There are many influences on a golf shot. It seems as if every player can tell when they or their playing partner hits a good ball. Sometimes it is the ball flight, other times they wait for it to stop, and yet without fail, there is a sound upon contact that catches everyone’s attention. It is a pure sound and everyone knows it when you hear it.
I remember a couple of movies where the sound of contact caught the attention of someone and they were drawn to the sound like a moth to light. In the movie ‘The Color of Money’, Paul Newman immediately noticed the sound of Tom Cruise breaking a rack of balls in pool. That sound was like a clap of thunder and only a few people had the ability to make it; Newman knew that Cruise was something special and so the movie plot was formed.
In the movie ‘Trouble with the Curve’ Amy Adams hears the sound of a baseball hitting a catchers golf after Clint Eastwood says earlier that you know the sound when you hear it, “it is a pure sound”. Adams does hear it later in the movie and they discover a young amazing pitcher.
My point to these examples is very straight forward, the pure sound of the ball hitting the club is noticeable. It is something I know immediately and I have a sense or feeling that I made a very good golf stroke. The sound helps build confidence in my game. I wish I could make that sound all the time, but alas, I am an amateur, so I make that sound on and off during my round. If you are wondering, I have three distinct sounds is listen for depending on the club:
- Woods – it is a distinct and loud click. It sounds like an electric BBQ starter except much louder. A sharp sudden sound that launches the ball off my club face.
- Irons – There is very little sound at all. It is as if the sound waves are absorbed by may club. The ball quickly elevates and sails effortlessly through the air. When I hear nothing, I have made a good iron shot.
- Putter – This is a very unique sound. It is very difficult to describe because my putter has a softer face. I rely on this sound for speed and feel on the green. It sounds like a drop of water hitting a piece of wood. I realize this is very specific, but the sound is not sharp, but distinct. This sound is very important to my putting game.
Now you are saying, “yes, yes, we get it; but so what?”. This is a great question. The sound of the ball off my clubs has utility in my preparation to play. I can visualize the sound, which in turn helps me focus on making consistent golf swing. It allows me to feel my game before I play. When I visualize these distinct sounds, I play better golf.
Additionally, I use this sound to pick my golf ball. Not all balls sound the same and I will eliminate using a golf ball purely by sound. But that is a discussion for another day! Does our ball make a distinct sound you immediately recognize?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.