Good Man, Good Golfer – Bad Swing!!!
I recently played a round of golf with my good friend, Steve, who now lives full time in Green Valley, AZ. What a pleasure to play with Steve and son, Joe.
Joe, who says he learned to play golf from his father, fortunately did not copy Steve’s swing. Joe is an occasional golfer with a perfect, very powerful, golf swing. Twice during our round, my cart mate, Joe, hit a 5-iron home on par-5s. Both shots were in excess of 210 yards.
Back to Steve – What a good man he is. Steve is a recovering alcoholic who volunteers as a mentor to fellow AA members in the Tucson area. He told me, with a lot of detail, how good he feels when he goes to the AA-Meetings filled with what most people would call outcasts and derelicts. “Those guys with tattoo covered bodies come up to me and give me a big genuine bear hug. They love me. They know I understand where they are, where their heads are. They need me. I know that they do!”
God bless guys like Steve!
Steve, recently retired from a career in medicine, belongs to a golf club in Green Valley and plays golf almost every day. After viewing the pictures of his swing and set-up, no one would believe that he plays to a 12 handicap. I have always said that in my golf gambling days I could have made a living with Steve as a partner. After watching Steve on the range and the putting green, I could have announced Steve as a 20 handicap. No one would argue. At the end of the round when Steve had made 9 or 10 pars and a birdie, I would have said, “He just had a really good day. See you tomorrow at the same time.”
Steve’s swing reminds me a little (only a little) of Mo Norman’s natural golf swing. He repeats that swing every time, and most importantly, Steve does not try to do anything fancy. Just hit it down the middle, then hit it on the green.
Watching Steve putt would make your head spin. The last time I played with Steve he was still using a short putter. At age 67, he now uses a long putter with a 2-ball head. He told me that his Green Valley pro told him that he could continue to use his long putter into the 2016 season and beyond because he does not anchor the putter. When he lined up the first putt on #1 I was amazed to see he had the ball played well ahead of the left foot. Holding the putter with left elbow against his chest, he held the putter with his left hand about a foot from his chin. His right hand grasp the putter with the claw grip. With his hands in that position and the putter hanging straight down only the toe of the putter touches the green. One gentle stroke and his 12 footer rolled directly into the hole with perfect speed. Par for Steve!
The swing from a bunker is similar to his normal swing. His left arm is straight and fully extended and the ball is well in front of his left foot. Steve controls the loft of his sand wedge with his right hand, then in a long sweeping motion with his left arm always fully extended cuts under the ball. The ball comes out lower than most bunker shots, but lands very softly. Wow!
On this day Steve, who had not played for a week, had an 88, but made me believe that it is not how you swing the golf club, but how you score.
Over the last several years Steve has won the member/guest at his club playing with each of his sons.
Jim Furyk would love to play a round with Steve. Furyk would have the best swing in the group.