The problem: "I noticed that Coach stood too far away from the ball," says Humphries. "Like 90 percent of slicers, this forced him to take the club back way inside and then lift his arms, rather than turn his shoulders, on the back swing. From there, he chopped down steeply on the ball and made inconsistent contact."
The adjustment: "We worked on Coach standing taller at address--closer to the ball, with relaxed arms. Once he got closer, it was easier to straighten out his takeaway and get his upper body turning more."
Recruit a friend to help you improve your takeaway. Have him stand nearby and hold his hand out at knee height about three feet directly behind your ball. You want to swing your clubhead right into his palm. Repeat this until you can feel a straighter takeaway without a helping hand.
...to get this
"Your backswing should be a blend of arm swing and shoulder turn," says Humphries. "Coach feels like his backswing path is flat as a pancake now, when actually it is just right. He had been lifting his arms straight up for so long, and not completing his shoulder turn, that it started to feel normal. With the right blend, he now gets into great position at the top."
I feel more upright at address now--less hunched, like I am pushing my chest out," Parcells says. "Shawn taught me to practice baseball swings, which helps me turn the core of my body going back. ow I get in position to drop the club down and let it go to the ball on an inside path."
"I'm now at the point where I can look at the ball flight and determine what happened in my swing. I have a greater sense of why an error occurred. And when I'm playing with Shawn and he hits one in the woods, I can say something to him about it!"
Play where Coach plays
Coach Parcells hasn't completely forsaken his Northeastern roots. He is currently building a vacation home overlooking Saratoga National Golf Club in upstate New York. The demanding 7,265-yard track opened in 2001 and was an Honorable Mention in GOLF MAGAZINE's Top 10 You Can Play. For information: 518-583-4653; saratoganational.com