Golf legend Arnold Palmer remains one of the sport’s all-time greats. At 86, Palmer, who won 92 titles, including four Masters and two British Opens, continues to offer advice to today’s golfers.
Here are eight timeless golf tips from “The King.”
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1 Keep still while putting
— Writing for Golf Digest, Palmer reiterated
his advice to eliminate body movement while putting by pinching elbows and knees inward to keep weight centered. “Only your hands and arms should move during the stroke,” he wrote.
2. Strengthen your grip
— Palmer recommends strengthening the last three fingers of the left hand (the first to let go at the top of the swing) by squeezing the steering wheel of your car as tightly as you can for 10 seconds every time you drive. “This exercise will do more for your game than any drill I can imagine,” Palmer wrote for Golf Digest.
3. Follow a countdown
— Following a pattern before swinging can improve your shot, Palmer wrote, because “successful golfers follow a pattern of behavior when they set up a shot.” He suggests a countdown checklist. For example: 4) align the clubface behind the ball; 3) position your feet; 2) check that your stance is square; 1) check your shoulder line.
4. Slow you swing tempo
— Palmer once demonstrated the importance of slowing the pace of the swing on the Golf Channel
. “I try to concentrate on getting the club back deliberately away from the ball. That’s my best antidote for going too fast,” he said, adding that the first couple of inches triggers the swing.
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5. Inside takeaway
— Palmer turned his hips fully on his backswing, pulling the club to the inside on the takeaway. “One of the hallmarks of Palmer’s swing is how he worked on top of it and then unwound to stay under it through the ball. If he’d have taken it back a little more outside with all that early turn, he couldn’t have worked over it anywhere near as good,” said teacher Brian Manzela, who demonstrated the three elements of Palmer’s golf swing in a video for Golf Magazine.
6. Release fully
— Palmer released the swing fully back on the plane with the butt of the club pointing at the target, Manzela said, comparing the release to that of Irish golfer Rory McIlroy.
7. Point your shoulder at the ball
— Break80 Golf advises students to follow Palmer’s
timeless tip to point their front shoulder at the ball during the downswing. “Weekend golfers tend to turn their shoulders too much on a level plane. They forget to point it down. This flattens the swing and limits the ability to hit the ball squarely,” Howtobreak80.com noted.
8. Keep you head still
— Another Palmer basic shared by Break80 Golf is to keep your head still and over the ball. To do this, plant your feet firmly, keep your balance, and get comfortable.
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