Your thought regarding this tip

The credit goes to one of my favorite author in golf read. He humbly named his book The Reflection From a Grown Caddy.
Harvey Penick had a tip for the shorter golfers. He said it’ll help the shorter golfer if addressing the golf ball toward the toe.
I’m shorter than 5"10’, always addressing the golf ball on the sweet spot, Irons, woods and putter. My ball flight after the initial years is rather straight. I can turn the golf ball if needed but not with 100% confidence.

Had seen a few decent golfers addressing the golf ball toward the toe in the past ( 5’6"-5’10"). Did not understand why and still not quite certain of the reasons.

If you have the insight of why Mr. Penick recommended for the shorter golfers to address the golf ball toward the toe, lets hear it.

Appreciate very much, if you care to share your experience and knowledge.


My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that for a shorter golfer, the head’s on standard length irons is going to be more upright than it “should”, and attempting to hit the toe will ameliorate that to some degree.

Just a guess. I’m lost as to why he’d suggest that.

If it works for you, keep doing it! LOL.

(I’ve really been trying to turn my brain off on the practice tee lately. Just get into position, quickly make sure I’m lined up, grip’s good, take it back, drop it straight down, and broooom!)

Hilariously, I’ve found I grunt like Monica Seles hitting forehands when I do this. Completely unconscious. Don’t care as long the ball keeps zipping, and making that “Zzzt!-zzt-zzzt!”, sound as it sails downrange.

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Interesting. I wonder where Harvey gave that tip? I have His Little Red Book and If you Play Golf, You’re My Friend and don’t recall any mention of that. Being less that 5’8" all my life I would be keen to notices something like that. Any idea where Grown Caddy got that tip from Harvey or his writings?

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Green Cover- And If You Play Golf, You’re My Friend.
“A Tip” page 156.
It just reminded me of seeing a few good players ( on the shorter side ) in the past also addressing the golf balls on the toe side. I had always wondered why they did it. One guy was a salesman for some local company and he was always at the driving range for half an hour during his lunch time. He addressed his irons toward the toe side. I was amazed that he was hitting beautiful little draw shots.
Penick did not offer any explanation besides the sentence of advising the shorter golfers to address the golf ball more toward the toe.

My guess is that it has something to do with the flatter swing plane a shorter golfer have to use. Ben Hogan was 5’9"? Lee Trevino is 5’7" ? Both have flat swing plane But I don’t see Hogan address the golf ball toward the toe. Maybe had something to do with the sweet spot on the old irons he used was closer to the hosel because of the longer hosel design was needed to contain more adhesive to secure the shaft with a pin. Epoxy was not that strong back in the days.
This is my guess.
But, Why would a flatter swing plane play better with golf ball placed towards the toe?
Mind you, Harvey Penick did not say to hit the golf ball toward the toe, but, to address the golf ball toward the toe of the club?
All I know is, when I address the golf ball toward the toe of the golf face, the result is to promote a more inside to outside path and encourages me to “reach out” a little bit to try to contact the golf ball in the center of the club face.


I address the ball off the toe to minimise the likelihood of a shank

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Thanks for sharing.
Are you above or below 5’ 10" ( 178 cm )?
Did you shank often enough for you to address the golf ball toward the toe?
Finally, by addressing the golf ball at the toe, do you strike the golf ball toward the toe of the face or more in the sweet spot?
If I address the golf ball toward the toe on the club face, then that’s where I’d return the golf club face to.
I had worked very hard to flatten my swing plane to copy Ben Hogan’s. Modeled after his golf swing because we’ve similar height and of course because he is an icon in golf history. Younger kids won’t remember his game nor would they care but the golf hero in my generation were Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer among many others.
By the time I fingered out my own game, I was into my 60’s.

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I would love it if that were so for me all of the time. Instead, I’ve had plenty of times where I addressed as normal, and had nothing but toe hits. Other times, nothing but…the opposite of toe hits.

Keeping my address constant, doesn’t fix the problem for me. Changing my intention during the swing, a la Adam Young, to alter my strike? That does work. Toe hitting consistently with a neutral address? Try to hit the hosel. For me, the move brings me back to neutral.

Get to where you know where the face is on your swing, and where you can swing it through the ball, and alter it mid-swing, and you can adjust mid session for the weird, out of calibration feels we all get from time to time.

It’s a work in progress, I have to admit.

