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Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Nothing New Under the Sun

Golfers and teachers of golf are often seduced into searching for the perfect golf swing--one that would suit everyone and have them playing good golf. This, despite the fact that all the great players tend to have a swing uniquely their own. Moe Norman's swing, because of Moe's uncanny ability to have hit the ball dead straight, has been dissected and analyzed and taught as the answer to the average golfer's prayers. Unfortunately, I've yet to meet and play with anyone who uses the Moe Norman/Natural Golf method--although I've tried it.

Moe didn't worry about distance. His swing was developed in the search for accuracy and control. Bobby Jones wrote of a British Walker Cup player, Major Charles O. Hezlet, who employed a style very similar to Moe's. He addressed the ball with his feet wide apart and used a short, pivotless swing to produce remarkably accurate shots. He was a relatively short hitter, but his accuracy off the tee more than made up for any distance lost by his wide stance and short swing.

Moe saw the game in height, or trajectory, and straight lines. He developed a swing that perfectly fit that bill. But then there's Bubba Watson at the opposite end of the spectrum who sees the game in curving lines and plays the power game. His swing is perfectly designed to achieve that.

Perhaps that's really the key to developing your own swing. Moe said he never worried about distance because he simply "couldn't do it." So he played and swung to his strengths. So, instead of worrying about the so-called "perfect swing," perhaps we should accept that there really is no such thing. There's a perfect swing for Moe, and a perfect swing for Bubba. And there's one for every individual, depending upon their size, shape, athleticism and way of playing the game. 

As Bobby Jones pointed out, it is obvious that there is more than one correct way to swing a golf club. The key is to find the one suited to us. A qualified instructor can help us in our search. But in the end our swing should be uniquely ours; like our signature. It should reflect how we see and play the game, as it should reflect our personality. For instance, an "A-type" personality who goes for broke on the golf course and plays aggressively might have difficulty trying to use a syruppy swing like Freddie or big Ernie. 

As for Moe being the first guy to grip the club as he did and stand with his legs wide apart and his arms extended; Major Hezlet set up the same way, as did J.H. Taylor--pictured below. There really is nothing new under the sun when it comes to golf swings.