YOU DON'T NEED ANY GOLF LESSONS AND SOME OTHER STUFF YOU EITHER DO NOT KNOW OR REFUSE TO ACCEPT
By David Fineg
- YOU DONíT NEED ANY GOLF LESSONS
Here at the onset I would like to state for the record that I am not a professional golfer, nor am I a professional teacher. (It wonít be long before you also discover that I am not a professional writer either) The root word "CERTIFY" is a part of my title. However, the suffix is not "ied". The correct suffix is more likely to be "able". (Note to self- disclaimer out of the way.) I have immense respect for all professional golf instructors. They have devoted their lives to helping you improve your golf and your golf swing. They do this because they love helping, not because of the immense fortunes involved.
The problem is that most of these instructors have been teaching for so long, far removed from the beginning golfers point of view. Their advanced ability has taken them to the point where only the fine-tuning of the technique of a golf swing can make their swing any better than it is. They try to instruct beginners with mechanical swing thoughts when beginners need to be shown and told of the more intangible aspects of the golf swing. Instructors usually want to try to teach you "their" swing, or "the" swing, and are not that concerned with "your" swing. I promise, you will never have anything but "your" swing. There are only two ways to obtain a golf swing. One is technique and the other is feel. Unless you were within five years of adolescence, and living on number seven at "BLA NA NA" Country Club when you started swinging a golf club, you will never achieve a golf swing with technique. Your only chance of having a swing, if you started later than that, is learning the swing through feel. Technique is easy to teach, but hard to learn. Feel is easy to learn, but hard to teach. You will have to accept two things in order to begin learning a swing with feel.
- Your swing is not that big.
- This game takes a lifetime to learn. You canít be in too much of a hurry. Start with the smallest, slowest, softest swing you can make. Grow your swing out from there.
- DRIVERS ARE USELESSóTAKE ĎEM OUT AND LEAVE ĎEM OUT!
(Why do you think they call them woods?)
The driver is the club used by PROFESSIONALS to get below par. It is not required to get to par. If you canít shoot at or near par golf without a driver, that club will prevent you from ever doing so. When you miss a driver (big) it generally costs you three strokes. Either the lost ball, unplayable lie, "OíByss", (out of bounds) or the "hero shot" that didnít come off. If you miss with the driver three times, you will NEVER break 90. And Iím "knowin your missin it" more than three times. Answer the following questions truthfully: How many times have you scored a bird or even a par on that long par four, (or eagle or bird on that par five) because you ripped an awesome drive off the tee? How many times have you taken a bogey (or worse) because you pounded a wicked banana into the woods? I bet it is less than five for the former, and more than five hundred for the latter. Isnít it? Do you see that red flag, there, right in front of your face? GET RID OF THAT DRIVER! GO UP TO THE TEE CARRYING THE CLUB YOU CAN HIT WITH EXTREME CONFIDENCE RIGHT UP THE MIDDLE. And I donít care how far it goes, as long as it goes up the middle. Now, youíre striding off the tee with some success. And there is the outside chance you will make a good second shot. And so onÖ I am not even going to go into the anger mismanagement issues you will avoid by not using that club. (Anger mismanagement can also easily destroy your game) Oh yeah, you will also be saving hundreds or thousands of dollars not buying those drivers that were going to get you those ten extra yards. Which, by the way, they would have gotten you. (ten extra yards into the woods)
There is one possible reason you might want to have a driver. For the times you can take advantage of the 2 club length rule. (look it up)
- IT DOESNíT MATTER WHAT BALL YOU USE
When it comes time to renew the golf balls at my range, I always go for the best. Out comes the Rolodex, twisted open to the number for Rage Ranger Inc. I always go for their top of the line ball, the FACET-FLYTE SMOOTH-SIDER OCTAGON, in a 25 compression. Then the boys and I will mix a few baskets with a 50/50 blend consisting of the facet-flytes and some expensive high quality balls. After watching guys hit out of these baskets, one of the observers stated that he was unable to tell which balls were the range balls and which were the good quality balls. Then we gave out baskets with the same mix except that this time the good balls were all on the top and the range balls all on the bottom. The only thing that came out of that observation was that the average golfer was better off with the range balls, because they didnít fly as far into the woods. What I am saying here is that if your swing isnít dialed up you will not be able to see any difference in your score because of the golf ball you choose. One of the retired guys that shags golf balls off the courses and sells them to me, brings many top of the line balls that appear to have been hit only one time. This is an arrows or Indian issue, (mechanic-hand toolsÖ) if ever there was one.
- MOMENTARY MUSINGS ON THE MANIFESTATIONS OF THE MONKEY MANíS MISGUIDED MISSION TO MEASURE
Many men have a need to measure things. The problem arises out of the fact that they donít know what to measure, or they donít know how to measure it.
- Itís not how far down the line the ball goes, itís how far OFF the line the ball goes.
- Men always measure their clubs based on the best swing they ever made with that club. You only make the best swing you ever made, one time in your life. It is entirely likely the swing you are about to make is not that "once in a lifetime" swing. You had better take more club than you think you need, so your mind can let you take a swing you can control. If the shot flies the green, at least your next shot will be a shot youíve not seen before.
- Something like 65% of the score in golf occurs from within 100 yards of the flag. So what if you can hit those 500 yard drives, (which you canít) they are meaningless when you scull four shots across the green and then six-putt. THE SHORT GAME CONTAINS ALL THE MAJESTY IN GOLF. (And 90% of the scoring opportunities)
- You must watch your tool. NO, NOT THAT TOOL, MONKEY MAN! Have you ever seen a carpenter look away at the instant his hammer was going to strike the nail? You must do whatever it takes to insure that you watch your club do the work you intend it to do! The club must be well past the impact zone before you start your way up to the finish. It will not always work if you watch, but it will never work, if you donít watch.
- BACK TO THE FIRST (and most inflammatory) STATEMENT
Quite a few instructors teach out at my range. Probably because it is convenient, not because it is the finest third rate goat pasture in Bexar County. To a teacher, they all claim to want to get a student with no experience, before that student has developed any "bad habits." Yet I notice that they are able to help students with bad habits to a much greater degree that those with no habits. I would recommend that you develop a small swing (feel your way) and then let an instructor refine the geometry of your swing. They can all help you, whatever you decide. Remember, I said you do not NEED lessons; I did not say you shouldnít want lessons.
I have written another article that helps to describe finding a swing with feel. It is entitled CONTAINMENT THEORY AND THE NONSENSE ZONE.
Remember those four or five swings you make each round when you barely swing at the ball and it leaps off the club? You wonder what it was you did to produce that shot? That was a swing you made with feel, when you had no thought of how you were going to make that swing. That is how feel works. It is wonderful and easy. Ever made a swing like that when you had a mechanical swing thought in your mind? That is what I am talking about.
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