Archive for May, 2011

Honestly, I don’t know much about swing planes. Recently I saw Michael Breed on Golf Channel devote his show on the subject and my head started hurting. The subject baffles me. I know if my address and posture are right, I will swing on plane. And if the results are good, i.e. accurate and solid, I again have an indicator I was swinging on plane. We need these indicators for you can’t see or feel if you’re on plane. It’s all happening too fast. And golf is more a game of feel than technique. I know all the teaching pros will be angry at me for saying this, but the game is being made too daunting for most people to stomach, hence the marked decrease of players nationwide. The number of golfers in the U.S. has dropped by about 3 million since 2005, totaling now a bit over 27 million. And the National Golf Foundation,¬†which represents 4,000 courses nationwide, states that the golf industry “has lost 100 clubs a year for the past four years.”

There are many reasons for these distressing trends, (more…)

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As with the previously mentioned monkey traps of South America, where monkeys trap themselves by holding on to the food in a simple gourd hung from a tree, only having to let go the food and go free, many golfers are like those monkeys and hold on too tight to the club, from address on through the critical impact zone. By clutching the grip like a splitting maul, tension builds up throughout the swing, and when the first significant resistance is encountered, at impact, the likelihood of letting go the club is great.

Tension is the archenemy of the golf swing, be it mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual. And tension starts with the grip. The hands are so sensitive that they translate any tension generated by the above factors. And that translation is usually one of tightness. We think the tighter the better, but golf is often counter-intuitive. Unfortunately most instructors emphasize holding the club tightly with the last three fingers of the non-dominant hand. The brain often interprets that as a kind of death grip that also affects the other fingers. And it’s there we monkeys are caught in the trap of no return. For with a grip of such intensity, there’s only one way to go: (more…)

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Two things connect you to the club: the hands and the head. One thing connects the hands and the head: the heart. To play this game you need feel, which comes from the hands, focus which comes from the head, and passion which comes from the heart. ¬†Take away any one, and most likely you’re not enjoying the game. Like a bad marriage, you’re just going through the motions. It’s probably a game you should give up and take the clubs to Goodwill, or play once a year so you can still say you play but have a great excuse for why you play so badly or only whack balls at the range so you can use the game for therapy.

The hands are your only connection to the club. Take ahold of a club, any club. Feel the grip, its texture, its lines. Notice its girth, how it tapers, how it telegraphs its subtle messages. Manipulate the club by holding it firmly and turning it all which way. Whichever way your hands go, (more…)

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