Albert Einstein famously said: “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
I would be inclined to agree. Teaching golf can be very simple or it can be very complicated, so I utilize the KISS method: keep it simple and simple. Part of that is ensuring that you experience a proper golf swing — not just listen to me talk about it. When you attend a lesson with me, I like to assess, observe what you do or do not do and ask you questions to better understand your approach. Then, I make a plan for your learning that follows a simple formula and allows you to see and feel the proper technique.
Personally, I’m a visual learner, so I like to use pictures to illustrate the point I’m trying to get across. This picture of a hand gently holding an ice cream cone is much like how you hold a golf club. Hold the club lightly and it will go faster, creating more distance. Like Tiger Woods says in his book, relaxed muscles move faster than tense muscles. Tennis serves are similar; if you want a fast serve, your hands and wrists must be relaxed.
Another visual learning tool I make use of is “the golf clock.”
This helps teach distance control when making a shot. The later in time/the higher the swing, the more swing speed created and the greater the distance. The clock system can be used in all shots including putting, chipping and sand, when distance control is more valuable than gaining the greatest possible amount of yards.
A third simple visual I like to use has to do with ball position, a key piece of any player’s golf game. The longer the club, the more the ball is positioned toward the lead foot or the foot closest to the target. The shorter the club, the closer the ball is positioned to the center of the stance. Why? Bigger clubs require more movement and greater weight transfer from the trail foot to the lead foot.
Once these “fun”damentals are absorbed, players can begin to let go of all of the thinking and feel the grace inherent in golf. If that’s what you happen to be looking for, I’m here to help!
by Doug Weaver
Carolina’s PGA Teacher of the Year, Doug Weaver is the Director of Instruction at the Palmetto Dunes Golf Academy. He conducts “Where Does the Power Come From?” a free interactive clinic and demonstration every Monday from 4-5 p.m. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Volunteer for a free lesson and some will win prizes! Call (866) 455-6890 or go to www.palmettodunes.com for more information.