Caddy Knows Best

Five key tips learned from a PGA Tour caddy

As a golf instructor and PGA Tour caddy, I’ve seen my fair share of

golf swings, ranging from the sweet rhythms of the best players in the

world to the herky-jerky moves of the frustrated first-timer. Yet

despite the huge gap in natural ability between the novice and the

professional, I’ve learned it’s not uncommon for the world’s elite

players to struggle with a few of the same mechanics and

course-management issues that a casual 18-handicapper might face during

a round. The swings of touring professionals may be more advanced, but

nobody is ever really immune to the occasional swing flaw or mental

mistake. We’re all human after all.

L.A.W.S. Revisited

Match your swing to your body type for maximum performance

Not all athletes or golfers have an extreme body type. Instead, a great

number of players fall into the “in-between” category, meaning they

have a relatively “average” build with a solid combination of

flexibility and strength. If you have this type of body, you need to

develop a swing that takes advantage of both attributes, not just one

or the other. This body type is best suited to a Leverage swing.

Swing Thoughts That Really Work

Think your way to a better golf swing now

Old-school golf instruction is full of imagery that was originally

created to help players make what were perceived as the the proper

moves in the swing. In those days, many of the technical aspects of the

golf swing weren’t completely understood, largely due to the lack of

video technology that exists today. Instead, players mostly relied on

feel, natural talent and repetition to hone their technique and overall

game. Not surprisingly, the average scores of recreational golfers

barely ever improved significantly, other than what was delivered by

technological advances in equipment and golf course conditioning.

Finishing School

Look at the end of your swing to find and fix hidden flaws

Basically, there are only two positions in the golf swing: the address

and the finish. Everything else is a motion and, as such, difficult to

analyze. But the finish is static and allows for serious self-analysis.

If you know what to look for, then how you end your swing can give you

some good ideas of what’s going on in your motion.

Match The Circles

Good golfers give the impression that their forearms suddenly cross over through impact, but the swing is so fast that it fools the eye. What little forearm roll there is begins in the backswing with a gentle clockwise rotation of both forearms, a motion that reverses itself as the club swings back to the golf ball.

Face The Facts

Visualize slice and hook causes to eliminate them for good

The precision required to hit an absolutely straight golf shot is so great that, for all intents and purposes, such shots don’t exist. For that very reason, every golfer is either a hooker or a slicer. You may only hook or slice a little at times, but your shots do have a pattern. Even the game’s best players favor a fade or draw.

Flaws And Fixes 2004

Cure common faults by getting to the source

Even golfers with technically sound swings make mistakes due to poor execution or bad decision-making. But on the whole, golfers with solid mechanics are able to consistently play solid shots because their technique allows them to do so.

Fancy Footwork

A good golf swing begins from the ground up

Just how important are the feet, legs and hips? Well, some argue that they are the heart and soul of the golf swing. In fact, it was Byron Nelson who brought us the idea of flexing the shaft with the lower body. Jack Nicklaus also has repeatedly said that the swing begins from the ground up. Then why, despite advice from two of the best golfers who ever played, does the average golfer try to muscle the ball with his or her upper body?

Swing Extremes: Knee Action

In order to deliver the golf club powerfully into the back of the golf ball, you must maintain a firm base with your lower body and create a powerful backswing coil. This coil results by turning the upper body against the resistance of the lower body. Good players facilitate the creation of coil by maintaining the gap between the knees on the backswing (right). They unleash the energy stored in the coil by closing the gap on the downswing.

A Lesson On Learning

How to be a good student at your next golf lesson

Why is it that some golfers improve dramatically and rapidly while others, no matter what they do, fail to advance beyond the level of novice? As a golf instructor who has given more than 10,000 golf lessons over the past eight years, I’m here to tell you why: Achieving successful results from a golf lesson begins and ends with you, not the instructor._Ê An effective golf instructor can only do so much and is only as good as the student allows him or her to be. Hence, the first step to becoming a better golfer begins with becoming a better student.