What separates the 95 percent of golfers who are mid- and high handicappers from the 5 percent of golfers who are low handicappers is that low handicappers use the golf club in the way it’s designed to be used. Unfortunately, most golfers have swings that actually fight the design of the golf club. So even if you buy the best clubs on the market, they won’t help one bit if you do not swing in a way that puts them into the right position when coming into the ball. First, understand that a swing is a swing, which means it doesn’t matter what you put in your hands. It can be a tennis racquet, a bowling ball, baseball bat, or a golf club—it’s all the same swinging motion.
Picture yourself playing tennis, where you have your opponent standing on the baseline and you want to hit a drop shot just over the net. To do this, you would leave the racquet face wide open and cut across the ball from the outside in. No matter how hard you swing, the tennis ball will barely make it over the net, and it will also take a weak spinning bounce to the right. This is basically the same motion
that produces the slice in golf, a shot that most golfers are familiar with. On the other hand, if you wanted to hit a powerful cross-court shot in tennis, you would sling the tennis racquet starting from behind your body, working it around your body and releasing the racquet head through arm rotation. This would cause the tennis ball to come off like a bullet and take a hard overspinning bounce to the left. This motion would be equal to hitting a powerful draw in golf, something every good player has the ability to do. To reinforce this feeling, now picture yourself in the shoes of a good bowler. As you step to the line, you sling the ball from behind the body, extending the whole arm while releasing the forearm over. This is why the ball always looks like it’s going into the gutter and then it "draws" to the left. The golf swing is a very similar motion. So if you can envision and then feel these motions, you can learn how to use the golf club correctly—coming down and through on a shallow path rather than on a steep angle. When you can feel this, you will become a better golfer.
Tony Roberto is Director of Golf at Tower Ridge Country Club in Simsbury, CT • 860- 651-9393