Saturday, February 11, 2017

Book Review: 'Eight Minutes to Better Golf: How to Improve Your Game by Finding Your Natural Swing'

Based upon the title, it’s going to take you longer to read the book than it will to improve your game.

Let’s dive into Ji Kim’s “Eight Minutes to Better Golf: How to Improve Your Game by Finding Your Natural Swing.”

While this book offer plenty of advice to fit any level - from beginner to scratch - it starts with the very basics: grip. It’s simple, choose the grip that’s most comfortable to you - Vardon (overlap), Interlocking, or Ten-fingered (baseball). Kim preaches to do what feels natural.

Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and I use the interlocking grip. The two greatest players in the history of the PGA TOUR ... and me, a 9 handicap.

From grip and the swing (backswing, downswing, impact and follow-through) to different aspects of the short game and specialty shots, Kim covers it all. And it all comes back to a recurring theme: Natural.

Kim, named a Top 50 Instructor by both GOLF and Golf Digest, does teach how to hit the driver in the book, but also stresses that the driver may not be for everyone. I understand that certain holes - tight or trouble in your driver’s hitting zone - may call for 3-wood or less, but he seems to suggest that losing 20-25 yards and gaining more fairways may be more important than using driver. He does advocate getting properly fit for a driver, as opposed to going off-the-rack.

One driving tip Kim offers has always been my bugaboo. He titles the chapter, “Lose control for total control. It comes down to trusting your setup and swing, as opposed to trying steer or manipulate the ball off the tee. Trust ... It’s easier said than done, but so very important.

I found the chapters on short game - pitching, chipping and putting - the most beneficial. Kim not only provides physical tools, but also swing thoughts. It may be hard for the average golfer to revamp their full swing, but anyone can take Kim’s short-game drills and put them in play.

Kim’s closing section, titled “Putting It All Together” is a rapid fire of useful information - from playing to your strengths while avoiding your weakness, to practicing with a purpose. Hacker, scratch player and everyone in between would be wise to spend a few minutes on Kim’s grand finale.

“Eight Minutes to Better Golf: How to Improve Your Game by Finding Your Natural Swing” is a quick read with a wealth of useful information. Take the time to read it, learn how it translates to your game and start dropping strokes.

Learn more about the book at Skyhorse Publishing or order via outlets such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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