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Thursday, 24 November 2016

Develop Your Own Style

There's more than one way to skin a cat--I don't know where that expression comes from, never having tried to skin a cat myself, and not being acquainted with anyone who actually has skinned a cat. But in golf there is definitely more than one way to get the job done. 

Golf leaves plenty of room for everyone to develop their own particular method, or style. Consider what Bobby Jones wrote in his book Bobby Jones on Golf under the subject, Developing a Style:

    "More than fine-spun theories, the average golfer needs something to give him a clearer conception of what he should try to do with the club head. The golf swing is a set or series of movements that must be clearly correlated. The smallest change in any one will make a difference in one or more of the others, and although for consistent, high-class performance there can be only a small deviation in any particular, it is still a fact, and always will be so, that there are more ways than one of swinging a club effectively.
     I do not intend to argue against the development of a good sound method, but I do believe that this method should be put together with due regard for the requirements and swing preferences of the individual. I also think that before a player should begin to worry about the finer points of form, he should play enough to know what his preferences are...
     We talk, think, and write so much about the details of the stroke that we sometimes lose sight of the one thing that is all-important--hitting the ball. It is conceivable that a person could perform all sorts of contortions and yet bring the club into correct relation to the ball at impact, in which case a good shot must result. The only reason for discussing method and form at all is to find a way to make it easier for the player to achieve the correct relationship. In a crude way, he might do it only occasionally; in a finished, sound, controlled way, he will be able to do it consistently and with assurance."

Bobby then went on to discuss the difference between his method and that of Harry Vardon. He concluded this way:

     "This is the sense every golfer must develop. The beginner ought to keep always before him the determination to put the club against the ball in the correct position. It is not easy when form is lacking, but it is the surest way to cause form to be more easily acquired. The expert player corrects subconsciously, some instantaneous telegraphic system tells him, just as he begins to hit, that something is wrong; and at the last instant a muscle that may not always function perfectly will do so in a sufficient number of cases for it to be well worth its keep."

So for the beginner, and the golfer who finds himself struggling with the game, Bobby Jones offers some great advice. Develop your own style of putting the club head on the ball. Keep the strike always at the forefront and you will find, through trial and error, the way that works best for you.