a different level I'd feel differently.

post #5 of 26

I vote fishing as being the most technical of the two choices.

post #6 of 26
Golf
post #7 of 26

I guess it depends on your meaning of the word "technical".  Both sports are quite technical.  

 

Both sports require a certain sequencing of body movements, which if done out of order or with the wrong timing result in disappointing results.  Both sports involve certain movements which may not be completely natural to homo sapiens.  In other words we have to learn some sequence of body movements in just the right order, at just the right timing, in a way that is not genetically natural, which requires a lot of practice until its burned into muscle memory.  If its burned into muscle memory wrong, it then becomes exponentially more difficult to learn the correct sequencing.

 

Both sports have a lot of variation in their own way.  Skiing can present many different ski scenarios and conditions requiring the ability to adjust our technique and feel accordingly.  Golf tends to focus around one swing mostly with a lot of emphasis on the precision of feel.  There are some variations related to different lies.   My personal opinion is that golf requires more of a grooved in muscle memory in order to execute with enough precision, golf has much lower tolerance for error then skiing in terms of accuracy and feel, but I might be taking my 40 years of skiing for granted.  I do think skiing has more wildly variable variation, requiring technical depth and experience to handle with split second reaction time.

 

Golf is also very much a mental game.  Mental, not because you have to coordinate a lot of technical stuff like skiing or adapt to new situations so much like skiing, but mental because you have to perform that perfect swing, but its not possible to do so without being relaxed.  So somehow you have to find the balance between coordinating your swing process with the various details of how to do it....and yet keep yourself relaxed while you do it.  Focused enough for that precision, yet relaxed enough to be able to do it.  That's the biggest struggle of the game IMHO.

 

There are a lot of learn to golf gizmos out there which might make it seem like this must be a lot more technical but my view is that its not so much that its more technical as much as that is requires precision and the gizmos are generally designed to help us find out where we are off and become more precise and groove that precision into muscle memory. 

 

Disclaimer, I am not a golf pro, I have only been to a buzzillion golf lessons and still struggle to break 90 occasionally.

post #8 of 26

I don't teach golf, but I've been studying the sport intensely now for 14 years. My first response is "does it matter"? Neither sport has to be technical. Both sports have aspects where geeks can argue technical stuff till the cows come home.

 

What do you mean by technical?

 

With respect to biomechanics, I'd argue that they are the close to the same complexity because of full body movements. One could argue that skiing is simpler because we have right turn/left turn vs back swing/down swing/follow through.Also, skiing has one set of gear vs 14 clubs, and powder/ice/crud/packed powder/trees/terrain park vs tee shots/approach shots/pitching/chipping/bunker/putting. Skiing has cross under, cross over and blended transitions. Golf has the "9 shots" (low, medium and high trajectory times straight, draw and fade flight paths). One could also argue that skiing is more complex because skiing is moving while golf is "static".

 

Ski racing has a "technical line", but a golf course is typically designed with one more intended lines of play for each hole that could be viewed as equivalent.

 

Skiing has fewer and easier "rules" than golf.

 

It takes about 1-2 hours on average to learn to ski or golf. Who wants to argue golf takes more time to learn? I've seen studies that say 10% of first time skiers do not take a formal lesson. I'll bet golf has a higher rate.

 

Either sport can be catastrophic (e.g. recent golf near miss). It looks like skiing makes the top ten list for 1 death per million participants. Golf does not make the top ten list. Skiers wreck knees. Golfers wreck backs.

post #9 of 26

Golf.

I finally gave up golf years ago, because I was tired of actually paying big bucks to essentially be angry!

It was as if I would throw my clubs in the car with the subconscious thought, "Well, time to go be pissed for 3 hours!"

 

I don't get angry skiing...no matter how well or how poorly I'm doing it.

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post

That's certainly catastrophic compared to what can happen in skiing.

What I obviously meant was that a small error of movement frequently ruins the whole game, making it almost impossible to play anymore. With skiing you are a bit slower, a bit more imprecise, the feeling is a bit "off", but you still mostly get the thing done you were trying to do instead of always ending up 30 m left of where you intended to be.

Of course if you mean by "skiing" all the different sports (all types of "even" downhill, traditional xc, xc skating, all types of "trick" jumping, ski jumping, ski ballet, telemark etc) then skiing gets way more technical just because there is so much of it.

