Monday, 17 July 2017

Sam Snead on Hitting the Long Irons

It's funny how quickly golfers tend to blame their swing for any issues with their ball-striking. I played today with Gary, who asked me on the first tee if I would try and watch him swing when he was playing his longer irons. He complained that he was having an awful time with them.

I watched him hit a couple and couldn't see that his swing was any different when hitting the five iron than any other club. So, I suggested that he consider Sam Snead's advice regarding the long irons. Sam, of course, was famous for talking about holding the club like you were holding a baby bird. And, I suppose, if you had hands like Sam Snead you could get away with holding the club lightly. But most of us don't have hands like Sam Snead. Jackie Burke once mused that the baby bird Sam was referring to was probably a baby eagle.

With respect to the long irons, Sam said it was important to have a firm grip on the club when playing the long irons because of the  tendency for the clubface to twist at impact. So, I suggested to Gary that he simply take a firmer than normal grip with those irons and focus on making a solid strike, hitting the ball in the sweet spot. Gary tried this and, while he wasn't hitting long irons like the Slammer, he was hitting them solidly and on target, something he said was a significant improvement.

At the end of the round Gary thanked me for my help. I told him not to thank me; instead I suggested that he "thank the Slammer."

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