Editors' BlogMarch 28, 2008

Bill Fields for President of Golf

Bill Fields has won lots of support for his run for the presidency of golf. Two of latest supporters are Ohio reader Larry Nagy and highly-respected PGA professional Mike Hebron, of Long Island:

From Larry:

Fields for president! After reading Opinion, March 14 Bill Fields has my vote. Here are a couple more planks he might want to add to his platform. (1) Make the pros wear spikes in the retro silly-season event to give them a taste of chewed-up greens. (2) Ban the awkward terms "three-metal", "fairway-metal", "metal-wood", etc, that TV announcers struggle with, and restore the perfectly good name for these clubs, i.e., the "spoon". With these two planks Mr. Fields could run the gamut from the best (soft-spikes) to the worst (putting numbers on clubs) things ever to happen to the game of golf.

From Mike, praise for two of Bill's comments: Shoo young golfers out of the high-tech lesson studio and away from the pyramids of perfect practice balls more often.... and Get the pro game moving...Jack Nicklaus did just fine aiming all by his lonesome, and so does Tiger Woods. Self-reliance occasionally is mythologized in our sport, but it is, or ought to be, one of its inherent strengths.

Research about the nature of learning finds that following "how to" directions does not fully engage the higher cortex in the brain, where learning takes hold. Studies also show when learning, "general ,just in the ballpark suggestions" give a greater return on investment... than technical information filled with details. "Pleasurable Game for All" is what the PGA call letters should stand for. During the last 20 years the golf industry has focused on the perfect swing, the perfect ball, the perfect set of clubs, and I could go on. For many this focus on perfection has put aside the pleasure of playing the game. Trying for perfection can create frustrations and makes the game less inviting for individuals, which does not grow the game for the golf industry.>

Mike, I love that last comment. You know a lot more about the learning part than I do. But I know that it's a game of walking with a bit of swinging interspersed. Our obsession with that second part has sometimes kept us from enjoying the second. Thanks.

--Bob Carney

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