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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Long Distance Lesson 

I have a good friend and past student back in Colorado who recently retired and has taken the game up again after about 20 years of not playing. He gave me a call asking for some help because he’s afraid his slice is going to circle back and hit him.  

I recommended he go to his local course and get a lesson from the professional there, who happens to be a former assistant of mine. I am pleased at his loyalty to me, but I am 1,200 miles away! And, he has no Skype or FaceTime!  

Fortunately, I know what his tendencies were twenty years ago and tendencies rarely change. He is your typical ‘take the club back and then engage every bit of testosterone in your body’ which produces a violent, but ineffective attack on the ball. I will give him credit for being very good with an axe and splitting logs!

I sent him a few of my Arizona Golfer magazine articles – “Soft Hands”, so he will understand the importance of having the hands cock and release rather than trying to control the club and make it hit the ball. “Smooth Will Beat Power”. And, “Weak Feelings Produce Powerful Shots”, while swings that feel powerful hit the ball weak and crooked.  

I also gave him a few exercises to try, such as a short backswing to where the club is parallel to the ground with the toe of the club pointed up, then a forward swing to the same position (parallel with the toe up). Baseball swings are an excellent way to feel the hands release and roll over – very important in the golf swing.  

I told him to go out in his yard and do these drills. Try putting his golf towel in his left armpit and don’t let it fall out when he swings. And above all, start with slow easy swings making sure you make good moves. Once you feel the swing smooth out and get easier you can move a little faster. Still good, now you can go to the driving range.

It’s been two weeks and he reports back he is doing much better, and has even hooked a couple of shots. He’s concerned he doesn’t know whether he is going to slice or hook the ball now! Never happy!! He also promises to have one of his buddies video his swing and will send it to me in a couple of days. 

If you’re having problems slicing the ball or not having much power, go ahead and try some of these exercises and drills.  But to be honest, I recommend you go see your PGA Professional so he can actually see you!   

Kim Anders is a PGA Professional at Estrella del Mar Golf Community residing in Mazatlan, Sinaloa Mexico. You can reach Kim via email at jkanders4@gmail.com.