KISS: Keep It Simple, Sir

When all is normal in the Spring, many of us are taking lessons from one of a teaching pro and/or scurrying to the range to find our swings. Unfortunately, this is not a normal Spring. At my club, the range is closed and our pros are being responsible by keeping their distances.

So instead of a signing up for a few lessons and spending time at the practice area and on the putting green, I have been reading articles and books by golf gurus such as David Leadbetter, Hank Haney, Michael Breed, Jim McClean, Sean Foley and Butch Harmon. For example, I felt that my iron play between from 100 to 160 yards needed improvement, so I Googled “butch harmon, how to hit irons” and wound up reading his article, “Hit Crisp Irons Like A Pro” on

While I am sure the article was technically very sound, it was a wordy, three-step lesson that included two non-descript photos. Frankly, I don’t have the ability to take so many “TO-DOs” from my easy chair to the course.

Right now, at least for me, without the ability to take lessons or go to the range, detailed and complex instruction is out and simple is in! Below are very basic thoughts, tips and reminders that I hope will save me a few strokes or result in a few dollars won until normalcy returns. (FYI: Right now we are keeping a betting log instead of actually exchanging money.)

“One very simple tip will infinitely improve the timing of most golfers. Merely pause briefly at the top of the backswing.” – The Silver Scot, Tommy Armour (1894 to 1968), won three Majors.

“You must play the course within your capabilities. – Julius Boros (1920 to 1994) won three Majors – the 1952 and 1963 U.S. Open and the 1968 PGA Championship.

“Think ahead. Golf is a next-shot game. – Billy Casper (1931 – 2015), who won three Majors.

“In standing over a putt, my first priority is comfort.” – New Zealander Bob Charles (b. March 14, 1936), winner of the 1963 British Open at  Royal Lytham & St Annes.  He has 78 worldwide professional career wins.

“Imagine the ball has little legs, and chop them off. – Englishman Sir Thomas Henry Cotton (1907 – 1987), who The British Open in 1934, 1937 & 1948.

“Slow is long, fast is short.” – Don January (Born 1929), who won the 1967 PGA Championship.

“It is impossible to outplay an opponent you can’t outthink.” – American Lawson Little (1910 – 1968), winner of five Majors – 1934 & ’35 British Amateur; 1940 U.S. Open and 1934 & ’35 U.S. Amateur.

“Second guesses in putting are fatal.” – South African Bobby Locke (1917 – 1987), who won The British Open in 1949, ‘50, ’52, & ’57.

“Doubt is the number one cause of missed shots.” – Davis Love III (Born 1964), winner of 21 PGA Tour tournaments, including the 1997 PGA at Winged Foot.

“Golf is a game of precision, not strength.” – Jack Nicklaus (Born 1940), winner of 18 Majors.

“Hit against a firm left side, but hit with the right side.” – Calvin Peete (Born 1943), winner of 12 PGA tournaments. In 1984, he won the Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average.

“Stay loose. One more Miller Light helps more often than not.” – Rob Thomson, 2015 1502 Campbell Clan Captain.

“Always think one shot ahead.” – Eight-time Major winner Tom Watson (Born 1949).

“No peeking.” – 15-time Major winner Tiger Woods (Born 1975).

Keep It Simple!

Allan Stark

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