Books,Ebooks, DVDs and CDs about the game of golf.
My inspiration for my first posted Golf Books.us blog article is the same as the one which prompted my decision in 1997 to write the Thumbs Down guide(s) for better ball striking. Following several frustrating years in the early 1990s of not finding a simple cure to fix my out of control slice and save my game, I discovered the miracle powers of Thumbs Down, The POWER MOVE of Golf one day while experimenting; and fixed it by myself.
Not only did I never find the cure I was searching for, but all the articles I read in golf magazines, all the TV tips from pros and top instructors only made it more complicated, confusing and counter-productive for me. There’s no questioning the knowledge or credibility level of the top sources in golf, but I found they rarely communicate their message in a language a non-pro (the typical player like you and me) can even understand and relate to. Trying to apply their tips when I practiced all too often ended in frustration and disappointment, instead of the enjoyment I initially intended.
I couldn’t have scripted the perfect example of what I’m describing any better then recently, after scanning through a copy of the leading golf magazine and reading a tip written and demonstrated by one of the world’s best pros. Anytime a top player offers a way to generate more power with less effort, a large audience of amateurs (like me) are anxiously reading and wanting to know more. This quick tip shows a picture of the player just after striking the ball, with head down and forearms rotating as the club extends about two feet beyond impact. I’ve seen this pose dozens of times and refer to it as classic power position.
The typical player that views a picture like this is hoping for a simple explanation, to discover some new magic move or secret that changes their game forever, but rarely gets it. Instead, the expert uses a lot of technical language the average amateur doesn’t understand and can’t easily execute. Watching a world class athlete do what comes natural to them, then hearing their explanation of what they’re thinking is often not what we’re expecting them to say. In fact, most of the time it’s a confusing experience.
To elaborate, when a player describes that one of their key power moves happens AFTER the ball is struck, it means that squaring the club and making solid ball contact comes natural to them. I guess hitting thousands of balls every week can do that for a chosen few. For the rest of us, there’s nothing natural about it. In fact, I believe that the moment of the golf swing that’s all too often “glanced over” is the most important split second in the entire golf swing; the moment of truth or what I call the “what do I do now” moment, just prior to impact.
What I eventually learned after 30 years of hitting golf balls is that unless the club makes solid contact with the ball with the clubface squared, then following a line to the target, nothing else in the swing really matters. It’s clear that pros and instructors agree with this, but it’s confusing how they often describe it by telling you to “shake hands with the target.” To further drive my point home, go to the practice range and try this tip: Match your swing plane on the through-swing with your backswing and downswing. Don’t feel bad, I don’t understand what this means either.
In sharp contrast to complicated swing thoughts only physics majors understand, I’ve dedicated an entire book to simplicity and the importance of starting with solid ball contact, then working backwards to the golf swing. I believe that the first ¾ of the golf swing is merely preparation to impact and the final ¼ (on the downswing when your hands are just above waist height) is where the swing REALLY begins. It’s the zone you need to master when you warm-up and practice. Thumbs Down, The POWER MOVE of Golf is all about mastering the impact zone first. Get this part right and your swing magically gets better by itself.
Golf is a complex game. There’s no question there are numerous steps in the golf swing that are extremely important – too many at times. All I know is that when I taught myself to square the club at impact, I finally learned to consistently hit the ball solidly with all my clubs and control where the ball is going. Oh, bye the way …my swing has also noticeably improved as a by-product of changing my swing priorities with Thumbs Down.
Professional golfers are in a class by themselves. They’re SO good as compared to the rest of us it’s mind boggling to believe. What they do and how they explain what they do is equally difficult to fathom at times. In their attempt to keep it simple, pros and top instructors all too often use technical terms which don’t often translate into better golf for the rest of us. Bottom line is, it can be as simple as Thumbs Down …for Thumbs Up results. In golf …it doesn’t get easier than this!