Coil/Strike: A Revolutionary, Enlightened Approach to Improving Your Golf Game–Reader Qualifications Required
Coil/Strike is a guide to being a better golfer, but aimed at a narrow slice of the golfing audience. It isn’t often you see a book that eliminates more of its potential audience than it encompasses. As author “Phairway Phil,” says up front, his techniques are only for right-handed males between 33 and 75 who aren’t golf beginners. While that still covers a majority of golfers, it eliminates all women, lefties, and younger golfers. Coil/Strike is written very conversationally, including breaking the fourth wall from television, where he directly addresses the reader with comments and questions. At times, it’s hard to tell if this is a satire of self-help golf books or if the book was written in a single long-moment of stream-of-consciousness.
So, for those readers who fit within the target audience for Coil/Strike, they’ll find a number of stories about golf and the author’s experiences playing it. The core idea of the book and the techniques to practice take up the majority of the book, and even with that, there are a lot of filler pages and illustrations.
Phil’s core idea is that humans don’t swing and hit naturally—that animals (of which we still are) coil and strike, and the act of coiling naturally leads to the strike. He has several exercises, including one, naked and in front of a full-length mirror, to practice the coil in several variations (full and partial) that help in various circumstances. With some additional instruction on positioning for different terrains, the coil/strike method is fairly simple in concept, more difficult in execution.
The book could really use fewer filler pages of golfball or snake illustrations and more human body pictures or illustrations providing examples of the instructions. “Make the left hip coil without using the rest of your body” isn’t great instruction without a visual example, either in person or an illustration to reference the motion from.
Can Coil/Strike help you improve your golf game? Hard to say. It’s an interesting idea and against the typical current of golf instruction, but not everyone will even figure out the system without additional help. Those that can, may find it very helpful. It probably comes down to an individual’s playing style and physical capabilities. If you’re finding your score has plateaued and new clubs or instruction hasn’t helped, then maybe the ideas in Coil/Strike could help, as long as you’re not a woman or left-handed.
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