Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My Teaching Philosophy

Personally I think many players make the game more complicated than it really is. The only purpose of the golf swing is to move the club through the ball square to the target at maximum speed. How this is done is not that important as long as the method allows it to be done repetitively. This is my number one priority and it is the basis on which I teach the golf swing.

Most players of an earlier era were introduced to the game through caddying. By watching and trying to copy the action of better players they developed their own swing. About the only "static" positions early golf professionals would teach were a proper grip and address posture. The lesson itself was demonstrated in one continuous motion emphasizing a steady head and fast moving arms and hands.

Not until new technology came along were instructors and players able to "freeze" the swing at various not before seen stages and positions. Soon players anxious to improve were pouring over books and magazines attempting to emulate the still positions of touring professionals. In my opinion this is where problems begin for many weekend players attempting to improve their game.

Players should realize the cure is not going to be found in swing “positions”. Rather it is in developing a grip and swing that delivers the clubface square to the swing path at impact. Once players accomplish this their natural adjustments become correct ones. If you do one thing right in the golf swing it will lead to another right thing. Do one thing wrong and it will lead to another wrong

My objective is to help players swing the club head so that at impact it is traveling along the target line and facing the target. Their shots are straight and solid and not a word about “slide the hips”, “stay inside”, “hit late” and so on.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What is a correct grip?

I do not agree with the many books and teachers that suggest there is only one way to hold a golf club. Everybody has a correct grip but it isn't found in placing your hands on the club in a "standard" position. Instead it is finding a grip that enables you to square the club face to your swing path at impact when swinging at normal speed.

The basic grip of placing the hands and fingers in a certain manner became widely accepted because it made squaring the club face to the swing path easiest for the majority of players. This is a good place to start but most players will need to experiment to find the right grip for them. Again, that is a grip that delivers the club face square to your swing path at impact with normal speed.

Start with the "Vs" formed by the thumb and forefinger of each hand pointing midway between your nose and right shoulder. If your longer shots curve to the right then your club face is open (aimed right of your swing path) at impact. To square the club face move both your hands further to the right or clockwise. If your shots curve left then your club face is closed (aimed left of your swing path) at impact. To square the club face move both your hands further to the left or counter-clockwise.

You have found the right grip when your longer shots fly straight even though you may still be pulling the ball left or pushing it right of the target. No curvature on your shots tells you the club face is square to the swing path at impact.

Don't be afraid to experiment with finding the correct grip position for your particular physical make up and swing.