Swing the Handle

January 28, 2012 9 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

This will be more of an offbeat review for us here at dvd/authority. Why? Well, because there are more dvd’s out there than just what Hollywood puts out. We’ve have some of the more diverse reviews of Region 1 discs out there and this will be a good addition to our ever-expanding genre of discs. I’m a golfer and like everyone else out there who is, they want to get better (or why else play). Chances are that you’ve seen infomercial after infomercial telling you of some perfect swing and you’ll need to do “this and that” and then your “Muscle Memory” will kick in and then you’ll be on the PGA Tour. Ok, I haven’t bought into any of these things, but I did happen to catch an ad for “Swing the Handle” with respected golf professional, Eddie Merrins. Merrins has been head of the Bel-Air Country Club for nearly half a decade and has taught his share of pros and amateurs alike how to play a better golf game. And let’s not forget the celebrities. Merrins has a few of them helping out on the dvd (Craig T. Nelson and Robert Wagner to name a few). But what will this set teach you that others won’t? Well, as Merrins says, practice is the key, but so many players out there practice, however they practice the wrong thing. By learning the fundamentals the correct way and practicing that, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t improve your golf game. From a personal standpoint, I’ve already implemented a few of the things that I’ve seen via this set and have noticed a change in my game as well. Below are some descriptions as to what to expect from each volume of this 9 volume set.

The “Little Pro” (Merrins’ nickname, possibly after Mr. Chaplin?) teaches us the four basic fundamentals of the game. Grip, Set Up, Swing and Hand/Wrist action. With Craig T. Nelson as his guest, we see what to do and how to do it to make our game better. And, let’s face it, if we don’t have a grasp of the fundamentals of the game, how can we expect to get better?

Cause & Effect
This time Robert Wagner is the guest of honor and with Cause & Effect, we see the four basic reasons why the golf ball does what it does (yes, contrary to popular belief, it does not have a mind of it’s own). The four topics covered here are distance, direction, curve and trajectory. By understanding how to control the golf ball, we can understand why it does what it does.

Shotmaking Procedure
Singer-Songwriter Mac Davis is the guest in this episode and with Merrins’ help, he shows us how to make the correct shotmaking procedure. There are four topics covered here as well: ball, target, picture the shot and swing thought. Like the previous volumes, this is simple, straight-forward and one of the more informative sections on the disc.

Playing the Game
Playing the Game deals with the mental aspect of golf. And, for anyone that’s played the game, we know that 90 percent of the game is in between our ears. Why can we hit a shot on the range and not when we’re playing at a course? Divided into two parts of four sections each, Eddie and David Feherty (you’ll recognize his voice if you’ve ever watched golf on television) go through the different processes in which to play golf better by mentally preparing your shot.

Television star Jack Wagner works with Eddie on how to make his shots better. Eddie takes us on an execution of shots needed during play on a golf course. Again, this is divided into four simple sections: driving, approach shots, short game and putting. Granted, these four make up the majority of the game, but as we get into the more advanced part of the set, you’ll have a new perspective on the how and why of each of these shots work (or don’t).

Short Game
So you got a new driver and you can drive it (occasionally) down the middle 300 yards plus. Ok, great. That doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if it takes you four more shots to reach the green, right? In this volume Eddie works with Bob May (a PGA Tour Player) to work on perhaps one of the most important aspects of the game: the shot game. Putting, chipping, pitching and working in the sand are covered here. Remember what Ben Hogan said “ … if you want to improve your putting, hit the ball closer to the hole.”

Fine Tuning
Working with perhaps the most attractive of his guests, Merrins works with Helen Alfredsson on fine-tuning her game. Now that we’ve got some of the more basic fundamentals and shots down, we need to fine tune them or we won’t be consistent. Rhythm, tempo, timing and coordination are covered here and when done correctly; you can’t help but to have better shots.

Make up of a Golfer
So what does a golfer consist of? Well, Eddie will tell you. Working with Duffy Waldorf, a PGA Tour Player, we learn that mental, physical, technical and spiritual factors all play a part in our golf game (and we thought we just hit the thing straight and everything would be fine)! Though this might be the most trivial of the volumes, I do buy into the fact that the game is almost entirely mental.

Tips & Drills
As a bonus, they threw in a fifth disc called Tips and Drills. This is a series of drills you can do to help improve your game. Plain and simple.

Ok, the bottom line is will this set make you a better golfer? Yes. But you don’t just sit down and watch it and become a better golfer. You must practice what they tell you and work on it. It’s something that does require work, but when we have the correct fundamentals and practice them; we can’t help but to lower our scores.

Video: How does it look?

The video for the entire set is shown in a full-frame aspect ratio. I doubt anyone associated with this even knew what the term “anamorphic widescreen” means! This isn’t the type of dvd that you’ll look for edge enhancement of anything else. You want to play golf and they show you how. The presentation is very good, with no noticeable flaws. In many scenes we see the little white ball long after they hit it. No complaints here…

Audio: How does it sound?

The same with the video, the audio is a standard Dolby surround track. The dialogue is clean, very easy to understand and that’s about all we need. Some of the music can be heard through the matrixed surrounds. Let’s face it, the audio could do nothing for this dvd as well. Expect a basic track, as that’s what you get.

Supplements: What are the extras?

No extras are found, but for a five disc set that could really change your game, that’s a pretty good supplement in itself. Additionally, you can order this set (don’t worry, we don’t get a cent from this referral) at the following website: Swing the Handle. Tell ‘em dvd/authority sent you!

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