ZacchaeusAugust 2 2011 at 10:43 PM
McIrishman57 (Login mcirishman57)
SAGF Members 2001
Response to Hi Sally!!
This is a good example of what I think Sally is getting at.
I have a client from my "day job" that has been after me for "some lessons". I mentioned several times my book and such but he isn't the type to devote regular time to developing his swing, so he never bought it. Knowing that he probably won't spend the time to "work on his swing", I have put off taking him on as a student.
However, this Thursday there is a golf scramble and he asked me to be on his team - he's paying my way and he is a good client, so I relent and agree to give him a lesson.
We meet at my neighborhood park and I have a target flag set out about 40 yards and a pile of birdie balls and I am hitting them as he walks up. I tell him that whatever swing he has is pretty much what he has, nothing we can do to fix it before Thursday and ask him if he agrees - he does and so I tell him that the lesson will simply be a process of helping him to discover his best swing, and to show him a way he can make his best shots for where his current ability will allow.
I ask him to just start hitting some shots toward the flag, just as he would have to do Thursday. He is stocky, has a lot of lower body movement, and hits a pretty nice ball...a bit of a pull hook...but no biggee. About every fourth one he chunks big time and as he finishes on these swings, I hear a grunt and and exhale / sigh. I tell him he has lots of tension and demonstrate the breath hold and grunt, and tell him the next few shots to just focus on making sure he is breathing normal throughout his swing. This loosens him up and he hits some beauts...and is smiling.
I notice that he never hits it fat with his practice swing and makes a much nicer swing, so I explain kinetic memory to him briefly, and ask him to make two or three practice swings in succession and if they are good ones, immediately step to ball, and make another practice swing on the ball, and don't worry about the ball...it is just in the way. He does this and his pull goes away, he hits a nice draw, dead on the flag. Big smile and a bit of a chuckle..."That's amazing...so easy" I tell him he has a good swing, he just has to free himself up to hit it.
Then I explain to him about the automatic principle, the need for subconscious execution, and demonstrate the use of the clearkey as I hit a shot myself. He asks, "Is that really what you do when you play?" Of course it is. So I ask him to pick a clearkey and try it. He picks a song he teaches kids in his Sunday school:
"Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he"
He tries it a couple of times and hits worse shots than the practice swing method, and I explain he is not allowing the clearkey enough time to take him from manual to subconscious, and to wait until he is in the middle of his second rep of the song to begin his swing, and to just focus on the song. He does this, and he hits the best shots of the session, and is shaking his head AND SMILING.
We grab driver...he never hits driver cause he can't hit it in the air, he always tees off with an iron...and I tell him to just do the same thing. He nails two with nice loft and trajectory, but they are pushed a bit. I move the ball forward in his stance, and he hits a hook, I move it back an inch or so and he hits it dead straight. All with a nice flight. He is giddy.
So I wrap up by telling him he has a nice swing, if he just will allow it out, and that he can play golf this way on Thursday and have a great time and that playing like this he should drop 5 strokes just by using the automatic principle. Anything beyond that will take some consistent applied effort and focus, and to let me know.
I end by telling what he just learned was worth more than a full summer's worth of lesson from most of the teaching pro's around here and he says - "That's for sure, I have had lessons from several and they never helped me like this...in fact I often got worse.
Now that is a happy golfer, and mission is accomplished. The differnece form the beginning of the "lesson" to the end was amazing - to him, not me!
Never quit til you have a swing you'll never forget!