When I work with someone for the first time I like to find out a little about them, other sports they play, any physical issues I should be aware of, and what they would like to accomplish during our time together. I have learned I need to make sure I understand clearly what their goals actually are.
For example, one fellow told me he would like to learn to hit fried eggs. For those of you new to this game, I should explain the term “fried egg” to a golfer refers to when a golf ball lands in a bunker, or sand trap as it is frequently called, and it does not come out of the crater formed by its impact. The result of the ball sitting in the crater resembles a fried egg.
Anyway, eager to help him with his sand play we head to the practice bunker. I explain how the sand wedge is the heaviest club in the bag and is designed to bounce out of the sand, etc., etc.
We work on his technique for about 35 minutes and he seems fairly comfortable with being able to execute this difficult shot. I ask him how he feels about his progress and he says, “Thanks for all the help with my sand game – I feel a lot better about it. When are you going to show me how to hit fried eggs?”
Somewhat confused, I asked what he meant by fried eggs. He replied, “You know, I want to hear the ball sizzle when I hit it”.
You would think that experience would be enough for me to never make that mistake again…but it wasn’t. Recently, a woman said she would like to work on drawing the ball. I watch her hit a few balls and see she is a low handicapper who hits a nice ball with a little fade.
I explain what I would like her to do and why, she does it and the ball starts moving right to left in a beautiful draw. Since she is quite happy, and since we have some time left, I asked if there was anything else she would like to work on. “Well, I’d still like to work on drawing the ball,” she stated.
I immediately have a flashback to the fried egg experience many years ago and I start laughing. Turns out she was a nationally ranked curler in Canada. You know curling – it’s where the players throw a 40 pound granite rock down the ice, team members sweep frantically, and there is a lot of yelling directions to each other.
In the sport of curling, to “draw” your rock means to lag it down the ice to a pre-determined spot on the ice, generally onto the “bulls-eye” at the opposite end. In other words, my student wanted to learn how to lag long putts close to the hole.
The moral of the story – when you go for some help with your golf game make sure your coach really understands what you want to work on. Or, maybe this just applies to when you come to work with me!
Kim Anders is a PGA Professional residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.