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There is one thing that Ernie Els does better than anyone, and it's easy to learn from him
Handicap golfers often become fixated on technique, concerning the plane of their swing - and where the clubhead or body is at any point during the swing. And if you are trying to correct a particular fault, such as taking the clubhead away inside or outside the line, or shifting your weight incorrectly, that's fine.

But one of the oldest faults in the game is trying to hit at the ball rather than swing through it - which often involves swinging too hard and fast, which can in turn lead to all sorts of problems. Speed and tempo are not the same things but if your tempo is out, the chances are that it's because you're swinging to fast - very few golfers are criticised for swinging too slowly.

For an illustration of good tempo you could watch Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo or many others but the absolute master, which is why he has earned the nickname the 'Big Easy', is Ernie Els. His clubhead speed is still impressive, he couldn't hit the ball that far if it wasn't, but he never looks to be forcing the shot.

Next time you're at the practice ground, or even when you're having problems on the course, try to hit a few balls with no thought in your mind except trying to keep the same rhythm and tempo that Ernie uses. You will be pleasantly surprised - even if your results don't improve, at the very least you will look better.

©    19 - JANUARY 2005

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