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.

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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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