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August 5 2012

10:00 AM

On the Mark: Eye of the beholder

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Jim Furyk returns the club perfectly to the ball at impact.

ON THE MARK ARCHIVE: Tips from Mark Immelman

I love golf, and there are a handful of players who I love to watch play the game. Jim Furyk is one of those players. I respect Furyk’s measured and disciplined approach to his craft and his single-minded belief and faith in his technique intrigue and impress me.

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Immelman

In short, the 16-time PGA TOUR winner exemplifies a lot of the qualities I advocate and teach to clients on a daily basis.

This week at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Jim Furyk has put his game on full display for us all to appreciate and learn from. Indeed, there is a lot for us to learn if we get by the different appearance of Furyk’s swing and routine.

In my opinion, one of the best lessons we can learn from watching him is summarized by a maxim I have etched in my mind and framed in my Golf Studio:

“A swing is only as beautiful as the shot it produces.”

In other words, your golf swing only looks as good as what it looks at impact. Don’t be fooled by a beautiful-looking swing that produces a myriad of inconsistent shots. Those swings may look good, but in reality that are really are not that good at all.

Enter Jim Furyk: His swing is not the kind of action that most instructors would teach, but to me it is so very beautiful, and let me explain you why. I grade a golf swing bearing three criteria or questions in mind:

1. Does the clubface get presented squarely to the golf ball at impact?
2. Is the swing leveraged (Does it produce maximum clubhead speed for minimum effort)? 
3. Does the swing repeat under pressure?

Furyk possesses a golf swing that answers those three questions affirmatively. He is perennially one of the better ball-strikers on the PGA TOUR, and through two rounds this week he was in the top 10 in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation. So then, as proved by his golf ball and his control thereof, Furyk’s golf swing is good (and to me, beautiful).

When working on your swing, everything should work toward that moment of truth when the club makes contact with the ball. That is the most important part of the golf swing, and Furyk’s application to the ball is truly beautiful.

So remember, don’t be deceived; sometimes true beauty can look a little different and out of the ordinary.

Good luck.

Mark Immelman, the brother of PGA TOUR professional Trevor Immelman, is a well-respected golf instructor and head coach of the Columbus State University (Ga.) golf team. For more information about Mark and his instruction, visit his web site, markimmelman.com or follow him on Twitter @mark_immelman or “Like” Mark Immelman Golf Instruction on Facebook. He also has a golf instruction e-book called “Consistently Straight Shots – The Simple Solution” available on iTunes/iBooks.

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