On a recent wintry Sunday afternoon I dropped by a bookstore to do some browsing, and as usual decided to scan through a golf magazine. This particular one was the February issue of Golf Digest highlighting the "hottest" clubs for 2011.
I was also happy to count no less the 24 (yes, that's right, twenty four) swing tips in the issue. I say happy because these magazines keep my lesson book full. I can't tell you how many times I have a student arrive with a very confused look and newly contorted swing due to their recent reading of a golf magazine. The first thing I do is hit the "delete" button in their brain before helping them get their swing back on track.
If you enjoy the game with a desire to improve (and who doesn't) the absolute worst thing you can do is read golf magazines, watch the Golf Channel and listen to "Helpful Henry" who is hitting balls next to you. Here is why:
1. Most magazine articles are written by touring professionals who are trying to not hook the ball. Most weekend amateurs are trying to keep the ball from going right.
2. Your body can only carry out so many commands from your brain within a given time period. The average golf swings takes 1 1/4 seconds. Think about it..
3. 90 percent of the articles or topics have absolutely nothing to do with what's causing your shot problems.
Find a PGA Professional in your area with a good reputation. If you don't already know one ask around at your local courses or golf shops. Believe me if a teacher is worth his salt their name will come up repeatedly. Let your instructor determine what areas of your game need attention. He will set up a lesson plan based on your individual needs and goals.
There is no quick fix when it comes to the golf swing. The best formula for long term improvement is a competent instructor, properly fitted equipment and an effective practice regiment. And oh yes, stick to People or National Geographic.