Have you ever seen a golfer tuck a glove or something under their arm during practice and hit balls? Probably. In fact, there's a good chance you've tried it yourself on the range. Here's the King of Practice, Vijay Singh, doing it:
We're not sure if Ruth invented the drill, but he certainly played a large role in it spreading through the golf community. You see, Ruth played on the Yankees alongside a player named Sam Byrd. During that time Ruth taught Byrd the trick, using a handkerchief, in order to keep his left or front arm (for Ruth, it would have been his right arm since he played golf lefty) connected to his body throughout the swing.
Byrd retired after a mediocre seven years in baseball, often serving as Ruth's pinch-runner, and then had a solid career on what would become the PGA Tour. He won six events and finished third at the 1941 Masters and runner-up to Byron Nelson at the 1945 PGA Championship.
In 1960, Byrd hired a 17-year-old Jimmy Ballard to work at his par-3 course and driving range in Birmingham, Ala. Byrd passed on the Babe's philosophy about achieving connectivity through the drill (players like Tiger Woods also practice with a glove tucked under their right or back arm) and Ballard, in turn, passed it on to many of his students as he became an acclaimed instructor to major champions like Curtis Strange, Hal Sutton and Sandy Lyle. For more on this and on Jimmy Ballard's often overlooked career, check out James Dodson's 2010 feature.
And the next time you're at the range, give the drill a try. Hey, if it was good enough for the Sultan of Swat. . .
.@HookEm4EVR He can't drop his head that far down prior to impact and expect to be consistent. He'll hit lots of good AND bad shots.— Bob Estes (@BobEstesPGA) April 9, 2015
"I had a good 7-iron in there...hard shot, with the ball below my feet" said Spieth, who missed the course (and major championship) record by a shot. "I couldn't see what happened with it. I guess it hit the pin--I was lucky it landed so soft."
Woods says he's ready to compete again--and if his short game truly lets him, it'll be a storyline out of a made-for-TV movie.
This 2014 instruction video that claims Rory has "the most unstable swing in golf history" looks really silly
Using its RSSSSA system of swing analysis -- that's range, sequence, separation, speed, stability and alignment -- Somax breaks down McIlroy's swing and makes the claim he has the most unstable swing in golf history.
"By the time you're finished viewing our analysis, you will be amazed as we are that Rory can win any golf tournaments at all." Uh-huh.
The 37-minute video is narrated by a robotic voice that makes gems like the one above sound even more ridiculous. Is it possible this is the trash-talking machine Rory beat in that commercial getting its revenge? Anyway, here's the video:
Our favorite part of the video, though, has to be when it compares McIlroy's hips-leading downsing ("Dump the bump," the video implores) to Ben Hogan and wonders why Rory would want to copy the move of a man who didn't win for his first nine years. According to the video, "the only way Hogan was able to eventually win with an inefficient launch sequence was to pound range balls until his hands were bloody." And then Somax presented this for effect:
Great image! Sure, Hogan practiced a lot, but he also won 64 PGA Tour titles and nine majors. But yeah, let's focus on the fact he was a late-bloomer.
To be fair to Somax, the streaky McIlroy was mired in a slump when this video was released, but he had already won six PGA Tour titles, including two majors by a total of 16 shots, before turning 25. Of course, a month after Somax's video was published, McIlroy went on a three-tournament winning streak that included another pair of majors and his reclaiming the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. Whoops.
But maybe we shouldn't be so hard on Somax. The video claims if McIlroy made the changes it suggests, he would average 350 yards off the tee and hit 90 percent of his fairways. Sounds great! Has anyone showed this to Rory yet?