Of many golfers I know there is no one who has started golfing without lessons. Of many skiers I know, many have learned to ski without any lessons. I think some one wrote the opposite (can't check while writing an answer). Must be a cultural thing, every Finn knows how to ski, so most don't think they'd need any instruction if they change from xc to alpine. After all, "it's not even a sport, a lift takes you up and the gravity takes you down" said my boss.


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post #11 of 26

  This is easily golf I consider myself above average in both and golf is still so hit or miss, one day its the driver, one day the putter, one day the irons I never have any days skiing where I cant turn left as well as normally could.  Are there days you ski better than others sure but have u ever been awesome in the morning carved all your turns and fell 5 times and sucked in the afternoon I haven't however ive shot an 85 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.

post #12 of 26

I don't know what the exact statistic is but I believe only a single diget percentage of active golfers can break 100.  Endeavoring to make a relationship between a score of 100 on the golf course and an offsetting level of skill in skiing maybe for skiing that becomes making linked turns down a black diamond slope?

 

I don't know what that might be but I believe when comparing the active participants in both sports its my observation that there is a higher percentage of skiers that can perform at a higher level of skill. Maybe I'm wrong and I'm probably biased. I've worked pretty hard at my golf game and play a good bit as well. The past 3-4 months have been horrible. No middle ground at all. Either a really good shot or a really bad shot.

 

With skiing I've certainly found myself on terrain and conditions that kicked my butt and I was no match for, but never as lost as I have been on the golf course. Golf is a great game and I can say I have never felt better about myself and worse about myself than on the golf course. Sometimes on the same hole!

post #13 of 26

Golf is tougher technically.  

 

There are a hundreds of ways to mess up most any golf shot but only a couple of ways to do it right.  In skiing you can compensate for a technical mistake with other in other aspects. Take it to the very highest levels, WC vs PGA, and this may not hold true. 

post #14 of 26

 An observation from a non-golfer............you're always keeping score in golf so you get immediate feedback on your performance.Unlike skiing- unless you're racing (or mogul comps/freestyle comps) there's no measure as to how well or poorly you performed-just a feeling that you killed it or sucked badly. 

post #15 of 26

Dunno nuthin' bout teknikal, but I luv it when people use words like "catastrophic" when it comes to golf :D.

post #16 of 26

Why has the old joke not yet been posted in this thread? Whats the difference between a skier and a golfer? A golfer goes Whack--- "Shit!". A skier goes "Shit!"Whack.

 

How about the single best answer? It depends. For me skiing is far more technical, but that is because I teach it. Golf not so much. The few times I do go out it is with the sole intention of having fun, for which the technical bar is pretty low. In fact my single best shot, one I've never heard of anyone reproducing, is when I drove the ball off my own shin. Fortunately when you mishit it that bad there's not much power behind the ball. And yes I had fun figuring out the mechanics to avoid doing it again.

 

I do have a fair collection of golf instructional books because the good ones present ideas on how to break down technical concepts and interconnected physical actions in a reproducible form. My favorite is one from the late 50s that the title says it all "Its the damn ball". He goes through a good description of how a swing works but his main point is to just swing. His main observation is how many people make perfect swings when decapitating dandelions, or driving cigar butts, but put a ball in front of them and their swing becomes a bundle of hitches. 

 

I guess what it comes down to in both sports is having enough technical knowledge to be able to fix issues as they come up. Thinking about every piece of every action is a way to convince yourself you are improving while at the same time not having any fun.

post #17 of 26

I use to play golf at pretty high level as child. 9 handicap at 9-10 years old well before I had a drive over 150yards.....

 

Golfing is highly technical, but honestly a boring sport and has none of the rush of skiing. Also a mistake in golf is never a life or death matter. A mistake in skiing can be and can be quite often if your skiing fall or die lines.

 

The only sport that are more techicnical than skiing IMO are

 

white water kayaking

rock climbing

mountain biking

inline skating

ice skating

skateboarding

 

all of which will make you better at skiing. Golf will just ruin your walks.

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by roundturns View Post
 

I don't know what the exact statistic is but I believe only a single diget percentage of active golfers can break 100.  Endeavoring to make a/elationship between a score of 100 on the golf course and an offsetting level of skill in skiing maybe for skiing that becomes making linked turns down a black diamond slope?

