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Golf Tips Forever

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          GOLF TIPS - Wednesday, September 26, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"
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Fellow Duffers,

How about some tips from a couple of old-school instructors?
Jim Flick and Bob Toski. I read Tosky's twice...


Sam
mailto:sam@gophercentral.com


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Jim Flick's Setup Rules

A Good Swing Starts With A Good Setup
By Jim Flick

The late, great teacher Davis Love Jr. had a saying: "You have
a contrived set-up so you can make a free swing; a free set-up
leads to a contrived swing." That's why, despite what I said
in Rule 1 about the swing, positions have their place -- in
the set-up.

A good swing won't produce the desired results without proper
aim (the orientation of the clubface) and alignment (the
orientation of the body). First, make sure the clubface -- and
only the clubface -- is pointing directly at the target. Once
the clubface is aimed, build your alignment around its
position.

A common mistake is pointing your toeline at the target, which
produces a closed stance. Your feet should be aligned parallel
to the line that runs from the ball to the target. To envision
this, stand behind the ball and extend both arms parallel in
front of you. Point the right arm through the ball and at your
target; this indicates the target line. The left arm indicates
your stance line, which extends left of the target. Next, rest
a club along your right arm to ingrain the image that only the
clubface touches the target line.



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Any discussion about golf with Bob Toski quickly focuses on
the fact that it is not a game of brute strength. "It would be
if the club were heavy and the ball were heavy," he explains, 
"but, in fact, the club and the ball are light and the body is
heavy. Speed is what creates power. Deer-like strength is
10 times more important than hippopotamus strength. We play
golf with deer-like strength. An ounce of touch is worth a ton
of brawn."

From this belief came Toski's philosophy that the golf club
should be moved with a swinging motion that is created through
the movement of the hands, wrists, and arms. The body simply
turns and shifts to support the motion of the hands and arms.
The swing creates a turn; the turn does not create a swing.

Toski notes that most golfers use their hands only to hold the
club. In reality, it's the hands that control the swing. They
are the primary speed generators; they control the clubface;
and they shape the swing's path.

Here are some of his favorite insights and drills to free your
swing, taken from his book with Davis Love Jr., How to Feel a
Real Golf Swing. 



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HANDS AND ARMS CONTROL THE SWING "Freedom is the key to both
swing speed and power. Here's an exercise to demonstrate how,
once you've created that free arm motion, your body will follow
it. Without a club, take your stance at address and align
yourself to a specific target. Swing your arms back and forth
toward the target as if you were going to hit the ball with
your arms only. Get into it and make it easy and relaxed.
Notice how your shoulders follow your arm swing and bring your
torso into the swing.

"Suddenly, 'shifting your weight' and 'pivoting' aren't such
a chore -- you've let your hands and arms lead. Doing this
exercise with a club in each hand will further emphasize the
point. It will also demonstrate how the pace of the arms either
supports or undermines the natural sequence of hand, arm, and
body motion. Try it now. Holding an iron club in each hand make
three-quarter swings, keeping your arms parallel to one
another."

GRIP PRESSURE "Hold one iron club by the clubhead in each hand.
Point the grips toward the floor and tap them together. Not as
easy as it looks, is it? Tap them together until you make
dozens of taps in succession. Notice that it becomes easier as
you 'soften' your hands and let the feel of the movement take
over.

"When you are doing the drill well, observe your grip pressure
and the flexibility in your wrists. Stiffness and pressure may
at first feel like control--but they only make the task
tougher."

KEEP ARMS RELAXED "Tension is the enemy of speed. In golf,
your arms allow your hands to create swing speed; relaxed arms
mean faster hands. Here's an exercise to underscore the point.
Pick a spot on the carpet (or put a tee in the ground) and
swing an iron back and forth at the spot, trying to brush the
spot or club the tee. You'll find that hitting the spot becomes
easy and you can swish the club quite fast if your arms and
hands are relaxed. Tighten them and suddenly it's very tough."

GLUE YOUR GRIP "Some teachers talk about having a 'long' or
'short' thumb in your grip, referring to the distance the
thumb extends down the shaft. I don't think you have a choice.
The thumb must be 'long' enough to give maximum gripping
control with the last three fingers of your left hand without
reducing wrist flexibility. If the thumb is too long or too
short the fingers will be pulled out of place.

"I recommend that you grip the club as though you were gluing
your hands to it. You want complete contact. Every bit of the
insides of your fingers should be touching the rubber grip.
No gaps. No air pockets. No spaces."


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