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The Golf Swing and Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

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Greetings Golfers,

While watching the pre-Masters hype the other night, one of the analysts proclaimed that most of the multi-winners of the Masters lifted their left heel on the backswing. He said that this move allowed them to make a bigger turn and a longer swing which allowed them to hit more of a variety of shots. Some of the examples were: Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer (and lefties who lift the right heel – Bubba Watson and Phil Mickleson).

I agree. I like a fuller, freer swing. The short, tight swing that emphasizes resistance is too hard on the body and really limits shot making. And, if you’re not young and flexible it’s almost impossible to do it.

Years ago when I used to give clinics for juniors, the first thing I would teach them was to make a full backswing. After I got their attention … I would make each junior lift the left heel all the way up in the air and turn the foot so that the weight was only on the toe … while they made a complete turn of the body and held the position at the top of the backswing. Then after holding the position for a minute, they would then swing the club to the follow-through into the exact reverse position (full-turn and right heel all the way up in the air with the weight only on the toe). Then I would have them swing from the end of the follow-through back to the top of the backswing, and then back to follow-through … and just keep on going back and forth … that is the feeling of a full golf swing.

The next drill for them was to just swing the club waist-high on the backswing so that the right arm folded and that the toe of the club pointed straight up. And then swing through waist-high and roll over the hands so that the left arm folds and the toe is pointed straight up. Then, swing from waist-high to waist-high … back and forth to get the feeling of releasing the golf club.

Those two drills put together are the basis of the golf swing.

The little shots have no wrist action – they are for control. But as the club is swung waist-high … it needs to add wrist action – the kind developed in the waist-high drill. Then as the swing becomes fuller … the body needs to turn and shift the weight to the back foot … and then shift the weight and turn to the front foot on the forward swing – just like in the first drill.

Those three drills will give you a fundamentally solid golf swing that you can use all of your life.

I hope Tom Watson makes the cut. He’s 65 years old and makes those moves as well as anyone. He also eats the pimento cheese sandwiches that they sell at the Masters. And this weekend, so will we … and for only $1.50 like they do at Augusta National.

Cheers,

Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional
tabts@deerrungolf.com