Sunday books: Q/A with Nick Faldo on his new instruction book; It’s all in the knees

I didn’t realize I was setting up Nick Faldo for an easy line.

In Faldo’s new book, A Swing for Life, he talks about the important of stable knees in the golf swing. Not that this 15-handicapper knows much about the game, but I told him that I’ve been trying to get my wife to focus on her knees on the rare occasion she plays.

“It helps her from swaying all over the place,” I said to Faldo.

Not missing a beat, Faldo quickly replied, “It’s not a good thing to have a wife that sways all over the place.”

Rim shot.

If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for your swaying golfer, you could do much worse than getting instruction from a six-time major winner. Technically, Faldo updated his 1995 version of the book.

However, the 2012 version features new pictures of Faldo demonstrating the swing. And here’s something you wouldn’t have found in 1995: The book includes at least one Microsoft Tag. When readers scan these tags with their smart phone, they’re taken directly to a video of Faldo giving a lesson within that section of the book.

Also, Faldo has a different perspective of the game since sitting in the tower at CBS. He has learned a thing or two through the years.

It’s interesting to see how Faldo breaks down the swing and his approach to the game. If only it was that easy.

Here’s my Q/A with Faldo:

If there’s one thing you emphasize over and over, it is the knees in the swing. Why?

If you stand correct at address and go to impact, you see how little the knees move. But boy, do people make it difficult. Their right knee might move a foot.

When I do clinics, I ask, ‘do your buddies say your head is moving in the backswing?’ They all put their hands up. I demonstrate the knees going over all the place. What happens to the head? It bobs up and down. If your knees move the right way, it’s quite amazing how everything works more efficiently.

Do golfers make the game too complicated?

When I walk the range, what are the pros working on? 7 of 10 will say grip, set-up, posture, alignment. They’re trying to get it to all click in place.

It all goes back to the building blocks. It’s like a building. If the brick are crooked, good luck. It’s the same thing for golf. You better get good building blocks.

I didn’t want to do a book on 1,001 ways to fix your swing. I’m trying to condense your thoughts. There are a half-dozen main areas that if you get right, it will make a big difference in your game.

How much has he learned in the booth?

Not a lot. I’m blessed that I picked golf. One of the great things is that you learn something about the game every day. Every round is different.

How has the booth changed your perspective?

You see the great players hit great shots. Yet they’ll take a bogey with a wedge in their hands. You think, ‘I’m the only person that’s ever done that.’ You beat yourself up playing this game.

When you sit in the tower, you see mistakes happen all the time to the great players. Then it’s about the guy who can recover from that and bounce back the best. You see the scramblers. You understand how everyone makes a score differently.