Look within to succeed at golf
“Gain 20 yards after 1 day.” “Make more putts.” “Hit more fairways.” “Make more sand-saves.” The list goes on and on. If a training aid or golf club really had the answer to playing better golf the game would cease to captivate us; success is found from within.
Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus graced golf’s literature as well or better than its fairways. Mr. Jones perhaps more a philosopher than a technician left us with thoughtful prose on playing the game of golf (Bobby Jones on Golf). Mr. Hogan, exactly Mr. Jones’s opposite, laid out the fundamentals of grip, stance and posture in a book that 50 years later continues to be golf’s best selling instruction book (Five Lessons – The Modern Fundamentals of Golf). Mr. Nicklaus gave us a frame by frame description of every minute movement that constituted his swing (Golf my Way).
In 40 years or so, if we are fortunate, Tiger Woods will publish his body of work on golf and generations of golfers will then have four publications that define how the best played the game.
I own and teach at a golf shop in Orlando, Fla. I build customer relations by encouraging my students to read, no, to study, what the best had to say about winning and how they went about it. The most successful students invariably are those that learn Mr. Hogan’s grip and posture chapters prior to our first lesson. Hours of lessons will be replaced by learning that comes from within.
It took me a long time to shoot a round under par. I had studied Hogan’s and Nicklaus’ books, for about four or five years focusing on technique; on methods. I understood the golf swing as well as I do today, yet performance on the course would always be marred by mental screw-ups that cost strokes and under-par rounds. It wasn’t until I came upon “Bobby Jones on Golf” that the barrier was broken.
“Good play can disappear not because the golfer can’t play while he is thinking of the swing, but because he isn’t sure what he ought to think about, and what he ought to try to do.” This little nugget summarizes what studying Mr. Jones’ book will fix for those who take the time.
Training aids are much overrated. In most cases they become crutches that cause distress on the golf course because they are not there when needed most. Learning the feel of a golf swing - understanding that is not dependent on outside entities - is the only training aid that we can take with us. Successful golf can be ours for about $45 dollars in books and conscientious practice; much less than the now common rates of $200 per lesson, that more often than not leave golfer in a state of confusion requiring a couple more hours worth of lessons to figure out. I can’t say it enough, good golf comes from within.
Golf Etc. Lake Mary
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