Wednesday, September 14

Playing Clinic: Bruce Crampton

By John Coyne

Copyright © John Coyne. Used with permission.

While interviewing golf legends for my book Playing with the Pros: Golf Lessons from the Senior Tour (1990), I arranged some of their answers into a separate chapter I called "Playing Clinic." Following are words of wisdom from some of the best players.

First up is Bruce Crampton. An Australian, Crampton won 14 PGA Tour titles and 20 times on the Senior (Champions) Tour. He also won the Vardon Trophy (for lowest stroke average on the PGA Tour) in 1973 and 1975.

Bruce Crampton at
Greensboro in 1972.
Q: Why is golf such a great game?

CRAMPTON: Because it is like life itself. It picks you up or lets you down, depending on whether you've made the shot or not. Or had a good round. You can't look into the future and know what's going to happen on the golf course, nor can you do that in life. Golf is played one shot at a time. Life is played one day at a time.

Q: How fast should I swing the club?

CRAMPTON: Never rush a shot. The club speed builds up gradually through the swing and reaches its maximum at impact. The key is accelerating through the shot. Don't slow your backswing down or be slow at the top because then the tendency is to jump at the ball. Gradually build up swing speed throughout the shot.

Q: How can I gain control over a particular shot?

CRAMPTON: Practice. I've learned that muscles dont have memory, but the brain learns to fire the muscles in the correct order. You can create the feeling of what is right. You will learn the correct hitting positon and where your hands should be at all times on a particular shot.

Q: How far should I take the driver back in my swing?

CRAMPTON: The parallel position at the top of the swing is far enough. You tend to lose your grip if you go back any farther than that.

Q: How hard should I hit the ball?

CRAMPTON: Hit the shot from within yourself. Never stretch your abilities or your strength.


John Coyne is a bestselling author of three golf novels and more than 20 other books. Pay him a visit at John Coyne Books.

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