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Ken Borland

Jason Palmer – one of the strangest techniques in golf

Posted on February 10, 2015 by Ken

Golf fans at Leopard Creek this weekend will be able to scrutinise one of the strangest techniques in the game after Englishman Jason Palmer made the cut in the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday.

Palmer, a European Tour rookie, played his way into the weekend, making it on the number as he shot a 73 to reach the halfway mark on one-under-par. He is already something of a talking point on tour, however, because in addition to his unorthodox swing, he also chips one-handed.

“It’s funny because when I have good weeks, I tend to hit a lot of greens and maybe only chip once or twice in a round, so when I’m playing good golf you won’t see a lot of that, but when I’m playing badly you’ll see quite a lot of it.

“I still enjoy missing greens and trying to get up-and-down with one hand. I enjoy that aspect of the game, whereas if I was doing it with two hands I’d be a nervous wreck. I’m not sure if other professionals have had similar problems to me and then worried about looking foolish if they went one-handed. I do hit the odd bad chip, but so does everybody. I just know that method is way more effective than the two-handed method, so it’s still an absolute no-brainer for me,” Palmer told the European Tour website.

While South African golfing guru Dale Hayes says a bad dose of the yips would be the only reason for Palmer’s one-handed approach and that it has no technical benefits, one has to admire someone who is willing to do it his own way and is succeeding.

“It’s very easy to coach one method and stick with that, but there is so much to golf and there are so many ways to go about playing golf that I don’t think you can criticise one method. There have been so many unique swings down the years that have proved very effective and hopefully I can prove to be another one of those,” Palmer said.

One golfer who would do well to heed his advice is South African George Coetzee, whose game appears to be in full-scale decline as he bombed to a 76 on Friday and missed the cut by three strokes. This after a year in which his world ranking has dropped to 80.

The chunky 28-year-old has added a baffling new pre-stroke routine to his game and it has not done him any good.

Coetzee is so talented that he should just back his natural game rather than making wholesale changes based on the advice of coaches.

The influence of coaches in golf is spreading, but for some golfers, it just creates more noise in their head, confusion and failure.


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