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Friday, April 19, 2013

Golf Pictures Worth More Than A Thousand Words

Golf instruction is a remarkably visual process. Every instructor encourages you to visualize your shot before you hit it (or try to). Most of them use video to show you what you're doing right and wrong and digital technology makes it possible to put your swing up on the screen next to the best tour pros so you can see how it compares. There are even gizmos you can attach to your club that send a signal to your iPad that in turn creates an avatar replicating your swing on the small screen complete with more stats than you can ever use about your swing speed, launch angle, etc. None of these instruction methods, however, is as creative and imaginative as those in Kinetic Golf: Picture The Game Like Never Before.

Nick Bradley, a well-known golf instructor, consultant, and coach, takes a radical approach to visualizing golf shots. Need to hit a bunker shot without digging your wedge into the sand? Bradley recommends imagining a dinosaur egg buried just under your ball with Mama T-Rex looking over your shoulder to make sure your swing is shallow enough to protect her baby. Trying to hit a delicate pitch shot into a crosswind? Think of what would happen if a parachute would open on your ball when it reaches the apex of its trajectory to get some idea of how the wind will carry it to the target.

These are effective images conveyed in words, but the best part of Bradley's approach is his use of spectacularly altered photos to illustrate the concepts. Kinetic Golf contains 125 fabulously Photo-shopped pictures that not only help you understand his points but guarantee you'll remember them. Even the images explaining the basics of the game like how to get a proper grip on the club or what role your right knee plays during the swing are demonstrated with vivid, memorable images.

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? In golf instruction the way Bradley does it, that's definitely true. As a golf writer and photographer, I see a lot of golf instruction material. I'll be studying Kinetic Golf for a long time.

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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