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John Renslow: Decide what works best for you

John Renslow
Special to The Union
John Renslow

Years ago, I was listening to an interview with one of golf’s beloved players, Fred Couples. The reporter asked Couples about his golf swing, presumably something he was working on, at the time. Couples’ response has been stuck in my head ever since, “I just take it back and hit it like everybody else.”

This sentence, this thought process, provided an entirely different perspective on the game and the golf swing.

For those of us who remember life without playing golf, we are likely to have more mental hurdles versus those who have played since they were very young.

It was the boys on the baseball team in high school that encouraged me to play golf. My son, however, was hitting golf balls before he could talk. I tend to look at the swing much more analytically, whereas my son was not hampered by analysis.

Point being, we all look at our game and feel our swings differently. What works for one person will not work for another. We bring our own bodies (healthy or not) and our brains (healthy or not) to the table.

If you don’t understand when you hear one of the world’s best players inform us that he “just takes it back and hits it like everybody else,” you are not alone. In fact, I don’t know how many players grasp this mindset.

As we learn from the best, it is important to remember this. Not all things are good for all people. What works for us may not work for others. We need to weigh information we receive and decide if it is good for us.

That having been said, I wanted to point out a few educational moments from last week’s Master’s Tournament.

Did you happen to hear that the winner, Dustin Johnson, was carrying a 7-wood? Yep, you probably haven’t heard that term in years. A 7-wood used to be a popular club. With a variety of shapes and weights, it could have also been called a ‘trouble’ club.

The loft on the face, the size of the head, and the weight on the sole made it easier to hit the ball out of the rough. It also hits the ball much higher than a 4-iron (similar in distance).

For DJ, hitting balls to very fast greens, this meant he could hit a ball that would land much softer and roll less after the ball hit the ground.

Lesson — do what is right for your game and not what is trendy.

You may also remember that Tiger made a score of 10 on the par-3 12th hole. I believe the highest score on any hole in his professional career. But, do you know what happened next? Tiger would go on to birdie five of the last six holes he played.

Lesson — we are all going to have bad holes, bad days. Don’t get down, don’t give up, each hole is a new opportunity to “right the ship.”

Again, golf has been called a microcosm of life. Each of us is different. There is no one like you and no one can tell you how you should play. It is good to learn from others, but you have to decide what works best for you.

Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it?

John Renslow is a PGA professional, VP of Yugi Golf Management, and provides golf instruction at local courses.


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