HEAD DOWN • LEFT ARM STRAIGHT • YOU’RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT?

(First in a series about playing golf)

YEAH….HERE’S HOW YA’ PLAY GOLF…

head down, left arm straight, right elbow in , weight shift, make shoulder turn, V’s point here, weight on the inside of your feet, slow backswing, stay on plane, just like railroad tracks, square over the ball, fire the right side, clear the hips, belt buckle at target, make a divot, keep head still, keep eye on the ball, one-piece takeaway, don’t use the hands, swing in a barrel, follow through, grip like you’re holding a baby bird (one of my personal favorites), don’t swing too upright, don’t swing too flat, low backswing, accelerate through the ball, swing to right field, don’t chop at it, pause at the top, swing across your chest (unless boobs in the way – (ooopp-sie, I’m fired – and kicked out of the PGA )), hit down on the ball, stay connected, don’t swing too fast, don’t jerk the club back, shoulders should be square, and on and on forever…!!!

Until you drop dead on the 6th hole because this is how you think it’s supposed to go?!?!

How much more of this crap are you supposed to be able to process! Is it really possible that anyone thinks that “THE LIST” is what matters most about playing golf???

YES!! OF COURSE IT’S POSSIBLE! I MEAN REALLY??!!! – ISN’T THIS HOW MOST PLAYERS THINK GOLF IS PLAYED?
Don’t most players think that if they could MASTER “the golf swing” all would be right with the world?

If you just take a minute, use your head, and simply imagine the word GOLF – you will realize how large the game is. How amazing the game is, and how wonderfully simple the game can be.

If you REALLY BELIEVE that “mastering the golf swing” is the answer to all your golfing troubles, you should just stop playing. You should stop because you have the wrong idea about how the game goes. You’ll never be satisfied and you’ll never SURRENDER to the mystery of the game.

Something to think about…

HEAD DOWN • LEFT ARM STRAIGHT • YOU’RE KIDDING ME, RIGHT?

Average Golf Score Still 100? How Can That Be?

Hard to believe but according to a 2014 National Golf Foundation report the average golf score is STILL 100 and has been about the same for decades! How is this possible?

The modern game is replete with advanced clubs and balls, better playing conditions, better fitness and nutrition, more and supposedly better information, lesson videos on the internet, the Golf Channel, and the like.  With all these so-called advances it just doesn’t make sense that the average player can’t break 100! Something is clearly wrong.

Not only does the average score remain high, player data from the most prestigious golf organizations including the National Golf Foundation (NGF), the PGA of America, and the USGA also indicate high rates of attrition.

Player attrition is blamed on many aspects, the most common being:

  • Game takes too much time
  • It’s too expensive
  • Game is too difficult

These are all viable points BUT I believe that the main issue lies within the world of traditional golf instruction – I mean what else is left to consider? The insane and readily accepted orthodox doctrine of head down, left arm straight, make a shoulder turn, right elbow in, weight shift, etc. is just too hard and frustrates new and experienced players alike!

If the game is too difficult then it’s that way because it’s been made to BE that way through so-called traditional golf instruction.  If traditional instruction is as large a part of attrition as I think it is, instructors, teachers and coaches need to wake up, do some real work on how people learn physical motion, then apply that education so their students can improve. It isn’t easy to do.

Whether a teacher or a player, breaking through orthodox doctrine is exceptionally difficult and requires an understanding that some think harkens back to a different era – the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s when fundamentals meant something different and swinging a golf club was a physical event that came from athletic intuition. A time before re-treaded how-to magazine articles, You Tube, Golf Channel and the internet.

If it’s true that all things old become new again, then today is the day when you’ll be allowed to just use your hands and arms to swing a club and hit the ball!  Go ahead, just do that. I dare ya’.!!!  When you do, you’ll be pissed about all that time you wasted trying to figure out what to do with your lower body!!

This is much like golf was taught in the 30’s and 40’s when most teachers were also excellent players. They used a different language than is used today today but it was effective.  Back then, it was a learning language composed of sense, feel, intuition and an emotional awareness that got players around the course and back home again.

Harry Vardon refers to the “low man” in one of his books. Who was the low man? He was a player who was a 20 handicap or less amateur! How can it be that a score of 92 was so highly respected back then!  The answer is Arnie’s Army and television!

Television ruined amateur golf! Television has made average players think that they’re supposed to be better than they could ever be!  How can it be that today – even with all of our technology – most players tend to use statistics and swing technique intended for professional use – not for the daily-fee and/or club player. Television. Kostis talking about width and NOT SAYING  “don’t try this at home” is ridiculous! Less than 1% of my students can accomplish such a feat! Television makes the rest think otherwise.  Listen up people: 340 yard drives ARE NOT NORMAL. Even the low man need not entertain such fantasies.

At this juncture, it’s important to realize that the Old-School Golf Professional (where I learned how to play) was looked up to and respected.  There was no internet, Golf Channel, or 1,000 magazine articles on how to swing. Placing trust in and relying on the Professional was without question.  Today, golf instructors in general are seen as snake-oil salesman.  Is it true?

I unfortunately have to say yes.  The business of teaching golf has changed from a viable means to an end to something that needs to be scrutinized at every step.  Television, general technology and the internet haven’t made things any better.  Understanding what “keeping the head still” REALLY MEANS has been replaced with angle of descent, hand plane, power angles, launch angle, and a hundred other data points. What happens? Keeping the head still means nothing at all – and if it does, it’s so difficult to understand that the average player just gives up, accepts mediocrity, and trudges along doing the same ol’ crap until they die.

