HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Nick Faldo isn't playing in the RBC Heritage Pro-Am on Wednesday but he was on the range anyway, geeking out to videos just like in 1985. But this time, he's going through some of the same struggles that are daunting golfers everywhere as the season starts up again.
Faldo says he can't turn as much as he used to -- a common trait, he says, among golfers his age (56). He's also coming too far from the inside on the way through, leading to blocks and hooks. And he can't hit as many balls as he used to because of his bothersome shoulder, so he's trying to fix the first two things without spending all day on the range.
"Just trying to rekindle the old magic," Faldo said. "When you get older everything stiffens, so you've got to really work to get the muscles moving."
Here's a video of him on the range, doing some drills that he says helps him fight back time:
The second clip is what Faldo does to feel a bigger turn on the backswing. He says he'll hit five balls or so, then back away and make five or so practice swings, feeling like he's stretching into the position he wants. "I'm trying to feel like I'm getting deeper with my arms; making a big turn and trying to hold it for a second or so more."
The third clip is a drill Faldo uses to work on his transition from the backswing to the downswing. It's called the "pump" drill because that's what it looks like; Faldo will get to the top of his backswing, pump the first move of the downswing without hitting the ball, then turn back again and swing through. This helps Faldo get his arms into the position he wants, while quickly ingraining his preferred move into muscle memory.
And finally, he always makes sure to practice with a goal in mind:
"I'm trying to match the 1996 Masters swing with the 1990 [British] Open putting stroke", he says. "If I can do that, I'll be in good shape."