Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Best Golf Tip a Bad Golfer Will Ever Get

I’m hesitant to do this because I know my buddy Craig reads this blog. For years he and I have been racing each other to be the first one to break 100. Imagine, then, how difficult it was at the beginning of this year when we played a quick nine after work (ok, at our skill level there’s really no such thing as a “quick nine” but we try).  At the end of nine we were both below 50. We were on the rode our elusive sub-100 rounds.  But we’d told our wives we were only playing nine and it was the first or second round of the year so we didn’t want to push our luck. We just had to pack it in with visions of future rounds in our heads. This year I did manage to break 100 four times. But Craig didn’t. So, I’m hesitant to give out this tip, because I’ll be giving Craig my secret and it’s just so much fun to tease him. But this is the Bad Golf blog, the blog all about bad golfers and we need to stick together. So, without further ado, and at the risk of helping Craig with his golf game, here it is: The best golf tip a bad golfer will ever get.

Oh, wait; there is more ado.

The reason I believe this is the best golf tip a bad golfer will ever get is this: I’ve been trying to break 100 for over fifteen years. I’ve had friends break 100 the first year they started playing. I’ve worked on my grip, tempo, alignment, pre-swing routine, and relaxing. I’ve tried new clubs, multiple swing thoughts, and psychological tricks. I've focused practicing my short game and putting. I’ve tried “playing smart” and once, I even tracked down a Golf Magazine top 100 teacher and took a lesson with him out at Pumpkin Ridge. And even with all that, the 100 mark remained as unobtainable as a straight answer from a politician. But this year I found it. I found the one thing to take me to the next level and I’m confident next year it will help me go even lower. That is why I'm declaring this the best golf tip a bad golfer will ever get. Because I've tried everything and this one simple tip is the one that did it. 

Ok, seriously, that's enough ado, now here's the tip:

A Good Finish
I stumbled across this tip by accident. My six year old daughter took lessons this year. I watched her swing progress and was very impressed with how quickly she improved. One thing I noticed was that the instructor really emphasized the finish. Whenever she’d hit, no matter what the outcome of the shot was, a topped ball that dribbled a few feet in front of her, or a ball blasted 80 yards down the fairway, she would always get to a good finish and hold it. Her instructor didn't teach her anything about the grip, tempo, alignment, relaxing, or happy rainbow unicorn swing thoughts. Nope. The emphasis was always on one thing and one thing only -- the finish. 

The Results of a Good Finish
This made sense to me. If you finish off balance there’s no way you made a good swing. So I started focusing on my finish. My swing thought was simple: “Back slow” as I started my swing (I tend to over swing), “good finish” as I swung down.  I noticed an immediate difference. When I finished in balance the odds of me hitting a good shot went way up; when I finished out of balance the odds of me hitting a good shot went way down. Focusing on my finish taught me a great deal about every shot. If I slid easily into the finish it was probably a good shot. If I was off balance to the left I probably sliced it. If I finished off balance backwards or forwards I probably topped it. Focusing on the finish and getting my balance down so I was finishing good made a huge difference. My consistence went way up, my scores went down. Suddenly, instead of hitting about 50% with my 7 iron I was about 80% and I was money with my 9 iron and pitching wedge. The next time I got on a course, boom, sub-100 was mine.

So there you have it -- my big tip. If you've tried “everything” and you're still suck, try focusing on a good balanced finish. It's working for my daughter; it worked for me; I hope it works for you as well (well, not you, Craig).


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Mahbubar said...

The best golf tip a bad golfer will ever get this is my comment.It is golf club related.

womens golf clubs said...

She's cute with that driver.. even though it's new for her, she'll be a great player.

Unknown said...

I liked this article a lot. Helpful and I agree. Started doing tai Chi to help my golf game and I think it works because of the balance factor.