HACKER’S HELPER

IDEAS Dallas golf pro MIKE MURRAY bears more than a passing resemblance to current U.S. Open champion (and former SMU star) PAYNE STEWART. But Murray is more concerned that amateur golfers play like Stewart than look like him. Murray’s devised an aid he calls the Perfect Path Swing Training System, available locally, to promote proper swing mechanics. His pitch: By following color-coded keys on a rugged mat made of flexible PVC. players can develop the “muscle memory” needed to produce a repeated golf swing.

By swinging back through the Perfect Path’s orange zone and returning the club head through the green zone, Murray says, even high-handicap hackers can experience the sensations of a solid golf swing.

“You know, the golf equipment industry sells itself on concepts like the most forgiving clubs’ or the ’longest balls,’” Murray says. “It’s based on the assumption that equipment will cure a bad swing. The truth is, a bad swing will produce a bad shot.”

He’s right about that. When I took Perfect Path out for a test on the driving range, 1 produced some decent shots by following the colored codes. But with one off-balance, poorly timed swipe with a 3-wood, I put a nasty gash in the mat some nine inches behind the tee. A cure for the random spasmo-attack remains beyond the experts’ ken.

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