On Learning Golf
One of my favorite golf books is “On Learning Golf” by Percy Boomer. Boomer wrote his classic in 1946 and is famous for his concept of “turning your hips in a barrel”.
Boomer’s ideas of the golf swing are pretty sophisticated and I would even go so far as to call him an “intellectual”. I know that sounds ridiculous, but Boomer’s “Interlude” chapters are golf swing discussions with world class mathematicians, dancers, etc that push the boundaries.
Boomer wanted the student to understand the golf swing through mental images and feels. He was not of the learning successive positions during the golf swing, but rather learning proper “controls” that build a reliable swing.
Percy was a very good player, but acknowledged that he wasn’t physically and psychologically strong enough for tournament golf. But his brother Aubrey was, and Aubrey was one of the top players in the world for many years.
Boomer was very open about the difficulties of hitting golf shots under pressure, and he admitted that he rarely hit a solid shot off of the first tee at the club where he was the pro.
Unlike Boomer, I usually hit a pretty solid tee shot off of hole #1 at Deer Run. That’s because I save my choking for the end of the round. For many years now, I can’t finish the last hole with a decent score – gallery or not – it’s almost always ugly.
I think I’d trade with Boomer – I’d rather start bad and finish well. Starting well and finishing bad… not so fun.
GM and Head Golf Professional