Favorite example

My favourite example of what I would call paralysis through analysis is in Micheal Murphy’s book, Golf in the Kingdom, he explains how a man named Horace Ziparelli, an Italian amateur, is trying to become Homer Kelleys’ Golfing Machine by memorising the whole book and practicing it. It has a Star System of Geometrically Oriented Linear Force (or G.O.L.F). This presents the golf swing as having twenty four basic components, among them grip, plane line, plane angle, address, hinge action, pivot, shoulder turn, hip turn, hip action, knee action, foot action, left wrist action, lag loading, power package assembly point, power package loading action, power package delivery path, and power package release, each of which has from three to fifteen variations. The golf stroke has twelve sections through which every one of its twenty-four components must be tracked to be given its ‘full recognition, application and continuity’; it also has three zones of action ‘occurring throughout the twelve sections’. Here are some passages quoted from the book which, not surprisingly, has diagrams!

“The hand relationship is invariably established at impact fix (7-8) with

1.the left arm and club shaft in-line (4-D, 6-B-3-0-1)
2. the right forearm ‘on plane’ (7-3, 6-B3-0-1)
3. the back of the flat left wrist and the lag pressure point (6-C-2-0) both facing down the angle of approach (2-J-3). Otherwise, per 7-3, both must face down the right forearm impact fix Alignment (alternate target line) regardless of the true angle of approach (2-J-3, 7-5).”

“Because of the dominant role of accumulator 3, golf strokes are very dependent on the right elbow activity deriving from its locations and the nature of the subsequent right arm participation. The elbow must always be someplace (!) and as there are only three definable locations, there are three major basic strokes – punch, pitch and push.”

“The proportion of the separation rate to the approach rate expresses the elasticity involved, and is called the coefficient of restitution which is 80% when using better golf balls – but drops below 70% at high speeds. Of course, this is assuming there is no Compression Leakage (2-C-0).”
(‘Homer Kelly 1983’)

Murphy’s description of Ziparelli’s swing is an ‘act of dismembered unity’ or simply a triumph of self-interruption. Between address and finish it could be seen that there were five barely perceptible pauses. Calling it to memory it reminded him of golf books with long rows of photographs depicting the phases of famous swings. It was a series of freeze frames. Ziparelli finally became paralysed, unable to start his swing and therefore retired to the clubhouse from the tenth fairway.

What success do you think you would have trying all that stuff?


Dylan Bawden BSc
Advanced P.G.A Professional

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