The QATSPY Sports Page 4 Golfers
By: Charles W. Boatright
Author of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach, Delta Technique Geared for Distance and Control
Classic Golf Swing Used by Brooke Henderson of Choking Down on the Handle of the Golf Club
As part of the classic golf swing routinely discussions on ARF&G this morning, I tune into Arkansas Fairways & Greens radio show that airs live each Saturday morning at 7 am (CT) on KARN I-Heart radio station 102.9 FM, out of Little Rock, AR. There were two particular classic golf swing tips that I thought were worth writing about today that would improve the golfer’s game.
One of two classic golf swing tips discussed on ARF&G was mentioned by Ron Sirak that was a guest on this morning radio show. Ron Sirak covers the LPGA for Golf Digest, and is one of the best writers and observers of the game of golf. During his interview with Bob Steel and Jay Fox on ARF&G, Ron was commenting on Brooke Henderson’s performance at the 2018 KPMG Tournament Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Course.
When most golfers were using less than driver on some of the par fours and par fives for control, Brooke Henderson was using driver without fear. Ron Sirak mentioned one reason for Brooke’s fearlessness was that she choked down on all of her golf clubs, especially the driver. This provides Brooke Henderson the accuracy that she depends on for hitting fairways.
In baseball, my grandfather was constantly was trying to get me to choke down on the bat. For guys, that’s kind of an indication of weakness. But, in reality, it provides the batter more control and power in their baseball swing. This is the same for your golf swing. Choking down provides the golfer more control with power to hit those narrow fairways, especially when the rough is high. Choking down on the club works great on the first tee box when nerves are running a little high.
With all the pressures in golf, especially in a golf tournament, the golfer needs all of the confidence that they can muster. Choking down on the golf club, between one-to-two inches, can provide both a mental and physical edge during a tournament or just a regular round of golf.
So, the classic golf swing tip is this; don’t be hesitant to choke down on your golf clubs, especially your driver, to provide critical control. Ron Sirak, anytime he is on a radio show or has written an article that you’re reading, pay close attention, take mental notes, and advantage of his power of observation and his ability to translate classic golf swing tips to the average Joe golfer. By the way, Ron Sirak is one of my favorite sports writer.
Two Critical Putting Tolerances the Golfer Needs to Consider
Charles Crowson, an co-host on ARF&G, was discussing Brooks Koepka’s come-from-behind win in the 2018 U.S. Open. Brooks, during an interview after his back-to-back win of the 2018 U.S. Open, credited his win with his ability to figure out the greens. If you think about it, putting is between 40 percent to 50 percent of your golf game in strokes gained or lost. So if you are trying to improve your golf score two areas to look at- ONE your approach shot; and TWO- your putting.
One way to improve on your ability to hole more putts is improving your approach shot into the green. You would be surprised about statistics on how even the professional golfer can cut strokes by getting inside ten feet radius of the pin. But this brings up the game-inside-the-game called putting tolerances.
I’m an engineer, so statics and tolerances are important to our professions. In putting, there are two important tolerances that the golfer must consider, and one has more importance than the other. Here’s how to look at your priority of factors in putting. One is 4.25- inches and the other is 18- inches. So just from that amount of information, one would gather that the 4.25- inches is more critical, and you would be correct.
The 4.25- inches is the inside diameter of the cup. The 18- inches is the difference between the ball rolling in the front of the hole and the ball banging against the back of the cup. So the golfer’s direction has less tolerance than the speed/distance of the putt. In Section 17.6a of my book, I talk about the two tolerances in great detail. Along with these two tolerances, I also describe a TAB technique on how to read putts and breaks.
Excerpt from Section 17.6a of my book The ESPY Golf Swing Coach:
17.6a The initial direction of the putt is the most important factor to be determined. Distance and speed are second and third, respectively. If the distance or speed of the putt is not exactly correct, there is less tolerance for the direction, based on the diameter of the cup. The difference between the ball barely rolling into the cup and hitting off the back of the cup can be eighteen inches. Distance and speed have a larger margin of error than the direction. While distance and speed are both important, direction is the most critical of the three factors. A good method to orientate the face of the putter and the golfer’s feet is to hold the putter in the left hand and place the head of the putter about nine inches in front of the ball. Then adjust the orientation of the feet and the putter face perpendicular to the desired putting line. The desired putting line is discussed in more detail in section 17.6g.
My book can also be purchased on-line at:
A Recommendation for your Golf Game:
I would like to recommend an interesting radio program that I regularly listen to originating from my home state Arkansas on my I-Heart Radio app on KARN 102.9 FM station, out of Little Rock. They air a golf show called Arkansas Fairways and Greens, at 7:00 AM CT each Saturday morning, hosted by Bob Steel, and co-hosted by Jay Fox and Charles Crowson. Bob occasionally as has his guess Alex Myers with Golf Digest and Ron Sirak with Golf Channel. I was interviewed on his show about my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach. This show is worth tuning into for golf news and information.
Jay Fox is an Administrator with Arkansas State Golf Association that discuss amateur golf and rules of the game.