Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Things You Can Learn From Watching Golf on TV


5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

How watching the pros can improve your game

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's always a free lesson to be had when sitting down and watching the pros - here are five for starters...

5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This weekend!

The beauty of sitting down on the sofa all weekend to watch Rory and co go about their business, is that you can pick up a few free tips.

Yes, it's that simple: you can actually get better at golf by simply watching it on television.

Here are 5 things you can learn from watching the golf this weekend.


5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

You can save a lot of shots by working out the best places to miss [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

If you know where to miss, you have a better chance of keeping big numbers off the card.

You might not have a caddie to help you plot your way round the course, but you do have your course planner.

Pros will often highlight the absolute no go spots, such as water hazards, pot bunkers, ditches, or areas where they could end up short-sided.

It's not about aiming for those areas; rather it's knowing where you might have room for manoeuvre, and where's 'deadsville'.

It comes under the umbrella of good course strategy - which is another area where Tour pros tend to excel.

Related: 7 Mistakes Great Golfers Don't Make


5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

The pros give their putts a chance [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

Ask a Tour pro to list the most common errors they see amateurs make during pro-ams, and leaving putts short will definitely feature.

If there's one thing that bugs tour pros on the greens - other than three putts - it's leaving putts short.

As the saying goes, "never up, never in".

Make a note of how many putts you see left short from from inside 10 feet this weekend - it won't be many.

Pay particular attention to the rhythm of the stroke, and you might pick up a few extra putting tips.


5 Things You Can Learn From Watching The Golf This Weekend

Cool, calm and collected: the world's number one golfer, Dustin Johnson [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

Tour pros don't get angry. Ok, they do, but club throwing, swearing and digging up tee boxes are rare... usually.

If you have a tendency to lose your temper, or even just let your shoulders drop after a bad shot, watch how the pros carry themselves. In fact, spend an hour or two observing Dustin Johnson when he's coming down the stretch.

With the world number one, you wouldn't know whether he was on for a 76 or a 66 - and that cool demeanour is one of his greatest assets.

As Ben Hogan once said, "The most important shot in golf is the next one."

If you're giving yourself grief for a missing a three-footer on the last, it's unlikely to help you focus on the next drive.


Lydia Ko

A pre shot routine can help your focus and steer the mind away from any negative thoughts [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

Lots of club golfers will just pull a club from the bag, have a practice swing or two and then pull the trigger.

Watch the Tour pros and you'll see that they all have their own, very deliberate pre shot routines - it lays the groundwork for a well-executed shot.

Often, they'll pick a target in the distance; some rehearse different parts of the swing, others have a very specific way of lining themselves up at address.

There's no right or wrong pre shot routine - they all have their own idiosyncrasies. What's important is that you have one.


Ernie Els

Tour professionals consistently enter sand at the same point, ideally an inch-and-a-half to two inches behind the ball [ Getty Images]
(Image credit: Getty Images])

It's easy to watch the golf and obsess over long driving, especially if Bryson DeChambeau is dominating the coverage.

As useful as a slow motion swing analysis can be, many club golfers would benefit more from studying the pros' greenside bunker techniques.

Watch how the pros accelerate in the downswing by turning the body towards the target.

The professionals release the clubhead forward in the downswing fairly early, so they're not holding on to the handle or trying to get the shaft leaning forward.

Related: Basic Bunker Technique Explained

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psychotechnology in the year 2067


Today in
Tuesday 12 April 2022

Human evolutionIdea
Let everyone sparkle: psychotechnology in the year 2067
by Eric Schwitzgebel

The Prologue and the Promise by Robert McCall. (detail, mural originally commissioned for the EPCOT Centre). Photo by Arteephact/Flickr

Eric Schwitzgebelis professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside. He blogs at The Splintered Mind and is the author of Perplexities of Consciousness (2011) and A Theory of Jerks and Other Philosophical Misadventures (2019). He is currently working on a book called 'The Weirdness of the World'.

Edited by Nigel Warburton

Let everyone sparkle: psychotechnology in the year 2067 | Psyche

Let everyone sparkle: psychotechnology in the year 2067

Thank you, everyone, for coming to my 60th birthday celebration! I trust that you all feel as young as ever. I feel great! Let’s all pause a moment to celebrate psychotechnology. The decorations and Champagne are not the only things that sparkle. We ourselves glow and fizz as humankind never has before. What amazing energy drinks we have! What powerful and satisfying neural therapies!

