A Friend In Need

graphic from nj1015.com

There are ample opportunities to help your golfing friends and I enjoy doing my part.  Yesterday, one snuck up on me.  I had agreed to meet a buddy at our home course for a practice session and have known this guy for 25-30 years.  We play once or twice per year but practice more frequently.  This friend is one of those self-taught players who insists upon playing the game his way and is very resistant to change.  Over the years, I’ve learned to never offer any assistance and have never been asked.  His grip, aim, and setup fundamentals are very off, and subsequent ball striking is poor.  He will typically open the clubface about 45 degrees at address and severely close his stance.  Basically, he has no chance.  The only way he can hit a straight shot is to severely come over the top and course correct mid-swing.

As we hit the range, I put down two alignment sticks and built a channel towards my first target.  I noticed he had put down an alignment stick and then he asked what he should do with it.  I was taken back a bit by the request and was doubly curious that he was using an alignment stick given that alignment is his biggest foible.  I rolled with it and offered a spare alignment stick and helped him build a channel and then described the basics.  Point your club at the target, set your feet parallel to the sticks, etc.  It was here that I learned even after playing golf for 30 years, he had little concept of alignment because he asked why you pointed the clubface at the target first!

Well, he started hitting it pure and you could hear the discovery of the ah-ha moment.  I wanted so bad to take a picture of him working with a square alignment but didn’t for fear of embarrassing him, which is why I haven’t mentioned his name.  Later he floored me with another request on mental approach and how to introduce good practice habits. 

This eye-opening moment tickled me pink thinking that I could have helped move his journey forward in a positive way.  He insisted this is the way he’s going to practice every time out and that made my day.  Have you ever stumbled into a situation where you could help a friend?  I would love to hear your story.

Play well!

2 thoughts on “A Friend In Need”

  1. Brian,

    That is an amazing story! With one simple question, the golf path of your friend is changed. It is funny how the smallest of things can make a tremendous amount of difference. After all the years I have played, I have encountered very few situations like the one you described. Most of the time, the advice solicited goes to the way side when things became a bit difficult for the player. Such is the journey of those players. You should feel proud, those are special moments.

    Cheers Jim

    1. Jim, I’m hopeful for my friend but it remains to be seen if the recommended approach takes hold. Like you said, most of the time it’s in one ear and out the other. Hope that’s not the case here.

      Thanks!

      Brian

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