The Training Of Travis, By Henry Leach

"How young all the world of golf seemed then, in 1896!

In Britain Freddy Tait and Harry Vardon had only just become champions for the first time, and in America the championships were only two years old, Mr. Whigham being the reigning prince of the amateurs while Foulis was the Open Champion.

Mr. Travis is largely a self-made golfer; he took no lessons from the professionals, a spirit of independence and the desire for research in a personal and direct way being largely responsible for this mode of procedure, while professionals, of course, were not so numerous in those days as they have become since.

Again, he is a personal contradiction to the stupidity often expressed by those who should know better that no great good can come from attempting to learn golf from the books.

They need to be read with intelligence and discrimination, and the reading has to be accompanied by the most thorough practice and deep personal investigation into the mysteries and difficulties of this pursuit, but, with so much assured, the books may be of much good to the man.

So they were to Mr. Travis. He brought them home with him from England, the Badminton book, which is a collection of short treatises by various writers, the manual of Willie Park, and others.

He says that it was either his misfortune or his good luck to take up golf without the assistance of professional coaching or the aid of any good player, and that, too, at a somewhat advanced age, regarded from a golfing standpoint.

Then Mr. Travis says

"You will find, on the other hand, that a young golfer who models his game on the system and methods of first-class players will improve only slowly, but when he has at last developed a correct method and adheres closely to it, he is sure to get on, and he will have the satisfaction of knowing that he has acquired a style which will inevitably lead to an improvement in his handicap."

Reference : 'THE TRAINING OF TRAVIS', Some Landmarks In The Story of Twenty-One Years of Golf The Manner, The Method And Some Counsel By Henry Leach. Copyright, 1917, in Great Britain and U. S. A. by Henry Leach. The American Golfer, May 1917. Vol. XVIII. No. 1. Walter J. Travis, Editor. U.S. Amateur Champion 1900, 1901, 1903. British Amateur Champion 1904.

The Training Of Travis

Available on LA84 Foundation


GOLF RESEARCH ARCHIVE 2011 - 2023 - Cure To A Slice At Impact OGF12 Left Hand Must Bear Back The Sum Total = Good Golf

"The hands and the head of the club should arrive at the ball at the same moment, that is what is known as the art of timing." Joshua Taylor

Not Centrifugal Force Stance Grip Body Pivot Not golf Fundamentals Dunns Educate Your Hands Henry Cotton

"Your body, your arms - all the members of your frame - ought to be in the same relative positions at the moment of striking as when you addressed yourself to the ball. This is the secret of accuracy - of bringing the club back into the position in which you laid its head behind the ball ; and this can best - we had almost said only be accomplished by keeping under firm control all parts of the body whose free movement is not essential to speed of swing. This is the great secret. These are big words to use, but they are not too big - for they are truth, and truth is great." Horace G. Hutchinson

Download : "Sixty years ago I remember that outstanding instructor Seymour Dunn proclaiming that golf was 85 per cent hands and only 15 per cent body. Nothing in a lifetime's experience in golf has happened to make me think otherwise. How right he has been!" 'THANKS FOR THE GAME The Best of Golf' With Henry Cotton Sidgwick & Jackson London Penina 1980 The Dunns of Musselburgh, Scotland 1897, 1907, 1922, 1930, 1934 Scotland's Golf Coast, East Lothian, Scotland

Mr. H. S. C. Everard A well-known critic of the game TATLER 1902

"Keep that picture always ready at the back of your mind - the left arm extended and the right hand passing with a snap over the left, for that is how you have got to apply the fullest possible power to the ball. It is not a bad idea to imagine the left hand working back from the target; to visualize the hands, wrists, and arms as scissors." Reg A. Whitcombe

Download : "Keen, intelligent men who like to think of the game as a science and who try to play it as such, are all the time falling into mannerisms and tricks of style, which temporarily may improve their game - sometimes to a remarkable degree. "Now we have it at last," they say, "and it is all in a stiff left wrist. Keep the left wrist like a poker, my boy, and you have the secret of golf."" 'Lessons in Golf' by Alex Smith Open Champion, United States and Western Open Champion Lesson VII Advice to Incurables. New York, Arthur Pottow, 48 West 27th Street Copyright 1907 by Arthur Pottow Grannis Press New York

Countering Disinformation with Facts - Preview TinyURL

Portrait of Emperor Taizong of Tang on a hanging scroll, created during the Ming dynasty era, kept in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

History of Russia From the beginnings to c. 1700


by Steven Shorrock - A conversation

"1. Elite players are not only more technically competent. They are a lot clearer, with a quieter mind, and are better able to manage their emotions."

Reference : 'Learning from Sports Psychology' HindSight 27 Summer 2018 A link to the audio conversation and the full transcript is on SKYbrary for HindSight 27 under 'Online Supplement'.

by Raleigh Gowrie - Matching Par

"2022 Abstracts WORLD SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS OF GOLF MATCHING PAR - ADAPTING TO TOUR PROFESSIONAL GOLF Raleigh Gowrie University of the West of Scotland, Scotland, UK

Download PDFs at Golf Science

Attrition rates are alarmingly high, particularly in the preliminary career period."

Reference : 'The mission of Golf Science is: To stimulate research and application among researchers, professionals, and interested individuals in the game of golf. Golf Science will host scientific meetings, disseminate research in the form of a scientific journal, and apply research findings in various formats to educate golfers and interested individuals.'

by CERI - Managing one's emotions

"Managing one's emotions is one of the key skills of being an effective learner; self-regulation is one of the most important behavioural and emotional skills that children and older people need in their social environments.

