ben-hogan-driver

In Search of Executing the Lost Fundamental

I’ve been playing golf for 50+ years and at 61 my handicap index is 4.1. Not bad for a muniballer whose grandfather taught him to play on the then dusty links of Jamestown Golf Course (RI) saying, “Keep the head low to the ground on the takeaway.”

 

Over the years I’ve avoided lessons and paid little or no heed to technical advice online or in magazines. It is all too confusing. What I have done is work on the mind by reading Golf in the Kingdom and Golf is a Game of Confidence, and other books designed to improve my attitude. And I practiced, not on ranges, but in fields where I can work on grooving 100-or-so yard shots five or 10 balls at a time, walking back and forth to shag. And occasionally I sneak on to the a course late in the evening to chip and putt until the skeeters eat me up.  But things have changed. I’ve started messing with my swing in search of power.

 

I had this idea that if I could make a short turn, load up on the right side, and fire through a la John Rahm, maybe I could hit it 260. Realistically, I am about 230 guy off the tee. And I was losing distance coming a bad elbow and stiff back. I was desperate, worried father time had me beat. The 7-iron I used to hit to a 150 pin, was now good for little more than 140. Ouch. So, I, in this new age of podcast, of which I am a maven, discovered Golf Smarter. Here Fred brings on all sorts of golfing gurus to share their secrets. First it was this Chinese lady with a 5-part swing. I thought I had it but that was gone in a week. And then there was the simplest swing ever-just back and forth, heels coming up off the ground. Free and easy. No stress on the back. Let it flow. I liked it. Preached it to my friends. Shot some good numbers. No back pain. But next came Tony Manzoni and, The Lost Fundamental: One Simple Move, Better Golf Forever.

 

Believe this. Manzoni bases his theory on a clip he discovered of Ben Hogan, one of the greatest ball strikers of all time. Hogan, he says, starts with 60% of his weight on the left side, and as he turns around the pivot occurs by bracing on the inside of the right foot and as this happens 70% of the weight is not on the left side and it is just a simple rotation through the ball with the hips driving the rotation. Played yesterday and it felt good, like it was much easier to get through the ball and like I might be getting closejr to achieving a connected swing. That is really what I am looking for. Connection.

 

I’ve got good tempo and rhythm, but it is a handsy swing. Short on power. Not how the professionals have the straight left arm-locked in. Connected. Me, bent left arm. Disconnected. So now I am watching the Tony video with Fred and seeking other evidence that Tony, indeed, uncovered the lost fundamental. I will keep you posted on my progress. Hitting balls in the field today at the school in 37-degree weather I shanked one so far right it sliced wildly over the 4’ fence heading for a neighbors car before, thankfully, skittering harmlessly along the driveway and out of sight. 

 

More to come.

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