The November issue of Golf Digest features Bubba Watson’s instructions for “hitting it two clubs longer.” I was particularly intrigued by his comment that his lips were permanently chapped from rubbing them against his shoulder at the top of his backswing. Get up from your chair right now and try to make that turn. No cheating by sticking your neck out to kiss your shoulder. How’d you do?
I’m a reasonably flexible guy. Admittedly, I turned 61 this summer, but I still get around fine, have no trouble touching my toes as I limber up, can get several knuckles on the ground with a little stretching, etc. I’m sure I could get more flexible, but my backswing goes back as far as many of the guys on the Champions Tour, and farther than some of them. But getting my shoulder under my lips? Ain’t gonna happen, even if I am willing to increase my Chapstick budget to the amount Bubba must spend on it.
I took some lessons about 10 years ago from a pro that wanted me to make a more complete turn. He was about 30, I was about 50 at the time. When I took it back as far as he wanted me to I exploded from the top, kind of like a rubber band snapping and flopping around uncontrollably. Contact in the general vicinity of the ball was by no means certain. My position at the top looked great on video, though. (To the guy’s credit, other parts of what he taught me were helpful.)
I think I’ll take a pass on Bubba’s suggestion. Hank Haney’s suggestion in the same issue to take enough club to get to the back of the green makes more sense for me. That way, if I hit it two clubs shorter I still might hit the front fringe. That’s a lot more likely than me hitting it two clubs longer.