Emotions direct (or disrupt) psychological processes, such as the ability to focus attention, solve problems, and support relationships."

Reference : 'Understanding the Brain: the Birth of a Learning Science New insights on learning through cognitive and brain science' CERI 2008


"As you probably know yourself, the most common ball flight curve is the so-called slice. Many newspaper reports, videos and even books deal exclusively with the trajectory that starts towards the goal, then turns too far to the right.

A slice can have several reasons :

1. An open face

2. A swing path from the outside line."

Reference : Akademie 'PRO TIPP SLICE' Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, Germany

by Radio Golf Show - A certain number of beers

"David Owen January 30, 2023

A podcast with Foerster & Horyna about golf and the world.

David Owen Author. Discovers what may be the darkest secret of the golf swing: The difference between a slice and a draw is a certain number of beers."

Listen to podcast at:

Reference: Radio golf show

by Peter McEvoy - Very wristy swing

"By the time that we got Rose into the England side to play Spain at La Manga in 1996, Sergio Garcia had already established a huge reputation. I first saw him as a 14-year-old playing for Spain at Fairhaven in Lancashire; the Spanish selectors obviously weren't worried about his age. Garcia had a very wristy swing and he relied on that whiplash to generate the clubhead speed he needed to beat older and bigger men. Garcia looked tiny - you could have put him in short trousers and sent him on the bus to primary school without him looking out of place - but he already could move the ball both ways. In 1995 he won the European Championship at the age of 15."

Reference : 'For Love or Money' PETER McEVOY British Amateur Champion 1977, Captain Walker Cup team. HarperSport. First published in hardback in 2006 by HarperSport an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers London © Peter McEvoy 2006

by Fiona Hill - Schopenhauer's theory

"The first question was something to do with "Schopenhauer's theory of the will."

At the time I had no idea who Schopenhauer was. I had never come across him in my perusals of the encyclopedia."

Reference : There Is Nothing For You Here By Fiona Hill Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century Mariner Books Copyright © 2021 by Fiona Hill

by Christopher Allmand - Rights for the civilian population

"He made his point early on, at the fall of Harfleur in 1415.

Henry's priorities were to establish rights for the civilian population of the town, including old men, women and children, and what might and might not be done to them. Restrained behaviour was therefore expected, and infractions of the rule would be severely punished."

Reference : YALE ENGLISH MONARCHS HENRY V CHRISTOPHER ALLMAND PART II The Soldier and his Career Chapter 10 ARMY AND NAVY First published in Great Britain in 1992 by Methuen London Ltd.

by Charles Graves - Young Cotton

"Henry Cotton also caught my eye in an exhibition match at Sandy Lodge when he played with Arthur Havers, Harry Vardon and Richardson, the local pro. I described him as 'Young Cotton' and commended the club on having a card indicating the etiquette of golf for all spectators.

Now in March 1928 came the first premature warnings about the ultimate crash eighteen months later. 'It is astonishing and a little pathetic,' a stockbroker said, 'the stuff we are being told to buy on a wholesale scale and almost regardless of price. There is not a real investment in the lot of them and quotations are jumping all over the place all the time. It is no good advising clients; they have the "get rich quick" virus and a steady six per cent does not interest them. But I feel there will be a day of bitter reckoning for many.'"

Reference : 'The Bad Old Days' by Charles Graves FABER AND FABER 24 Russell Square London First published mcmli Printed in Great Britain by Purnell and Sons Limited Paulton (Somerset) and London 7 1927 9 1928

by Pseudo-Elmham - A leopard never changes its spots

"Events in the intervening period were to give rise to the origins of one of the best-known stories concerning the new king:

his 'conversion' from a seemingly irresponsible youth into a serious and highly responsible ruler.

The author known as the Pseudo-Elmham, writing over a quarter of a century after the event, could record Henry's visit to a recluse at Westminster whose advice he sought and how this had caused him to become a different man.

The early sixteenth-century tradition, expressed in the so-called First English Life, which relied heavily upon Tito Livio, whose work on Henry was written in 1437-38, took the same view: Henry had gone through a moral and spiritual conversion."

Reference : 'Yale English Monarchs HENRY V Christopher Allmand First published in Great Britain in 1992 by Methuen London Ltd PART II The Soldie and his career 4 Harfleur

by K. S. Ranjitsinhji - The late cut

"THE fact that a batsman who is fairly strong in his defensive play can make a great many runs, even in the highest-class cricket, without making use of any scoring stroke other than the cut, proves at once how valuable a stroke this is. And the cut has this other great recommendation, that in order to make it the batsman need expend very little muscular effort ; indeed, a batsman who is a master-hand at cutting can score almost as fast as a very hard hitter without tiring himself a quarter as much.

Some people consider that there are three kinds of cut - the forward, the square, and the late. The square cut, although it is made with the wrists, involves also a certain amount of sweep of the arm, and perhaps a little push from the elbow and shoulder. The late cut is done purely and absolutely with the wrists ; just a quick, downward tap, very sharp and very flicky.

To cut well you should aim at being quick and exact rather than at being forcible.

There are very few people who are really good late cutters. There is no doubt that the stroke requires exceptional strength and suppleness of wrist. Players who are not thus gifted do better, I think, to confined themselves to the square cut."

