Getting a (Head) fix
By chance I came across this golf tip from GolfTipEditor and since it involved my childhood idol, Ben Hogan (Even wore his iconic white bonnet) it was a must read. So much so I immediately after reading the tip I took a cigarette from my pack and practiced swinging with an unlit cigarette; Please note "unlit" for those who may be inclined to think I'm advocating the smoking habit.
First I tried it with my putting stroke and then a full swing and it felt good. My swing(s) and not the prospect of a forthcoming fag.
Why it works
"Why it works: "Keep your head still" and "Watch the ball" are some of the most widely heard pieces of golfing advice on the planet. The trouble, of course, is that they are usually uttered after a bad shot has been hit! What use is this? Almost none. Wouldn't it be great if you could know, without the help of a coach, if your head really was still, and if you really were watching the ball as you execute your swing? Wouldn't it be great to know how it feels to do it right, so you can duplicate that feeling on the course?"
Addiction or an aid to better golf?
Although I've never swung a club while smoking I've always been intrigued by images of great golfers who smoked with a cigarette or pipe in their mouth.
The images of Harry Vardon swinging while smoking and of course Ted Ray with grim face and pipe clenched between his lips.
The best visual examples are the shots of Ted in the movie, "The Greatest Game Ever Played".
The historic 1913 US Open where 20-year-old Francis Ouimet won against all odds against the best of British in the shape of Harry Vardon and Ted Ray.
Ted could really belt the ball and I've always though the pipe would be an impediment to his swing.
But no so and just maybe he and perhaps Harry Vardon had a wee swing aid that they kept to themselves.
Keep your head still - Not really
"This is what is meant by "keep your head still". The head and neck swivel as needed to keep the eyes fixed on the ball. Indeed, it would be more accurate to say "allow your head to swivel relative to your rotating shoulders such that your eyes and head remain fixed on and pointed at the ball through impact". This doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but it's much closer to the truth."
A note for non smokers
"Simply put a tee in your lips as you hit balls, point it at the ball, and be conscious of exactly where the tee points as you swing. At first you will be surprised to find that even though you "think" you are keeping your head still, the tee sticking out of your mouth doesn't lie."
Link to GolfTipEditor which also includes a video clip of Mr Hogan
Quote of the Day
"Several people I have shown this Drill to have refused to spit out the tee once they see what a difference it makes!" - GolfTipEditor