Passive vs Active Memory

Have you ever set your keys down and forgotten where they were? Why didn’t you remember where they were?

Usually, when keys are lost it’s because the location where they were placed was not actively entered into memory. Instead, the location would have been remembered passively. Since the action was passive, we really won’t know if the memory was engaged or not. Judging by the lost keys, chances are it was not.

So what is active memory? Say for example that every time you set your keys down, you imagined that whatever you set them on blew up, with flames, smoke and a vivid explosion. Could you ever NOT remember where you left the keys? Heck, you’d remember for years if you had to!

Well one of the reasons golfers are always playing with their golf swing is that their swing isn’t real clear in their memory… Because it was entered into memory using passive memory. “Muscle Memory” is essentially a passive memory function. First, muscles don’t have memory cells. So the idea is that the golf swing would be transferred from the muscles right into memory is impossible. Since you are not consciously doing anything during the process, it’s passive memory. But if you’ve lost your swing in mid round… like you may have lost your keys in the past, you know “Muscle Memory” isn’t the most reliable way to retain your golf swing… It’s just the best way to do it SO FAR…

If you would like a repeating golf swing you can see that your best bet is to clearly enter your swing movement into active memory, where it can be clearly recalled… But how?

Even if you are trying to actively remember your movement, another issue clouds the process. As the muscles warm up, cool, down, stiffen up, or loosen, the signals the send to the brain change, which means their feel changes. How can you know what you are really feeling? Even if you use a mirror to practice, how will you know on the golf course if you are moving correctly?

It’s even difficult to consciously focus on just one part of the swing. How can the mind focus on the knees, your body turn, your arms and your wrist position all at once? If you try it, you’ll quickly see your swing break down.

So how can you enter your golf swing into active memory?

The answer is to rely on parts of the body that when monitored, create the same results in your golf swing every time. This is what I spent over 20 years looking for before I wrote Golf Swing Control… And it can be done.

For the average golfer, if I can get them to monitor their balance and maintain the proper balance points during the setup and the swing, once it becomes habit they will usually play to a single-digit handicap.

Why balance? I explain that answer in the ““Where Control Comes From” article. A professional golfer needs more; he or she needs precision. For advanced golfers I have found that using a combination of balance feedback (bio) and mental imagery (visual), I can take them to a much higher level of precision than they have ever experienced.

Actually, the balance feedback creates much of the visualization the golfer uses, but with the Bio-Visual process, I take golfers further into its use. I show golfers how to actually fine tune their movement for each shot.