It Depends……

Why do some teachers compare their students to a PGA tour player?  Because they are the best at striking a ball and getting it to go to the target, and we have great video of them doing it.

Many teachers (myself included) are students of the golf swing and have understood its many complexities and understand the sequence of events as they unfold.

I have tried to get some of my students to compare themselves to and sometimes try to emulate a particular PGA tour players ONLY IF THEY ARE PHYSICALLY SIMILAR or if I am trying to point out something that would truly be in the best interest of my student.

Why do so many teachers try to get their students into the same positions and look the same at every point in the swing? I do not try to do this.  If you look at many players over the course of history of this great game, you will find there are many different body types, and many different styles of golf swings that have been powerful and repeatable for many different of the game’s great players. I believe that it is a great mistake to try to teach the same thing to all of the golfers that I work with – they are simply too many differences in their bodies, levels of athletic talent, goals as players, and ability to practice enough to meet their goals. I must adapt to the student to maximize their experience and to allow each one of them to become better at what they do.

Here are good examples of different players and their different physiques that dictated how they stood over the shot and made their swings at the ball.

Ben Hogan stood about 5’ 8” and weighed about 145 lbs where George Archer stood about 6’6” and weighed about 200 lbs. Graig Stadler was about 5’ 9” and weighed about 245 compared to Tiger Woods’ 6’2” and 210 lbs. Michelle Wie is over 6′ tall and compare to Jeong Jang (past Women’s British Open winner) who is barely 5′ tall. As we know, all of these players are outstanding in their own right, but none sets up to the shot the same way. Byron Nelson set up quite hunched over, while Adam Scott stands erect with his shoulders back. They all set up to match their bodies and their swings are a reflection of that set up.

My point here is that each player must adopt what works well for them and make their best swing from that place to get the result they want, keeping in mind that there are some simple truths about initial set up that influence how they can swing. They are keeping your body pointed where you want the swing to go, stand in a posture that your body can hold together during the swing and hold your hands on the club that matches your natural arm hang (or your your whole swinging motion will be contrived and will constantly give you inconsistent ball flight)

The best players of all recent eras are all different in look and performance, but the result is the same – excellent golf.

Be a student of history and don’t try to force yourself into someone’s mold that doesn’t match who you are or can be.

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