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Gearing up for the PGA Championship

PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Wow, Oak Hill is a fantastic golf course, but Wednesday was a range day, and what a range day for this correspondent. I spent time with a few players, talked with a number of caddies and took some swing videos that will help me with my teaching.

Let’s start with the atmosphere. Players are always just a little bit more tense on Wednesday before a major. Shots that will be used in the tournament are being practiced, last minute swing thoughts are being reviewed, and coaches are working very hard. I spent a few minutes with Butch Harmon working with Mike Small, the U of I coach. They were working on alignment.

I spent a few minutes with Randy Smith, the famous coach from Texas. He was working on stability and balance thoughts.

I spent some time with Sean Foley and Tiger Woods and Hunter Mahan. They were working on shaft angles and balance.

Bottom line is that no-one was working on some swing "fix." It’s already too late for that.

By way of a teaching comment, how many of you are looking for that magic swing fix when you are hitting balls on the range prior to going out to play in a tournament? I confess I have done it, but it didn’t work!

The tour pros don’t do it, so neither should you. Focus on your fundamentals, and you will be better than if you are trying to make a "special" swing that day.

To sum up, I was very fortunate to be able to take videos of a number of player swings today and I will be using them in my instruction over the next year. Thanks to Jason Duffner, Henrik Stenson, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Tiger Woods, Paul Casey and a few others today for making Wednesday at the PGA a day to remember.

Good luck to all the players and let’s get ready to birdieeeee!


Ian Grant is a PGA teaching professional and a member of the teaching faculty of the PGA of America. He can be contacted at Oak Brook Golf Club 630-990-3032 in the summer and White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville 630-422-1060 in the winter. You can contact Ian directly at 708-917-8951, or at

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