Play Golf Your Own Way

I am not shy about taking golf lessons. I don’t over-do it, but I have one when I need one. I read things on the Internet (I can already hear you saying, “Uh, oh.”) and give them try if they make sense on the face of it. But enough is enough. Enough might even be too much.

I have been playing golf for over 50 years. In that time, I’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how I want to swing a golf club. But I was pushing shots, mainly drives, so I had a lesson to fix it.

Also, I lost distance because of my back surgeries two years ago, and I wanted some of it back. I saw a video on the fact that touring pros take one second to go from takeaway to impact. That’s pretty fast, so I spent a few weeks building up the tempo of my swing because I thought it might help.

We had a big snowstorm, so I couldn’t play for a while, but today I was finally able to go out and try out my new (!) swing over nine holes. Oh, brother!

In the first five holes I had one good shot. I was six over par after five and even that was because I was chipping and putting like a champion. This is not how I play golf, so I decided on th sixth tee to quit all that nonsense.

The position the pro had put me in was technically correct, but from that position at the top of my backswing, I couldn’t find the ball again. Know what I mean? As for the one-second swing, it didn’t add speed, it subtracted speed because all the speed was in my body. I had no time let my swing accelerate the clubhead.

So on the sixth tee, I decided to play golf the way I wanted to, to swing the club the way I wanted to. The result? I hit the next four greens in regulation and walked off the course with four straight pars. That’s a bit more like it.

When you buy clothes, you’re buying clothes that fit a generic model. Many times you have to have them tailored to fit you. Golf instruction is the same. The pro can get you close, but the instruction has to be tailored, and you are the tailor.

There comes a point when you have to take all of the advice you have sought out, and the lessons you have taken, and re-package them into something that fits you — how you move, how you think, how you feel that the golf you play is your golf, and that it works (there’s no point in being possessive of something that doesn’t work).

Golf instruction points you in a general direction. From there, find the exact direction on your own. It’s the only way you’ll play your best.


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