Salt was on the range early that day. He was studying some video tour players and noting their proper golf swing finish. Most of the golfers at his range couldn’t finish their golf swings so gracefully. Many of them routinely lost their balance instead of striking a pretty pose.
The day was cool; it had rained the night before and so the grass was a little soggy. The clouds hung low, but it was not too windy. Not a day for fair weather golfers. But a day not nearly as bad as it looked from inside the clubhouse.
A Slow Day at the Range
Salt thought that the type of person who would show up on the range today would be a serious sort of player, one who really wanted to work on his game.
Not surprisingly, business was slow. But, by and by, Micah arrived. He looked to be in a hurry, and was well dressed. He probably slipped away over his lunch hour. Salt knew Micah in passing. Micah was a businessman, an account manager. He wanted to play the game well to help him impress clients, but had a handicap in the low 20s, which frustrated him. He felt like he needed to be a single-digit handicapper, or nearly so, to really succeed in his line of work.
Micah got out his clubs and began to hit some balls.
Salt shook his head. “If only they would stretch before they try to hit a ball,” he thought.
Micah hit several balls, but was obviously getting frustrated. His shots were poor and he did not have a proper golf swing finish at all. Salt ambled over.
“Mornin’,” said Salt.
“Good morning,” said Micah. “How are you today, Salt?”
“Oh, I’m doing fine today. How’s your game Micah?”
“Not bad, not bad,” said Micah. “Having a little trouble with my slice though.”
“Mind if I have a look?” asked Salt.
“Please, go ahead.”
Salt knew that Micah was a serious man, analytical, calculating. He would probably want to hear tips about wrist angle, swing plane, grip position, and so forth.
“What do you think of my backswing Salt? Are my hands high enough?”
Finishing the Golf Swing
Salt just sighed and shook his head. And he watched another weak shot tail off to the right.
“Micah, I’d like you to try something for me.”
“I’d like you to swing so that your belt buckle is facing the target on your finish.”
“Try it. Take a practice swing or two and think about a proper golf swing finish. Concentrate on swinging so that your belt buckle faces the target when you are done. Imagine a pro with a great swing, like Bill Haas. It looks unhurried and easy, but it’s very powerful and balanced and he is always facing the target when he’s done.”
Micah conjured up an image of Bill Haas’ swing:
Micah gave it a try. The first thing he noticed was that his belt buckle was pointing right of the target, not at the target. The next thing he noticed was that he was losing his balance, and didn’t really have a specific direction that his belt buckle was pointing.
“Try again, but smoother,” said Salt.
Micah tried several more times to no avail. Salt was worried that he might lose Micah’s attention and trust.
Start with the Golf Swing Finish
“Micah, why don’t you just pose with your club and belt buckle the way you want to end up at the finish, and backtrack from there?”
And so Micah visualized Bill Haas’ finish, and he imitated it for Salt. Eventually he was able to execute a swing that resulted in a balanced finish, with his belt buckle pointing at the target, at a good tempo. He found that he needed a much more inside path on the downswing to avoid losing his balance, and this also helped to bring him up into the finish pose he was looking for.
“Now hit a ball. But tee it up,” said Salt.
Micah did. His first shot was straight. His second was straight and longer. The third was pure, a beautiful golf shot by any standard.
“Salt, thank you, this is incredible.” Micah was genuinely grateful and truly surprised at how well this worked. He eagerly reached for another striped ball.
Salt waved at him from across the range, It was time to head back inside for a cup of coffee. After all, it was a bit cool outside.
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