As a sport that appears to be simple on the surface, the ways of golf has been tried time and time again by a lot of players worldwide, only to fail and be infuriated within the first or two swings. Contrary to the common notion that it’s an effortless activity, golf is a tough sport – so tough that a lot of myths about how to play were born. Here are 6 of the biggest golf myths that you should know and get out of your system.
1. “Keep your head down when swinging.”
Let’s start with the oldest golf myth that a lot of people considered to be vital in the game.
If one will observe the stance of most golf pros, it’s noticeable they have their heads unconsciously down to where the golf ball is.
The general belief is that that looking down will increase the precision to come in contact with the ball – it’s a myth that needs to be buried. While looking at the ball is important, concentrating your head to where the ball is will restrict your torso and shoulder movement, which will then lead to limiting your power and speed.
Focus on your shoulder turn from left to right throughout the shot and try to keep your spine angle while rotating a part of your neck.
2. “Keep your left arm straight.”
This is one of the first tips that a beginner in golf will hear. The straight left arm is a favorite stance of most golf players, but despite being the most preferred method, keeping the straight left arm is a myth. The truth is, your arms are straight on impact and not because of tension.
As a matter of fact, a little elbow bend never hurt anybody’s swing. In fact, letting your elbows arch will make way for an even body rotation and the downswing will be more steady as well. Trying to keep your arm straight will invite tension, which inhibits the chance of a smooth swing and to lose distance.
Keep your arms on the target and not on the ball. Try to feel the club’s weight upon swinging, to see if you’re holding it too tight and let it freely swing for a maximized distance.
3. “The longer the shaft, the longer the distance.”
Majority believe that the longer the shaft, the longer will be the distance of the shot. While this theory may seem logical at first, in golf’s reality, this is false.
A longer shaft provides opportunity for a longer distance, but keep in mind that it will be more challenging to hit the ball in the center and control the sweet spot constantly, as its impact depends on the length of the shaft.
In golf, power and distance will be your game-changer. Hence, it is important that the equipment you have will suit your swing speed, and not because of the length.
4. “Finish with your hands high.”
Looking back at one of golf’s many classic players in the 90’s, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, finishing their swing with hands high is their traditional and signature pose.
While hitting the ball perfectly is indeed a feat to celebrate with hands held up high, finishing your swing in this manner is not advisable.
Invisible to what Jack and Arnold look like in the photos, their supposed trademark pose induces a reverse C-back position, which in turn, causes chronic back pain to players. Aside from that, a lot of weight will be shifted to the right foot, which evokes weak shots and poor distances.
Save the victory pose after the game. Try to opt for a flatter position that builds stable back posture in which you can be comfortable in. In exchange, this type of finish will point your hips to turn at impact and it will raise your clubhead’s speed and be on-plane. Plus, your swing will look better with a flatter finish.
5. “Your putter is now an engineer’s leveling device.” (plumb bob)
Are you also fond of doing the plumb bob as your primary green-reading technique? Time to drop the bob now, as this technique is a myth and can slow down your game.
If you haven’t heard of plumb-bobbing yet, here’s how it works: stand behind the golf ball then hold the putter vertically in front of your face. At this moment, the golf ball is now covered by a line formed by the putter in front of your face. And that’s how you’ve read and probably predicted how the putt will break.
In the first place, this technique is a bit vague. This puts into light a putter’s balance, weight and head as well as your visual preferences, which all varies differently and can cause different green-reading results.
In addition, even if your putter is indeed in perfect balance, the bob is only accurate on the sole spot you’re currently standing in, it cannot read what happens once the ball sets off into the distance between you, the hole, and the breaks.
6. “Golfers shouldn’t lift weights.”
If you have resisted the appeal of weights for a long time due to the fear that it’ll affect your swing, time to stop your suffering as your muscles are hungry for some weight-lifting sessions. Yes, golfers can lift, too!
A popular concept of weight lifting is that it’s solely for muscle building. For a golfer, this is a plus point. Put regular weight lifting in your golf fitness routine as it aids in strengthening your bones and muscles which boosts your swing speed and preciseness. On top of that, golf is a very physical sport despite how it looks to most people. It requires a strong lower body function for swinging. Strengthening your muscles can help injury prevention that can be caused by muscular shortcomings and a disproportional swing.
As much as myths can appeal to one’s curiosity on a certain subject, it’s often fallacious and the need to debunk it is necessary, as it can lead to a ruined experience.
Take note of these golfing myths the next time you step on the field. With these, nothing can stop you now in achieving your full game potential.