The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
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Prokop enjoys win at Flying L

Charles Prokop

Swinging a golf club is like drag racing. Golfers and racers go from a dead stop to high speed in an instant, and it is a challenge to start without a jerk, slip, or twitch. Racers count on good tires and a powerful engine to get off the line, but golfers need a smooth way to start their body moving and send the club head on a one second-trip to near or above 100 mph.
Standing motionless over the ball makes a smooth take-away difficult but a player needs time to feel set before starting the swing. Good golfers find a way to overcome inertia and maintain flexibility, and a pre-swing waggle is a wiggle that keeps muscles loose before starting to swing.
All players have some pre-swing motion, but professional golfer Jason Dufner has a very noticeable and distinctive waggle. As Dufner prepares for a shot he swishes the club behind and over the ball an unpredictable number of times. When he is ready to strike the ball he smoothly drops the club into position and swings away. He says he has no set routine—he just waves the club around until he feels ready to swing.
Ryan Moore has a total body waggle. Watch Moore as he prepares for a shot. You will know he is ready to swing when he seems to screw his body into the ground. He gets set over the ball and just before the swing begins he does a hip wiggle that looks as if he is trying to root his feet to the soil. That may be his intention, because a good swing requires good footwork that makes effective use of the ground.
Other players have problematic waggles. Sergio Garcia has always been relatively slow to pull the trigger and prone to gripping and re-gripping the club as he prepares to swing, but he went through a phase of excessive pre-swing activity. It got so bad that some fans started to heckle Garcia by loudly counting his re-grips. Garcia tamed his extreme waggle but if you watch his current swing you can still see re-gripping and a slight rubbing of the club on the ground behind the ball.
Yours truly, Charlie Prokop of Pipe Creek, waggled my way to a win in the most recent Good Old Boys tournament at the Flying L. A pleasant day on a good golf course with congenial playing partners makes a smooth take-away and swing more likely. I benefitted from all three, shooting 76 for a winning 6-point round and the closest to the hole prize on number 17.
Joe Davis of San Antonio came in second with two points from an 86 and Boerne’s Jerry Vallad kept his hot streak going with a one-point round of 89. Boerne’s Bill Traquair was closest to the hole on number seven. Bandera’s Louis DuBose was medalist with an impressive round of 73.
The Flying L Men’s Golf Association event will hold a one-person scramble on Saturday, Feb. 4 and the Flying L Couples League will play a two-couple scramble on Sunday, Feb. 5. Players may sign up in the pro shop.