Golf Tips: The Weed Cutter

There must be thousands of training aids and gimmicks on the market that claim to show you the secret to swinging the golf club and promise to lower your scores. Some are expensive, some are surprisingly cheap. Some are complicated high-tech. Some seem too simple to be any good. With so many choices, how can you unlock the secret to solid ballstriking and shot-making?

According to legendary golf teaching great, Harvey Penick, in his “Little Red Book” the best aid can be found for a few dollars at the local hardware store, “if you don’t already have one in your garage or toolshed. It is the common weed cutter. The motion you make lopping off dandelions with your weed cutter is the perfect action of swinging a golf club through the hitting area. Furthermore, the weed cutter is heavy and builds golf muscles.”

You can still find a weed cutter in your local hardware or home improvement store for less than the cost of a dozen premium golf balls. Try lopping a few dandelion with one to get the right feel. Penick advises, “While you are swinging the weed cutter, pretend you are being paid by the hour, instead of being paid by the job. In other words, take your time.” By that he means make easy swings with the weed cutter to achieve the best feel.

How effective is the weed cutter at helping the golf swing? Penick tells a story about a time when the head of Spalding golf clubs, Victor East, sent six weed cutters to him and six more to Wild Bill Mehlhorn, who was teaching at a club in Florida. A few weeks later Mehlhorn sent the weed cutters back with a note that said, “These things are ruining my business. Students who use them don’t need me anymore.” Who would have figured you can get your best golf lesson doing yard maintenance?