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Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Ten Minute Lesson From David Leadbetter

David Leadbetter At Crystal Springs
David Leadbetter delivered some solid advice during a recent session at his academy at Crystal Springs in Franklin, NJ. The well-known guru has coached dozens of tour stars around the world who have amassed over a dozen Major Championship titles and over 100 individual worldwide tournament victories. He basically invented the business of golf instruction and today operates 28 golf academies around the globe. His insights into the state of the average player's game are not to be ignored.

"Ninety percent of all golfers have a lousy grip," he said as he started the session. "A lot of swing problems can be traced directly to that." According to Leadbetter, most players hold the club too much in the palms of their hands which restricts hinging of the wrists, adds to tension in the arms and shoulders, and virtually eliminates any chance of a smooth, powerful movement. "The grip should be in the fingers and light enough to take tension out of the swing." Leadbetter laughingly pointed out that he and his staff got so tired of drawing lines on players' gloves to show them where to hold the club that he created the Correct Grip Golf Glove with markings already on it.

The next part of Leadbetter's lesson focused on stance. "Stand like you're ready to move," he said. Weight evenly distributed and knees slightly flexed, arms hanging loose, you'll be ready to make a relaxed but powerful swing.

"Try not to have more than one swing thought," Leadbetter adds. "And none is even better." Over-thinking is the enemy of good golf, according to him. He adds, "You don't have to be dumb to play this game, but it helps."

Finally, complete your back swing with your weight on your right heel, then swing all the way to a finish and hold the pose. "If you can do that, you've accomplished a lot of good things in your swing," he says.

The master teacher's observations on technology were interesting, too. "The biggest difference in teaching now and thirty years ago," he says, "is that now we have the cameras, launch monitors, brain scans, you name it, to prove the average player's swing sucks."  From the positive side of technology, he points out that "The largest change in the game is our ability to improve results by club fitting."

Leadbetter opened his academy at Crystal Springs last year. Golfers in the Northeastern US can now take advantage of a variety of mini schools, players’ schools, retreats, private sessions and improved performance programs.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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