Book Review: Positive Impact Golf by Brian Sparks

I recently read a very interesting book, Positive Impact Golf, by Brian Sparks, a golf professional and coach in the U. K. with a little bit of French influence. I would call the book and the author “outstanding” because he has the courage to “stand out” in questioning traditional golf instruction and its focus on golf swing mechanics. The following quote from the Introduction will give you an idea as to the author’s approach of helping golfers view the art of swinging a golf club in a different light – “I am convinced that traditional concepts make it difficult to tap into your natural ability to swing the club in a relaxed, rhythmical and effective manner with any degree of consistency. You will see that you can achieve outstanding progress simply by letting go of these misconceptions and embracing a more natural way of playing the game.”

Brian talks specifically about traditional instruction advocating principles of a steady head in the golf swing, maintaining a straight lead arm in the backswing, keeping eyes on the ball, and keeping the front foot firmly rooted to the ground in the backswing. He states, “If you’ve ever found the game of golf difficult or frustrating you will discover that you can’t do some of the traditional things and play to your potential.”

Brian writes about how a focus on specific golf swing mechanics that traditional golf swing instruction advocates for a ‘correct’ golf swing most often results in producing tension in the body. He states, “Tension is at the root of all evil in golf. It steals your feel and robs you of your talent.” 

My experience tells me that tension is a result of the mind trying to follow instructions and trying to direct and control the body to move in a way that opposes natural instincts. Based on his own experience and evolvement as a golfer and a coach, Brian concludes “This philosophy (the traditional focus on positions and mechanics in the golf swing) is flawed because it doesn’t respect your body’s natural rhythms or the flow of motion that even the word ‘swing’ intimates.” He also reasons that freedom of motion is essential in a golf swing and a golf swing cannot be dissected into parts and still be called a swing!

Brian writes about what he feels are the “six basic principles of a good golf swing” including turning, weight shift, rhythm, balance, coordination and “souplesse” (suppleness). He integrates these into a simple movement he calls “La Danse du Golf.”  It is a simple and natural whole body movement which encourages the body to make a golf swing in a natural and instinctive manner. If you’ve read Awaken Your Inner Golfer you’ll notice the similarity of many of the instinct-awakening golf exercises to this approach of learning to swing a golf club in a natural and instinctive manner.

 “La Danse du Golf” integrates the basic principles of a good golf swing while focusing on freedom of movement and the feeling of movement in the body. He states “It is only when information is translated into FEEL that coaching becomes totally successful and sustainable……maybe we (contemporary ‘educated’ golf teachers) have conspired to make the game more difficult for the average player.”

In Awaken Your Inner Golfer, I’ve included a sample of a variety of instinct-awakening golf exercises – to help you discover how your body wants to move in order to hit a solid golf shot, to discover your instinctive kinesthetic intelligence, to learn to trust in your natural instincts, and to uncover your potential that may have been stifled by trying to follow traditional and conventional focus on golf swing positions and mechanics.

The traditional teaching approach is often stifling and it could be a significant reason why so many golfers get frustrated and discouraged. I hope that you dare to be courageous and unique to…… own your own swing……and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from this. My hope is that you will learn to modify your golf swing to swing how your body wants to swing rather than trying to change your bodily instincts to fit a model golf swing.

When you experience the satisfaction of the freedom of movement and the kinesthetic feel of pure impact that letting go of rigid principles of an ‘ideal golf swing’ brings, you will rediscover the child-like joy of learning through self-discovery! Play, have fun, explore…. and discover!

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