I play golf in the summertime and ski in the wintertime, and I’m kind of obsessed about excelling at both. To say I am more successful at skiing than golf would be an understatement, but I try to play well and to enjoy myself out there even when I’m playing horribly, which has been the case for most of my life as a golfer, and which was the case for me as a skier too, in fact.
But honestly, it’s a lot more fun when you’re on your game. In pursuit of that, I have taken dozens of lessons from a half-dozen pros, and not improved at all. I have invested in expensive equipment that was fitted to my size, and not improved at all. I have read tips, watched videos, analyzed the best tour players, many of whom are my size so it wasn’t like comparing myself to some impossible ideal in physique, and not improved at all.
But suddenly this summer I had an epiphany! And it got me doing all the things that the pros had asked me to do in all those lessons, it made me fall in love with my clubs, and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration at all to call it the freaking Grand Unification Theory of golf, it’s that good.
What was it? It was that, right-handed golfers like me have to swing the club almost entirely using the left hand, and the left half of the body has to lead that action, similar to how the “inside half” leads in skiing. This left-dominance pertains to hitting every club from putter to driver. Before my epiphany, my right side had been completely controlling my swing, and that simple error was the root of all my failures. No amount of lessons, advice, or equipment was going to benefit me until I switched to having the left half do the heavy lifting, and let the right half follow through. Without true left-side dominance, I could not turn properly, nor hit the ball squarely on the clubface. Now that I am developing this untapped potential, I am (mostly) hitting the ball straight and the right distance. And getting tons more enjoyment!
All this is well and good, but my point in bringing it up on the Ski Instruction & Coaching forum is because I wonder, could I have gotten to the epiphany a bit faster, since I started golfing around 1990 and only turned my game around in 2016? I’m also begging another question: was the time and money I spent on lessons, equipment, and focusing my attention give me the capacity to pack it all together into the “Epiphany,” or had I just futilely burned through considerable time, money, and (dare I say) passion for the game?
I think there's quite a bit of crossover to skiing.
What do you think?