Tips from the Pros: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Roben Sutton at Hilton Head National Golf ClubPGA Teaching Professional Roben Sutton at Hilton Head National Golf Club will be more than happy to impart complicated swing techniques and spout all the technical mumbo-jumbo that many younger pros preach. But what he believes is critical in helping you imprve your game is YOU being able to FEEL what you’re doing with your swing (and maybe knowing what you’re practicing is correct).

That’s why he thinks the #1 teaching aid in the game today isn’t some expensive video replay system, or a fancy contraption with its own infomercial, it’s something you already have inside your own house or office- a big mirror. “A mirror is ‘live’”, says Sutton. “Videotape is history. The camera can’t see what you’re feeling when you’re making a swing, good or bad. When you watch yourself swing in a mirror, you not only see what you’re doing, you can feel it, and maybe most importantly, correct it. The feedback is immediate, and admit it, how many of us already practice our golf swing in the mirror anyway?”

Sutton, who grew up in Delaware and sponsored himself on Tour back in the and early ‘70s, says teaching with the mirror gives students something they can “feel” when they need it most, when they’re out playing. As an example, he thinks its easier to remember to “throw the club” than it is to “strike the ball” because of the relaxed motion that throwing encourages, as opposed to the tight, tense motion you’ll use when you’re trying to “strike” something hard. Try that in the mirror sometime. Sutton stresses the fundamentals of good grip, alignment, posture and tempo, all of which are easily watched, repeated and, most importantly habituated in a mirror. Once you know what to look for in that mirror, it might just be your best practice tool, and you don’t have to find time to go to the range to use it.

For more from Roben, contact him at (843) 837-3680 or at (843) 298-5696 or at his Web site


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