If human wellbeing is a matter of reaching our creative and intellectual potential, we flourish now beyond the dreams of previous generations. Sixth-graders master calculus and critique the works of Plato, as only college students could do in the early 2000s. Scientific researchers work 16-hour days, sleeping three times as efficiently as their parents did, refreshed and eager to start at 2:30am. Our athletes far surpass the Olympians of the 2030s, and ordinary fans, jazzed up with attentional cocktails, appreciate their feats with awesome clarity of vision and depth of understanding. Our visual arts, our poetry, our dance and craftwork – all arguably surpass the most brilliant artists and performers of a century ago, and this beauty is multiplied by audiences’ increased capacity to relish the details.

Yet if human wellbeing is a matter not of creative and intellectual flourishing but consists instead in finding joy, tranquility and life satisfaction, then we attain these things too, as never before. Gone are the blues. Our custom pills, drinks and magnetic therapies banish all dull moods. Gone is excessive anxiety. Gone even are grumpiness and dissatisfaction, except as temporary spices to balance the sweetness of life. If you don’t like who you are, or who your spouses and children are, or if work seems a burden, or if your 2,000-square-foot apartment seems too small, simply tweak your emotional settings. You need not remain dissatisfied unless you want to. And why on Earth would anyone want to?

Gone are anger, cruelty, immorality and bitter conflict. There can be no world war, no murderous Indian Partition, no Rwandan genocide. There can be no gang violence, no rape, no crops rotting in warehouses while the masses starve. With the help of psychotechnology, we are too mature and rational to allow such things. Such horrors are fading into history, like a bad dream from which we have collectively woken – more so, of course, among advanced societies than in developing countries with less psychotechnology.

I feel my mood unbalancing slightly at the thought of those who deny themselves. Wait, I’ll sip this lovely pale relaxant… Ooh. Better

We are Buddhists and Stoics improved. As those ancient philosophers noticed, there have always been two ways to react if the world does not suit your desires. You can struggle to change the world – every success breeding new desires that leave you still unhappy – or you can, more wisely, adjust your desires to match the world as it already is, finding peace. Ancient meditative practices delivered such peace only sporadically and imperfectly, to the most spiritually accomplished. Now, spiritual peace is democratised. You need only twist a dial on your transcranial stimulator or rebalance your morning cocktail.

Every major philosophical and psychological theory of wellbeing compels the same conclusion. We are by far the best-off generation in history: the happiest, healthiest, most productive, most ethical and longest-lived people ever. What a time to be alive! And the trajectory is only upwards, as we use our newfound energy, skill and wisdom to further improve ourselves. Our children and grandchildren will know even better lives. I marvel at the present condition of humanity, but I marvel even more at the transcendent greatness toward which humanity is rocketing. I pity our grandparents’ generation, who dragged themselves sleepy and aching through tasks that were not always a joy, who nursed bitterness and hate, who ruined themselves through foolish choices, and who were so easily swayed by destructive lies.

But speaking of destructive lies, I can’t resist inserting a critical word about the unhappy, purist minority who reject psychotechnology. Or should I conclude this birthday speech with no more said? You have all been magnificently patient, of course. (Aw, thank you, Clarice! Thank you.) I feel my mood unbalancing slightly at the thought of those who deny themselves – and worse, their children – the advantages of psychotechnology. Wait, I’ll sip this lovely pale relaxant … Ooh. Better. Even the psychotechnology sceptics, of course, deserve our love. Even those who would throw the world off a cliff deserve our love.

There are a couple of things the sceptics get right. They note, correctly, that anger, bitterness, dissatisfaction and hate have historically driven rebellion and social change. They also note, again correctly, that some beautiful things are lost when we lose unhappiness. But they place too much weight on these considerations. They call us sheep because we are delighted to give our government, our employers and our clients whatever they reasonably ask of us. And they accuse us of being shallow, of being too unwilling to stomach discomfort, of conforming too easily, of losing what they regard as essential human experiences: grief, despair, rage, loneliness.

Once you have tasted our joy, our focus, our improved memory, why would you revert to angry, dull stupidity?

In a certain sense of ‘freedom’, we are, admittedly, less free than our grandparents were. Corporations and the government suggest what lives to lead, and we accept their wisdom rather than fight. To enjoy peace, we gladly defer to those in power. How much is such ‘freedom’ worth? Maybe a fair bit! But it’s not – decidedly not – worth the whole history of human evil. It’s monstrous to suggest otherwise. The defiant freedom the technology-sceptics desire can be bought only at the cost of rejecting psychotechnology and reintroducing war, genocide, starvation and every kind of cruelty, suffering and hate. Would you fail to stop a murder because you value the murderer’s freedom to kill? Would you allow a Holocaust?

In another sense of ‘freedom’, we are perfectly free. We choose devotion to our social roles, and we feel whole-heartedly satisfied with this choice, perhaps after some psychotechnological tweaking to make it so. We feel no compulsion. We do exactly what we want – which by no accident harmoniously aligns with what society wants from us.

