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Waking to the Orbit of Swing

by Taylor Spalding

In regards to the involutionary, evolutionary and revolutionary aspects of human consciousness golf is but a parable. To ask, "How do I find swing?" is to ask the moon, "How do you find orbit?" To ask ourselves is to ask for an echo from nothingness. It is the creation of the "asker" that dooms us. In golf the progress of the temperament has not kept pace with the progress of technology. It is only when the former can catch up to the latter that a total revolution in golf can occur.

From its silent face the moon speaks profoundly of the answer to this question of swing. Its orbit can reveal the laws that govern the motion of the golfer. Even though this small treatise on orbit is firmly planted in the Newtonian paradigm, it is the quantum reality that allows realization. How much head banging must occur before we realize that when the angry mind commands, nature disobeys and when the ego expects, nature defies anticipation. The quantum reality brings us closer to the coolness of chance. Potential is harnessed when cradled but escapes when it is clenched. So too, only in the placid mind can the natural law prevail. Only then can we see the ball pristinely in the moment.

Swing represents oscillation and a difference between two motions. It is differential. Orbit represents the wholeness and continuity of one motion. It is integral. Swing must operate within the backdrop of orbit. It must at once participate in orbit and yet divorce itself from orbit to achieve a higher state.

There are two ways to remove a chunk of mass from orbit. One way is to push it away from the gravitational pull of the mass it is orbiting. The other way is to slow down the orbiting mass so that it crashes toward the center of large mass it is orbiting. Swing is, by definition (ipso facto), the placing of all points outside the center into orbit and then removing those points from orbit by allowing those points to crash toward the center. This slowing down and crashing is known in the Spalding Method as WANING and WELTING respectively.

An example will serve us well here. It is a scientific fact that the moon is orbiting the earth at approximately one kilometer per second ( about 3280 feet per second ). Let’s say we want to take the moon out of orbit. Based on what was just said, we could accomplish it by accelerating the moon to a "breakaway speed," sending it off into space, or we could decelerate the moon to the "crashing to Earth speed." Now what would happen if a gigantic indestructible hand suddenly placed itself in the path of the moon? Well, of course the moon would be pulverized. But let’s say this hand was intelligent and paced itself just a tiny bit ahead of the moon and then gradually began to slow down? Well then, the moon would engage the hand and begin slowing down with it. When the moon’s momentum is then eventually removed it begins racing directly toward the center of the earth. (The earth too begins moving slightly toward the moon, however, the movement would be hardly noticeable since the mass of the earth is so much greater than that of the moon.)

But the key to the whole thing is this: In the pure swing there is an implosion toward the center ( the bellybutton ). We could call this location in the body our "Earth Center" or simply "True Center." The hands then represent the crust of this Earth Center. In the Spalding Method this is called Vital Metacenter. It then follows that the club head represents the "Moon Center." In the Spalding Method this is called Final Metacenter. Because the mass of the arms and torso is so much greater than that of shaft and club head, a properly waning swing and its ensuing welting will cause the feeling of a fusion at center. This is where we hear the telltale "Swoosh" of the pure swing. In this system the energy is sustained within the orbital sphere; it is conserved. In an attempted swing where there is no WANING we experience a dissipation of energy. In the uninspired swing, energy is dissipated because orbit is never even realized. In the overly momentous swing, energy is also dissipated because the club head is treated in a way that would jettison the club head out of orbit.

It is therefore very natural for the golfer to feel frustrated when dissipating energy by either of those means; he feels the incongruity and disharmony of his action. It is no wonder that the golfer who has had a terrible day on the links feels extremely drained after the round. Conversely, the golfer who fosters the fusion at center is more likely to remain calm and build upon the harmonious and energizing aspects of the pure swing. After a pure round, having conserved his energy, the golfer often feels lighter than air. Now in golf we gloss over this aspect of swing and orbit by using words such as "timing," "tempo" and "rhythm." In the Spalding Method, WANING and WELTING serve as more precise descriptions of the pure action of to and fro. WANING is the death of orbit; WELTING is the life of its inevitable implosion.

Through it all, the goal oriented conscious mind provides a deterrent to the realization of the effortlessness of true swing. Pure swing is performed by shutting off the "will to know" at the very moment the golfing movement commences. In the wake of this shutting off the ball persists as the only sensation. Open any golf magazine or watch any cable guru and this rule is perpetually broken. Don’t forget, big business is being fueled by the constant speculation of the "experts" and the "gurus" about what is "correct." There is always another "thing that doesn’t work" to sell to the public. All this is just Suki of course. ( see "Mushin At The Masters" in the Public Web ). WANING is the only swing mechanic and WITNESSING the only intention. The entrance of all these notions of swing planes and angles is what destroys these two things. The Gurus address timing but they don’t address time itself. If orbit is to be attained then the one who observes and the one who experiences must fuse to become the same thing. If not then the soul lags the skin in a fractured display of tops, slices, pulls and chunks.

Copyright© 1996, Golden Barefoot Golf

Addendum: As you will eventually realize (and I refer to what Vardon implied more than one hundred years ago), the responsibility of placing the club head into orbit falls squarely on the dominant hand, the one you sign your name with!

You may castigate me now ... "It's all supposed to be about dissolving dualism ... liar!,"  you may rant.

Well the fact is, Lobsters have one claw that's bigger, and humans have one hand they favor. It would be counter-intuitive to assume that the non-dominant hand should gain dominance merely because of the space it occupies in the swing mechanism (such that it is the leading edge of the swing mechanism). This thinking engenders a false notion. When I explain to you how to properly re-distribute the "live tension" in your swing mechinism, you will see why this is so.

Remember: Dualism is a tool we may use to help remove the barriers.

Copyright© 2007,Golden Barefoot Golf

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