Golf and I don't have the friendliest of relationships. For more than a decade, I've been tearing apart some of the worst public courses New York has to offer chugging beers, eating scary-looking hot dogs and peeing on trees along the way.
But thanks to a substantial 2004 IRS refund as a result of something I like to call "accounting magic" I ordered a new set of Callaway Big Bertha irons that arrived Tuesday.
Following the advice of friends who've either heard about my play or have seen me endanger drivers on adjacent roadways, I looked into getting some lessons. The Golf Club at Chelsea Piers offers private lessons with its head pro for $175 per hour. That, obviously, is not going to work, as I'm not paying $175 for an hour of anything, let alone a guy showing me how to grip my shaft.
Thankfully, there are a wealth of websites offering tons of free golf tips. All that's left is to try to remember all 80,000 pieces of advice to master a game that bores the crap out of me after 9 holes. Considering I've had the patience to take maybe three practice putts ever, I have no shot.
Tom's Golf Tips
Sample: Curing a Slice: "To get proper swing feel, pretend that an elastic cord connects your right elbow to your right hip and your left elbow to your left hip."
FOX 61's Golf Tips
Sample: Complicated Putts: "Imagine that the green is covered with silvery dew. Your putt would leave a distinct track on its way to the cup. Just imagine that track to help you determine the route of your putt, and burn that track into your mind and even onto the green."
PGA Professional Golf Tips
Sample: Putting Tips: "Make sure your weight is in the middle of your feet. If your weight is either forward on your toes or back on your heels there is an excellent chance that your stroke will follow the direction your weight is tilted rather than the target line."
AskMen.com's Golf Secrets
Sample: Watch This Hook: "To increase your ability to turn back and through the ball, flare your feet between 15 and 30 degrees at address, depending on your flexibility. The less flexible you are, the more a flared back foot will allow you to turn behind the ball and then approach the target line from the inside on the downswing."
WorldGolf.com's One Minute Golf Tips
Sample: Pause at the Top: "A directly beneficial improvement is to simply say "AND" when you feel the comfortable top of your personal swing. Make sure you get to the top in all full swings."
The Detroit News' Golf Tips Archive
Sample: Lighten Grip to Cure Slice: "The tighter your grip, in either hand, the harder it is to get your clubface square at impact. Excessive grip pressure causes the clubface to be open at impact, resulting in a slice or a push."
PGATour.com's Pro Tips Reliability Zone
Sample: Conquering the Long Chip Shot: "The biggest problem with this shot is, obviously, amateurs having their hands behind the ball, and the tendency being is, the clubhead's going to come through on the way up and make contact with the ball first."
Golf Tips From Ken Venturi Golf Academy
Sample: A Sound Grip: "If we were to rank gripping the club from 1 to 10, 1 being very soft and 10 being a strangle hold on the club, 3-4 would be the optimum level of pressure. Many people hold the club too tightly not allowing their arms wrists and hands to swing freely."
Sample: Keep Your Swing the Same: "Today's top players change their ball position only about 3 inches from driver to wedge to putter. This allows the swing to be nearly exactly the same with all clubs."