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It is so true for all of us; that’s including those who made a great living playing this game.
We are human, not robots. Accepting the imperfection will make this game more enjoyable and make life better in general.
Wisdom at first glace often unrecognized, ignored.
Quote from a great teacher of this game .
Penick; Summing Up
“Everything I say and do in my teaching is trying to
produce these three things:
Path of the club.
Angle of the club face.
Clubhead speed at impact.”

When I first read this paragraph, I thought that I understood the meaning, and why not? It was logical of what Penick said and everyone including myself should know about these if we play this game for sometime.
The more I thought about these words the more I peeled it open like an onion.
The path of the club will be motored by all of the body parts, maybe excluding the eyelashes. All of these from lower parts for balancing to core to the upper parts turning all sync and moving in symphony. Not that complicated if we could throw a basket ball, a baseball, ride a bicycle… takes practice but no need to analyzing it by breaking it into hundreds of segments like we do these days. We do it because we could, with the aid from the technology. Don’t make it more complicated than necessary.
I believe the angle of the club face should be pretty much automatic if we have the correct grip on the golf club. Without intentional manipulation the club face should return back to where it started if we don’t change the elements which control the club face. Difficult to trust this but it should be accurate most of the time ( as close to humanly possible ).
Now, the last point is the part which I personally believe that most of it would be God given and only some of it could be gained through practice. We could gain some club head speed, limited to the physical frame we are in. I could never hit the golf ball as far as someone 6"-8" taller plus another 50 pounds of muscle to back it up.
I believe I had maxed out when I was younger and now regressing to shorter length owing to the natural process of aging. I did okay with what I have.
Accepting the philosophy of life will enable us to enjoy this game much more.
so I’ll close off by quoting from two great human beings in our time who happened to agree on this between themselves without conferring to each other.
“An ordinary life is a great life” . I believe both Albert Einstein and Dalai Lama the 14th said similar at one time or another.
Chasing after a perfect golf game is like trying to get all the food in an open buffet, I learned to take my plate full of food and enjoy it.

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Masters of instruction on the golf swing and playing mindset from the days prior to trakman have really great insight into eyeball observation and fixing swing issues. As I have worked on my swing to get better at age 60 plus, alot of insights Mr Penick were very helpful for me to develop a feeling of what I should feel when executing what my body will allow me to do. You can improve swing speed through fitness and exercise. You can improve by having an understanding of your body. You need a computer analysis of AoA (the most important part of the golf swing) Alignment, including me, I do have propensity to align to far right of the target. Ball position at address to gain max AoA. If an amateur can get an AoA of like +1* as most of us have an AoA of -1 to-2 (we tend to hit down on the ball) and can generate a swing speed in the low to mid 90s, The ball speed will most likely be in the vicinity of 130-140 mph…. Getting that AoA to +1* you can increase your distance close to 20 yds. with a Driver. I would love to see how those old masters would apply today’s advances into their instruction.

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Still the best method, but nowadays it’s called “playing instruction” and depending on the instructor, it costs a petty pennies to do that. It use what happens on the golf course to teach not in front of a screen with L/M spitting out a bunch of data which may or may not be relevant.
Your tendency to align to the right ( as a right hander ) is a closed stance at address.
It is fairly common to the relative new to the game ( or someone been playing for decades). The fear of slicing and the misinformation of a closed face/stance will correct the slice/push caused the closed stance.
I started with similar issue 4 decades ago with a closed stance until my mentor in golf explained to me the closed stance will not cure the slice but robbing me of distance for not able to fully go after the golf ball.
I’m all square and wit a little open stance now, with 80% of my golf shots straight to the target line. I can still produce fade or draw but not as confident as if I take dead aim.
If you align to the right of your target line; try align to the center field but hit over the head of the short stop. You will soon develop a hook, then it’ll be easy to correct a hook.
everything else being neutral. I once seen a guy with really strong grip on the golf club, his right hand was almost under the grip. He played either a push or a duck hook was his shot pattern. Took a long time to convince him the uncomfortable feel of a correct grip will soon go away once he sees the result of the new ball flight.
It is not a difficult game to understand and don’t need to take the golf swing to pieces to get better.
In fact everyone swing the golf club a little different. I read in Penick’s writing that he will not allow Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw observe each other’s lesson given by him. Because the two have different needs for improvement. Not because the instructor wish to hide secrets from his students.
I know a golfer who is 5’3" and into his senior years who wish to swing a golf club like Tiger Woods, who is not only younger but a foot taller with 60 pounds of additional muscle than this guy. The attempted copying won’t work and will look comical.

