You could improve your game greatly by watching the LPGA more than the PGA, and be entertained as much or more. I’m addressing this more to men than women because women already know of the advantages of watching the LPGA. I attended the Portland Classic the other day, and, once again, discovered why I like the women’s tour so much. For one, their swings are more like mine than the men’s tour. The winner of the tournament, first time LPGA winner 22 year old American Andrea Lee is a prime example. Defeating the tops in her tour such as Nelly Korda, Brooke Henderson, and Hannah Green, Lee has a swing to die for, effective and simple down to every detail. I filmed her swing on the par 3 16th which she went on to birdie, ultimately providing her with an exciting one stroke victory.
Take a look at her swing. (to see her swing, please go to golf360.substack.com). Study it. There are elements you may wish to incorporate into your swing. It represents what I call economy of motion: simple, effective, elegant. She has full control of the clubhead from start to finish. Her head is steady throughout. Her hips are relatively quiet with her shoulders and arms doing most of the work. Her 7-iron made pure contact as noticed by the sound, the trajectory, and the results, landing about 15 feet to the left of the pin. Her follow through was well balanced.
But what impressed me most was her pace and rhythm. It was smooth, unhurried, athletic. She seemed to work with, not against, gravity. She allowed the club to do much of the work. Her main job was to offer the clubface square to the target and on the sweet spot–that almost mythical spot on the face that Hogan and Woods and Trevino had such intimate knowledge of.
I believe the one goal that all golfers have in common is to contact the sweet spot on every shot. Anything less leads to trouble. When I first started playing golf as a lad in 1960, that sweet spot was about the size of a dime, maybe smaller. Today, it’s larger, so the manufacturers claim, but the effect is the same when you strike it. First you can hear a decisive sound, a solid whoosh. Then there’s the sight of the ball taking off like a rocket headed towards its target, starting low then rising steadily before dropping to the ground. Unlike a mishit shot, there’s quite a bit of air time, often resulting in the player posing in the follow-through watching it like a heron spying prey in a pond, eyes fixed on this satisfying sight. And finally you can feel that solid contact in your hands. There’s no vibration, not even the sensation of having held the club, indeed that feeling that Sam Snead described as holding a small bird lightly and gently.
Andrea Lee ticked off all those boxes, from my estimation. With that, I’ll leave you to it. I suggest you concentrate less on your score and more on how many times you hit that sweet spot. I assure you, the better you get, the lower your score.