Reference : 'CRICKET' By C. B. Fry K. S. Ranjitsinhji G. L. Jessop C. L. Townsend G. Brann Edited by Gilbert L. Jessop London C. Arthur Pearson, Ltd. Henrietta Street 1903 Cricket Book Chapter VII Three Useful Strokes The Cut - the Glide - the Pull The Late Cut By K. S. RANJITSINHJI

by Dr. Ron Cruickshank - Relative to golf

"Beginning now, and until you finish reading this article I am asking you to do something. DON'T THINK ABOUT THE COLOR RED! Seems simple enough doesn't it? Yet, I know a secret about the mind that perhaps you haven't discovered yet. It is not possible! In fact, if you can go for more than about 10 seconds from NOW without having the color red flit through your mind please write me as you should be a future subject of some study on mind control. The reality is, the more you resist thinking about the color red the more your mind becomes obsessed with it.

Practically then, if you have your brain access a mental image by saying to yourself 'don't hit it right' or 'what ever you do, don't three putt', you absolutely increase the potential for these things to happen. In order for your brain to comprehend the meaning of what you are saying, it must access the mental file that represents you hitting it out of bounds or three putting. It does seem ironic doesn't it?

There doesn't appear to be an easy antidote for this phenomenon although the mind is conversely drawn to the other end of the spectrum. The undemanding answer would be to focus on what you DO want. Popular culture would then have us develop positive affirmations in the belief that we will be more inclined to move in that direction. However, like most things if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

In recapping the above information relative to golf we can easily surmise that we are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. If we resist thinking about something we are practically assured we will think about it or in opposite if we focus on what we DO want and it is not realistic then our cognitive dissonance kicks in and we get a loss of performance.

What is to be done? How can we deal more effectively with these performance issues?"

Reference : 'Don't Become What You Resist!' By Dr. Ron Cruickshank 6th January 2013 About the Author: Ron Cruickshank, Ph.D., is a GGA Master Instructor and the author of the soon to be available book entitled Swing Like Moe Norman - Use Your Brain for a Change and Learn the Swing of the World's Greatest Ball Striker featuring Todd Graves. This book is written to utilize the latest in neuroscience to help turn you into a reliable and consistent ball striker.

by John Behrend - The Rejected Golfer 1858

"Golf historians might tell you that the first Amateur Championship was won by Alan Macfie in 1885. This, however, takes no account of the Grand National Tournament of 1858 held at St. Andrews.

The previous year a tournament to find the Champion Club had been initiated by Prestwick and the Royal and Ancient Clubs. For 1858 the committee decreed that it should be: 'a series of single matches to be decided by holes not by strokes and to be open to all gentlemen players who are members of any Golf Clubs'. This was to give rise to what was probably the first amateur status decision, for an entry was received from one Ronald Ross of the Bruntsfield Allied Club, Edinburgh, who was a very respectable young man but a venetian blind-maker, and therefore deemed to be an artisan. In the local St Andrews newspaper under the heading 'The case of the Rejected Golfer' the following report appeared:

John Ball of Hoylake John Behrend 1989"There is an incident in connection with the arrangements of the tournament which has created some talk. We allude to the throwing out of one of the entered competitors. Amongst the entries for the competition was the name of one of the members of the Bruntsfield Allied Club who in accordance with the rules of the tournament paid his half guinea of entry money in May and the other half guinea before the balloting on Wednesday morning.

Just before the time of starting, at half past eleven o'clock, he received a sealed note from the Secretary of the Union Club with his entry money of one guinea enclosed and also an extract from the Minute of a Tournament Committee Meeting held in the Clubhouse at half past ten o'clock of the same morning."

Apparently as an artisan he was not qualified under the third rule. Despite protestations that there were players in the field who are at least in no higher position in society than Mr Ross, the tournament went ahead without him."

Reference : 'John Ball of Hoylake Champion Golfer' John Behrend Grant Books, Worcestershire 1989 The first edition limited to 1800 copies in cloth and 100 author's presentation copies © John Behrend 1989 All Rights Reserved Chapter 3 The Amateur Championship (1881-1885), page 11.

Download : 'John Ball of Hoylake' 3 - The Amateur Championship (1881-1885) The case of the Rejected Golfer Ronald Ross of the Bruntsfield Allied Club, Edinburgh. By John Behrend, 1989.

Download : Mr. John Ball 'The Book Of Golf And Golfers' By Horace G. Hutchinson, V. A Portrait Gallery page 160. With Contributions By Miss Amy Pascoe H. H. Hilton, J. H. Taylor, H. J. Whigham And Messrs Sutton & Sons With 72 Portraits New Impression Longmans, Green, And Co. 39 Paternoster Row, London New York And Bombay 1900 All rights reserved.

by Tom Haliburton - In two years?

"Can a novice be transformed into a low handicap golfer in two years? Yes, says Tom Haliburton, the England and Ryder Cup golfer, who set out to prove his point following a club wager.

How he succeeded is related here in the form of a dialogue between teacher and pupil, a style as lucid to the beginner as it is refreshing to the expert.

Side-stepping the pitfalls of over analysis, Haliburton builds his instruction on the premise that every golf stroke is basically a simple movement.

There could hardly be a more qualified exponent than a man who once set a world record of 126 strokes for 36 holes.

The popular and unassuming Scot has many other competitive honours to his name but none which pays a higher tribute to his knowledge of the game than the fact that when he speaks on golf, even his fellow professionals stand and listen."

Reference : 'RABBIT INTO TIGER' by Tom Haliburton Heinemann : London William Heinemann LTD London Melbourne Toronto Cape Town Auckland First published 1964 by William Heinemann Ltd © Tom Haliburton, 1964 Printed in Great Britain By Jarrold & Sons Ltd, Norwich Wrapper designed by Ridley Scott 30s NET

by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr - Hello, golf!

