HOW IS FLY ROD FISHING LIKE GOLF
By Rick Bradshaw, PGA Professional
Many of my first time students tell me that I am their last resort to playing good golf, and if I can’t help them they are going to take up fly rod fishing. My response is you won’t be any good at that either unless you learn to swing a golf club correctly. As my students look at me like I am nuts, I further explain that the hand whipping action required to send the fishing line out into the river is extremely similar to releasing the power to the club head in a golf swing. The only difference is the fly rod action is over hand or side arm and the golf swing is a little more under.
In a fly rod whipping action the grip must be held more in the fingers of the hand doing the whipping, the same as in a golf swing. This light finger grip allows the wrists to hinge back naturally loading energy and then whip through releasing energy to the club head.
In addition the whipping action and propelling of the fly rods fishing line is enhanced by the resisting, or opposing action of the hand releasing energy the same as the hand action releases power to the club head. The timing of this release of power is also extremely important for both actions. In the fly rod the energy must be released so that the line goes out and along the target line much the equivalent to the golf clubs head propelling the golf ball out and along the target line. I use this underhand whipping motion often as a drill to teach my student to get great speed to the club head. I actually used to have my students swing back and then throw the club out to the target to achieve the proper timing and release of power. I had to stop this however as many did not let go of the club on time and it helicoptered backwards landing next to other people on the driving range if not in the parking lot. It’s a great drill but be careful!
The underhand fly rod fishing drill in golf is great. Try it with one hand, both right and then left imaging and pretending that you are sending a fishing line out to your target. Swing short and easy at first! This drill will shorten both your back swing and follow through, which I like, and enhance the power release in your golf swing.