Saturday, March 3

Wall Street Journal: 9 Golf Delusions

Should she keep her head down?
MOST OF US HAVE HEARD THOSE widely held truths and perceptions about the game of golf. The game belongs to the wealthy and privileged class. The golf course is where business people cut deals. Keep your head down! (Keep it still, too.) The main advantage the pros have over you and me is distance. And on and on.

“In Golf’s Biggest Delusions: Nine Things People Say About the Game That Aren’t True—and One That Is,” the Wall Street Journal’s John Paul Newport attempts to dispel these and other so-called myths.

Spoiler: The one that’s true is “drive for show, putt for dough.” (But you knew that, right?) Newport provides compelling statistical data from the PGA Tour to substantiate the old saw.

No disrespect to Hank Haney, but I will say that, for me, keeping the head down (and still) has been a helpful golf swing tip through the years, even though I understand that it isn’t meant to be too literal. (The head does move and does come up after impact.)

That’s all.

(Photo: gibsonsgolfer, Creative Commons license, Flickr)


Troy Vayanos said...

Yes the keeping your head still one is the most common for mine. I've looked at videos of Ben Hogan and Tiger recently and they both drop their head quite a bit when launching into the impact area. I realise they both have great golf swings but it's an important distinction to notice in good golf swings.

Daniel said...

Yeah, I remember years ago, and also from every archair golf instructor(no pun intended), that they would always tell you to keep your head down.

You're right though, its not necessary, but often when new golfers pull their heads up, they pick up their shoulders, maybe lean back, etc.

In my case, I have to stop watching my backswing. Baddddd habit!


The Armchair Golfer said...

I still think of keeping my head down when I swing. I realize it moves a bit, and that it comes up on the follow-through. If you don't keep an eye on that ball, all the other swing advice doesn't really matter.

Benjamin Ehinger said...

I want to help dispel this one: "The biggest difference between Tour pros and amateurs is how far the pros hit."

I disagree completely and this is part of why beginners and higher handicap golfers don't improve. Distance isn't everything. The biggest difference between an amateur and a professional comes around and on the green.

Rory won this week because he scrambled better than anybody else. Tiger lost because he had 34 putts in the first round.

Amateurs often take more than 30 putts and are lucky to get up and down for par or bogey 50% of the time.

If you really want to improve your golf game, STOP worrying so much about distance and START working on your short game (40 yards and in).

The Armchair Golfer said...

Benjamin: I agree. I mentioned the distance one in the opening paragraph as a commonly held view, but the WSJ piece dispels it in a similar way as you, saying the short game is the biggest differentiator.

Daniel said...

I think Ben Hogan told Harvey Pennick in his Little Red Book, that "I can't see the ball when I hit it anyway, so watching the ball really doesn't mean much".

Or something like that. That was just a paraphrase.