Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
How does a guy with a golf swing that looks like “an octopus falling out of a tree” (Kudos to David Feherty, for one of the funniest descriptions of a golf swing that I have ever heard in my life) manage to break the PGA Tour record with a 58 on Sunday at the Travelers Championship?
Yes, I am taking about Jim Fuyrk…and yes, his swing DOES look like an octopus falling out of a tree. However, on occasion it also looks like a spasmodic contortion brought on by a few bees getting into his shirt.
After putting up a few scores in the low 70’s, Furyk called home to talk with his father who gave him a little advice. It seems they like to concentrate mostly on “feel” . How the swing “feels” rather than actual mechanics.
Gee, now there is a surprise. A better question would be if Furyk has any mechanics in the first place?
Nevertheless it worked and he went on to become “Mr 58” by posting a score that will not be beaten for quite a long time.
To look at Jim Furyk, he doesn’t really “look” like a professional athlete. If anything, he looks like maybe an accountant or an insurance salesman. He’s a Casper Milktoast kind of looking guy when he takes his cap off, but the comparison ends there when he gets ready to play. The guy is all go…and yes some show, but that’s a accident of birth most likely.
People say he is one of the hardest working guys out there when it comes to practice time, especially on his putting stroke which does seem to change from day to day, hour to hour.
But it all came together for him, that’s for sure.
I can continue to make fun of him because it’s so easy, but the bottom line is he shot a phenomenal round of golf and deserves all the respect in the world for it.
I have changed by swing only twice since I picked up the game 53 years ago.
For most of my life I kept it as natural as possible, relying on common sense and my natural athletic ability. The same principles I used to hit baseballs over the fence, or to launch 90 mph slap shots in Ice Hockey applies to golf as well.
These are all natural athletic principles. There really is no secret to golf the physical aspects of golf except that “there really is no secret to golf to the physical aspects of golf.”
If you look at the old Tour players, they had many different swings which worked for them individually. Almost nobody swung like anyone else. Lee Trevino certainly didn’t swing like Ben Hogan, and Ben Hogan didn’t swing like Jack Nicklaus. Sam Snead (perhaps the greatest swing ever) swung like nobody else.
But every one of them made the swing work for them.
If there is a secret to playing golf, it certainly isn’t in the physical aspects. I can take someone who never hit a golf ball in their life and have them hitting almost picture perfect 7-irons within 10 minutes. This is not rocket science.
Yeah, OK, the heads of teaching pros all over Vietnam just simultaneously exploded. I know.
Teaching pros have a tough job trying to get people to understand the physical aspects of the swing. Most of who they teach are people who have been doing it wrong since the beginning and probably never learned correct basics. A great teaching pro is a major asset to anyone who wants to play the game seriously.
But that said, most teaching pros only teach the physical aspects and that is only 20 per cent of the game. Eighty per cent of golf is played between the ears.
And that’s where the top Tour professionals have the advantage.
Yes, Furyk’s swing does look like an octopus falling out of a tree, but if you checked his Trackman numbers, you’d see that - at impact – he is almost dead solid perfect.
It really doesn’t matter what you do on your backswing, or at the top. The only thing that matters is what your club is doing through impact, and Furyk is proof of that.
Yes, making the putts helps a lot too…