Friday, August 31, 2012

Butch Harmon About Golf

In a golf world that is awash in golf instruction, Butch Harmon had added a DVD instructional video to the sea. Harmon's contribution is a two DVD volume that encompasses all aspects of the game and covers a little over four hours of instruction. He leaves virtually no part of the game untouched.

DVD One begins with the fundamentals that are the core of the game for every golfer – Set Up (Alignment), Grip, Stance, Ball Position and Posture. This approach, learning the fundamentals before every learning how to swing the golf club, should be noted by every golfer and instructor. Harmon does a very detailed job explaining all of the fundamentals with some valuable tips on grip pressure (a nemesis for a ll golfers) and stance. I particularly like his teaching on ball position in which he emphasizes a constant ball position for all clubs. The only disappointment here is that Harmon does not discuss the importance of a preshot routine, the sum of all the fundamentals done repeatedly that gets you comfortable over the ball every time.

Next Harmon begins his discussion of the golf swing. He separates the takeaway and backswing with a discussion on both. He makes one statement that is crucial to the proper swinging of the golf club, “The weight should move in the direction that the club is traveling.” A mastery of this principle will make for a consistent and effective golf swing. Harmon finishes this section with the follow through and a few thoughts about a “Pretty Swing vs. an Efficient Swing.”

Harmon's second section is entitled “Faults, Cures & Drills.” Its purpose is to help the golfer get rid of bad habits as quickly as possible. He covers such topics as the topped shot, slice, and shank. This section is filled with drills to help cure the bad habits.
Sections three focuses on Specialty Shots such as intentionally hitting a draw, a fade, a low shot or a high shot. Harmon walks us through the specifics of hitting each type of shot. Bear in mind, hitting these shots will take some practice and perseverance.

Sections four and five deal with the short game - the basic wedge shot, pitching, chipping and bunker play. Harmon emphasizes the importance of the short game stating that the short game encompasses 65% of the golf game. (The introduction to this section gives a great view of the Las Vegas strip.) This is valuable instruction, however, I feel that it is geared to players who have had a little experience in the game.

Harmon begins DVD #2 with a section on putting. He covers all the basics of putting. The best aspect of this section is the putting drills that Harmon gives us. He even gives a couple of drills and tips for those who have the yips.

Section 7, entitled From Good to Great, contains testimonies and discussions from nine different tour pros – Couples, Els, Mickelson, Woods, etc. It's a good mix of testimony, discussion and instruction. Pay particular attention to the “towel” drill in this section.

Harmon finishes the instruction with sections on Selecting Correct Clubs, Fitness in Golf and Kids/Women/ Seniors.

Overall impression: excellent instruction on all of the basics. You will find this DVD to be most helpful if you have had some experience in the game. It is probably not for beginners.