Ivan Morris Column - Nine Ways to Better Golf

Limerick Leader golf columnist Ivan Morris
IF improving your golf game is your aim - find a teacher who uses Trackman Technology and with some hard work on your part you will be more than halfway there.

IF improving your golf game is your aim - find a teacher who uses Trackman Technology and with some hard work on your part you will be more than halfway there.

Over 40-years ago, I had my own personal Trackman. I spent hundreds of hours hitting balls into a net in a tiny shed beside John Burke’s house in Lelia Street while the legendary, King of Lahinch barked precise instructions from his wheelchair. Apart from the endless reading I did, I learned more about the workings of the golf swing from Burke than anyone. I was almost blank page back then eager to absorb information and am glad that most of John’s theories still apply.

1 - Play more than you practice but do both.

2 - Because I couldn’t see enough ball flight as the ball crashed into John’s fishing net only a few feet away, I relied on how the shots felt coming off the clubface and the different sounds of the strike at impact for feedback, still do. It also helps one to keep one’s head down.

3 - North/South golf is of more value than East/West golf. The ability to control the distance you hit your iron approaches and wedges separates the good player from the average.

4 - All great iron players have one thing in common - their heads are lower at impact than at address. They sag their knees down and towards the target, moving on a downward, diagonal line.

5 - Maintaining the angle of your spine throughout the entire swing is critical. I had to work very hard at that - still do.

6 - Keeping the angle of your right wrist solid through impact compresses the ball while squashing it against the clubface is the surest sign of a good ball striker.

7- Concentrate on alignment, smooth rhythm and solid contact and everything else will fall into line.

8 - Your impact position should be a “photograph” of your address position.

9 - Identify the sweet spot on your putter. Striking putts with the sweet spot works wonders.

The club travels so fast it is not easy to spot flaws but John Burke could do it. He had eyes like a Trackman! Faulty swing characteristics not picked up by the naked eye don’t escape a Trackman, which measures club head speed; angle of attack; club path and face angle; spin rate and loft; swing direction; swing plane; ball speed; launch angle; height and trajectory; carry; hang time; dispersion from target. Sounds complicated but it isn’t. The Trackman interprets the data and faults are diagnosed instantly. Then, and only then, it’s up to your coach to guide you on the alterations and improvements necessary. Go for it!

Pace of Play Forum - The R&A has announced the results of a pace of play survey. 56,000 golfers took part in 122-countries. While 70% of golfers are largely happy with the duration of their rounds, 60% of golfers do say that they would enjoy golf more if it took less time. Of the 25-44-year-olds who said that they were never happy with the pace of play, 21% said that a game of golf would need to be one-and-a-half hours quicker for them to play more often. Of the 8,468 golfers in this age range who responded, 19% said they would welcome the opportunity to play 9-holes as an alternative format. The survey found that the two biggest factors preventing people from playing golf are work commitments (34%) and family obligations (29%) with the time taken to play (16%) ranked third. Other factors are alternative hobbies (12%), cost of play (7%) with difficulty at 1% and cost of equipment also 1%.

Jordan Spieth Could Have Been A Star At Several Sports

To succeed in any sport you must have above average ability plus a relentless determination and propensity for hard work. At the tender age of 21, Jordan Spieth has become so good at golf that one would think that he must have been concentrating on it to the exclusion of everything else growing up but you’d be way off the mark. Spieth was talented in several sports before he decided to concentrate on golf and attributes his success to the work he did as an American Football quarterback, Baseball pitcher and Basketball guard as much as his visits to the golf academy. His multi-sport development is an example of the athlete coming first, then the golfer.

When kids show an aptitude for golf at a young age, parents too often push them into spending all of their time at it. This often results in premature burnt out. It’s a big mistake to train exclusively in one discipline. It creates an imbalance and limits potential. A lot can be gained in so many ways from competing in other sports, especially team sports, if you are a golfer.

Words of the Wise

Nothing adds more to the charm of the game than perfect greens. Some should be large, but the majority should be of moderate size, some flat and some hillocky, one or two at an angle; but the majority should have natural undulations, some with more and others with less. It is absolutely essential that the turf should be very fine so the ball will run perfectly true - Alister Mackenzie