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No one aspires to be average. Measuring up the same as the next guy certainly doesn’t sound very exciting. Yet, a lot of recreational golfers have similar games and technique flaws. The golf industry has tried its best to enhance the game for the masses however, scores and handicaps generally haven’t been affected by these overtures.
Recently some of the best to play the game offered their opinions on what they see as being wrong with an average players’ game. “One of the hardest things about understanding the golf swing is, I think, trying to get your ball flight consistent,” said Tiger Woods. “There's so many different things that go into it, how your swing plane is, how tall you are, how your body feels, club head speed, how fast you can swing the club. A lot of these things go into it. One of the things I've always alluded to, you have to get clubs that fit you. If you look at my upbringing, I'm very lucky that my dad was such a stickler for having clubs that fit me and I didn't have to make concessions in my golf swing because the clubs fit; they were never too big, too heavy, too long. I think that's one thing before you even get started that all amateurs can do is to get something that fits, and then from there keep expanding your knowledge and understanding how to play.”
Irishman, Padraig Harrington believes in relating back to something your familiar with to see better results. “From my experience of the average golfer, they need to find and establish a way of understanding their own game and their own swing,” he began. “Generally they'll have to relate it to a sport they played as a kid themselves. So when I'm teaching somebody in a pro-am, I try and get them -- I try and find out what sports they played as a kid and look to the motion that they used to play that sport to create that sort of feeling so that they have the ability to teach themselves going forward, rather than, as most amateurs will do, they'll listen to somebody else telling them something and they'll interpret it, as we all -- they'll interpret their own swing so differently from what it actually is. I try and encourage them to use something that they understood and did naturally as a kid, and it could be just as simple as maybe skimming a stone on water or something like that, a natural motion, and then get that feeling into their golf swing so hopefully they'll be able to teach themselves when things don't go so well in the future.”
Big Ernie Els said repetition and equipment are important elements to improved results. “Most of the guys obviously want to hit it a long ways. They go about it not in the right fashion. And I think also they don't have equipment that is really fit to their size or to their particular games, and they try and hit it like Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson,” the South African said. “You know, when you don't do the work at least three, four times a week, it's tough to hit the ball a long way. It's basically muscle memory, which we have to work on, and that comes from practice. People get a little bit quick and very stiff.”
Fijian Vijay Singh said it isn’t the just average player who battle the same challenges. “I think it's the basics,” he said. “A lot of amateurs out there, a lot of everybody as a matter of fact, even pros, they tend to oversee what the basics really is. The setup, somebody told me a long time ago that there's only one thing in golf that you can get 100 percent correct is the setup. If they can get their setups correct, I think they can fix a lot of issues in their golf swing. I think it's the setup.”
Woods emphasizes club fitting and ball flight, Harrington keeping it simple and something you can relate to, while Els said equipment and hard work are necessary and Singh said if you don’t have the right set up your going to struggle sooner or later. Considering all four have major championships to their respective credit, its hard not to argue with any of their advise. Follow anyone of these tips and hopefully you too will see an improvement in your game.