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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Swing Envy

There have been some sweet swingers over the years.  I was just watching Carlos Franco, the stylish Paraguayan, swing the club in the Champions Tour event out on the west coast.  Talk about poetry in motion; it just looks effortless.  And then, there's Freddie.  Guys with swings like that; you'd think they'd win every week.

The fact is, while there is artistry in the swings of some of the great players, at the end of the day, looking pretty means nothing in this game.  We might all like to swing like Big Ernie, or Freddie, but we certainly don't need to to play reasonably good, and even great, golf.  For every sweet swinger, there's been a guy whose action wasn't very graceful, or pleasing to the eye, but who managed to get it done just as well or better.  

But then, just look at Trevino, Arnie, or Moe Norman; you wouldn't probably ever try to teach their action--actually they have tried to teach Moe Norman's swing, even though he never recommended that anyone try to copy him--but when it comes to getting command of the golf ball, perhaps we might learn as much, or more, from their swings as we do from the ones that seem to be perfect because of the rhythm and tempo--the way they flow.

My problem has been that I must be a bit of an imitator.  The more I study golf swings--and I'm studying them all the time--the more I'm tempted to try to copy the swings I see.  I suppose, imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, it is only natural that we might try to imitate the swings of our favourite players, but I'm now at the stage of the game where I'd just like to be able to find my swing, or instead of finding a swing, have no swing at all, just a strike that propels the ball where I'm looking. 

The problem with golf, as I see it, is that we may just have too much time to think.  I think it might be easier if we only had a split second to see the target, react to it, and hit the shot.  Then we wouldn't perhaps get caught up in thinking about how we were going to swing the club.  We'd just hit the damned thing, understanding that there were no style points being awarded.

I was watching Franco hit a three wood.  He took that beautiful, stylish swing and thinned it, the ball never getting more than ten feet off the ground, catching the lip of a bunker.  What a swing it was, but not a very pretty result.  Just goes to show you, it isn't the swing, it's the strike that really counts.

I know it's the strike that's all important, but I still would love to be able to swing it like Freddie Couples, or Carlos Franco.  I guess you might say I've got a case of swing envy.