Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need: Hank Haney's Proven Method for Analyzing and Diagnosing Problem Golf Swingsby Hank Haney, John Huggan
The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need, Hank Haney, one of the most respected and soughtafter golf instructors in the world, shares the secrets he's learned by observing hundreds of thousands of studentsfrom top PGA Tour pros to high-handicappers. He explains how intelligent observation of your ball-flight tendenciesthe way your shot behaves in/b>
The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need, Hank Haney, one of the most respected and soughtafter golf instructors in the world, shares the secrets he's learned by observing hundreds of thousands of studentsfrom top PGA Tour pros to high-handicappers. He explains how intelligent observation of your ball-flight tendenciesthe way your shot behaves in the airprovides the answers to helping you develop a consistent repeating swing that will lower your scores. You'll also pick up valuable pointers on how to precisely match your equipment to your game.
Hank Haney believes that a "flawed swing" that still produces a good shot is a good swing. By focusing on the outcome of your swing first, rather than on the swing itself, he believes you can often avoid making the awkward and unnatural changes to grip, stance, posture and alignment that many golf instructors ask of their students.
The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need will help you straighten your hook or slice, add distance to your drives, identify and fix the flaws in your swing, and become a wizard around the greens.
"I'm proud of the way my swing holds up ion all kinds of conditions and under the severest pressure. Both are a tribute to Hank Haney and his teaching. Hank knows more about ballflight and what controls it than anyone in the game. And if you understand that, you're on your way."
Mark O'Meara from the Foreword to The Only Golf Lesson You'll Ever Need
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Read an Excerpt
Where I'm Coming From
The Learning Sequence
Hi, I'm Hank Haney. Thanks for coming to me for a golf lesson. Before I take a look at your swing and your shots, let me ask a few questions about you and your game.
How long have you played golf?
What is your handicap?
What is the lowest your handicap has ever been?
How often do you play?
How often do you practice?
Where does your ball go? Does it slice? Does it hook?
Where do most of your short-iron shots finish?
Do you tend to hit the ball fat or thin?
When you hit it fat, do you make a deep divot, or simply hit behind the ball?
Do you tend to hit the ball off the toe of the club, or the heel of the club?
Do your shots tend to start right of your target, or left of your target?
Do your shots tend to fly too high or too low?
Which shot gives you the most difficulty?
What is your favorite club?
What is your least favorite club?
If you had a tree in your way and could play either a slice or a hook around it, which would you choose?
Where do most of your bad drives finish?
That last one is especially important and reveals much about your swing. Your driver is your straightest-faced club, so shots hit with it are going to curve the most. The shape of your drives exposes your swing tendencies. That comes as a big shock to most people. It isn't because the driver is bigger. Or longer. Or heavier. It's because of the face. The lack of loft causes you to hit more in the middle of the ball, which means that if the face is open or closed, your shots will have substantial curve right or left. More loft produces more backspin on your ball, which counteracts any sidespin. That's whyit is relatively easy to hit a straight shot with your wedge.
The answers I get to those questions tell me how knowledgeable you are. How much you understand about what you are trying to do is important. What is the strength of your game? The weak points? What would you like to improve? It is, after all, your golf game I am trying to fix. I want you to be happy. And that usually means an improved ball-flight and better shots. If the ball flies too high, I'll bring it down; too low, I'll move it up. If every shot curves to the right or left, I'll straighten them out.
Plus, it always helps to know what you, the student, is thinking. Have you had other lessons? Who from? Different teachers teach different theories.
The bottom line, however, is that the responses I get to those questions give me somewhere to start and tell me what sort of swing faults you are likely to have. Which, of course, is the whole point of you coming to see me in the first place. Proper diagnosis is the first step toward curing any problem.
Okay, let's see you hit some shots. Watching you will give me even more clues as to how to go about fixing your faults. There's no need to feel embarrassed. Everyone has swing faults. And I mean everyone. Even my most famous pupil, Mark O'Meara, has tendencies and little mistakes he constantly has to look for in his action. And he always will, even if he did perform well enough to win two major championships and be player of the year in 1998. So, believe me, you won't be telling me anything I haven't heard many times before.
Here's what I'll be paying most attention to:
All golfers have one of two tendencies. Either your shots will move predominantly from left-to-right or mostly from right-to-left. In other words, you're either a slicer or a hooker. Most people, of course, slice.
And there's more. Your shots start off straight at your target or to the right or left (see fig. 2). And you hit the ball too high, too low, or on the proper trajectory for your clubhead speed. In an ideal world, a perfectly on-plane swing will produce a gentle draw shot, the ball curving slightly from right-to-left. That is fact. Indeed, I have never heard a teacher dispute this point. Here's why.
Because you are standing to the side of the ball, the club should swing to the inside of the ball-target line in the backswing, to straight at impact, to back to the inside in the through swing. So you want to contact the inside part of the ball with the clubface closing as it comes through in order to start your little draw to the right of the target.
When I first started working with Mark O'Meara he represented the Ben Hogan Company. One day, in Mr. Hogan's office, Mark asked him what the correct flight on a perfectly struck shot should be. He told Mark exactly what I have just told you.
Mark then asked another question: "When you hit that draw should the clubface be square, closed, or slightly open but in the process of closing?"
Mr. Hogan looked at Mark for a long moment. Then he asked who had told Mark to ask that question. Mark said, "My teacher, Hank Haney." "You tell him he's right," was Mr. Hogan's reply. When I heard that I knew I had asked an intelligent question and I knew I was on the right track.
Every time I give a lesson I get ball-flight results. All because I'm looking at the flight of the ball and impact. Changing one has to change the other. If you get stuck changing things that have nothing to do with the flight of the ball you get into trouble. You get no change to the ball-flight or impact and frustration is the result.
Meet the Author
Hank Haney is widely recognized as one of the outstanding teachers in golf. The results of his teaching method were most recently seen in pupil Mark O'Meara, who last year won both the Masters and British Open en route to being named PGA Tour Player of the Year. Haney has been named one of Golf Magazine's Top 100 Teachers, was selected as the 1 993 National PGA Teacher of the Year, and has been a member of the Golf Digest Professional Advisory Staff since 1 991. He lives outside Dallas, Texas, where he operates the Hank Haney Golf Ranch.
John Huggan is a contributing editor to Golf Digest and Golf World. He is co-author of numerous golf books, including The Golf Swing and Faults and Fixes (both with David Leadbetter), The Faldo Formula, and Golf for Dummies. He lives in Scotland.
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