Maybe we are shallow, in a way. Maybe our souls are not as dark and deep as those of our melancholic ancestors. We mourn our loved ones only briefly. Depression, hatred, despair, terror – we know these emotions only in play, through fiction or brief experimentation. We do not struggle, month after month, through misery. There is no agonised Hamlet among us. If that’s what depth requires, we’re better off without it.

Those who reject psychotechnology romanticise the ill-tempered rebel, the free-thinker, the misfit, those who were wild and unhappy and impractical – the cowboy-movie hero, the drunken poet, the infinitely grieving lover. True, humanity loses a certain kind of tragic beauty in consigning all such characters to history. But our lives are not artwork to be valued for their tragic elements. Happy endings are better.

To those who refuse psychological enhancement, I say, try the technology! How can you justifiably reject it when you remain in ignorance? Trust those who know both states to choose the better. Time and again, psychotechnology sceptics who do explore enhancement, however doubtfully and hesitantly, rarely choose to return to their earlier unenhanced state. Once you have tasted our joy, our focus, our improved memory, our intellectual sharpness, why would you revert to angry, dull stupidity?

There is nothing to rebel against, no injustice worth fighting. In old societies, inequality meant deprivation and suffering, but no longer. All the enhanced thrive, and enhancement is free to any citizen, resident or guest who seeks it. The government ensures a minimal living standard for all. Food, housing, education, healthcare, opportunities for professional advancement – all are now secure. Though some have more wealth and power than others, no one need feel envy or resentment. The rebel can have no good cause.

You can still be an independent loner, if you like. Pursue your passions in solitude, play video games, meditate on your toenails, or create art for no one else to see. Great! If you’re enhanced while you do it, even better! A wealthy society can tolerate such selfishness within bounds. But few of us choose such paths. Why choose solitary, selfish ends, when with a bit of psychotechnological tweaking you could derive just as much joy from being a teacher, cashier or engineer, harmoniously contributing to the good of the whole – an ethical improvement with no loss of happiness. What’s the downside?

You purists who refuse psychotechnology will fade into obscurity. I am baffled by your stubbornness, but society need not fear you

Of course, in the provisioning of new goods, it’s reasonable for loners to be last in line. It’s reasonable for the most productive citizens to gain the most. If anyone is unhappy about that… well, we all know the solution.

Here comes Paul with the cake. How gorgeously decorated it is! How the candles glow! Paul, you look ravishing. I already know my wish. Before the wish, a few last words. I intend these especially for any friends who are still hesitant about psychotechnology, who might be here in this room or who might be watching this livestream from far away.

You purists who refuse psychotechnology will fade into obscurity. I am baffled by your stubbornness, but society need not fear you. You will lose all contests with the rest of us – ever more reliably as our technology improves.

Those of you who refuse to employ neurotherapy, cognitive enhancers and mood regulators at work, and those of you who deploy these technologies for maverick ends – you will underperform. If you’re a salesperson who refuses appropriate psychotechnology, you will be frustratingly slow, make sloppy mistakes, and not reliably display a cheerful face to the customer. If you’re a nurse, you will likewise be slow, sloppy and unpleasant, and it will matter even more. Why would an employer want you? Go freelance and you will also fail. No technology-rejecting lawyer, electrician or entertainer can expect in the long run to compete effectively for clients. You already know this, of course, even if you refuse to see it, even if you cling to weak threads of hope, running to the dim corners of society where the unenhanced still temporarily have a chance. The trend has been obvious for at least a decade, as psychotechnology sceptics increasingly fail in their careers, in one profession after the next.

Parents, heed me especially! You refuse to give your children neurotherapy, cognitive enhancers and mood regulators, and then you are surprised that they are fussy, selfish, inattentive, dense, impatient, rebellious, forgetful and moody? Your children perform badly in their classes, and their peers choose happier, kinder, more creative and more energetic children as friends. If your deprived child sneaks a sip of another child’s mood regulator, they will feel their fussiness dissolve into calm bliss, and they will wonder why their parents refuse them this benefit. Your children beg you for the psychotechnology they need to be happy, successful and well liked. If there’s one thing that cracks my mood just a little, it’s the thought of parents who will not do right by their children in this way. Ruin yourselves if you must, but not your children!

We can embrace psychotechnology and enjoy its immense benefits at the cost of losing angry freedom and tragic beauty. Or we can reject psychotechnology and be stupid, unhappy and unemployed. The choice is clear. I raise my energy drink to the powers that have delivered us our unprecedented joy. We can party without exhaustion all night. My birthday wish: in 10 years, 20 years, 100 – everyone in the world will sparkle as brightly as we all do tonight, and ever more brightly.