"I could tell a lot of investment-banker stories, but perhaps the one that stands out in my mind the most was the proposal from one bank that IBM acquire Compaq Computer. The summary of the transaction that was included in the front of the ever-present blue book showed IBM's stock price going up forever after completing the transaction.

Who Says Elephants Cant' Dance Louis V. Gerstner Jr Hello golfSurprised at how this tree would grow to heaven, I rummaged through the appendix and found that IBM 's profits for the next five years (roughly $50 billion after taxes) would be wiped out by this transaction and we would show huge losses over that entire period. When I told my CFO to question the banker about how this could be viewed as positive by the investment community, the answer came back: "Oh, investors would all see right through this. It wouldn't matter."

Ah, if only the elixir peddled by investment bankers worked, then CEOs would never have to worry or even work. Hello, golf!"

Reference : 'Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?' Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. HarperCollinsPublishers Copyright © Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., 2002. Lessons Learned, page 221.

by Richard Briers - A green umbrella

"An earlier appearance of the Lunts at the Lyric in May 1938 helped to popularize the theatrical phrase about the 'green umbrella' that has been associated with Alfred Lunt ever since.

They were rehearsing Giraudoux's Amphitryon 38 when Alfred Lunt called the company together one day before they started work and told them he was finding it impossible to play his part and accordingly the whole production was being cancelled!'

'I can't find the green umbrella,' he concluded enigmatically and left the theatre.

The rest of the cast were pretty stunned by this and maundered about the stage until Lynne Fontanne reassured them, 'Don't worry, we'll go on, and he'll find it.' The others were still baffled, but a little more hopeful and the rehearsal began.

Less than an hour later Alfred Lunt re-appeared to announce cheerfully, 'Don't worry. I've found it. We'll start again at the beginning of the act.'

According to Noel Coward, Alfred Lunt's unusual terminology for inspiration in a part stemmed from rehearsals for a production of Pygmalion eleven years earlier, in 1927.

Apparently he was depressed at not being able to get to grips with his part as Higgins, and Lynn Fontanne suggested he might try carrying a green umbrella to see if this would help.

Seemingly the umbrella did the trick and this particular aid to working into a character passed into theatrical folklore."

Reference : 'Coward and Company' Richard Briers Robson Books First published in Great Britain in 1987 by Robson Books Ltd, Bolsover House, 5-6 Clipstone Street, London W1P 7EB. Copyright © 1987 Richard Briers Hands Across The Sea Page 139.

by Hans Rosling - The Attention Filter

"None of us has enough mental capacity to consume all the information out there.

The question is, what part are we processing and how did it get selected?

And what part are we ignoring? The kind of information we seem most likely to process is stories: information that sounds dramatic.

Imagine that we have a shield, or attention filter between the world and our brain. This attention filter protects us against the noise of the world; without it, we would constantly be bombarded with so much information we would be overloaded and paralyzed.

Then imagine that the attention filter has ten instinct-shaped holes in it - gap, negativity, and so on. Most information doesn't get through, but the holes allow through information that appeals to our dramatic instincts. So we end up paying attention to information that fits our dramatic instincts, and ignoring information that does not.

The media can't waste time on stories that won't pass our attention filters.

Here are some topics that easily get through our filters: earthquakes, war, refugees, disease, fire, floods, shark attacks. These unusual events are more newsworthy than everyday ones: Malaria continues to gradually decline. Meteorologists correctly predicted yesterday that there would be mild weather in London today.

And the unusual stories we are constantly shown by the media paint pictures in our heads. If we are not extremely careful, we come to believe that the unusual is usual: that this is what the world looks like.

Yet here's the paradox: the image of a dangerous world has never been broadcast so effectively than it is now, while the world has never been less violent and more safe."

Reference : 'Factfulness' Ten Reasons We're Are Wrong About the World - And Why Things Are Better Than You Think By Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Ronnlund. Chapter Four The Fear Instinct. First published in Great Britain in 2018 by Sceptre. An Imprint of Hodder & Stoughton. An Hachette Company. This paperback edition published in 2019. Copyright © Factfulness AB 2018

by Christmas Humphreys - For a total plan

"Unlike most who search for an inner way to Reality I had found what I wanted by the time I was twenty-one.

For a total Plan of the universe, consonant with all known exoteric knowledge but revealing infinitely more, I had The Secret Doctrine and its parallel source, the Mahatta Letters.

For a 'finger pointing' to the way along which to turn reasonable belief into intuitive experience I had the writings of Dr. D. T. Suzuki, and I had the example of five or six great men."

Reference : 'Both Sides of the Circle' The Autobiography of Christmas Humphreys First published in 1978, London George Allen & Unwin Boston Sydney © Christmas Humphreys 1978, 13 The Long Journey Home Page 146.

by Henry Cotton - He was 59 years of age

"GOLF is a game for all ages to play and enjoy.

There is no age-limit at which golf can no longer be played - the individual's physical condition and enthusiasm alone decide this, as has been proved by some extraordinary feats by your veteran players. In amateur golf, 18-hole knock-out championships, the most brutal and exhausting tests, rarely allow an old horse to win, for with the large entries, a whole week of golf is required. Even so, the Hon. Michael Scott won the Amateur Championship at Hoylake a few years ago, at the age of 55.

In 1929 Jimmy Braid got in the final of the News of the World Tournament at Walton Heath, and was beaten by Archie Compston, and he was 59 years of age at the time; that was some feat.