 

 

Roundturns,

 

According to the USGA statistics, the midpoint of handicaps is about a 13 and, therefore, most golfers will break 100 (or at least those with a handicap). As not all golfers participate in the handicap process, I would argue that the midpoint is higher than 13 for the entire population, but, way more than 10 percent of golfers break 100.

 

http://www.usga.org/handicapping/articles_resources/Men-s--Handicap-Indexes/.

 

The big difference in golf is that you have to play your bad shot, Make a bod turn, just make another one a few seconds later, excepting what can happen in really difficult terrain.

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

I don't teach golf, but I've been studying the sport intensely now for 14 years. My first response is "does it matter"? Neither sport has to be technical. Both sports have aspects where geeks can argue technical stuff till the cows come home.

 

 

 

This. In spades. 

post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

Geeks need to stand up and demand respect.

Golf, and skiing.

post #21 of 26

I still say fishing!

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
 

I still say fishing!

2nd that.  Especially fly fishing.

post #23 of 26

Golf spelled backward is FLOG!

 

And to answer the OP, as a Level 3 instructor (now retired) and current PGA Class A Professional I would have to say golf.

 

As Rusty said neither has to be overly technical but far too many folks in both worlds make it so. In golf you getting a ball from point A to B and in skiing yourself from A to B.

Rarely in either do you have to get into technical minutia to have an enjoyable time. As instructors in either world our job is to assist the student in finding greater enjoyment in getting from Point A to Point B but as I tell my golf students-leave the psychological technical trauma to those of us who make our living in the sport (especially if you play for pay-which I gratefully don't).

 

Anybody can hit a golf ball, few can really control a golf ball. Anybody can ride a ski (or board), few can really control it. Accept it.

 

The margins for error in golf are far smaller; if miss a ski turn by 1 degree unless I am on a race course it probably doesn't matter. If my driver is 1 degree open at impact I am probably 15-20 yards off line.

 

In skiing there is a continuous flow of execution from turn to turn. In golf there is always a significant time gap between shots requiring reassessing, refocusing then execution. 

 

With that said, tomorrow morning at 8 I'll be on the practice range working on my golf skills of alignment, grip, path, plane, balance and rotational skills in a variety of environmental conditions utilizing all 14 clubs in the bag. And finally tomorrow the sun will reappear in South Florida after a very soggy week.

 

And in about 55 days I'll be back in Summit County doing the same thing with my skiing skills. Sweet!!!:)

post #24 of 26

Are golfers in general more equipment obsessed or skiers?

I suspect golf since there's a score, but maybe not. A lot of very good skiers often use old and crappy equipment. Does that happen in golf? Do really good golfers use old clubs? What is an old club for golf these days? (obviously I know nothing about the sport)

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Are golfers in general more equipment obsessed or skiers?

I suspect golf since there's a score, but maybe not. A lot of very good skiers often use old and crappy equipment. Does that happen in golf? Do really good golfers use old clubs? What is an old club for golf these days? (obviously I know nothing about the sport)


Interesting question.

 

I would suspect there is equal obsession in both sports. Many good golfers do use older equipment although the revolution in balls and clubs makes them fewer and fewer. Unfortunately many manufacturers sell new technology as the latest and greatest when the same old operator input will produce the same old results regardless of technology. A new $400 driver offers the illusion it's really the club not the mechanic. With the new adjustable drivers, fairway metals and hybrids you can set up a club to offset operator input somewhat but in irons which don't have that adjustability so now we have an issue. There is no doubt technology has really changed the game but you still have to swing the club.

 

One of the areas where golf probably has an advantage is our ability to more appropriately "fit" equipment. I can sit on a practice tee, watch your ball flight, look at some launch monitor data on angles, club head speed and ball rpms etc. Then in short order switch out a variety of shafts looking at kick points, flex and torque; heads with differing lie angles all the while continuing to watch ball flight results and do a reasonably accurate fitting within 45-60 minutes. And if need be simultaneously address swing flaws that may be the real issue.

 

What's an old club? I have peers that putt with 20 year old club you'll have to pry out of their cold, dead hands. Probably old is when it doesn't work anymore. (Or like a buddy who had to get a new putter because the old one didn't swim too well).

 

No matter what, it still basically operator input which equipment can assist but not replace.

post #26 of 26

Arnold Palmer has more shoes than Imelda Marcos. There is no truth to the rumor that Phil has more skis than both have shoes.

 

Some people are still buying persimmon clubs. Some people are still making wooden skis:

 

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