The best golf lessons teach students golf mechanics in a very simple way. This is to say that the best golf lessons include some instruction on traditional golfing terminology.
The current golfing terminology used by instructors and players alike is downright confusing and does little if anything in terms of teaching someone to hit the golf ball straight.
For example, I recently saw one of Tom Watson’s new instructional videos and was slightly intrigued by how he described the difference between the ball-to-target line and the directional line.
Keep in mind, I am one of Tom Watson’s greatest fans.
He kept referring to the directional line as the “aim line,” a common term used in putting but not too frequently used in terms of the golf swing.
He said the target line could be anything.
I understood what he meant but I am not sure the typical recreational and weekend golfers would be able to discern what he meant.
Typically when the term “target line” is used, we think of the imaginary line running from the target back to and through the ball, not some imaginary line depending on such extraneous factors as wind conditions and elevation differentials between the ball and stance.
A better golf swing tip would be to continue using the term “target line” to describe the imaginary line running from the target (typically from the green or the middle of the fairway) back to the ball.
I also believe a better term to describe what Tom Watson refers to as the “aim line” to be called the “directional line” simply because it is the line in which direction you wish the ball to fly initially.
For instance, if you wanted to hit a straight golf shot to your target, your directional line would be the same as your target line.
On the other hand, if you wanted to fade or draw your golf shot, your directional line would be to the left or right of your target line, respectively.
Other new terms relating to golf are just as confusing.
One is what is referred to as a “pull slice.” This seems most confusing to beginning golfers because a pull flies in the opposite direction of a slice.
Why confuse the issue? Why not just refer to a slice as a slice and a pull as a pull?
I realize there are two types of slices, one of which initially flies to the inside of the body line in a pulled configuration and then curves to the outside of the body line: the other which only curves to the outside of the body line, typically referred to a as a push slice.
Either way, if it eventually curves to the outside of the body line it is a slice, period.
It seems to be a trend these days to invent new terms to describe various golfing mechanics that previouslyhave been described the same traditional way for centuries.
I do not believe a reinvention of traditional golfing terms will help you improve your golf swing or lower your scores.
I believe it would be less confusing to the average recreational and weekend golfer to stick to the traditional ways of describing golf mechanics instead of trying to “reinvent the wheel.”
Then the best golf lessons would be simple.