Archive for the ‘address’ Category

Arnold Palmer says no. Sir Nick says, sure, why not. Keegan Bradley won the PGA with it, the first ever major won with a long putter. Adam Scott resurrected his career with it. As did Freddy Couples. It’s easier on the back. It takes the left hand, if held still, out of the stroke completely. It creates a pendulum action on par with a grandfather clock. But should it be legal? The King is very clear on this, saying that no golf club should be anchored to the body. Anchoring the club to the body, as with the belly or long putter, creates an advantage that a free swinging putter does not have. It removes a variable that has been with golfers since the inception of the game. ¬†To hold the butt end of the club against the body provides a stability unavailable to those using putters of usually no more than 35 inches.

It’s a matter of confidence, which is at the core of successful putting. Putting simulates the movements of a pendulum, and a golfer’s skill is dependent upon how pendulum-like he or she can control the club. If the end of the club is fixed to the torso, (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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When the shanks come, they are as shocking as what I imagine a home invasion must be like. Suddenly the ball is flying off at right angles. Profanities roll off the tongue like a drunken sailor. You take a few practice swings, disbelieving what just happened. It happens again. You put the club down, hoping the affliction will pass like a thunderstorm in the night. Kaboom! A thunderbolt above, then a flash of shank, the very word sounding like a knight in heavy armor lanced through the neck,¬†falling from his trusty steed. Shank, the very word rattling the confidence of a well tuned swing, putting thoughts in place of doom, dread, and draconian measures to extract the beast, the cur, Mephistopheles himself. Golfers don’t even want to utter the word, like cancer, for fear they will catch it.

That’s it: It’s over–the goals, the hopes, the handicap. The crucifix of shank. Every subsequent shot is stained with (more…)

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