The Myth That Just Won’t Die

Kim Anders
Director of Instruction
John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort
Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, AZ

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Years ago, Golf Professionals used to hear this comment all the time but I don’t think anyone has said it to me for at least 8 or 10 years – probably more. I thought it was finally a thing of the past. Until last week, when Frank dropped by and brought the old myth back to life.  

Frank is a pretty good player, about a 7 or 8 handicap. He works on his game a lot and is always trying to improve. He is stuck at his current level and having trouble getting to his goal of a 5 handicap or less.  

He believes he has found the reason he doesn’t play better.  And what would that be? Frank says, “I want you to teach me to hook the ball”. And, why would that be? “Because good players hook the ball and bad players slice the ball”.  

Ohhhh Boy. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. We’re talking about a guy who hits a beautiful little fade off the tee.  It’s a real thing of beauty. He probably averages about 280 off the tee, and I’ve never seen his drive do anything other than stay in the air a long time and then when it’s coming down the ball slides to the right about 10 to 15 feet.  

He is as close as I’ve ever seen to one of those mechanical golf machines you see on commercials from time to time.  Never fails, long and slides a little right at the end, time after time. It’s beautiful!  

I explain to Frank I could get him to draw the ball but his handicap would probably go up because of the draw. He looked at me like I was crazy, which in fact I believe I would be if I changed his ball flight the way he wanted.  

Had he ever heard of Nicklaus, Trevino, or a youngster named Dustin Johnson? Sure he had. “Does Johnson play a fade?” Most of the time. “Wow, he’s long, too!” Yes, he is.

We all have our “natural” ball flight. Usually it is straight or slides a little left, or straight or slides a little right. It doesn’t matter which one describes your ball flight, it is yours and you should learn to live with it. Trust it. Depend on it.  

You want a swing you can repeat, which means a swing that produces a consistent ball flight. A ball flight that you can depend on when you’ve got a beer on the line with your buddies and only a couple of holes to play.

Trying to play a draw when your swing naturally produces a fade is just wrong. If your swing coach makes adjustments to your swing and you naturally start drawing the ball, great, play a draw and forget about fading the ball.  

Golf is a tough game. Don’t try to play an unnatural ball flight that just doesn’t fit your swing. Lots of tour players fade the ball. It’s OK for us to fade the ball, too! 

Kim Anders is Director of Instruction at the John Jacobs Golf Schools and Academies at the Estrella del Mar Golf and Beach Resort in Mazatlan Mexico. You can contact Kim at