Performance vs. Form in Golf

When I look at a golfer, I am always drawn to their form. As a golfer and as a coach/instructor, I have always been interested in how people swing. A golf swing has a certain look to it. Flat, upright, short, long, quick, slow, rhythmic, jerky. I am sure there are many other ways to describe the way a swing looks.
What matters is whether the swing functions. Does it produce a consistent and predictable result? That is as simple as I can describe a functional golf swing. A little oversimplified but acceptable.
When I am helping a child discover golf (that is my description of teaching children), I know that the swing function will follow the swing form. That is why I spend time during each session helping the child learn grip, stance, balance, ball position, aim, and the basic idea of how to swing. The goal is to hit the golf ball with the club face fairly square, the swing direction toward the target at impact, and to strike the ball before striking the ground. That is about all there is to hitting consistent, predictable shots.
Why is this so difficult?
I think golf is no more difficult than other sports. The terrain of a golf course requires a person to learn a variety of shots. The margin of error is small. It is not intuitive for most people. Being a gymnast, a tennis player, a volleyball player or a baseball player is also difficult. Golf looks deceptively easy.

What is my point?
If you have a child who is interested in golf, start slowly. I would suggest that you find a PGA or LPGA professional who has experience with children. The path to learning golf is to slowly learn form and learn to perform. Form can take some time. The child will not be ready to understand complicated swing theories. Spend time doing fun activities that have a performance element to them. Putting and chipping are great because performance is easily measured. Hitting drivers is fun and should be part of the experience, but performance is hard to measure, so hit for fun.

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