She”s always up for a challenge, and now Kate Upton is getting some pointers on her golf game from one of the world”s most renowned players of the sport, Arnold Palmer.
During their sit down with Golf Digest, the 83-year-old legend taught the young supermodel a thing or two about the sport, including a few do”s and don”ts.
Check out a few highlights from Palmer”s golf lesson below. For more, be sure to visit Golf Digest!
On staying steady:
“I”m a bit believe in keeping the head still. It applies to every shot with every club. I explained to Kate that the swing is basically a circle, with the head in the center.If you move that center, everything else moves along with it, which throws all the parts out of kilter. It”s ok to swivel your head to look at the target before you swing, and after the ball is gone you can look up to see where it went. But from address to impact, your head shouldn”t move. I promised Kate that if she got in the habit of keeping her head steady, she”d hit the ball solid – a big challenge for beginners. Keep the head in place also is a secret to creating power, because you”ll make a better pivot and won”t have any wasted motion.”
“Kate”s an athlete. She won five national equestrian championships before she took up modeling. She has all the strength, balance and flexibility that a beginning golfer could ask for. But even natural athletes have to learn how to make a proper turn going back. It”s important not only for power, but to create good positions during the swing that let everything happen in the right order. My goal was to get Kate to swing the club back farther, so it was parallel with the ground. She wasn”t quite there yet. To do it, she”ll have to turn more. If she can turn her left shoulder under her chin, she”ll be where she needs to be.”
On striking a pose on the course:
“Early on in our day at Latrobe, I pointed across the course to the par-4 fifth hole, where, 75 years ago, a lady member I knew as Mrs. Fritz would ask me to hit her tee shot over a ditch that ran across the fairway. Every time I succeeded, she gave me a nickel, which was a lot of money then for an 8-year-old. I explained to Kate that the only way I could clear the ditch was to swing aggressively, which is revealed in a golfer”s finish. Kate is inclined to swing hard anyway, but I made sure she finished with her hands over her left shoulder, her weight left and her body facing the target. She said it felt a little awkward – I must say, my finish has often been mimicked – but I told her the faster she accelerated through impact, the less awkward it would feel.”
On going for what you want:
“Good golfers know how to imitate. They have a knack for noticing the best things in better players” games and making them part of their own style. Throughout my career, I instinctively pinched my knees together because it helped me feel centered and balanced. I also like my hands in close to my body – which Kate is also imitating well – because it gave me a feeling of compactness and control. I encouraged Kate to crouch a bit, because being closer to the ball helps you make better contact.”
On dealing with trouble spots:
“Kate, like any golfer, is going to find her ball in some tough places. She”ll hit her share of shots into creek beds, against tree trunks and between rocks. Competitor that she is, she”s going to be tempted to swing her way out of trouble rather than take a penalty. Having played from plenty of rough spots, I have some advice for her: If the odds of pulling off the shot are 50-50, go for it! Like me, Kate will have some spectacular failures, but she”ll also have some exhilarating successes.Once you decide to pull the trigger on a shot, relax. If you fear the worst, tension will cause you to follow the shot that got you into trouble with an even worse one. On the technical side, take an extra club, because from bad lies the tendency is to come up short. Then, grip down for control. Finally, make an aggressive swing. Really go after it, so your swing reflects your positive attitude. The kind that”s going to make Kate one fine golfer.”