Thank You, God! Our Brains Are Awesome!

 The brain is amazing! Did you know that …?

  • The brain of an adult human weighs around 3 pounds. Although it makes up just 2% of the body's weight, it uses around 20% of its energy. 
  • It generates 25 watts of power while you're awake (enough to illuminate a light bulb).
  • It consists of about 100 billion neurons.
  • The average person has 70,000 thoughts each day. (That number seems low. That’s about the number of swing thoughts I have per shot.)
  • Information can be processed as fast as 120 meters/sec (about 268 miles/hr.).
  • Blood vessels. There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain.
  • Your brain keeps developing until your late 40s.
  • New neurons. Humans continue to make new neurons throughout life in response to mental activity
  • New brain connections are created every time you form a memory.
  • Forgetting is good for the brain: deleting unnecessary information helps the nervous system retain its plasticity. (And I was blaming my “forgetting” on old age.)

While I realize golf can certainly be a frustrating, infuriating and perplexing endeavor, I have come to realize that each and every shot requires a series of intricate and complex mental calculations that must coordinate with your physical self. As W. T. Linskill, Hon. Sec. and Captain of the Cambridge University G.C. wrote in his 1889 book, Golf, “Like the face of nature, the game is a series of perpetual changes. Problem after problem, or, if you like it better, difficulty after difficulty arises, which you are called upon to surmount by cool judgment and prompt action.”

Think about it! Think about your own golf game. Even if you are a high handicapper, there are numerous times during a round when you say to yourself, “That was pretty good,” or “I couldn’t have hit it any better.”

I break 80 four to six times a year. When I look over my card to make sure that the 78 or 79 really wasn’t an 80 or 81, I start replaying the entire round in my head – i.e. the 20-foot par putt on the first hole; the 165-yard second shot that ends up four feet from the pin, and the double bogey I turned into a bogey after hitting my drive into a creek.

As I mull over these “miracle” shots, I realize I did a lot of things right. In each case, I had to consider the game or match situation, the weather conditions, the lie, the distance and the line before pulling the trigger. That’s a lot of mental activity in a short period of time and then you have to physically execute what your mind has determined the best course of action. 

Naturally, after every “amazing” shot, I pat myself on the back before moving on to the next shot. And while I like to take full credit for my great shots and my great rounds, I cannot. Instead, the credit should go to the one who gave me half a brain – The Man Above. Who else could have designed such a wonderfully complex and mysterious device like the brain? So, Thank You, God – the creator of all great shots!

Play Away!


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