melange: golf guru Society

Who says golf is an old man's game?

I have often been asked why I play golf when it is clearly an old man’s game. Now consider this, the golf swing is pure physics. The upper body coils round the lower body creating torque. When this torque is released through the golf club with the club head speeds reaching up to and beyond 100 mph, kinetic energy is transferred to the ball allowing it to fly long distances. The hips, shoulders and arms must all rotate in sync to harness your core strength to achieve this. Merely powering the club with the arms by flinging it will only have negative effects including compression of your spine. So while one can still enjoy the game at an advanced age, being of sound mind and body is the key to being able to play golf at higher levels.

The synchronisation of the body occurs through a proper address position. The knees need to be flexed just right, as needs to be the forward tilt of the spine. The waist, shoulders and hips are to be parallel to the ball to target line and not in an open or closed position (trick shots being the exception!). The top professionals and amateurs go back to their address position when things are not going well. More often than not, the fault lies there.

Some of the most salubrious surrounds that I have seen are at golf courses. The R&A, the apex body for golf, spends substantial resources on what it calls “sustainable golf”. Its stated objective is to work to protect the enjoyment of the game and to safeguard the financial operations of golf facilities in a manner that preserves natural environments and enhances community engagement.

As the Technical Delegate for Golf at the 17th Asian Games at Korea in September 2014, I recently visited the Dream Park Golf Course at Incheon. Built on a low-lying area and the land filled with only the waste generated by Incheon City over eight years, this course is a standing example of how humans can work alongside nature to create a thing of beauty.

A typical golf course needs 125-150 acres of land and will cost about Rs 60 crores to build. So when you visit a golf course, do take time to appreciate the effort, thought, planning and care taken to create something environmentally sustainable.

This game is calling you to take it up. The handicap system allows all levels of players to compete against each other and against the difficulty of the course. Time to get started.

Ishwar Achanta is an international administrator and council member of the Indian Golf Union


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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 11:51:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/who-says-golf-is-an-old-mans-game/article5969840.ece

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