Many instructors are victims of traditional doctrine themselves. They don’t continually research and evaluate their profession, continue their professional education, or taken any additional college courses. They are stuck, just like a player gets stuck.  Except for a cookie-cutter approach, they don’t know what to teach, when to teach it, or even why they are teaching.

If you’re looking for something different and you like to think different than the rest, we would be a good combination. If you need a traditional language approach, then you should look for another golf instructor.  I would not be your guy.

Average Golf Score Still 100? How Can That Be?

Golf Tips Revised

Pretty sure I’ve done this before but just in case here are some really general tips about playing golf:

  • SETTING UP
    Lower hands are better than higher hands
    Narrower stance is better than too far apart
    Slightly closed to the target line is better than open (square to the path)
    Favoring the right side is better than favoring the left
    Right elbow down and in is better than right arm straight
    Ball more forward for longer clubs (hit on slight upswing)
    Head up is better than head down (it’s OK, you’ll still be able to see the ball)
  • IN SWING
    Let your hands and arms strike the ball from BEHIND your center line
    Allow backswing to finish BEFORE starting towards the ball
    Fire right side into back of ball (Ballard)
    Swinging any club behind you is better than lifting it straight up (radial)
    You can only REALLY keep your head still if it’s BEHIND YOUR CENTER THE WHOLE TIME
  • SHORT GAME
    Chips go low and run out (7-8-9 iron)
    Pitches go high and stop (pw-sw-60-etc.) Using these everywhere around the green is a dumb idea.
    Higher hands work better than lower hands
    Weaker grip works better than stronger grip
    Try PW or 9 iron out of sand – you’ll be surprised
    The closer you get the harder the game gets – be calm around the greens
  • PUTTING
    Open to the line stance means you can see better
    Try slicing your putts onto your line – you’ll be surprised (Vardon)
    Be tall on long putts
    Be short on short putts
    Look all around you for gravity’s effect. Course designer is trying to make you just look at the green! It’s a trick!
    Pushing the ball with the right arm is easier than pulling with the left wrist (just sayin’)
  • MENTAL
    Find high targets off the tee and swing there. Looking at the fairway (ground) will make you swing down.
    Deep, slow breathing actually works (brain needs oxygen)
    Feel club in you fingers for better “shot sense”
    If you suck on the front and not on the back, or vice-versa, divide 18 by 3. Now you have 6 hole increments and no front or back!
    If you’re having a hard time – just think about time. As in  “…in twenty minutes this isn’t going to be happening like this.”
    To relax, make fists as tight as possible for as long as possible – then let go.  You’ll be surprised
  • STAYING FULED
    Eat small bits all day
    Drink small bits all day
    No burgers or dogs at “the turn”

HAVE FUN WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

Golf Tips Revised

Seminars?

Yep…those of us who hold some sort of PGA of America credential must meet a minimum number of education and service hours during a given period. To that end, going to seminars is a way to earn credits. Does anyone in any profession really want to go to a seminar?  I know I sure don’t.  Especially when travel, hotel, food, etc. is on my own dime.

But…I always lean another new thing – something I’ve never heard before; something that makes sense; something exciting; something inspirational and motivating.

Bob Madsen, one of the world’s most renowned professional golf instructors was teaching us teachers more about how to teach. When he was discussing a lesson HE was taking from another pretty famous dude, Bob was telling us how he was asking his instructor question after question – and then even more questions – about every detail he could think of.  The instructor apparently became a bit un-nerved at the barrage of questions, leaned into Bob’s Personal Space, and said:

“If you wanna’ just do parts and pieces let’s go chop a chicken!”

Bob, like myself, wants players to be more attuned to the “WHOLE” picture, the whole feeling, the WHOLE sensation.  Only by understanding the WHOLE can you understand a PART of it.  By clearly understanding a part – AS IT RELATES TO THE WHOLE – you will be able to make sense of the mechanics that truly matter.

A lot of my time is spent  “un-teaching” players.  Most players are over-taught and most instructors over-teach.  There is no TRUE NEED to know most of the stuff that I hear – whether it’s from players or fellow teachers.  But hearing a cool thing at a seminar is a different story. Let’s never stop learning.  Something to think about.

Seminars?

Jack & Tiger

In case ya’ll didn’t know….

The reason Jack continues to say that Tiger “will figure it out” is because JACK KNOWS that saying “TW CAN’T DO IT” simply means that TW WILL.

I’m no Jack, I’m not famous – nor do I want to be – I’m not on Golf Channel. I’m not known as a coach with any influence. I don’t sell grips or training aids and I don’t do articles for magazines. I don’t share much about my time on TOUR with players who have won out there. That’s because I’ve never hit a shot in a PGA TOUR event.

What I am is a dude that’s been teaching for over thirty years – in the weirdest of ways – and I say to you TW……YOU SIMPLY CAN NOT DO IT ANYMORE…..

  • PLAYERS WIN BECAUSE THEY WANT IT! 
  • PLAYERS WIN BECAUSE THEY LOVE BEING CHAMPIONS!
  • PLAYERS WIN BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT “BRINGING IT” IS WHAT MATTERS!
  • I JUST DON’T KNOW IF YOU WANT IT ANYMORE…

When players EXTRICATE THEMSELVES from the DARK ABYSS it’s because of who THEY ARE and NOT how well OR HOW POORLY they may have been coached.

YOU NEED TO FIGURE THIS OUT ALL BY YOURSELF…..JUST LIKE A BIG BOY!

I FOR ONE, THE UNKNOW CAT THAT I AM, JUST AREN’T CONVINCED THAT YOU CAN DO THIS ANYMORE…

I FOR ONE, WISH YOU COULD……AND WOULD.

Jack & Tiger