Love at first sight: The Butch Harmon About Golf DVDs
I had to scrap plans to head to Vegas to hang with Butch for a few days. I can’t remember if it was the intimidation factor (he was working with Tiger or Adam or Dustin at the time) or the intimidation factor (his personal tutoring fee was a number that I didn’t think you could charge legally, without a medical or legal degree.) In either case, the opportunity to work with the pro’s pro, the fellow who changed careers and reshaped swings, was lost.
In 2012, Butch Harmon, in cooperation with Titleist, released a two-DVD set of instructional videos. While grading papers, I opted to put the disk on and listen (the classic teacher multi-task!) Listening to his direct tone and clear voice soon gave way to watching his instruction method. The fellow gets to the point, in a straightforward yet comfortable manner! What I was watching was not just a lesson in how to play golf, but instruction on how to teach (university education programs, take notice.) I won’t bore you (any farther?) with the deets on my affection for these disks. What I will point out are the three points that I took away from the first 2/3 of DVD 1. I put them immediately to the test at one of our local golf domes and they worked. Here goes nothing!
Point 1: check your alignment by placing the club along your heels, not your toes.
That was a revelation. It’s so easy to place it along your toes. They’re right in front of you, they give instant feedback, yet it’s wrong. Harmon notes that few toes are perpendicular to the target line (fanned left or right,) so the toes are always a bit misaligned. That’s all you need to compound the error. Drop the club behind you and check your heels; they don’t fan!
Point 2: one ball position
I have always chosen to manipulate my ball position. Play it forward for driver and metals, a bit closer to center for hybrids and irons, in the center for wedges…sound familiar? My explanation was, I’m a PLAYER, man! I’m a puppeteer with the ball ( a puppeteer who watches the ball slide right, toward the sand!) I thought about my short irons always flaring right (not a slice, but a push) and figured, let’s try this.
What you move, is your rear foot. You shorten your stance, but the ball always stays just inside the forward heel. The word is … Worked! From 7 iron through driver (and mos def in the short irons and wedges) my shots started toward and stayed at, the same dome panel, time after time. And the contact was crisp.
Point 3: square club face
This was the most illuminating point of all, and is the one you’ll have to see on the DVD. All I can say is this~a square club face for a golfer standing straight up, is not the same square when the body tilts forward to address the ball. The way Butch Harmon explains this notion is a revelation. It is a precise element yet gave me something I’ve not ever sensed in all the years I’ve played (5 handicap, traveling) and taken lessons.
Does this mean my instructors missed something? Yes and No. Teachers always miss something, but they hit way, way more points than they miss. Harmon’s teaching methodology embraces your swing, doesn’t attempt to change it radically, but simply corral it and firm it up. Can you think of a better tutor?
|« Feet Sheaths: What's New In Golf Socks In 2012||Australia might be Jessica Korda's and your top golf destination »|