Motor Learning, Podcast, Season 1

Interpreting Golf Research with Trillium Rose

Trillium Rose is the head director of instruction of Woodmont Country Club. She also has a Master’s Degree in Motor Learning and Control, which has “really helped shape my perspective and how I approach people’s learning, how they change their habits, and how improve their habits or learn new ones.”

Today we’re talking about what golf research is and how we’ve become a little confused with the role research vs inferences and observations plays in the growth of golf.

What I’m referring to by the scientific process, is the ongoing conversation among investigators who publish their experiments and findings in peer-reviewed journals. When I use the word, “science”, I am thinking of a systematic approach to asking a question.

What Really Is Golf Research?

I love the fact that people are folding science into the conversation about golf and I think that science has been an incredible way for people to learn more about their practice. Sometimes though I wonder whether we are not mixing up observation, inferences, or generalizations with actual science and research that has been put through the scientific process. When I think of research, you might have a hypothesis and you prepare a very rigorous, organized approach to testing a hypothesis. It’s not just collecting a pool of a hundred or a thousand participants. I get a little uneasy when we use the word “research” if it is not actually from a scientific perspective. We’re looking for something that is peer reviewed, from a journal, that has been part of the scientific conversation.

[Tweet “Sometimes I wonder whether we are not mixing up observation or inferences with actual science  @TrillGolf”]

One study within a peer reviewed journal is like one little stone, and you can’t make a huge conclusion from one little stone. You have to acquire lots of different pieces of an issue. Science moves very slowly and very rarely are there silver bullets that explain everything.

It’s not like wow, ta-da I decided this because I looked at 150 people hitting wedge shots. #1 – Don’t think you’re doing scientific research if you’re just making observations. #2 – Don’t think because you read one journal article that journal article explains everything.

[Tweet “One study within a peer reviewed journal is like one piece of the puzzle. Keep searching and studying.”]

Golf pros have an unregulated space, so anyone can make any claim, and who is to say that they are right or wrong? We are surrounded by best practices models, “I like that person and I think they are successful as a teacher, therefore I am going to assume that everything they say is right“.

With the start of science becoming more common in the conversation, we have to understand how the scientific process works before we give too much credence to it.

Golf Instructors Have A Great Opportunity

Academics that are attached to universities don’t necessarily have the access to as many golfers as we do as instructors. I think we are in an incredible position to work as coordinators and facilitators.

We know the right questions to ask because our boots are on the ground. And we do have really valid experiences that have pushed golf instruction. I think we have done incredible jobs to get us this far, but we could actually push it even further if we work with academics hand in hand –  not trying to do what they do, but working with them.

[Tweet “It’s time that golf instructors start working with academics to advance golf science”]

Who Is Trillium Rose

Trillium is the Head Director of Instruction at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. With over a decade of experience as a golf instructor, Trillium’s knowledge of teacher effectiveness, mechanics and practice training have proven highly successful. On one side of the spectrum, she has taken single digit handicaps down to scratch and on the other end, she has guided novices through their first experiences on the golf course. She was recognized as one of “America’s Best Young Teachers” by Golf Digest (2012 and 2014), as well as a “Best Teacher in State” by Golf Digest (2012).

Trillium enjoys working with golfers of all ages and skill levels. Her passion for teaching young players has been honored with a distinction as a US Kids Master Teacher (2013) and US Kids Top 50 Teacher (2009, 2010, 2012).

Trillium credits her five seasons working for and training under Jim McLean at the Jim McLean Golf School at Doral for her technical background in teaching. She also credits Dr. Rob Neal, Karen Harrison, Dr. Debbie Crews, Dr. Tim Lee, Dr. Richard Magill, Dr. Steve Silverman, Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, Dr. Rick Jensen and Bob Toski as influences in her teaching approach.

A graduate of Teachers College at Columbia University with a master’s degree in Motor Learning and Control, she also has a formal education in the science behind how people acquire and adapt skills. Her area of expertise is in designing and implementing curriculums that develop the golf athlete specifically with targeted practice plans. Her passion is developing golfers with maximum efficiency.

She has lectured on motor learning and control, been on numerous radio shows, appeared on television and has been published in top golf periodicals. She is also an active member of the community and contributes her time to First Tee, which helps provide access to golf to those who would otherwise not have the opportunity.

Trillium’s Website
Trillium on Twitter

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Founder and chief curator of the Golf Science Lab. Documenting what's going on in the world of research and beyond that can help you play your best golf on the golf course (when it counts). Join the movement of researched based coaching over trusting beliefs and what worked for one person a few decades ago. Follow on Twitter