"Failure in life is not about falling down; it's when you don't get back up."
That profound statement reminds me of what all sports are about. We all are smiles
and the world is wonderful when we are playing well. However, once the wheels start
falling off, it becomes a bleak scenario that throws us into a dark arena of loathing
Even the best golfers in the world have hit this proverbial wall of despair from time
to time. For them, or any golfer, this is a time when good, sound fundamentals are
essential to getting back on the road to recovery quickly. If your golf swing is made
up of a bunch of quick fixes and band-aid solutions, then your chances of playing
consistently good are minimal at best.
Golf is a billion-dollar industry of misinformation. Manufacturers of equipment want
you to spend lots of money on a club that will help you hit it further or use golf balls
with more backspin for better control. There is a laundry list of examples whereby golf
companies try to make it seem as though you can't play your best unless you are using
We have this incredible technology as it applies to golf, however the masses playing
the games are not getting any better than they were years ago. The most important thing
is learning how to use this equipment properly to get the most out of what it is being
offered. People believe they can go out and buy a golf game if they drop a couple
thousand on clubs, balls and all the other golf related knick-knacks.
Let me save you the trouble and hopefully money: Approaching golf in this manner
will only lead you down a path of frustration, one that will not allow you to achieve
goals as they relate to the game.
Golf is not "rocket science," and therefore it is not difficult to learn to play the
game well. The following is an example of how I get my students to "never have limits,
because limited people build barriers that inhibit them from succeeding in life:"
I will have my players practice with all types of drills involving balance. If your
game gets off track, first check that your balance is in tune. I have players hit
balls with their feet together, crossing right over left and vice versa, hitting
with only one leg and then reversing it and repeating the process with the other
leg. Try hitting with one arm only - left first and then right. I also make my
students hit balls while blind-folded to get a sense of how their swing feels and
what it's like to lose focus of the ball that all too often can hypnotize you
into hitting it.
This also builds trust in your swing; if you line up correctly and measure yourself
to the ball, all you have to do is swing and project to your target - in most cases,
the fairway or the green, but not the golf ball itself. If done correctly the ball
will be in the way and get hit automatically.
Another fun shot all the juniors like to do is hitting off your knees. This forces
you to stay centered and helps you maintain good balance. If you simply allow your
arms to swing around a restricted, fixed foundation, you will discover how
centrifugal force will come into play instead of brute strength.
My average drive from my knees is about 280 yards, and I have even shot a round of
par-72 golf years ago in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where I used to live while giving
a playing lesson to a friend of mine. I played the whole round on my knees except
when I was putting because I didn't want to damage the greens, I think he got the
point that I was trying to drive home to him that day.
These examples and plenty more that I incorporate into my teachings make learning
the game fun and prove that anyone who has a disability can play the game at a high
level simply by maintaining balance.
So when things in your swing start to go awry, check your balance first because
without having a sturdy foundation, your house of cards is sure to tumble.