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Could it be in conjunction with another factor? If a golfer grounds the club and aligns with the sweet spot, any ground clearance at impact will tend toward a heel strike; the shorter the vertical radius, the more pronounced the effect.
Imagine a head-on view of a golfer at address. Picture a plane thru club head, wrists and spine. Now picture that golfer elevating the club head to waist level. The club head travels on an arc. Now picture that arc when viewed from behind the target line. Zoom in on the tee and you’ll see the club head move radially outward from the tee, producing the heel-biased pattern.
As the stature of the golfer decreases, likely the arc radius also decreases, thus exacerbating the heel strike bias.
Could it be Mr Penick was speaking to someone that grounded their driver?

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The height, length of shoulders to wrists, and wrists to floor measurement from a golfer’s statue will influence the speed and contact angle. From a static point of view.

It’ll change a little when put into motion with the dynamic influence from the golf swing.
In the early 80s, everyone copied the fitting solution first widely put into use by Ping. This static measure of wrist to floor method soon proven to be flawed. We need to account the toe droop of the club head and the human factor.
I would need some adjustment when switching golf shoes with 1/8" difference in cushion( or changing into new spikes ).
Shorter golfers have a flatter swing plane, same as Penick, or Ben Hogan.
Flatter swing plane is different than the shorter swing arc. Two different animals.
I had seen taller golfers with shorter swing arc because of age and injury from the past. Shorter golfers with a full fluid golf swing.
Swing arc has nothing to do with contact.
However, is the same golfer use a flatter swing plane, it could produce a more powerful contact from higher swing speed.
I had no knowledge of how Harvey Penick or his son Tinsley’s teaching method; never had the pleasure of getting to know them.
I could only imagine they would adapt to each student’s needs instead of teaching with a cookie cutter method.
Grounding the club head at address might influence the delivering position but I have no idea what everyone have in their head.
I do know that when a new golfer starting from an iron off a short tee then to hitting off the turf then finally trying out a driver with longer shaft and teed up much higher than their 7/8 iron could change the perspective.
These small pieces of thoughts a new golfer might have when the stand over a golf ball will eventually become automatic.
Watch a two year old using utensils. Will an adult consciously think of how to pick up a fork and knife to separate food into smaller pieces?
From the reading of Penick’s, I could gather that he was adetailed observer with a lifelong knowledge of being immersed in golf.
He earned my respect by not take advantage whenever he could.
Same as the Ben Hogan’s secret, when most of us refused to believe there is a simple answer to their success.

Hey there, fellow golf enthusiasts,
I’ve been thrilled to see such engaging discussions here about golf tips and techniques. Today, I wanted to share a personal experience that has truly elevated my game and might be of interest to many of you.
As we strive to improve our game, one aspect that often goes unnoticed is how our physical attributes can influence our play. For us taller golfers, there’s an interesting tip that focuses on tee height and how it can impact our drives and overall performance.

Standing at 5’10" or taller, we have a natural advantage in terms of our height. However, this advantage can sometimes lead to inconsistencies if not properly managed, particularly when it comes to tee height.

Teeing up the ball too low might force us to bend excessively at the waist, affecting our swing plane and potentially leading to topped shots. On the flip side, teeing up too high might result in a lack of control and a higher likelihood of hitting the ball with the upper half of the driver, causing undesirable spin and ball flight.

I also encountered these challenges and decided to undergo professional training to up my game.

A while back, I decided to take my golf journey to the next level by acquiring Private Social Club Membership in Bonita Springs FL offered by Bonita Bay Club. Let me tell you, it’s been a game-changer in every sense. The club’s stunning courses, expert instructors, and supportive community have all played a significant role in improving my skills and enhancing my overall golfing experience.

The professional guidance from the club’s instructors has been invaluable. They’ve helped me fine-tune my swing mechanics, work on my short game, and even provided insights into club selection and course strategy. Having access to such seasoned experts who tailor their advice to my individual needs has been incredibly enlightening.

But it’s not just about the technical aspects. The camaraderie and shared passion for golf within the Bonita Bay Club community have been inspiring. I’ve had the chance to engage in friendly matches, join tournaments, and connect with golfers of varying skill levels. This supportive environment has not only boosted my confidence but also made the journey of improvement a lot more enjoyable.

So, if you’re looking to take your golf game up a notch and surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share your passion, I highly recommend considering a membership at a club like Bonita Bay. It’s not just about access to fantastic courses; it’s about the holistic experience that can significantly impact your growth as a golfer.

