Tai Chi for Golf

All these activities are very different in many ways – but all share the core of Tai Chi practice – balance, relaxation, posture, power, mental and emotional aspects, plus the sensitivity to relate physically – either to the environment, other players or body extensions such as bats, balls etc. Even in the workplace we find manual workers needing to take care of their bodies, skilled workers needing to balance their body with mental/emotional factors so as to enhance and extend their ability – intellectual workers also find a similar need lest they ignore the non-intellect and find they become no longer able to perform intellectually to the level they aspire.

Tai Chi becomes useful simply because it is in one sense a collection of proven exercises which guide one to an optimal balance. The combination of physical practice with intellectual and emotional awareness is invaluable in itself, however at the core of Tai Chi is the movement it encourages – movement and a way of moving – indeed a way of thinking about moving and of relating with the “outside” that works to maximise the human potential.

Tai Chi’s focus on “natural movement”, principles and power means that the way of moving derived from practice is easily transferred across all areas of human activity and in particular this is often seen most clearly in sport where golf handicaps may tumble, or relaxed focus may be increased, but is also seen in reduced back pain while at a computer or steering wheel and even in improved writing ability.

By not seeking to “force” any particular pattern the Tai Chi practitioner seeks to allow the body to move easily in a centred way – we do this by cultivating certain principles which include centred segmented movement, upright poise, full/empty weighting, opening/closing of all parts of the body, sensitivity, awareness, relaxation, fluidity, light limber movement, absorption, neutralising, deflection, internal power and release of power.

Consequently one may access Tai Chi exercises which promote:
–    Balance
–    Meditation – quiet mind – quiet body
–    Good structure
–    Resilient soft tissues
–    Relaxation in movement
–    Centred movement
–    Sensitivity to the environment
–    Sensitivity to other people
–    Strength
–    Co-ordination
–    Physical connection
–    Mental and emotional awareness
–    Good breathing
–    Good posture and poise

It may be no surprise that many of these may be the same exercise – on the principle that “it is not the exercise you do – it’s what you do in the exercise.”

The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living hosts Tai Chi for GolfI am delighted that the new Tai Chi for Golf classes at The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living were very well recieved – all that attended the 5 week program seemed to find it of value with one person kind enough to say that:

“Ian’s Tai Chi for Golf sessions have improved my flexibility and helped me to focus on developing a more rhythmic, flowing golf swing. The similarities between the golf swing and Tai Chi movements are fascinating. I played one of my best ever rounds after the third session!”

My first evening of the Tai Chi for Golf seminars at Colmworth ( following last weeks free taster ) was interesting for all of us I think – judging from the feedback – we spent time on body awareness, posture, balance, moving about a vertical axis and moving from the lower abdomen ( the dantien ) all of which was readily related to our group golfing experience. I look forward to next week and seeing how these exercises have been carried forward.

We had our free taster session of  Tai Chi for Golf last night which went well, hosted at the friendly family style clubhouse of  Colmworth & North Beds Golf Club where the function room proved ideal – the people attending seemed to enjoy it and were able to quickly relate the class to their own Golf and general sports experience.

So it was great that there was much positive feedback about the relaxation both physical and mental derived from the exercises as well as the relevance of balance, weight transfer, posture etc

The course of six forthcoming classes each stands in its own right but they are structured to build gradually on each other so it is perfectly fine to come on a drop-in basis.

More on Golf and Tai Chi

23 May 2012

My own Golf lessons are proceeding well – lots of internal awareness and structural corrections, plus course craft about reading the layout and topography etc. Really satisfying when it goes well – laugh it off when it doesn’t! Following on from which I have arranged to run a 7 week series of “Tai Chi for […]

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Golf clubs and swords

25 April 2012

I had the opportunity to test swing a few good clubs yesterday – and chat with my instructor James about the feel and balance and how the clubs work – and I was impressed by the feel of the drivers which in some cases seem to float and to have a balance and feel similar […]

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Tai Chi – Golf. Golf – Tai Chi

20 April 2012

I had my first one-to-one golf lesson yesterday and was delighted to have a number of familiar metaphors suggested to me – among them – to not focus on the ball but to consider the ball just gets in the way  ( very Zen ) as an opponent “just gets in the way of my punch”, to […]

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The differences between exercises and playing!

30 March 2012

It was my final golf lesson yesterday – out on the course and after feeling pleased with myself with the putting, chipping and driving in previous classes naturally it was all different playing the holes for real! Just like doing push hands with another person for the first time. Actually it is perfectly understandable – coming […]

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More on Golf – week 3 driving

29 March 2012

I practiced driving on my own the other day and paid attention to being relaxed – while pulling my right elbow from the centre – this seemed to work well and I managed improved grouping although still only about 7 out of 17 within comfortable reach of the marker @ 100 yds. This gave me some further […]

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Chipping and putting

16 March 2012

My 2nd golf lesson yesterday – chipping to the green – this time using hips – just as in Tai Chi with some conscious adjustment needed to accommodate the mechanics of the club but basically pulling it through from the centre as one pulls a sword or ones arms in silk reeling – controlling power and body […]

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