Sunday, December 25, 2005

How Slow? Part IV

Here is the last in my "How Slow?" series, and it's a method for taking this idea from the range onto the course.

How do you make your club selections, and how good are those choices? By "good," I'm asking how often do you end up falling short of your target (and remember, you have a specific target on every shot... including with the driver), and also how often are you swinging with full-out 100% effort? If your ego is making you choose a club that will only get you there with a perfect shot, then you're making bad choices. (Players with handicaps above single digits are making mostly bad choices.)

Here's a different way to think. For approach shots, choose first the club that you absolutely know will carry past the target: on a shot into the green — over the green. Then, take one club less. If you're completely sure you can hit a smooth 5-iron over the green, choose a 6-iron for the shot.

For tee shots on par-4 and par-5 holes, choose a target that you absolutely know you can hit past, and then swing so as to hit only to that target.

See if you don't swing more smoothly, and hit more targets, with that thought.

Monday, December 12, 2005

How Slow? Part III

To put a reverse spin on this subject, if we're advocating a slower swing, what portion of the swing moves fastest?

Break the downswing into quadrants: from the top to hip-high; from hip-high to impact; from impact to pointing at the target; and from there to the finish. Which quadrant is fastest? Would you agree that it is the third portion?

Not only is that true, but speed past impact is the key to distance. And here lies the main point of this tip... the key to speed past impact is acceleration. The idea is not swinging fast from the top, it is instead swinging slowly down from the top and only accelerating as you are well into the second quadrant.

My proof... after coming from six strokes behind to beat Greg Norman in the 1996 Masters, Nick Faldo said his key thought for the day was a slow move down from the top.

So, again... how slow can you swing? (At least through the first half.)