Monday, November 07, 2005

How Slow Can You Swing?

Bobby Jones is reputed to have said, "I never saw someone swing too slowly."

I can't vouch for that being true, but I can say the idea is a touchstone for my golf game, and an idea that is right in the heart of Zen Golf.

In that spirit, here is the first of several tips that will deal with building rhythmn and grace into your golf swing by thinking "slow."

This first idea is ideal for those of us in the NorthEast who are faced with the upcoming winter, as it is something that can easily be done inside.

The idea is simple: take a mid-iron and move through the swinging motion as slowly as possible. I believe the originator was Harvey Penick, but I've since seen it several other places.

How slow? Penick just said as slowly as possible, but Pia Lindstrom and Lynn Marriott — in their new book, Every Shot Must Have a Purpose (reviewed in this blog earlier) — say that it should take up to 2 minutes to complete. (If you're highly anal, you might even want to time yourself.)

What you'll find is that you'll immediately sense where your body is out of "sync," where you are not well coordinated. One prime way that will show up is your swing will move more quickly throught that portion: you won't be able to go slowly.

You'll be tempted to do this in front of the TV, but don't. In the spirit of Zen, you'll get the most benefit if you are completely "mindful"... that is, completely aware... "in the moment"... paying attention and absorbed in what you're doing.

It's easy! Just put an old club in the corner of your den or reading area and go throught the full swing motion — all the way to a full and balanced finish — 3-4 times a day.

I think you'll be surprised at what you learn!


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