|Paulina Gretzky via bigleadsports|
Many among us will soon resume that elusive quest to make this The Year: the year we break 80 (or 90 or 100)... the year we win the tournament... the year we finally beat our husband.
It can be a myriad of things, but I'm pretty sure most golfers start the season with a basic desire to take their game to the proverbial next level. Some will go out and purchase new equipment, others will seek instruction from professionals, or spend endless hours at the range, relentlessly hitting balls. Then there are those who head for the latest gadgets and training aids, and while most would agree that great equipment, quality instruction and lots of practice are bound to result in an improved game, the jury's still out on the efficacy of many training aids.
The thing we do know, however, is that the golf swing, by its very nature, is multi-faceted and complex... and that certain flaws are quite universal. It's from that knowledge that training aids are often conceived. For example, the very common flaw is one I'll call by its inelegant avian name: chicken wings. That's when the arms and body get out of sync during the backswing, causing the lead elbow to break down and disconnect through impact. The resulting shot will be a slice or a wormburner... or worse. I happen to know the chicken wing well, it was my signature move for years.
Fortunately there's a pretty simple fix for this unfortunate, and all-too-common, flaw. The principal is to train one's arms and body to work together and stay connected, and it's achieved through drills often using a commercial gadget or an improvised training aid.
|Ben Hogan's Advice via GolfCanada|
There's also Perfect Connection. Now maybe it's because I've just read 50 Shades of Grey, but to me Perfect Connection looks more like a restraining device than a training device. The idea, though, is the same: to teach a repeatable, connected swing, in this case with a set of postmodern manacles joined by a metal bar. You'll notice the device beginning to release if you "disconnect", so you learn by feel. I'd like to try this one too, and not because of my recent reading material.
As for improvised devices, I've seen a variety of objects used; a soccer ball, a range bucket, an empty water bottle and most recently...as pictured at the top of the page... an ultra-cute teacup Pomeranian with a Teddy Bear trim.
Clearly, that's what Paulina Gretzky was doing on the boat last week, in the company of her boyfriend, 7 time PGA tour winner Dustin Johnson: working on her chicken wings, with an adorable improvised training aid.