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How Can You Actually Help Your Golfing Partner: Once and for all discussing the myths of the swing

I am fortunate enough to have been a golf instructor for over 16 years. I have worked at 4 facilities both on the island and on the mainland. Regardless of where I have been teaching, what level of golfer, or gender I have had the conversation about the “myths” of the swing.

I call them myths, because they are so widely spread and so misunderstood that I think it is time we discussed the dreaded, Keep your head down, and keep your left arm straight concepts.
You can admit it now, that either you or someone you played with has told a friend to just “keep their eye on the ball” or said your left arm is bending in the swing. These are my two favourite things to explain, especially in group lessons.
In every other sport in the world we are essentially facing our target when we throw a ball or release a club or racket. Rotation, and weight transfer give us power, if you watch the long drive hitters, or Bubba Watson you can see that they are almost completely facing the target with their body by the time they hit the ball. We need to be able to transfer our weight through the ball and that is very difficult to do if you are only focused on keeping your head down., Yet almost every golfer thinks that they topped the ball because they lifted and didn’t keep their eye on the ball.
 
Yes some people do need to maintain their spine angle through the ball longer, but you cannot blame the head.

When you take a lesson you will realize that when you see the head lifting that is the effect, not the cause. A good instructor will explain to you what caused you to have to lift your body too soon at impact.

The second piece of advice that I think hurts the average golfer is the idea of keeping the left arm straight. In set up I see a lot of women especially, with their elbows almost locked which causes your back to hunch and most importantly does not allow you to rotate your shoulders and body properly in the golf swing. If you cannot rotate your shoulders while keeping them relaxed then guess what, your left arm will bend!

I like to explain how your arm should be hanging down naturally from your shoulder in a “strong” position. Strong might be a little bit different for each golfers depending on body type and arm strength.
 
If you want to actually help your friend while on the golf course here is my tip for the month: Check their aim with them!
 
90% of the lessons I teach we have to talk about aim. If you are not aimed at your intended target you will have to adjust in your golf swing to make sure the ball goes there. Most golfers are aimed right of their target (if they are right handed). This means that if you want the ball to go to your target you will have to pull it left somehow. Coincidentally, a lot of golfers struggle with getting their body through the shot and swinging “over the top”. Hmmm... maybe that has something to do with aim!

If you want your ball to be aimed at the target, then your body has to be aimed parallel (left) of your ball line. Yep, take a minute and just think about that... your shoulder and body should NOT be aimed at the target! The railroad tracks analogy is a popular one. If they right side (ball) of the tracks is aimed at the target, then where would the left side (feet,shoulders,hips) be aimed?

The next time you play and you and your friends really want to help each other, lay a club down after they set up and see where you are all aimed. I think it will be an eye opener, when you realize why you have been hitting in the right trees on number 1 every time! Please understand that changing your aim is actually a big deal, and it will affect your timing. So I caution you to change your aim on the golf course and think that your swing will be fixed immediately. It takes time for your body to adjust, but at least you have something to work towards and perhaps you will see your ball fly in a different direction on the dreaded first hole at Morgan Creek!!
 
I hope that this help you have fun golfing, and I hope to hear from some of you to come and use a Players Club lesson or any lesson to come learn more about aim, how a left arm can stay straight, or how we can lift our head when we play golf!

Happy Golfing!!
 
Leila Harman can be reached for lessons by phone, text or email at 778-239-2327 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
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3500 Morgan Creek Way, Surrey, B.C. V3Z 0J7
604.265.9415