I hear 8, 15, 27, 35 handicappers defending themselves over their…I will be polite and say, unorthodox way of doing things. I wanted to say terrible and stupid, but I only like be a jerk when I am mad at someone playing slow or ruining someone else’s golf game.
You are all saying, “Monte, you say there is no right way to do things.” Well, you would be correct and I am not talking about swing idiosyncrasies like Jim Furyk’s loop and Dustin Johnson’s bowed wrist that, “do work for them.”
I am talking about terrible approaches to things they either did from the beginning, or they learned the wrong way.
Let me give you a few examples of people who would actually get angry with me if I even suggested their approach was getting in their way…and all three of them would tell me verbatim, “it works for me.”
I have a friend (he is about a 6 handicap) who whenever he would punch out of the trees, he would do it with his feet together. He said that was comfortable. He would lose his balance, not be able to get the ball on line and hit a tree that wasn’t even in play. One day after leaving the ball in the trees 4 straight times, I convinced him to improve his setup. He is now brilliant out of the trees after 10 years of not being able to get out.
Another friend was about a 10 and would shoot in the mid to low 80’s, with a + handicap short game. He got up and down from everywhere and would bomb in putts from all over the map. He could not hit an airplane hanger from inside the hanger with the doors closed. He would aim 50 yards right and block the ball right all day long, until he hit the occasional over the top snap hook. One day I got him to humor me and let me line him up after he shot in the 90’s the day before. He shot 35 on the front 9, pulled his tee shot on 10 into the left rough, said, “See, I can’t aim too far left or I pull it.” That was 15 years ago, he still aims right and shoots in the 90’s now as his short game has left him.
My father in law is the nicest guy I know…and was the worst putter I have ever seen relative to how good he thought he was. He used a heel shafted putter which promotes an open and release putting stroke. Yet he was convinced by watching the golf channel that he should putt square to square. That was problem #1, you can’t putt square to square with a heel shafted putter, it just doesn’t work. Problem #2 is he is a 30 handicap who doesn’t practice enough to implement square to square properly. He takes the putter outside, shuts it, hits the putt way in the heel of the putter, and fans the putter open though impact while getting the putter outside the line. To make matters even worse, problem #3 is he reads greens from all the wrong angles where he is going to see opposite breaks on long putts and he place the putter shaft in the wrong place when he plumb bobs on short putts.
He asked me after a round where I thought he could improve his game. I relayed the above to him and he responded that he was a really good putter, that was the strength of his game and, “it works for me.” Instead of arguing with him, I spent the next three rounds counting his putts, short misses and video taping his putting stroke with my phone when he wasn’t noticing. I showed him that he was averaging around 45 putts per round, then sowed him the video evidence of, “what works for him.”
He now averages under 36 putts per round, but it took me a year to convince him in spite of all the empirical evidence.
If you are not on the PGA Tour, or at least the club champion, and you continually are told about a fundamental that is way off. IT DOES NOT WORK FOR YOU.
PS-This is the one time where you are allowed to listen to the uneducated. 😀