I’d love to hear if any of you have had similar experiences with club memberships or if you’re curious to explore this avenue. Let’s keep the conversation going and continue to support each other on our golfing journeys.

Here’s to many more birdies and eagles,

Emilio Herbert

Public golf courses accounted from 89%-100% of all golf courses in the lower 48. Only a very small percentage of golfers, I personally know belong to a private golf course/country club.

Address point? One of the things I was taught in the very beginning, let your hands and arms hang down relaxed, bring your hands together and that should be where you grip a club and place it on the ground. Part of what I was taught, which I still do to this day is address the ball with my feet together and ball center of that. I then turn my left foot outwards, I move the right foot back. Longer the club more the ball looks like it’s ahead, shorter the club more like it looks middle of a stance. For me, I can play shots further back but max further back might be 5 or 6 inches from normal with a much more noticeable narrower stance. Ball a little more off the right foot. I never play a ball further up. It all depends on the width of my stance. I am playing with a new partner, and he is mesmerized by my ball striking abilities. My GIR is averaging about 50% this year, but my proximity to a green within 10-15 yds is in the 90% range. It takes a lot of talent to get up and down, out of bunkers or rough around a green, that’s where I fall short in getting into low 70s. but if I have an outstanding up and down game on any particular day, I can threaten par all the time.

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All of the tips regarding address position is to find the bottom of the swing arc of a particular golfer.
A general tip might cover majority of the golfers but not everyone. We’ll have to find it for ourselves where the bottom of the golf swing is when it contact the ground, and that, will be our ball position.
My earlier learning was to employ the variable ball position as the Hogan era will teach. Move the golf ball slightly forward in the stance as the golf club gets longer.
Jack Nicklaus keeps the golf ball forward in his stance for all the golf clubs. I had tried that but it did not work for me because I’m built differently than Jack, and did not have Jack’s powerful move in his golf swing. I also use a flatter swing plane than his more upright plane.
Take some divot while going after the golf balls ( full swing ), and watch where the divot is; that, will be where you’ll place the golf ball ( at the start of the divot ).
It is very different when golfer trying to just make perfect contact with the golf ball vs. a full out golf swing. A carefully placed swing will have a higher percentage of make near perfect contact of the club face with the golf ball but, it’ll also rob one’s potential power.
I agree with the Jack Grout’s teaching for new golfers. Hit it far first, then correct them on the direction.
When I finally had time and financial means to golf more, I had the 15 yards rainbow slice on almost every golf clubs in the bag. But it was pretty consistent because I went after the golf ball without any holding back.
The inconsistency will happen more often because the effort put into the golf swing varies. I played that rainbow slice for years, but mostly knows where the golf all will ended up if I take the correct aim.
Ever watch a little kid swing a golf club? We adults will have much more reservation to go after the golf ball like they do.
Sure, the kids will miss a lot swing after the golf ball with full speed, but they will also recover from that very fast.
I have seen kids on their first lesson where they’ll miss the golf balls on most of their full-out golf swing. Within a week or two, they can moake sold contact with some of their golf golf swing and before the season was over, they’ll make that head turning “crack” from solid contact.
They have no concern of if they’ll look ridiculous when they miss a golf ball with their full swing. All they were focused on was to hit that golf ball…

Not to be a shill, but the Divot Board is excellent for this sort of thing (finding low point, determining path.).

Great when you can’t just hit balls.

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This is how I was taught, The ball position is a constant… the right foot, leg and stance move and the rock will appear to be moving… It’s not, unless I make it so. I never used a divot board, and it’s a probably a great tool. We used towels on the ground about 1 inch behind the ball. Takes some getting used to when you drill, but when you get really good the towel is almost right behind the ball…and when your swing is grooved, you honestly don’t even notice it’s there. You want to strike the ball first, then the ground. There is a distinctive sound…CLICK–Thump. The other sound is THUMP–Click… That’s what we don’t want… we call those catching it HEAVY or FAT!

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This was the same my instructor ( a true Hogan fan ) taught us. It needs a lot of practice and getting familiar with.
After putting in the time and effort, this is the same way I still use for addressing the golf ball. Walk up from behind the golf ball ( determine the line ), small step with forward foot toward the target and larger step to the back with the rear foot, a couple of waggle to start the back swing.
The apparent open stance with short irons really helped me to clear the hips to zero in on the target. I did not realize how important it was to my golf swing until years into the game.
Nothing is truly learned and appreciated, until I had experienced it. Same with most things in life.

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