[Editor's Note: The following article was written by Todd Casabella, Director of Instruction at Grey Hawk Golf Club in Lagrange. Todd is a member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor.]
Every month I look forward to getting the new golf magazines. I enjoy reading about golf almost as much as playing it. One of the things that interest me is the different instructor’s tips. It helps remind me that they are different ways to communicate the same principal. As a golfer, however, you need to be careful of what you implement from the instructors of these magazines.
Different instructors have different philosophies on how to swing a golf club. For example, Jim Flick’s teaching centers more on swinging the club with the arms and the torso supporting the arm swing. David Leadbetter’s teaching focus is more on the torso rotation guiding the arm swing, a direct opposite theory of Flick. Who’s correct? Jim Flick taught Tom Lehman and Jack Nicklaus, among others. In the 90′s it seemed every tour pro was getting help from Leadbetter, stand outs being Nick Faldo and Nick Price. So the answer, they both are. There’s more than one way to swing the club.
Here’s where the danger lies. There’s only one way for you to swing the club. If you were to implement what you read from Flick and what you read from Leadbetter, you will more than likely end up employing swing thoughts that are contradicting and you’ll get worse. Looking for answers with contradicting thoughts takes you down a dead end path creating nothing but frustration.
Here’s an example. The September 2011 Golf Digest has Dustin Johnson on the cover. On page 35, Jim McLean is telling you to hinge the club upward for better contact. There’s s a fault picture showing you want not to do. Now flip to page 90. Chris O’Connell is showing you what to do if you pick the club up to steep on the backswing. The problem, the fix picture for Chris is just about identical to the fault picture for Jim. Talk about confusing. Chris works with Matt Kuchar. Jim works with Keegan Bradley. Both guys are great teachers. They just have different philosophies on how to swing the club. The advice right for you depends on your swing style and athleticism.
To get the most out of your golf game, it’s always best to work with a teaching professional. But if you are going to go it alone and use the advice from golf magazines, pick one teacher to follow each month. Your game will be much more consistent in the long run.