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One man’s medicine is another man’s poison.


On Friday night I got out for a few holes with a friend.

I haven’t played much in the last year (cue world’s smallest violin), however for someone that hasn’t played much I hit the ball pretty good and in the general direction of where I wanted to the ball to go, apart from a 6 iron that moved about 100 yards with a divot this size.

Anyway, putting has generally always been my achilles heel.

Although in the last few years it has picked up a wee bit through trying a little bit of quiet eye (more on that in another blog) and being able to read greens a little bit better.

However on Friday night my putting was honking, I mean if the hole was this big I still would have missed!


You see I was trying another Man’s medicine.

Recently I have been down to see a Putting Guru called Nick Middleton in Sheffield with a young professional golfer whom I help.

We spent the whole day there and I took lots for my own coaching practice.

However I tried to implement some of the specific advice passed to the young pro by Nick.

I was trying another man’s medicine…….

And it became my poison.
I see and hear this everyday on the lesson tee.

Golfers taking another Man’s medicine

  • 'My friend who plays off 6 told me to do this.'
  • 'My friend says try this feel.'
  • 'My friend says I coming over the top.'
  • 'The best player in my group tells me I am coming over the top just like him. He is telling me how he fixed it.'
  • 'My friend who gets lessons is telling me what his coach has asked him to do.'
  • 'My friend has told me to slow my swing down.'
  • and so on......

These statements are generally uttered from a golfer who can’t hit snow off a dyke at the time.

I love this statement.

You swing it your own way and what works for your friend may not work for you.

I normally butt in when a golfer whom comes to lessons and says something like.

Golfer - My friend told me to do this to cure my slice.
Me - What is your profession sir/madam?
Golfer - A lawyer
Me - What does this friend in question do?
Golfer -  Oh he is an accountant.
Me- Would you take advice from your friend on matters concerning law?
You get my point.
If you are playing with better players than you and they offer advice on technique, politely decline.

Quite frankly they are not qualified to coach technique and in many cases have no idea what they are doing technically themselves.

Very few can articulate how they do it, they just see and feel a shot and this is unique to each player.

That’s not to say there is nothing to be learnt, especially from better players.

Watch and ask them how they manage their way round a golf course.

Watch the creative shot making, watch the variability in shot selection.

Ask them:

  • Talk me through what you are trying to do here?
  • Why did you play shot?
  • What influenced your decision there?

Also watch their rhythm and tempo (hint they don’t swing slow).

Tom Watson attributes his own rhythm and tempo to sitting down and watching Sam Snead hit balls for hours.

‘He gave me my Rhythm’

So try this medicine, it may or may not work for you.

Just be wary of another man’s.

It may become your poison.

And if all else fails, come for a lesson :-).

We can find your medicine together.


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