The most exciting news at Orlando PGA show this year
was interchangeable shafts. Most of the major golf equipment companies
will introduce a driver that will allow a golfer to change shafts in
his driver by unscrewing the existing one and screwing another in its
Well, better beware. A lot of golfers are about to
spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $900.00 for a driver with 3 shafts-2
of which will likely share a corner of the garage with the spiders. And
the shaft which stays in the driver may not be the best fit. It's only
the best of the three. By the middle of the golf season none of the combinations
really satisfies the buyers so they think about replacing what they just
bought for the $900.
Gimmicks are fun and they make for great conversation at trade shows,
but they don't replace common sense. Find a professional fitter
and get a driver that has the correct loft, length, shaft weight and flex. Most
professional fitters fit you into the correct shaft flex that has the
correct butt flex, mid flex and tip flex for your swing. That is because
using a launch monitor and video they have defined your swing speed, tempo
and release point and know how to pick a shaft that matches your swing
speed, tempo and release. Start by asking this fitter a simple question, "Tell
me how you will pick a shaft for my driver that has the best butt, mid
and tip flex for me?" The short answer? Swing speed determines the
butt, tempo the mid, and release the tip!
TEE TIME PRO: MICHAEL WOLSLEY
PRACTICE WITH A PLAN
Good golf is two things: technique and timing. It
doesn't matter how good your technique is if you can't find the middle
of the ball with the sweet spot of the clubface and you won't be able
to do that if you are swinging the club in the wrong way.
Therein lies the dilemma. If better technique is
your focus then I recommend you do that with a video
camera or an instructor. If, on the other hand, your goal is to hit the
ball better and more consistently with your swing then you need to have
a plan which will promote better timing and that plan must incorporate
three things: rhythm; balance; and precision.
For better rhythm use the "one, two, three..hit and through" rhythm
cue as you hit shots. Think "one" as the club starts back. Make
sure the club transitions from the backswing to the downswing at "three" and
similarly time the impact to coincide with the "hit" part of
"A good finish is the sign of a job well done" is the old adage
and it was never more true for golfers. Ingrain a balanced relaxed finish
on the range and employ it on the course and see your handicap drop.
Finally, a much overlooked aspect, precision. Develop
this by hitting balls off different parts of the
clubface, slightly off the toe, slightly towards
the heel, etc. to enhance the hand eye coordination
you need to hit the ball on the sweet spot.
TIME PRO BOB SMITH: KEEP CLUB HEAD OUTSIDE HANDS
FOR BETTER SWING
Most amateurs are way too active with their hands
on the backswing. They want to swing the club head first, getting the
club too far behind them. Others may have excessive rotation of the left
arm, possibly leading to a flat swing plane. Here are two possible ways
to help players solve these problems. One is to keep the club head outside
the hands on the takeaway and the other is to encourage the arms and body
to turn in unison.
As you pull the club back during the first six to eight inches of the
backswing, pull with the right hand straight back and low. Also, move
the butt of the club past the right thigh (left for lefties) as you turn
Keeping the club head more outside the hands in these two drills will
lead to better balance of the club on the backswing. By having better
balance of the club and having it more in front of your body, you will
be able to use your legs in a powerful movement, increasing distance.