19th Hole

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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My Custom Set Can’t Be Mine!

I recently had a friend tell me he thought his new name brand custom fit clubs were either not properly fitted or his irons had been switched with someone else’s – at least the mid and short irons. 

His driver and fairway metals were “spectacular”, the long irons pretty good, but the mid and short irons just couldn’t find the target. “Is it possible these clubs could have been made for someone else and got switched with mine? They just don’t seem to work like the others!”

I explained it would be highly unlikely this could happen due to each set being kept together from the time the heads are weighed, shafts matched and cut, and so forth until they are assembled and go into the box with the shipping label attached. “Sorry I can’t support the thought a switch has happened. Let’s go to the range so you can show me.”

After warming up, he pulls out the driver and hits shot after shot almost 250 yards, each looking like a replay of the previous one. You could have laid a tablecloth over the drives they were so close together! So much for the driver, no problem there.

I pull out his 8 iron and ask him to hit it at the flag about 135 yards away.  First shot is about 20 yards to the right. Second, 25 yards left. Third, shank.  Fourth, skulled it right in the middle of the forehead. And so it went for the next 8 or 10 swings. Didn’t get close to the green with any of them.

I hand him his driver and ask him to make a couple of practice swings. He has a nice long, flowing, rhythmical swing with soft hands that release the club naturally. Now the 8 iron. Same thing - it’s beautiful. Then we get a ball involved.

Suddenly, his free flowing swing turns into a mechanical nightmare. No flow, no rhythm, no soft hands, no release, no results. As with all of us at one time or another, he is living golf’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I ask what he thinks about when he pulls out the driver. “I love that club, I know I’m going to hit it well so I don’t worry about it. I just get up there and let it go”. And the 8 iron?  “I hit it good maybe one out of ten times. I just can’t get it to go where I want”. 

Enough said. We spend a few minutes talking about what he does with the driver – “I just get up there AND LET IT GO!” Instead of focusing on that four and a quarter inch hole 135 yards away and trying to guide the ball to it, LET IT GO! After 10 shots he feels the club release like with the driver and the balls are flying at the hole…only longer, because he is now releasing the club instead of trying to guide it. 

When you try to steer the ball to the target you end up manipulating the golf club. You interfere with the features that are built into the club – its dynamic equilibrium if you will. The golf club knows what to do –  YOUR MISSION (should you choose to accept it) is to leave the club alone and just LET IT GO, let it do what it is built to do. It will take good care of you if you just let it.

If you’re having problem “letting the club go” see your PGA Professional.  Or, get out of the cold and come see me in Mazatlan!!