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  • Bill Chastain

Working on My Game

Since my golf skills have dwindled from mediocre to hack, I figured why not take the appropriate measures towards grooving the swing that once prompted the comment: “You’re looping it.”120px-Golf_Swing_Animation

Several options came to mind.

First, golf lessons.

Unfortunately, seeing a golf professional will put about 30 new swing thoughts in your head, making you the easiest mark on the course. Or in my case, an even easier mark. Lessons can also be costly if you’re in it for the long haul.

Next, an equipment upgrade.

Alas, new sticks aren’t cheap and they don’t guarantee a change of fortunes. Remember, it’s not the club, it’s the operator.

Finally, the Internet.

Why not the Internet? A picture of Al Gore in knickers with a Payne Stewart-like swing came to mind. We are in the information age, right? I could improve my game by simply clicking the search engine. What a delightfully simplistic tool. And it’s free.

No doubt I would cut my score from 95 to 75 after just a little study. Augusta could be in my future. Make that green jacket a 42 regular, thank you.

I punched “improve your game” into the Google search box and up popped the following:

How to Improve Your Game: 10 Steps (with Pictures).

How to Improve Your Golf Game with Simple Tips.

Deliberate practice is key to improving your golf game.

Little Known Trick Can Change Your Game Forever.

Golf Drills to Improve Your Game.

I finally selected a site with a video in which My Personal Internet Golf Instructor told me, “I’m going to tell you how to intentionally hook or fade the ball.”

The sentence brought mixed emotions. I didn’t need to know why I hit a slice, I’d mastered that facet of the game naturally. Then again, finding out how to hook the ball might be interesting, right?

So I listened and was told. “You hook the ball by aiming the club face at the target and your body to the right of the target. Now make a square swing along your body line.”

After watching a similar demonstration of how to hit a fade — not a slice — My Personal Internet Golf Instructor concluded: “This will result in a left to right fade spin. Good luck.”

New-found knowledge in tow, I headed to the course with a bounce in my step. I felt somewhat guilty agreeing to wager with my golf buddies, but hey, I’ve been on the other side of the coin. Going home with beer money in my pocket would be a refreshing change.

As we teed it up on the first hole at Brand X Country Club (I will not disclose the course for fear it might be construed as an endorsement, which could cause me to lose my coveted amateur status) there was no first tee anxiety, even after my tee shot went way right. Prior to my next shot I simply pointed the club face at the target and aimed my body to the left. Smoothly, I followed with a square swing along the body line.

I felt like My Personal Internet Golf Instructor was right there with me when my rescue club produced a fade that cleared an oak tree before coming to rest on the front apron of the green. I still made bogey, but I didn’t lose the hole.

Sadly, the remainder of the day did not prove to be as glorious. My Personal Internet Golf Instructor’s instructions were obviously intended good golfers who want to hook or fade the ball. He did talk about a “square swing.” Question is: What do you do when you have a round swing?

The answer: You play a lot of military golf – left, right, left, right.

Alas, I will soldier on.

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