I played early in 1948 with old Jimmy Braid (in his 79th year) at Walton Heath. He did a 74 on his birthday, and the nine holes we played together he did 36 from the back tees. He does this so often that he takes no notice whatsoever. Remarkable !"

Reference : Henry Cotton 'This Game of Golf' First Published in 1948 by Country Life Limited, 2-10 Tavistock Street, London, W.C.2, made and printed in Great Britain by Sun Printers Ltd., Second Impression 1949 Third Impression 1949 Fourth Impression 1949. 'Beating The Years' Page 157.

by Chris Anderson - The secret of happiness

"It's probably a good thing he never got to see one of the first speakers I brought to the TED stage. That was philosopher Dan Dennett. They would have disagreed pretty much across the board. Except one thing. Halfway through a riveting talk on the power of memes, Dennett said this: "The secret of happiness is: find something more important than you are, and dedicate your life to it."

That is a statement my father would have profoundly agreed with. We are strange creatures, we humans. At one level, we just want to eat, drink, play, and acquire more stuff. But life on the hedonic treadmill is ultimately dissatisfying. A beautiful remedy is to hop off it and instead begin pursuing an idea that's bigger than you are. Now, in your case, I of course don't know what that idea is. And maybe, right now, you don't either. Maybe you want to highlight an invisible community in your town, or do some historical research into a family member whose courage should be better known, or organize cleanup days in your community, or delve into marine science, or get active in a political party, or build a new piece of technology, or travel somewhere where human needs are a hundred times greater than anything you've faced, or just tap into the experience and wisdom of the people you meet. Whatever it is you pursue, if you truly go after it, I predict two things:

  • Yes, you'll find a meaningful form of happiness.
  • You'll discover something that matters far more than any piece of advice you've read in this book: you'll discover something worth saying.

And then what? Well, then, of course, you must share it, using all the passion, skills, and determination you can muster."

Reference : 'TED Talks' The Official TED Guide To Public Speaking' Chris Anderson Head of TED Nicholas Brealey Publishing London Boston Copyright © Chris J. Anderson 2016 Reflection 21 YOUR TURN The Philosopher's Secret Page 247.

by Daniel Kahneman - Professional golfers putt more accurately

"Amos and I often joked that we were engaged in studying a subject about which our grandmothers knew a great deal. In fact, however, we know more than our grandmothers did and can now embed loss aversion in the context of a broader two-systems model of the mind, and specifically a biological and psychological view in which negativity and escape dominate positivity and approach.

We can also trace the consequences of loss aversion in surprisingly diverse observations: only out-of-pocket losses are compensated when goods are lost in transport; attempts at large-scale reforms very often fail; and professional golfers putt more accurately for par than for a birdie.

The negative trumps the positive in many ways, and loss aversion is one of many manifestations of a broad negativity dominance. Loss aversion refers to the relative strength of two motives: we are driven more strongly to avoid losses than to achieve gains. A reference point is sometimes the status quo, but it can also be a goal in the future: not achieving a goal is a loss, exceeding the goal is a gain. As we might expect from negativity dominance, the two motives are not equally powerful. The aversion to the failure of not reaching the goal is much stronger than the desire to exceed it.

The economists Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer, at the University of Pennsylvania, reasoned that golf provides a perfect example of a reference point: Every hole on the golf course has a number of strokes associated with it; the par number provides the baseline for good - but not outstanding - performance. For a professional golfer, a birdie (one stroke under par) is a gain, and a bogey (one stroke over par) is a loss. The economists compared two situations a player might face when near the hole:

  • putt to avoid a bogey
  • putt to achieve a birdie

Every stroke counts in golf, and in professional golf every stroke counts a lot. According to prospect theory, however, some strokes count more than others. Failing to make par is a loss, but missing a birdie is a foregone gain, not a loss.

Pope and Schweitzer reasoned from loss aversion that players would try a little harder when putting for par (to avoid a bogey) than when putting for a birdie. They analyzed more than 2.5 million putts in exquisite detail to test that prediction.

Who would have thought it worthwhile to spend months analyzing putts for par and birdie? By Daniel KahnemanThey were right. Whether the putt was easy or hard, at every distance from the hole, the players were more successful when putting for par than for a birdie. The difference in their rate of success when going for par (to avoid a bogey) or for a birdie was 3.6%.

This difference is not trivial. Tiger Woods was one of the "participants" in their study.

If in his best years Tiger Woods had managed to putt as well for birdies as he did for for par, his average tournament score would have improved by one stroke and his earnings by almost $1 million per season.

These fierce competitors certainly do not make a conscious decision to slack off on birdie putts, but their intense aversion to a bogey apparently contributes to extra concentration on the task at hand.

The study of putts illustrates the power of a theoretical concept as an aid to thinking. Who would have thought it worthwhile to spend months analyzing putts for par and birdie?

The idea of loss aversion, which surprises no one except perhaps some economists, generated a precise and non intuitive hypothesis and led researchers to a finding that surprised everyone - including professionals golfers."

Reference : 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' Daniel Kahneman Winner of the Nobel Prize Penguin Books First published in the United States by Farra, Straus and Giroux 2011 First published in Great Britain by Allen Lane 2011 Published in Penguin Books 2012 Copyright © Daniel Kahneman, 2011. Part IV. CHOICES 28. Bad Events Page 302.

by James M. Barnes - The golfer to improve

Hows Your Slice James M Barnes 1922"You can understand how the average golfer feels about the slice when he knows that any one of twenty things may be causing it. He is generally so helpless that he gives up in despair, aims the ball for the left of the course and hope it doesn't go out of bounds to the right. The golfer to improve must study his game carefully and if he is slicing he can soon find out which one of these faults he is committing.

