Yeah, I know - me and six bazillion other yahoos.
But, this is a simple theory, unlike all those six bazillion other simple theories.
I believe if you have a modicum of athletic ability, and don't have any serious debilitating injuries like missing at least two limbs and a cerebral cortex, and you are left alone on a driving range, you'll work it out.
If you have two hands, a spinal column and a nervous system, it will come to you. Eventually.
Wipe out all those magazine articles and tips from pros, cousins, friends and all those people who just seem to be full of advice, and just swing away. Let her rip. Don't worry about your grip, balance, alignment, rotation, swivel or swing plane
Just see how far and straight you can hit the ball. If you hit it short and to the right or left, don't do that again. If you hit it long and straight - DO THAT AGAIN!
Over time, your brain will get in touch with your body. Now you may have a grip that looks like you're choking a monkey and your backswing might bring Ben Hogan out of his grave, but who cares?You're splitting the fairway and your friends hate your guts. And what's better than that
I used to thing the grip wasn't that big a deal, that the teaching pros overrated it. I was wrong.
Here's why: I happened to be playing the best golf of my life for about a month-long stretch until I made the terrible mistake of taking a lesson. I didn't go looking for a lesson; it was sort of thrust on me, but that's another story.
In any case, the lesson was from one of the best: the David Leadbetter Academy at Championsgate. Leadbetter is considered one of the best in the world, and rightfully so.
This lesson came from one of his assistants, an extremely clever, thorough and patient young man. He studied my swing, and the first thing he noticed was my grip.
He changed it. He gave me a special Leadbetter club with knobs on it so you were forced to grip it the Leadbetter way. Yes, it felt unbelievably awkward, but on those few occasions I hit it correctly, the five-iron soared 180 yards, over the bunker, and dropped softly a few feet from the flag.
Then he videotaped my swing and we went back to the video room. There I was up on the big screen, in slow motion. He put me on a split screen with Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Nick Price.
He talked earnestly about swing planes, drawing diagonal lines on top of Tiger's swing, and then mine. He talked about a lot of things, which all sounded great in theory. I thought the fact that I could understand what he was talking about would translate into me playing like Tiger, Ernie and Nick.
Then I went on the golf course and for the next fourdays played the worst golf of my life. Suddenly, I developed a slice.Suddenly, I was hitting it short. Suddenly, the fairway became a distant, unattainable dream.
I couldn't break 90.
But, this was Leadbetter, and I knew it had to be gold. So I stuck with the new grip until my fingers bled, literally.
The last straw came when I played a round with three decent golfers who should not have been out-driving me. But, they were - by about an average of 40 yards. I was starting to feel like I was playing for the pink team.
Still, I stuck it out - until No. 18. By then, I'd had enough; one can suffer only so much humiliation in a single lifetime. So I decided to go back to my old, absolutely incorrect grip. You guessed it - right down the middle of the fairway.
Granted, the lesson was only for a half day, and if Leadbetter had me for a week or so, I might have golfing buddies who hate me even more than they do now.
But, I don't think so. The point is, there are a million different ways to hit a golf ball straight and true, and the only person who can teach you how to do it is yourself. Ain't nobody else can climb inside your body and brain and swing it for you.
October 27, 2004
Simply select where you want to play, find a tee time deal, and golf now!