March 28, 2010

Snowboarding and golf

Davis Love III does not strike me as the snowboarding type. He seems like a real square, even for a middle-aged professional golfer. Alas, his politician haircut and hyper-white triple suffix moniker belie an avid snowboarder. And on second thought, golf and snowboarding have a lot in common.

I tried snowboarding for the first time this winter. It was not pretty. A bit overconfident in my innate sideways sliding abilities, I spent every ounce of energy falling down the first run before whimpering back to the rental shop to trade for a pair of skis.

My big problem was balance, or lack thereof. I never got a feel for the proper weight distribution that is required to stay afoot (aboard?). The fear of tumbling face-forward down the hill had me repeatedly favoring my back foot, causing the board to spin out in front.

A few days later I was in the backyard chipping golf balls. It immediately occurred to me that there was a correlation between my catastrophic snowboarding experience and the havoc I typically wreak on the golf course.

Golf is a game of stability and repetition, and every swing requires a firm athletic stance (opposite to my goofy-footed snowboard position). I typically plant my feet haphazardly, hunch over the ball, and sway my hips leaving all the weight on my back foot. This ugly approach yields frequent shanks, gouges, and listless slices. Golf wipeout.

Flex in the knees, weight off the heels, and a subtle shift to the front foot during the downswing. I think the snowboard analogy will provide a firmer foundation for swinging the clubs more consistently this year.

I've hastily sworn so many times to never golf again (usually after a mental, if not physical, traumatizing). I might even give snowboarding a second chance someday.

No comments:

Post a Comment