The Hacker: This new wonder glove could certainly give me a helping hand
Sunday 16 October 2011
Mercifully, I've been ordered not to play golf for a while. Not, as you might expect, by a lover of golf who can't bear the thought of me degrading the game any more, but by a physiotherapist called Dan who spent part of Thursday sticking needles into my Achilles tendon.
He did so in order to establish the extent of the injury that had me limping into his treatment room after a painful eight holes at Royal Porthcawl the previous day.
Dan, who is used to dealing with the tendon problems of young athletes, couldn't quite understand how an elderly golfer had acquired Achilles trouble.
He asked if I'd been running over rough ground. I replied that I hadn't, but I had been walking slowly over rough ground looking for my ball.
However, I had been playing a lot of golf. The previous Wednesday, which is when the tendon first began to play up, was my fourth game in eight days on different courses – one of which was a daunting Burnham and Berrow slog – so it was likely to be the result of cumulative wear and tear.
Although I had rested it after that, the trouble flared up again last week and I was limping so much that my playing companion John suggested we went in – a decision greatly helped by the fact we were soaked to the skin by a deluge that had sneaked past the weather forecasters.
Unfortunately, this is not an injury that I can blame for my recent poor performances. My swing must twang plenty of tendons, but not this one. When I was suffering on Wednesday, I felt it only when I walked.
I can't complain. Prior to this, the only damage done to me by golf has been mental not physical. Most golfers I know have back troubles of varying seriousness, while I have never had so much as a twinge.
My theory is that only those with good swings get bad backs. A swing like mine may not connect with the ball very effectively but it is very kind to back muscles.
I often joke with the injured ones that I bet they wish they had a swing like mine. They joke back that they'd prefer to have the back trouble. At least, I think they're joking.
Yet I do have the satisfaction of knowing that even at my worst I am capable of doing some service to my fellow golfers. My embarrassing account last Sunday of the worst medal round I have ever endured brought solace to one despairing reader. He wrote: "After suffering the humiliation of our veterans away day [15 points off full handicap], can I thank you for your latest column.
"Self-pity does not become a hacker, but I was going down that road. To know someone else is battling demons without giving up was inspirational.
"On Tuesday, I go out with the vets determined to start again with the basics, enjoy the company and battle the demons. Many thanks." So wrote Brian Griggs (26.2 and rising).
It brings a lump to the throat to realise that every hour of every day, summer or winter, our fairways are crowded with tens of thousands of high-handicappers striving to improve their game.
News came on Friday of a new product that could just solve our problems. The world's first digital golf glove is currently being launched in the United States. This device will teach you to play better and avoid bad habits.
The glove's built-in digital sensors continuously read the user's grip pressure in order to ensure a consistently accurate, smooth and powerful golf swing.
It is called SensoGlove, which, it is claimed, "lets everyone quickly learn how to hold the club, improving every part of their game from backswing, downswing, impact and follow-through to driving, putting and chipping."
And all that for just $89. Can it be true? Is help really on the way?
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