The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

Last week I wrote about how golf instruction has been more of a reactive profession, rather than a proactive one. It reacts to someones success and tries to incorporate that person’s technique into normal instruction. I used the example of Jack Nicklaus and his ” flying right elbow” at the top of his backswing. Today I am going to discuss things that some great players did that golf instruction has not incorporated in fundamental teaching.

Three of the all time greats Jack Nicklaus, Sam Snead, and Bobby Jones, all had this little quirk, where they turned their head to the right, so essentially they were only looking at the ball with only  their left eye. Despite these players great careers, this has never developed into something that the average player has been told to do. Maybe it should.

Two of the great faders of the golf ball, Lee Trevino and Paul Azinger hit these very controlled and highly successfull left to right shots, while using a very strong grip. Now we know how they did this, by developing swings that held on at the end and did not turn over the wrists. But any instruction book will talk about weakening your grip in order to move the ball from left to right. But maybe their method is easier.

I have mentioned this one before, but the great Hogan, another great fader of the ball,  used a closed stance for all his longer clubs down to the 5 iron.  The only time he squared his stance was for the 5 iron and for the more lofted clubs he began to open his stance. Golf instruction advocates a square stance, and to fade the ball, an open stance for all clubs.   The closed stance is recommended for hooking the ball. Maybe not.

All these areas, are things that need to be explored. There are other examples, but it is hard to explain sometimes, why some things are quickly picked up and incorporated in the teaching of golf, while other things are ignored or thought for some reason not to be important. Over the next few weeks, I am going to write about my last 2 years of playing, what I think is the most important part of the physical side of the game, and how all this ties in to keeping the mind and the body connected, which will be my main goal of 2014. Lets just hope I don’t lose my mind in process. 

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2 Responses to The Goofy Game of Golf Searching for the Answer

  1. Vet

    Looking forward to hearing about your last two years. Specifically, the your stance relating to the movement of the ball. Set up square and hit the ball very straight. I have a challenge to shape the ball. Maybe you can help.

    Cheers
    Jim

  2. Brian Penn says:

    I dunno Vet. Would be nice to hit a soft draw, but if I’m a little closed and I think I’m square, it usually leads to a Mickey Mantle.

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