Breaking 100/90/80

Imagine A Better Game

August 2011
Imagine A Better Game

Students are always telling me they make great practice swings but their real swings are totally different. The reason they can't transfer the practice swing is that they're not attaching a feeling or thought to what they're doing. The rehearsal is for understanding how your body and club should move for the swing you're about to make. For example, players who hook the ball often finish with the club vertically down their backs; that comes from swinging severely in to out through impact. To avoid this, rehearse a finish like Ben Hogan's on his famous 1-iron at the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. Picture yourself as Hogan (above), the club running ear to ear and your hands away from your head. Then step up and make the swing. Let's look at some more rehearsals that can head off common faults.

Breaking 100

One of the common faults of high-handicappers is a steep downswing that digs deep divots pointing left of the target (for right-handed golfers). These players are often told to take the club back straighter, but that only makes the swing plane more vertical. Here's a good remedy: Rehearse a baseball swing.

Breaking 90

Poor pitchers usually flip their hands through impact, causing contact on the upswing that sends the ball scooting across the green. The dreaded flip is often combined with restricted body rotation through the ball -- it's a deadly combination. Your body must rotate around your front foot so your hands can remain firm, and not flip, through impact.

Breaking 80

Remember when Goldilocks tried the porridge from the three bears and exclaimed "too hot," "too cold" and "just right"? There's a lesson there for golfers trying to gauge greenside shots, particularly better players, whose big issue is distance control. You need a system for feeling how much swing creates how much shot. Enter Goldilocks.
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