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Heed these lessons from some of golf's greatest legends

Chuck EvansBy Chuck Evans,
Special Contributor

Jack NicklausOver the years there have been thousands of golf tips from teachers and players alike. These tips are of course to help golfers in their game and maybe, just maybe, one of them will turn a light on in the player's head.

Here are a few that I really like and the meaning that goes with them.

"The single most important maneuver in golf is the set-up (or ball address). Set up correctly and there's a good chance you'll hit a reasonable shot, even if you make a mediocre swing. Set up poorly, and you'll hit a lousy shot even if you make the greatest swing in the world." Jack Nicklaus

The setup is critical to any sport and especially to golf. Since we stand to the side of the golf ball, swing right to make it go straight, hit downward to make the ball go up, and several other counterintuitive quirks this makes the setup the one thing that the average player can do as good as any PGA Tour player.

If the setup is correct then things are allowed to happen during the stroke. If the setup is poor then things that should happen more naturally now become disconnected and disjointed, which now makes the player have to manipulate them.

"Good golf begins with a good grip." Ben Hogan

Hogan started with a poor grip and could not keep the golf ball on the course. Once he changed his grip he became a legend. I'm not saying that all he did was make that change, he made several others too, but since the left hand controls the clubface - for a right-handed player - having the left hand and clubface in the same alignment throughout the stroke can really make a difference between controlling the golf ball or not.

"Before they ever begin swinging I can improve 9 out of 10 typical amateur golfers." Tommy Armour

Tommy Armour would take his students out for playing lessons and teach them the art of course management. By improving involved for playing around what you see, can help you start to eliminate mistakes, therefore eliminating strokes.

"Too many people, I believe, feel so uncomfortable and off-balance at address that it is impossible for them to get the swing started, let alone finish it." Mickey Wright

Mickey Wright had arguably the best golf swing of anyone that has ever played the game, man or woman. This goes back to the setup, the player must setup balanced, loose and, most importantly, not cramped up by holding the club too closely to them. The arms have to have room to swing and if they don't then there will be compensations - again, something we really don't want in golf.

In summary, by taking the advice of these legends and working on your set-up, grip, course management, and tension you will start hitting better shots, playing better golf, and shooting lower numbers.

Chuck Evans, G.S.E.D., a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, is one of only 31 golf instructors worldwide designated to hold a doctorate in golf stroke engineering. He is executive director of instruction for the Medicus Golf Institute and has served as director of schools for the PGA Tour Golf Academy, and as director of instruction for the United States Golf Institute. He is also the author of "How To Build Your Golf Swing."

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