Bob Fitch - Golf Coach & Discus Champion

July 8 2007 at 3:51 AM
Tom  (Login Roveri)

Response to Think about It

Jim - I don't know if the following directly relates to your question, but it may have some interest nevertheless:

I lived in Bloomington Indiana in the mid-1970's, home of Indiana University. At that time the college had a very fine golf team and a very fine golf course. I was fortunate enough to become acquainted with some of the players. The coach was Bob Fitch, a monster of a man (6'3', 250 lbs of muscle), who was in his mid 50's. Back in the 1940's he had set the world record for the discus as a college student in Minnesota and he was a star player for the Gopher's football team. In setting his world record he had invented the "Minnesota Fling" for throwing the discus, a footwork maneuver that changed the sport.

Although I never took a lesson from Fitch (I was too poor for lessons) I used to sit and watch and listen as he instructed his players. He thought of the golf swing as a close proximity to a "hammer" throw, another field event that he excelled in. As I recall, he emphasized the right arm as the key to swinging a golf club. He would have his students place their right elbow in a Mindy Blake configuration (but not so severe) using a slightly open stance. Then, he would have them take the club back about 2/3 and thrust their knees and hips forward and about 30* left of parallel to the target. According to Fitch, that was all you needed to do to hit a golf ball. He was able to hit a Driver very far and very straight. His impact sounded awful however, and the flight was not pretty. His iron shots were also not very elegant and lacked character. From the looks of his swing he could probably have hit a bowling ball 250 yards using a sledge hammer.

It was at that same time in Bloomington that I got a hold of Mindy's GSOTF. At that time I thought there might have been some connection between Blake's technique and Fitch's technique. I tried to develop both techniques back then without success.


This message has been edited by Roveri on Jul 8, 2007 9:51 PM

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