If you’re a golfer, raise your hand.
If you get frustrated with the game, raise your hand.
I thought so.
Before we delve into the game we play, let’s briefly look back at last week’s U.S. Open Golf Championship.
Hat’s off to Brooks Koepka, who became only the seventh golfer in history to capture back-to-back U.S. Open titles.
It was a particularly special achievement considering Koepka was sidelined four months with a wrist injury at the start of this season.
He looks like he could be an NFL linebacker. Or tight end.
He also looks like actor Josh Brolin.
Whatever, he’s a golfer who obviously can handle the mental stress of playing in a Major championship, especially under less than ideal conditions.
The conditions of the 100-year old Shinnecock Hills course on Long Island was the top story of the championship until Koepka outlasted the field.
Not one golfer finished under par, and the complaints from the players were loud and clear.
They reached a crescendo on Saturday, when those playing in the afternoon were victims of high winds, incredibly hard and fast greens and pin placements that made two-putting almost impossible.
What followed, was the watering of greens that made them more palatable for the final round Sunday.
This is not a new story. There have been many instances in the past, when the USGA created U.S. Open courses that were made unusually challenging.
Look, I don’t think fans favor an Open champion shooting 16-under par, but they hope the course is difficult enough, but still worthy of solid scores by enough contenders to make it entertaining, and not too frustrating.
It seems the USGA tries too hard in setting up Open golf courses.
You want the story to be about the players.
Ultimately it was.
On the subject of frustration in golf. It seems the two go hand-in-hand.
You really can’t avoid it.
Three years ago, I was so annoyed by my personal inconsistency that I resorted to Google. I looked up “the easiest golf swing”.
I could not think of a more direct approach than that.
I had taken lessons from a million teachers, all proficient, mind you, and had gone on-line to view instructions and tips from countless other experts.
I was taught in person, and otherwise, all the sound technical and mechanical moves of the swing. You know them. One-piece takeaway, getting into the slot, hip movement before arms, etc. I am getting tense just listing a few.
What Google directed me to, was a teaching pro in his 60’s, in a seven-minute video with no accompanying audio, hitting golf balls, first with a pitching wedge, then a 7-iron, finally with a driver.
The method was called “Positive Impact Golf”, and the man behind the system was Brian Sparks whose headquarters was in Kent, in the United Kingdom.
He called it “Danse du Golf” and the swing he espoused, was precisely that.
It was all about movement. Yes, movement of the head, movement of the left foot, movement of the arms to the extend they fold back and through.
Many of you may be laughing. And if you’re in your 20’s. 30’s, 40’s and have learned the game since you caddied for your Dad when you were five, perhaps this approach isn’t for you. But if you’re a senior golfer, or approaching that stage, and have suffered back disorders or other physical ailments, I suggest you seriously read on.
I won’t describe what you can see for yourself, but I can emphatically say that my golfing outlook has improved considerably. Does that mean I have gone from a 16-handicap to an 8?
Don’t be silly.
But it means that I no longer wonder what swing I’ll have on a given day.
It means I no longer wonder what I did wrong on a given shot. It means I know what I should be doing without over-analysis. It means I enjoy the game so much more. It also means I am virtually tension-free and don’t grip the club nearly as tight as I used to.
There are no technical keys to the swing, which is the same for all clubs.
In fact, tension is the number one barometer as to how successful you are.
Brian Sparks invented the philosophy. A teaching professional named Julian Mellor, also in Great Britain, is the man seen on the many videos available on Google or U-tube.
Jamie and I have visited both with Brian and Julian on trips to England and Scotland. Jamie has been a huge beneficiary of what is now known officially as The Easiest Swing.
You don’t have to travel to get opinions on your swing.
Videos can be exchanged.
By the way, I am not a paid spokesman for The Easiest Swing. I would never use this space for a “commercial”. But I am an Ambassador, and gladly spread the word, because I believe. We all know how difficult the game of golf can be.
But it’s an incredible challenge that can be made to be more fun, less physically-aggravating, and perhaps more rewarding.
And what’s wrong with that?
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