He can see -

  1. That his left hand is over.
  2. That is right hand isn't gripping too tightly.
  3. That his backswing is starting inside the ball, close to the ground.
  4. That he is using the square stance, not too far back from the ball.
  5. That his left shoulder is being held in place, turned in on the backswing.
  6. That the weight isn't all on his right foot.
  7. That he isn't hitting too soon, getting the hands in too quickly.
  8. That he isn't too far away from the ball.
  9. That he isn't lifting his head."

Reference : 'How Is Your Slice?' By James M. Barnes Western Open, Philadelphia Open Champion 1917, U.S. Open Champion 1921, British Open Champion 1925 (beating Archie Compston and Ted Ray), The American Golfer January 28, 1922. Courtesy LA84 Foundation.

Download : 'Hand Position on the Club Hints That May Help You to Get Away to a Better Start for the Coming Season'. 'The Five Most Important Tips, The Main Foundation Upon Which the Golf Swing Is Built', By James M. Barnes, Open Champion of the United States. Courtesy LA84 Foundation.

by Ling Hongling - A game in ancient China 1835

"Chuiwan ("chui" means hitting and "wan" means ball in Chinese) was a game in ancient China.

When playing, the competitors would drive the ball into each of a series of pits dug in the ground. The game was quite similar to modern golf, so Mr Hao Gengsheng called it Chinese golf.1

But how much alike the two games are and whether there is any relationship between them are the questions that call for further study and discussion."

Reference : Verification of the Fact That Golf Originated From Chuiwan Ling Hongling, Professor of Physical Education, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, P.R. China, 1991.

Reference : "The King was very fond of archery, in which art, and in golf, he caused his sons the Princes to be practised as soon as they were of suitable age for it." and "Sept. Item for the ufe of the Prince - v elnis of purpour fating to be him dowblet and breikis of the fi-enche fafchioun xlij t. x s. Item for twa golf clubbis twa ftalffis and four rakkettis iiij t." LETTERS TO KING JAMES THE SIXTH FROM THE QUEEN, PRINCE HENRY, PRINCE CHARLES, THE PRINCESS ELIZABETH AND HER HUSBAND FREDERICK KING OF BOHEMIA, AND FROM THEIR SON PRINCE FREDERICK HENRY. FROM THE ORIGINALS IN THE LIBRARY OF THE FACULTY OF ADVOCATES. PRINTED AT EDINBURGH. M.DCCC.XXXV. PRESENTED TO THE MAITLAND CLUB BY SIR PATRICK WALKER OF COATES, KNIGHT.

by Walter Hagen - How a real professional must dress

"I was in Buffalo long enough to carry away one big impression: how a real professional must dress.

For it was there that I saw Tom Anderson, Jr., a brother to Willie, winner of the American Open Championship in 1901, 1903, 1904 and 1905. Right then, I was far more impressed with Tom's clothes than I was with Willie's record.

Tom had class! His outfit just about knocked my eyes out. His shirt was pure whitesilk with bright red, blue, yellow and black stripes. His immaculate white flannel pants had the cuffs turned up just once. If he'd rolled 'em twice, he would have been a hick. He wore a red bandanna knotted casually around his neck and a loud plaid cap on his head.

In my small-town life he was the most tremendous personality I'd ever seen!

His white buckskin shoes had thick red rubber soles and sported the widest white laces any two shoes could carry.

I decided right then to copy that outfit from white buckskins to bandanna.

I had saved enough money to cover my expenses for the Open at Buffalo, but now I'd need to use that for the Canadian Open. The only item I could afford just then was the bandanna."

Reference : 'The Walter Hagen Story' By Walter Hagen With Margaret Seaton Heck Heinemann Melbourne London Toronto First published 1957 Printed in Great Britain at The Windmill Press Kingswood, Surrey Part One: The Tee 3 The Professional Page 17.

by Lutz Jancke - A step-wise structural and not a linear change


Background: Several recent studies have shown practice-dependent structural alterations in humans. Cross-sectional studies of intensive practice of specific tasks suggest associated long-term structural adaptations. Playing golf at a high level of performance is one of the most demanding sporting activities. In this study, we report the relationship between a particular level of proficiency in playing golf (indicated by golf handicap level) and specific neuroanatomical features.

Principal Findings: Using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) of grey (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes and fractional anisotropy (FA) measures of the fibre tracts, we identified differences between skilled (professional golfers and golfers with an handicap from 1–14) and less-skilled golfers (golfers with an handicap from 15–36 and non-golfer). Larger GM volumes were found in skilled golfers in a fronto-parietal network including premotor and parietal areas. Skilled golfers revealed smaller WM volume and FA values in the vicinity of the corticospinal tract at the level of the internal and external capsule and in the parietal operculum. However, there was no structural difference within the skilled and less-skilled golfer group.

Conclusion: There is no linear relationship between the anatomical findings and handicap level, amount of practice, and practice hours per year. There was however a strong difference between highly-practiced golfers (at least 800–3,000 hours) and those who have practised less or non-golfers without any golfing practise, thus indicating a step-wise structural and not a linear change."

