Ever heard of someone saying the above phrase? We have! It is commonly assumed that if you have played cricket before taking up golf it will hinder you, but is this really the case?
What are the similarities between golf and cricket?
Both require a good amount of stamina, in golf you walk on average between 3-6 miles and a 10st person would burn around 1,000 calories while cricketers need their stamina for the short intense bursts of reactive activity with a 10st person burning around 300 calories per hour.
Secondly, flexibility is vital for both. While golfers develop a certain amount of flexibility, this is still something they have to work on as it is vital for good form as a tight hip for example could restrict the swing but it will also help prevent injury. Flexibility is also important for cricketers to be able to swing the bat & bowl but also prevent injury in a fast direction changing sport.
Strength is also needed for golf especially in the back, shoulder and arm muscles to be able to generate speed and explosive power but also to stabilise you through the swing. In cricket they also need strength in the same areas to enable them to bowl more aggressively and for longer but also bat quicker.
Lastly, a golfer who is trying to hit a golf ball which is 1.68 inches in diameter in the right direction and into a 4.25 inch wide hole will test their visualisation, focus and temperament. While cricketers need to master the tactics of the game while also batting and catching a ball which is travelling at 40+ mph testing their hand eye coordination to the limit.
So, golfers and cricketers are very much alike which begs the question, is it that cricketers make bad golfers OR is it cricketers don’t get help early enough to become good golfers?
The reason that the majority of people believe that anyone with a cricketing background will be bad golfers is the small conflicts in technique between a golfer and a cricketer.
So why is it so important to have lessons from the start?
As we’ve previously mentioned, the basic fundamentals of a good golfer and a good cricketer are quite similar. As such the common thought of ‘a cricketer can’t play golf to a decent level’ is not entirely true as it could just take a few small tweaks like the position for the right elbow in a “cover drive” compared to the position of a golfer, when a cricketer plays a cover drive they are encouraged to achieve a higher position for the right elbow whereas in golf this movement is seen as a negative as it can cause someone to top the ball.
A cricketer however has all the fundamental movements needed for golf, so has an advantage over a complete novice wanting to take up golf. This means that by getting the correct help early they would be able to progress quicker as they don’t have to learn all the fundamental movements but instead adapt them to suit a golf swing. For example, they have the power; flexibility; stamina and hand eye coordination needed for golf which as a novice would have to be taught or developed.
Here at Peter Field Golf we have the perfect equipment in our tech room to be able to measure and adjust these kind of movements with our k-motion vest to look at how the bones move through the swing and Swing catalyst pressure plate to see where pressure is throughout and where do you create the most ground force.