Golf Swing Lesson: Have a Seat for Power, Balance, and Consistency

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It was getting late.  Most golfers were pounding driver after driver, barely even looking where their ball was going before teeing up the next one.  Salt was not interested in these people.

He was more interested in the girl who had a fresh bucket of balls in front of her. She was obviously new to the game, trying to learn. It took courage to come out on the range and not be self-conscious. Salt approved.

"Hello young lady, how are you?" Salt asked.

"OK, I guess," she said.

"My name is Salt. I'm the golf teacher at the golf course. Do you like to play golf?"

"My name is Melissa. I want to try the game, because it looks fun. But I'm just a beginner."

"Everybody is a beginner at the beginning," said Salt.

Melissa looked at him and squinted a little. Salt thought it was pretty profound, but not this youngster.

"Can you help me hit the ball like that guy you just helped?" asked Melissa.

"Well, he is a lot bigger and stronger and more experienced than you. Maybe you could hit a few balls and we'll see how it goes?"

Melissa agreed.

"Put the ball on a tee," said Salt. He thought everyone, beginners especially, should hit off a tee on the range.

Melissa took a few practice swings and hit a few balls.

"At least I'm hitting every one now, not missing," she said.

Salt nodded. "Yes, that's good."

Melissa had a decent grip, one she had probably been taught. But, like most who are new to the game, she had a tendency to come over the ball, a casting motion, that caused some bad slices and an occasional shank.

Salt noticed in particular that she did not have much knee flex. Her rigid knees were making it difficult to execute a good turn and take an inside path on the downswing.

She shanked another one. "Oh I hate those!"

Salt could see she was getting frustrated.

"Can you help me Salt" she asked.

"Melissa, would you try something for me?" asked Salt.

"OK. Is it my grip? Maybe it's too weak? I read about that,"

Salt was patient. "No, your grip is fine. Very good in fact."

Melissa seemed pleased that her grip was very good.

"Melissa, please take your stance as normal. That's it. Now, I want you to pretend you are about to sit down."

"What? You want me to sit down?"

"No, not all the way, just pretend like you are going to sit down on a bar stool or something. Just go down a little ways.  Think of Michelle Wie's stance, how she sits down as she addresses the ball."  Salt pulled out his handy smartphone and showed Melissa what he meant.  "See, right here at 0:14, she sits down into her stance and holds that position through impact".

"OK, I see now", said Melissa.

"Perfect," said Salt.

"Perfect what?" demanded Melissa.

"That is a perfect stance. Try a few practice swings from that stance and see how it feels."

Melissa's first swings were a little awkward. She actually lost her balance from all the clubhead speed she generated off her new stance.

"Try a couple more, but keep your head still as you swing" said Salt.

And soon her swings were much improved.

"Now hit a ball or two and see how it goes," suggested Salt.

Melissa's first shot made a decidedly different sound than before. The fine, sharp crack of a well struck ball.

"Wow". Melissa now had a little more respect for old Salt.

She hit a few more shots. Most were good, some were still bad, but definitely an improvement.

"Remember, sit down to get a solid stance, and you will improve!" said Salt. "I need to go now, Melissa. Nice to meet you. And please do come back to the range often."

"Thank you Salt. I will."

She was happy, and so was Salt.

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