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Teed Off (Nov 9, 2014)

Update: November, 09/2014 - 22:57

with Robert Bicknell

There is a very old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I should have listened to those words. In fact, I should have those words tattooed onto my forehead because it's something I constantly violate at least a few times per year.

Yes, I am talking about my golf swing.

Having played golf since I was five years old, my swing really hasn't changed much since my teenage years, but every so often, I have the urge to try something new and I promptly screw myself up to the point I look like Jerry Lewis having a mental fit.

My swing has always been based on the natural movements of the body. This is why I am able to generate such power and speed with minimal effort. Nowadays, we have science and biomechanical studies to show what many of us knew instinctively… that the human body was capable of achieving amazing tasks if you simply told it what to do and then got out of the way. Unfortunately, we DO get in the way and start to manipulate the club instead of just swinging it naturally.

There are many different swing styles nowadays, which is proven anytime you look at the old time professionals compared to today's stars. You had the Sam Snead one-piece swing, stack and tilt, stack without tilt and, of course, Moe Norman.

Norman's swing was essentially a single plane swing which used very little body action. Great for players who cannot coordinate their upper and lower body actions due to physical injury or due to possessing the physical coordination of an octopus falling out of a tree. Sorry Jim Furyk, but it was the only image I could think of.

Yet, as ridiculous as the swing looked, Moe Norman could knock down flagsticks from 200 yards. He was one of the most accurate ball-strikers ever. He was also slightly nuts, but that's a story for another day.

So, after swinging the same way for neigh on 50 years, I decided to try stack without tilt, which is a bit like Adam Scott.

And promptly screwed myself up to the point where I cannot even take the club back properly, power is off by 50 per cent and I actually have no idea what the club is doing during the swing.

Even worse, I have no idea what my body is doing during the swing!

So, tonight I will dig out old tapes of my swing and try to find myself again. Don't worry loyal readers, this is not the first time I have destroyed myself, and it certainly won't be the last.

I learned a long time ago that it was better to video my swing when it was working great, than it was to video it when it was in trouble. Just click play and watch carefully. Eventually, the brain says "Ah, I remember that" and I slowly put myself back together.

This is why it's important to build a natural swing rather than a series of unnatural movements. Sadly, if you watch enough YouTube videos, you'll see they tout a lot of very strange positions, many of which are directly opposite of how the human body works. This is bad for the student, but good for teachers who have to correct you later on.

Keeping it natural is the best way to remember your swing.

On another note, Golf Magazine held a poll among the top 100 Teaching pros, asking if the termination sentence given to the former PGA president was correct.

Not surprisingly, over 70 percent said they thought it was far too harsh. Yes, that also means 23 per cent or so have fully drunk the Kool-Aid and are so PC that they have all the personality of a divot.

The biggest problem facing the PGA right now, in my opinion, is a true lack of personality. There are few colourful pros as in the old days. You don't see a Tommy Bolt firing his club down the fairway, or a Curtis Strange cursing up a storm on the course, or a Stadler making witty, yet outrageous comments about himself.

It has become so boring that when they face Europe, the contrast is like night and day.

Lighten up guys, it's only golf! — VNS

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