'Best Golf Tip' No Longer Works
It's not that I'm afraid to take advice from a golf instructor. It's just that I'm embarrassed to have anyone take a close look at that monstrosity I call a golf swing. Seriously.
I know I need help. If there's anything right about my golf swing these days, it's well hidden somewhere among the twitches, tics, involuntary muscle movements and a hitch, jerk, dip.
Still, even I can get an occasional tip that helps, at least for a few days.
One of the best tips I've ever had came from CBS-TV analyst Ken Venturi at least 20 years ago.
Like a lot of other "average" golfers, I had this fear of bunker shots. I knew I was supposed to hit behind the ball, but I never seemed to be able to judge just how much sand I should take to make the shot work. The results were everything from skulls to fat to downright embarrassing.
Venturi's advice was simple and to the point. He demonstrated the proper stance, with the feet aimed left of the target, then said, "Picture the ball sitting on a tee in the sand. Then try to clip the tee from underneath the ball without touching the ball."
It worked the first time I tried it, and after a few practice swings in a bunker to gain confidence, I was able to go for years without fearing the dreaded sand shot. But now I'm over it. I can't get out of the sand to save my, well, bogey. Help.
Definition: What is a stroke?
A "stroke" is the forward movement of the club with the intention of fairly striking at and moving the ball.
The key words are "forward" and "intention." Following are a couple of hypothetical decisions having to do with whether a stroke is really a stroke and should be counted:
Situation: Jerry McPlunkett, of Southern Pines, addressed his ball and began the forward movement of the club with the intention of hitting the ball. But one of his playing companions accidentally banged his club against a cart, and the startled McPlunkett stopped his swing before making contact. Must he count this as a stroke?
Decision: Since his intention to move the ball died before he was able to move it, McPlunkett did not have to count the partial swing as a stroke.
Words of Wisdom: "Golf is a compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what your experience tells you to do, and what your nerves will let you do." -From Golf Around the World.
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