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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Jim Flick on Building a Solid Swing

The late Jim Flick was highly respected as a teacher -- so much so, that Jack Nicklaus worked with him after Jack Grout died and built the Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools with him. Here are some of his thoughts from his book On Golf.

Jim Flick

This comes from a section called The Long and the Short of It. Note that Flick often used the term instrument rather than club.
What is the difference between a swing that produces a delicate 60-yard pitch shot and one that delivers a booming 275-yard drive?

Not much.

One key message I want to deliver -- and, believe me, I will deliver it over and over again until you accept it as the truth -- is that the basic concepts underlying the short game and the full swing are essentially the same.

Your swing doesn't change very much when you go from a sixty-yard part shot to a full swing from the tee -- it mainly just gets longer to accommodate the instrument being used and the distance the ball has to travel.

Are there any differences? Sure. Do they involve radical departures in aim, posture, routine, or relationship between the swinging and turning elements? No.

That's one of the reasons I like to start players with the short game: because it helps them develop the imagery to play golf, along with feel and sensitivity for the use of the club and the swinging elements.

For instance, when you're making a part shot -- say, a sixty-yard pitch -- it's easier to sense the swinging force of the club head and the position of the club face than it is in a full swing with a long iron or a wood.

To develop your sense of feel in golf, put down your driver and pick up a short or middle iron. [p41]
Take note of that. The man who had the trust of Jack Nicklaus, both as his personal instructor and his business partner, advised his students to use a short or mid-iron if they really wanted to hit their driver better. He believed that was the key to developing the kind of feel that will make you a better player.

Flick believed we have become too mechanical in our teaching methods, that we need to get back to teaching feel. I'll leave you with another short quote from his book -- in fact, it's one of my most favorite Flick quotes:
If as much were written about sex as there is about golf, life would be extinct by now.
Sometimes, feel is far superior to technique. Just a thought.

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