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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Be as Natural as Moe

Sam Snead said that if people held a knife and fork like they held a golf club they'd starve. There's a message in that--and it isn't just that many golfers have lousy grips. 

I think the message really is that we need to hold the club with purpose. By that I mean that our grip, our set up, our swing should all be done with the intent of striking the golf ball as it must be struck to produce the shot we want. Some might argue that we all do that, but we don't. 

In this respect Moe Norman, the great Canadian ballstriker, is a good case in point. He came to understand how he wanted to strike the ball, then he built a grip, set up, and swing that enabled him to produce that strike. He was totally unconcerned with appearances. He rejected convention. And he struck the ball about as purely and consistently as it has ever been struck.

If all of us could be as natural as Moe Norman, just imagine the relief. If we could all understand how the ball needed to be struck and then just set about striking it, with no thought of form, or mechanics; imagine the freedom. But, as Bobby Jones said, golf is a game that isn't taught as it is learned. We learn best by playing; by just hitting that pesky ball until we can make it behave. But golf is generally taught as a series of positions, or calisthenic exercises.

It's amazing how our minds and bodies are able to learn to hit a golf ball if we stop thinking about positions and how we are swinging and just focus on striking the ball. You would think you wouldn't have to be told how to hit a golf ball. You don't get told how to hit a baseball, or a ping pong ball. You just do it. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Golf was so much easier before I started studying the golf swing.