I’m going to be upfront with you, so you won’t have any misconceptions about this blog. I don’t know THE magic move. What got me thinking about it was listening to Padraig Harrington’s Monday interview at Hazeltine. He was answering a question about retooling his game in search of a better swing, even after winning 3 Majors.
Like most of us, he says he always believes that the next time he goes to the practice tee he’s going to find IT. He recalled listening to no less a golfing god than Arnold Palmer speak after a tournament in 2006. Paddy said The King was so excited he couldn’t stand still because he thought he had finally found the Magic Move. Of course Arnold was ultimately just as disappointed as the rest of us who have felt at one time or another that we truly understood all the mechanics of the golf swing. In fact, I propose that you’re not really a golfer if you haven’t been down this well worn road at some point.
Ask Doug, I must have told him 10 times over the years that I had finally found the Magic Move, only to have to tell him sheepishly the following week that I was right back where I started. Maybe prickly Ben Hogan’s declaration that he had a Magic Move was his way of giving us a dig, even from the grave. If Hogan did find it, he wasn’t able to explain it in any coherent way that the rest of us mortals could understand and use.
If you’re like me and you’ve fought this beast called golf for a lifetime, you’d be happy to just have a consistent swing. It doesn’t even have to be a good swing, just consistent. I’ve been of a mind more than once that I’d go to the range and perfect a 50% swing that was rock solid that I could default to when my full swing derailed – as it does in most every round at some point. Let me tell you that I was no more successful with that than I have been trying to perfect anything in golf.
Golf is a liquid ever changing thing that’s impossible to really get a solid grip on. If you doubt that, then why are we all such inconsistent putters. What could be easier to perfect than to stand nearly motionless and knock a ball 8 feet into a small hole. If you’re not a golfer you’re thinking ‘How hard can that be. Give me a week or month to practice and I’ll be a better putter than Tiger’. Yeah, right.
If there is a ‘magic move’ in golf, then it must have something to do with the mental side of the game. I’d propose that it’s the ability to play a round, no matter how ugly, with a smile on your face and counting your blessings after each shot, even those missed putts for par from 3 feet. If you can perfect that move, golf will be your fountain of youth and you’ll be as successful a golfer as has ever walked the links!