Reference : 'PLOS One The Architecture of the Golfer's Brain' Lutz Jancke, Susan Koeneke, Ariana Hoppe, Christina Rominger, Jurgen Hanggi Published: March 11, 2009, Volume 4, Issue 3, e4785. Division of Neuropsychology, Institute of Psychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, 2 Department of Biology, Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

by Betty Hicks - The Burning Desire

"Edgar Jones, head golf professional of Reno, Nevada's, Hidden Valley Country Club, introduced Patty and I in 1971. She was a sturdily-built 13-year old Hidden Valley junior golf star.

As a member of the Wilson Sporting Goods Company's Advisory Staff, I was at Hidden Valley to present a golf clinic and to play nine holes with Ed Jones. "Betty," Ed said on the practice tee as I was warming up for my clinic, "I'd like you to meet Patty Sheehan."

I recognized immediately that the kid possessed the consummate motivation, the "B.D." as Betsy Rawls and I called it, borrowing a phrase from former Notre Dame football coach Frank Leahy. The Burning Desire.

This B.D. is the foundation upon which an athlete's achievements are built. This 13-year-old girl had the B.D.; she exuded it. Thus, I was not surprised as I stepped into the grand ballroom of Reno's Hilton Hotel on November 13, 1993, to attend with 500 other friends and fans of Patty Sheehan her induction into the LPGA Hall of Fame.

The influences, the events, the inspirations, the traumatic disappointments that Patricia Leslie Sheehan experienced between 1971 and 1993 are described in Patty Sheehan on Golf.

- Betty Hicks."

Reference : 'Patty Sheehan on Golf', Patty Sheehan and Betty Hicks. Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas. Copyright © 1996 Patty Sheehan and Betty Hicks.

by WK - Maurice Flitcroft on finding "fame and fortune"

"In 1976 the 46-year-old Flitcroft bought a half-set of mail order clubs and set his sights on finding "fame and fortune" by applying to play in the Birkdale Open "with Jack Nicklaus and all that lot".

He prepared by studying a Peter Alliss instruction manual borrowed from the local library and instructional articles by the 1966 PGA Championship winner Al Geiberger, honing his skills by hitting a ball about on a nearby beach.

He obtained an entry form from an unsuspecting Royal and Ancient, which organises the championship, and, having no handicap to declare as an amateur, he picked the other option on the form: professional.

Invited to play in the qualifier at Formby, he put in a performance which one witness described as a "blizzard of triple and quadruple bogeys ruined by a solitary par", achieving a total of 121 - 49 over par, the worst score recorded in the tournament's 141-year history. In fact, this was only a rough estimate, his marker having lost count on a couple of holes. His playing partner, Jim Howard, recalled his suspicions being aroused almost from the word go: "After gripping the club like he was intent on murdering someone, Flitcroft hoisted it straight up, came down vertically and the ball travelled precisely four feet," he said. "We put that one down to nerves, but after he shanked a second one we called the R&A officials."

Under the rules of the tournament, however, nothing could be done. "It wasn't funny at the time," Howard recalled. Others demurred, and Flitcroft's performance dominated the next day's sports pages, while stars such as Jack Nicklaus found themselves relegated to the small print. Flitcroft was interviewed endlessly.

The score, he maintained, "weren't a fair reflection" of his play. He had been suffering from "lumbago and fibrositis, but I don't want to make excuses", and he blamed the fact that he had left his four-wood in the car: "I was an expert with the four wood, deadly accurate."

When an enterprising journalist visited Flitcroft's mother and told her about her son's record breaking performance, she asked: "Does that mean he's won?" When informed of the true state of affairs, she replied: "Well, he's got to start somewhere, hasn't he?"

Source : WIKIPEDIA Maurice Flitcroft - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

by Deng Yinke - To ensure the stability of arrows in flight

Ancient Chinese Inventions Deng Yinke"Archeological discoveries have shown that archery in China dates back 20,000 years.

Practical archery requires three elements:

  • a bow strong enough to propel arrows;
  • arrows that are sharp enough;
  • and a technique to ensure the stability of arrows in flight.

The bow and arrow of ancient China fully met these three conditions."

Reference : 'Ancient Chinese Inventions' by Deng Yinke. Translated from the original Chinese by Wang Pingxing. Archery, page 134. Cambridge University Press. © China Intercontinental Press 2010. © Cambridge University Press 2011.

by Harvey Penick - The Prettiest Swing I ever saw

"THE PRETTIEST SWING I ever saw belonged to MacDonald Smith.

Smith was born in Carnoustie and learned to play golf in Scotland.

In 1926 Smith won the Texas Open, Dallas Open, Metropolitan Open, and Chicago Open.

I was flirting with playing on the tour in those days and was fortunate to know and watch Smith in his peak years.

His swing was full and flowing and graceful. It didn't break down into parts any more than a wonderful poem breaks down into words. After 1926 Smith went on to win enough tournaments to be named to the PGA Hall of Fame.

MacDonald Smith At Top of The Backswing My System of Teaching Golf By Ernest Jones June 1932

But in the ten years after the Dallas Open, he never won again in Texas.

The reason is that the Great Depression hit and our Texas courses received even less water than they had been accustomed to, which was very little.

This left us playing off bare lies, and we had to hit down on our iron shots.

But Smith didn't hit down on the ball. He swept it away without a divot.

At clinics Smith would hit full 2-irons off the putting green and there would be only a brushing of the grass."

Reference : 'Harvey Penick's Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf' Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake. Introductions By Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw, Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Betty Rawls, Mary Lena Faulk, Dave Marr, And Byron Nelson. Simon & Schuster Copyright © 1992 by Harvey Penick and Bud Shrake, and Helen Penick. The Prettiest Swing page 94.

