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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Arnold Palmer on the Golf Swing

In reading Arnold Palmer's book, Golf My Way and Yours, he believes that two factors, besides a sound grip and a still head, can virtually guarantee good results.

The first thing is a one-piece takeaway, where the club is taken straight away, without any wrist break for the first twelve inches.  Sam Snead, Bobby Jones, and Jack Nicklaus believed the same thing.  A one-piece takeaway, controlled be the left hand and arm ensures that everything moves together, and your whole body gets in on the action.  Resisting any impulse to lift the club up, or pull it to the inside with the right hand, common errors made by high handicappers, is vital.

The next thing is resisting the urge to over-swing.  Trying to turn back too far, or take the club back higher than is comfortable, is, according to Arnie, a killer.  He suggests that we have compact swings that allow us to maintain control of the club.  He provided the example of hitting three balls with a five iron.  On the first he took a full swing, turning as far as possible.  On the next, he swung back to about ten o'clock, if you picture the left arm as the small hand on a clock face.  On the third swing, he swung back to nine o'clock.  The difference between the three swings was only about fifteen yards.  

In Arnie's mind, the ten o'clock swing was much more controlled and produced the best results.  He may not have hit the ball quite as far as he did with the long swing, but that is why we carry fourteen clubs.  If you are struggling with your ball-striking, perhaps it's worth following Arnie's advice.  Take one more club if necessary, and shorten that swing.  At the end of the day, the scorecard doesn't care whether you hit it stiff with a seven iron or an eight.

The truth is, however, that many high handicappers will discover they are hitting the ball just as far, or farther, with the compact swing.