Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Finesse Swing -- JamesSieckmann

Everyone knows -- even short hitters know -- that the short game is where they lose most strokes.

This is a book for someone serious about overcoming that, er, shortcoming . . . Through a new theory of the short wedge shot -- which the author calls "A Finesse Swing" --, an attitudinal adjustment, and a rigorous, if not necessarily lengthy practice regimen, Sieckmann offers a cohesive & coherent plan. 

His swing theory is difficult to summarize, and his students have described it as "awkward, at first", so like so much golf instruction, this is the kind of thing that would ruin your game before it improved it -- not a quick fix . . . but disregarding some of the descriptive language and grainy photographs that really don't tell me a thing, I came to think of the "Finesse Swing" as what the old timers usta call "an arm swing" . . . just not exactly . . . 

So here is here theory in his simple summary . . . you really have to read the fuller explanation to arrive at an understanding of what he means, since it's an unusual, if not actually radical, practice. Then again, on those days when the duffer has everything (or just his short game going well) he's probably doing this un-mind-fully, if you see how I mean . . . 

but . . . so many golf teachers teach more than golf, with varying degrees of sincerity and success, if you know what I mean, and the old PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) makes a showing in the middle of the book . . . this would come in handy over the rough patch starting out, the "awkward" stage of developing your Finesse Swing, and the reader will have to suss out how much he wants to sign up for in this strange new regimen. I'll say no more about that.

but the final piece of the puzzle comes with some entertainment value, from an author who clearly has spent a lot of time on the practice range with a lot of duffers . . . another of his life/golf practices involves a journal (we mean to be serious!) of the duffer's practices .  . . and what one would journal is 3 kinds of practice: 

  1. block practice - repetitive drills
  2. random practice - refining judgement & touch
  3. training games (shown above in example)

the training games are useful (and I think this is the author's opinion, too) in that they keep the practice fresh by introducing non-threatening challenges; that is, they let you keep score with yourself.

So: for the duffer who hasn't quite given up on ever improving, this is a book that may even inspire a re-dedication to improving.