In a recent golf magazine, there was an article titled, "Is your swing out of date?"
I had to laugh out loud because all of the "new" ideas they proposed are things that were done 60 to 70 years ago. The swing concepts of 25 years ago were considered out-of-date (Nicklaus, Player, Trevino and Watson, etc.) and the new ways are actually the styles and fundamentals pioneered by Hogan, Snead and Nelson in the '30s through '60s. What's that old cliché, "the more things change, the more they stay the same?"
The piece showed pictures starting from the set-up, top of swing, impact, release and the finish. With little or no exception, the updated improvements were right out of the playbook of the old timers' way of doing things.
Speaking of books, of which I have several, time and again the positions and swing principles come from the teachers of the early part of the last century. With all the high-tech advances we have available, it just absolutely amazes me how the game is "evolving" back to the good old days.
I have a book written by Bob McDonald in 1927 that, if you changed the clothing worn back then, McDonald looks exactly like any of today's players.
All this article did for me was bolster my pride and confidence that what I teach was viable 42 years ago and still holds water today. Styles, fashion and opinions may change, but true fundamentals never go out of style.
The search for the golf "secret" is over as far as I'm concerned. The secret is, there is no secret. It's just a handful of inter-related concepts that make up an efficient, consistent motion called a golf swing.
My advice to anyone trying to improve a golf game is to stay away from the "quick-fix" methods of teaching and seek a golf instructor who keeps things simple and fundamental. This approach is the real "quick-fix" way of getting better, because you'll avoid all the mistakes that poor instruction creates.
Find a competent teacher and sign up for a series of lessons, take his or her advice to heart and practice on a regular basis. That's a formula for success I can vouch for.
If you have the opportunity to look at pictures or video of Sam Snead, Ben Hogan or Byron Nelson, you'll see that these swings were great then and would hold up in today's competition as well. Think of golf improvement in terms of long-lasting, solid concepts and not the Band-aid approach.
The club and the ball don't know you from me or Tiger Woods, for that matter. The correct swing is all they know and that concept is fairly simple to understand and carry out.
What makes golf such a challenge for so many is misinformation and just poor advice. Getting back to the fundamentals is your ticket to enjoyment and fun with this game called golf.
Yours for better golf,
Del Starks is a PGA teaching professional at Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter. Contact him at (561) 262-0708, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.delstarks.com.