The Shapes and Swings We See On The First Tee
Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements
I have been playing and watching this great game of ours for longer than I care to admit, and boy have I seen some funny swings and mannerisms in my time. I thought it might be fun to see how many of them you recognise. Let me know if I have missed any.
The blink and you miss it
OK, so this guy does everything quickly – he races away down the fairway, barely exchanging a word with his partners. He gets over the ball, has a quick waggle, takes the club back 12 inches and then throws it at the ball as fast and as hard as he can. Many of these people somehow mange to hit the ball a long way.
The reverse pivot
This is the golfer who starts his swing with all his weight on his left foot, and he keeps it there right to the top of his backswing. Sometimes, he even keeps it there as he completes his downswing and what passes for a followthrough. But when his friends tell him what he is doing wrong, all the weight changes to his right foot and leg as he starts his downswing and followthrough. He always ends up taking a step back. And he NEVER hits the ball a long way.
The John Daly
This guy has read all about keeping the club parallel to the ground at the top of his backswing. He knows about balance, he knows about feel, but he stands over the ball, takes the club back so far that the clubhead nearly touches the ground at the top of his backswing and nearly swings himself off his feet as he attempts to somehow get the club back to the ball. And then wonders why he never hits it straight.
The Keegan Bradley
He stands behind the ball staring down the fairway. Five minutes later he is still behind the ball, staring down the fairway. Eventually he gets over the ball, stares down the fairway, back at his golf ball, down the fairway, back at his ball. And then he decides he has the wrong club in his hands. So he starts the whole process all over again. And that's before he gets a putter in his hand or faces a shot from trouble.
The slow, slow, quick, quick, quicker
This is the chap who has been told that you should swing the club nice and slow. Whatever you do, swing within yourself. And so, while he is taking his backswing, you could write a 500,000-word novel. But in the time it takes him to swing down and through the ball you would be hard-pressed to put down a full stop. Why is it that golfers always remeber to take it back slowly but then do an impression of Lewis Hamilton leaving the startline when they reach the top of the backswing?
The white knuckle ride
We are all told that pressure is the thing that kills the golf swing. Teaching professionals tell us that when we grip the club we should imagine that we are holding a baby bird or an egg. Pity the baby bird being held by this chap, who holds the club so tightly that all colour drains from his knuckles and his hands turn white. He does this on every single shot, including his putting.
The dancing feet
A contender for Strictly Come Dancing, his left heel comes off the ground at the top of his swing, his right foot falls over, and then he goes for the ball and the right foot slips at impact, the left foot moves three inches towards the target and he finishes off on his toes. As Len Goodman might say: "SEVEN!"
The hockey player
He has taken to golf later in life, having spent his youth playing cricket or hockey - or both. He grips the club with all four knuckles of his left hand showing, and his right thumb wrapped around the side of the grip. His backswing is never longer than 24 inches. But here's the thing - he always hits it straight down the middle and he always hits the golf ball miles. His handicap is usually around 10 or 11 and he wins more club competitions than every other club member combined. How does he does that?
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