I have read enough golf instruction books to know that whatever you think is the right way to swing a golf club has found its way into print. That doesn’t mean the thing you think is so important is really is right for you, or that it gets along well with all the other swing parts you have assembled. Get lesson to be sure!
When we go to the range we spend too much time hitting balls. On the golf course, we don’t hit balls. We hit shots. So hit shots at the range, too. Visualize situations you might have on the courses you play that are problematic and come up with shots that handle them.
One thing about your setup that does not get enough attention is your posture. When your posture is correct, that is, you’re not slouching, your mind is engaged and full of confidence. One of the biggest problems we have to solve in golf is making a graceful, powerful practice swing, and then stepping up to the ball and not thinking, “Oh, crap! What do I do now?” The way to carry that confidence from your practice swing to setting up to the ball is in having perfect posture.
The golf swing is one unified movement that flows through stages. Movements at these stages, takeaway, transition, impact, and finish, are the most important—especially the finish, which few golfers realize is much more than just where you end up when you stop swinging. There is a lot to be said for starting your swing practice at the finish and working backwards through the stages to address.
It has been two years since I told you what was in my bag. The change I’m making this year is to take out the 16.5* fairway wood and put in a second putter. This is not the first time I have done that. One putter is face-balanced, so I can take it more straight back and straight through for shortish putts. The other putter is my usual toe-balanced putter to be used for longer putts.
Professional golfers can apply their impeccable technique hard and fast to hit the ball unbelievable distances because of their world-class athleticism. We are not so gifted. Though we need to do the same thing they do, hit the ball on the center of the clubface, we must do it according to our abilities. Slow down your swing until this can be accomplished. We will get all the distance we can muster by using finesse, not effort.