19th Hole

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

More Information

Leave the Club Alone

Last week we had a major figure from the Arizona sports world visit us here in Mazatlan. This was not the first time he had been here but it was the first time I had the pleasure of playing golf with him.  

Even if I hadn’t known his athletic background, it was obvious from his first swing he had great talent and awareness of what his body was doing. Unfortunately, as we all know, athletic ability is not always an asset when it comes to playing golf.  

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many professional athletes and have found some sports produce better golfers than others. In case you are wondering, hockey players are the best. They seem to have great awareness of what their bodies, and hands in particular, are doing.  

Anyway, my “Arizona Athlete” was very accomplished in two sports, one which generally produced significantly better golfers than the other sport. This made watching his swing very interesting because I never knew which sport was going to take over. He didn’t either.  

“Athlete” hit a lot of good, surprisingly long shots. And, he hit some surprisingly short shots. Obviously, he had received good coaching in the past, but the athlete in him kept surfacing and causing problems.  

Athletes tend to be a little bull-headed. After all, we are athletes! And with the incredible God-given talent we possess it only makes sense we can figure out how to hit a golf ball. Heck, it isn’t even moving. How tough could it be??

Finally, Athlete hits a solid 7-iron on a water hole that comes up about 20 yards short. Splash. He turns to me and says, “Why does that happen? I hit it solid but it doesn’t go anywhere. What’s the deal?”  

I explain the best way to generate club-head speed is by letting the hands release….on their own!! When the hands release properly we generate maximum club speed through the ball. When we try to generate a little extra speed by making the club go faster we are actually slowing the club down.  

By trying to generate more speed we end up creating tension in the hands, arms, and upper body. The hands and club release too early and maximum speed occurs well before the club gets to the ball. No matter how solid you strike the ball the club just isn’t going very fast, so the ball just doesn’t go very far.

I tell Athlete when he starts his downswing I only want him to think about relaxing his grip pressure – that’s it! I throw another ball down, he relaxes his grip pressure, the ball flies to the back of the green, takes one hop and stops. Athlete says, “Wow, that’s amazing!”

Your clubs are made to help you hit the ball. Leave the club alone. You’ve got enough to do just making good swings.  

If you’re having trouble releasing the club, see your PGA Professional.  

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 jkanders4@gmail.com.