Golf – learning by watching


    We are now being treated to some great golf on TV. It really doesn’t matter what tour you like to watch, whether that may be the LPGA or Senior PGA or the regular PGA tour, we can all learn from watching the best!

    Last week was incredible, with the “Golden Boy” Jordan Speith holing out from the bunker to win his 10th tour title. The week before, Brooks Koepka won the US Open by being in the zone and played flawless golf with unbelievable putting down the stretch with an eerie calmness. And of course, our own Canadian ladies star, Brooke Henderson, won again! So if you like to watch golf, and who doesn’t? (you must PVR it as there are way too many commercials to watch live) you can learn a lot by watching the pros and translating it into your own game.

    I never got a golf lesson and most of the people I know my age, also never got lessons when they were young. I read every book on golf. I think at the time, there were maybe 5 or 6 books to read during my junior years. Sam Snead had a book, Jack…”Golf my Way” and Ben Hogan’s “Five Lessons”. That was pretty much it. No golf channel but there was Golf Digest and Golf Magazine which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on each month. I read every article searching for that tip, that secret, which would elevate my game to the next level and of course, conquer the game! It was so exciting to be young and excited about taking on a game and seeing if you could be good at it. What better game to take on than golf where the grass is cut so short that you could putt a ball across a green into a hole or just the sheer beauty of the total landscape. The best part for me was, at 135 lbs and 5 ft 7, size didn’t matter. I could hit the ball as far as 200 lb men. So I watched, I read and I copied what I thought was the right way to play the game, which hopefully was the same way the pros did it.

    So who’s swing did I like? Who’s swing do you like? Who’s swing would you like to copy? Who’s swing ARE you copying? If you think about it, those questions make a lot of sense. Personally, I was a Gary Player fan, based on his size and attitude, which was the same as me, and an underdog.

    When you stand over the ball getting ready to hit a shot, or if you are on the range practicing, what swing are you trying to copy and look like? Who catches your eye that you would like to replicate their swing? If you haven’t thought about this then I have great news for you. This is how you get to be good, to improve and play better golf. You have to pick someone you like and how they swing. They might match your body type, your age or just someone you admire, but pick someone and copy them. This is really, really important if you are a student of the game and want to improve. Watch your idol then try to translate what you see into how that must feel in your swing.

    I have written a lot of articles on instruction but this article provides, perhaps, the best tip I can offer on how to improve and reach your full potential. We all learn differently, but give this a go and see if you can figure it out. There’s no easy way to getting good at anything. Getting help is noble and of course very helpful especially having another pair of eyes but nothing is more satisfying than figuring it out on your own and ultimately leading you to…playing YOUR best golf!