Viet Nam News
By Robert Bicknell
Ah, the back nine begins… and I have no idea what to say or do… Yes, it’s one of those days.
Scanning through the golf news, every big name teaching pro is getting ink by breaking down how Tiger miraculously cured his “chipping yips” but there is one huge problem in those comments…
Tiger didn’t have the “chipping yips”. What he had was a flawed set up and that restricted his normal movements. The “yips” are not mechanical in nature. They are a mental problem, usually brought on by a lack of confidence. And once you lose your confidence, you cannot produce a smooth stroke, and then you begin to change your mechanics…
And then you’re a basket case.
If you look at Tiger’s pre-injury set ups, it was a lot different than when he was skulling and chinking chips and pitches all over the place.
Its real simple kids, if you change the set up, you change the motion. The golf swing has a ridiculous amount of moving parts, but you only have control over, perhaps, 25 of them and those are actually controlled by the set up and through five basic movements. If you’re not set up correctly, you cannot perform those movements. Ergo, if you change the set up of the machine, you cannot expect it to operate correctly.
OK, imagine a tire on your car is underinflated the car will pull towards the underinflated side. You cannot expect it to drive straight. Same thing with wheel alignment, same with headlight alignment. Same with brake pad wear. If the pads on one side are more worn than the other, the car will drift to the side of less wear when stopping.
Cause and effect.
FOR THE RECORD: If you find your ball going in a different direction than is usual, say, to the right of your target consistently, the BEST thing you can do is check your alignment. Very often, players will slowly begin to align to the right of their target without realizing it. This is due to the way your eyes work.
This is also one of the reasons why, if you watch Tour players practicing on the range, they are always checking their alignment more than anything else. If Tour guys miss a target, most often they were not aligned properly rather than the swing itself.
Therefore, before deciding you have a swing problem that needs fixing, first check your alignment as its most likely the cause.
There has been a lot of chatter about new golf course designs being so difficult that they’re not fun for the average player and, sad to say, this argument has been around since the beginning of time.
I will agree that some designs border on ludicrous as the designer seems to hate golfers, or is trying to make a name for himself by making a course so difficult very few players can break par, but that is the exception rather than the norm.
The actual problem has always been players overestimating their actual abilities and playing from the wrong tee boxes. This is a huge problem in Asia as many male players seem to think it’s a loss of face to play from the member’s tees (aka – white tees) and insist on playing from the blues.
While it really doesn’t change anything in their handicap due to the Slope System, it does slow down play a bit and that’s a problem.
Now excuse me. I’m retired so it’s off to the gym and pool.
OK, so Tiger had changed a lot in his set ups over the years thanks to meddling by far too many teachers trying to make a name for themselves, and Tiger’s inclination to believe that everything can always be made better through change.
The best way to screw something up is to try and fix something which isn’t broken, see above rant from yours truly on alignment.
OK, so he has a new set up and chunk, skull, clank. Now he’s talking to himself because it can’t possibly be his set up. After all, the best teacher in the world told him to do it, right?
Tiger simply couldn’t execute his usual movement from the position he was in. To fix the problem, all he did was fix his stance and then let memory take over from there. Ta-daa!