Source of Photograph MacDonald Smith : My System of Teaching Golf By Ernest Jones June 1932, The American Golfer.

by T. Henry Cotton - On the right lines

"When practising remember that quality and not quantity counts. It is useless hitting thousands of shots anyhow ; hit a few well.

Think of what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish all the time, and take one part of the stroke at a time and master it.

While you are growing there is no reason that you should not spend a lot of time out at practice even with clubs in which you have confidence, for I am sure the more swings you do the stronger will become the golf muscles and thus the better your golf may become.

It is possible to find that you appear to get no better and that the more you practise the worse you seem to get.

Providing you are proceeding on the right lines there is no need to be discouraged, for I know by experience that it is possible to practise right through a bad spell; so keep going.

There have been some weeks when I could have cried, especially just before a big competition.

As the time of the event approached I seemed to become worse. I used to work myself almost into a panic and practise feverishly - almost in desperation - but I did no good.

But now that I am "seasoned" I just let these bad spells go, continue to practise and hope for the best, and trust that the golf will come back to me when I get keyed up to it in the competition. It nearly always does."

Reference : 'Golf Being a short treatise for the use of young people who aspire to proficiency in the Royal and Ancient Game' by T. Henry Cotton. Part I. Chapter V Early instructions and practice, page 42. The Aldin Series, Eyre & Spottiswoode (Publishers) Ltd. First published 1931.

Available on Amazon : Golf, Being a short treatise for the use of young people who aspire to proficiency in the Royal and Ancient Game

by Norman Von Nida - When golfers set out to win the Open

"It seems that some men are born to be champions and others are merely destined to come near to winning.

But for sheer bad luck in the Open, Irishman Harry Bradshaw's experience in the 1949 Open at Sandwich would be hard to beat.

There seems to be no doubt that he would have won the championship outright but for an extraordinary piece of bad luck. If golf were the sole thing, then he would have won, because he led the qualifiers with a 67 and 72, and he was still in front after the first round with a brilliant 68.

He started off in the second round, still playing scintillating golf, with four fours, and at the 5th his tee shot found the rough for about the first time.

But it found more than the rough. When he reached his ball he saw that it had actually gone into a broken beer bottle. The neck and shoulder of the bottle were off, and the bottle was upright with his ball at the bottom.

A chance in a million had come off; his ball had run along the ground into the bottle and tipped it up. Bradshaw studied the shot for some time and in the end decided to play it, fearing that if he did not he might incur disqualification. He took a sandblaster, and his shot shattered the bottle and knocked the ball less than 50 yards. He took a six for the par four.

Naturally, this wretched bad luck upset him, and for four holes he played raggedly and finished with a 77, his highest score for six rounds. Nevertheless, he still tied with Bobby Locke, who later won in the replay.

But some might say that Locke was destined to win, because he had to finish a three-four-four to tie with Bradshaw.

When he dropped a shot at the 16th it seemed all over, yet miraculously he recovered it at the 17th with a perfect iron to within 10 feet of the pin. After a great putt, sent down when the pressure was really on, he got a four at the 18th. This finish by Locke was undoubtedly a great one, and it does seem that when a man is going to win nothing can stop him.

So when golfers set out to win the Open they would do well to remember that they don't have to beat only old man par, but also Dame Fortune, and if one of them is destined to win then nothing can stop him!"

Reference : 'Golf Is My Business' By Norman Von Nida With Muir Maclaren Frederick Muller Ltd. London. First Published By Frederick Muller Ltd. In 1956 Copyright © 1956 Norman Von Nida And Muir Maclaren Part II Chapter Seven Golf In Britain page 116.

by Dr. Karl Morris - Mental Game And Effective Practice

"As a leading sports psychologist I have the privilege of working with some of the best golfers in the world as well as some of the upcoming amateurs.

In this Pocketshots™ edition I aim to share with you some of their secrets and how they practice in the right way to improve their game.

Ask Yourself?

Am I going to continue practice in such a way that I play great golf on the range or am I going to start to practice in such a way that I become the best player that I can be on the golf course?

Ask Yourself?

Are my patterns and habits giving me what I truly want and deserve, or am I just running around the wheel doing a variation of the same thing, getting the same results and the same frustrations?

Ask Yourself?

Am I prepared to act now to develop new habits and patterns that will take my game in a new positive direction?

Effective Practice

Effective practice contains the following ingredients:

  1. An element of consequence
  2. Is more difficult than the game
  3. Has a degree of emotional impact
  4. Is backed by statistical proof.

In this edition Dr. Karl Morris explains:

  • Why your current practice regime doesn't improve your game
  • The importance of effective practice
  • Developing a practice routine
  • Effective practice drills
  • Effective mental tools and techniques for practice and play."
Dr Karl Morris Mental Game - Effective Practice

Actual Size 7.8cm x 10.8 cm

Reference : 'Dr. Karl Morris Mental Game - Effective Practice' Pocketshots™ Edition. Includes 'Before golf - mental practice. During golf - concentration. In-between shots. After Golf - self assessment. 4 mental quadrants'. Copyright © Pocketshots™ and Dizzy Heights™. As a consultant to the PGA of Great Britain and Europe he has presented seminars all over the world and has worked with players such as Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Graeme McDowell, Alison Nicholas and Trish Johnson, Karl holds a PhD in Sports Psychology. He is a qualified Master Trainer of NLP and is also a qualified PGA Professional.

Available on Amazon : Pocketshots - Mental Game - Effective Practice

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