101 Golf Secrets

Golf Secrets 10 - 12: Instruction

Golf Digest

10 -- HOW TO MASTER A SWING CHANGE
BY HANK JOHNSON

When you are trying to learn something mechanical in your golf swing, the ball serves only as a distraction. It changes your focus to performance, rather than learning. It is extremely difficult to concentrate on making a correct golf swing and hitting the ball at the same time. So when you embark on making a swing change, first practice the new move with something other than a golf club (like a broom) and certainly without a ball. After you perfect your new move or position, then practice hitting shots on the range. If you find yourself thinking about your swing as you hit shots, get away from the balls and make rehearsal swings concentrating on your mechanics. 

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11 -- HOW TO BECOME A TV GOLF ANALYST
BY JIM NANTZ

The idea of sitting in a tower at golf's greatest events and capturing the story for everyone watching at home is something that piqued my interest since the age of 10. I was always spellbound by the voices and erudition of golf commentators. I loved the way they told a story, and I wanted to be just like them.

How did I get there? I credit much of my success to a maniacal attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the sport and an unabashed passion for broadcasting that dates to my youth. It's true that I recorded every word uttered during golf broadcasts in the 1970s. By listening to them over and over, I became attuned to the cadence, the style and inflections of all the top commentators.

That other vital ingredient for me was, and still is, passion. My job, especially in golf telecasts, is to be a storyteller. It's the most conversational sport I broadcast, by a mile. That's why I tell youngsters to study language and read obsessively. Listen to the great storytellers in your lives, whether it's a teacher or an uncle, anyone with a knack for holding an audience. For example, when I lived in Colts Neck, N.J., our pastor, Reverend Samuel La Penta, could deliver a sermon of interest, drama and emotion that often left me feeling downright touched.

No two paths to a job in broadcasting are alike, but I'm thankful mine worked out the way it did. It also helps that my dear father gave me his soothing voice.

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12 -- HOW TO ESCAPE THE SAND IN ONE TRY
BY ERNIE ELSE
You might not realize how much you can get away with on a bunker shot. Play the ball forward in your stance, open the face of your 56-degree wedge and hit anywhere between an inch and three inches behind the ball. You don't have to be overly precise. Just as long as you make an aggressive swing down into the sand and finish the shot with the club up and over your left shoulder, the ball will come out of there. So be aggressive with your swing and thump the sand. 


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 Images: Gregor Heisler; Richard Castka