First Great Golf Shot


I still remember the first time I made real good solid contact in the middle of the club face, one of those times when the ball just jumps off the face and flies straight high and true with no effort. I was playing a course in Auburn with my two brothers, Mike and Lou. They must have still been in high school and living at home, since we were all together on a summer morning. It was early morning the sun was warm there was dew on the grass and very few people were on the golf course. I played with a set of my father’s old irons, some kind of very thin blades with brown steel shafts of some sort. They were the lightest clubs I ever felt in my hands. I still have them here in the house.

I could not have been more than six or seven years old when I hit this first great golf shot, or somewhere in that neighborhood age wise. We were walking down the first fairway. I remember going over to the right side probably in the rough and taking out the old 4 iron from the set. I remember setting up to the ball, taking the club back on the backswing, then letting the club head release through the hitting area. I saw the dew on the grass splatter and I can still see the divot flying straight in front of me as I looked up and saw the results of my first perfect contact. The sun was off to the left a little and brightened the flight of the ball as I watched it sail high and straight, then descend onto the green. I can still see the ball mark on the wet surface as the ball landed, and the ball as it spun backward on the short grass. I can still see it and I can still feel it. Here it is probably over 50 years later, and it is all finally starting to make a little sense to me. 

Golf Lesson Goals

Golf Teacher Goals

My goal here is to relate the information and experience I have gained in the golf business over the past thirty years to help make those who visit better golfers, better shot-makers, and to enhance their enjoyment of the game. Golf truly is the “game of a lifetime.”

I use both high tech teaching equipment and observation. Watching your golf ball flight in regards to what you are doing in your golf swing is the key to any good golf lesson.

By watching and listening to great golfers, and sitting behind the counter watching countless thousands of golfers tee off on the first tee and hit balls on the range, I have developed a great eye and ear for technique or lack of technique in any golf swing. Being able to see and decipher each individual golf  swing as it relates to itself is the key component to any great teacher of the game.

High tech equipment is great, but only for the student who requires it. Most of us just want some simple, common sense help with our golf games.

I started using video in my lessons as an instructional tool back in the early 1990’s. I have used many video systems that have evolved into taking video with an iPhone using the V1 system. I take and analyze video seamlessly in real time with no interruptions, right at the site of the lesson. It is a quick accurate system that gives, you the student, instantaneous feedback before you have a chance to forget the feel and results of the shots that we have on video. Video training has also helped me as a player, as it is always a new experience seeing yourself in real time on the screen. Pictures do not lie.

I just this week (4/23/2017) purchased a SkyTrak Golf Launch Monitor Unit. Its a great piece of equipment. I will probably  only use it for myself but I view it as a very worthwhile investment in my career as a golf teacher and a golf professional; and as a proficient player. The SkyTrak has much the same interface as the old GolfAchiever, only much more refined.

Over the years I have also used the GolfAchiever golf swing analyzer and launch monitor, the Ernest Golf ES12 monitor, as well as my iPhone video camera and iPhone swing analyzing devices and software. I have hit countless thousands of golf balls using this swing analyzers. But one thing I have found is that most golfers want to get better, but do not necessarily have a need for high tech teaching tools or high priced swing aids that just add to the confusion.

If somebody, a golf teacher for example, would have offered lessons and told me 40 years ago when I first started to golf seriously, (and it is ok to take it seriously because I figure everyone’s goal is to play better, to do this you have to have a little interest) that there is one golf swing move to practice that will incorporate and nurture all other moves into a cohesive pattern that would produce good to great consistent golf shots, I would probably have been skeptical at best and figured there was no easy way to make this move called the golf swing. That is why I spent the last 30 to 35 years as a teacher, player, and observer while playing and giving lessons, trying to figure out how to hit consistent golf shots. And again, I never ran across anybody or any body of work as far as golf swing instruction that would lead me down the path to what I call good golf and good to great golf shots, consistently. Anything that is understandable, coherent, and to the point.

I took my first golf lesson and only golf lesson from Mike Pedersen, a world renowned teacher at PGA National in Florida. I learned about my golf swing, and I learned how great golf teachers teach.

I have heard it said that “you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.” Taking a golf lesson or two from a qualified golf teacher that speaks to you in common sense language can improve your game and the quality of your shot-making, thereby improving your scores.

Why You Should Play Golf

Why People Are NOT PLAYING Golf:


Among the reasons cited for not playing or giving up the game include golf being too expensive, too hard to learn and enjoy, too long to play.

Why People SHOULD BE Playing Golf:

My Take:

Golf is game. Golf is a mindset. Not everyone is going to play on a Top-Level Tour. Golf is lifelong exercise, mental and physical. Golf can keep you healthy. Golf can make you happy. The simple act of swinging a golf club, no matter what the outcome, is a positive investment in your future and your overall well-being. The dividends you collect will far outweigh any bad shots or negative experiences. Golf really is the “game of a lifetime. It is what you make it, and what you want it to be!

Core Golf Swing

Core Golf

Definition of “Core”: The central or most important part of something. When I think of the word “Core” as it relates to the  golf swing, a huge amount of information floods my brain, recalled from both memory and experience. Like the floodgates open and the dam overflows.

A core golf swing is the pathway, the connection to successful easier to repeat golf swing fundamentals.

Core golf is not just swinging with your core muscles. If you think about it for a second or two, the fundamentals of any golf swing are the core values that drive the swing to begin with. Coupled with the action of the physical act of swinging the club with your core muscles, you then gain a new perspective on the golf swing as a whole.

I have been teaching a Ladies Golf Academy for the better part of 30 years, and have believed and still believe that teaching the fundamentals of the golf swing first and foremost is the best way to start with anyone new  to the game. As a matter of fact, fundamentals are a great way enter any lesson.

This year, 2017 on May 3 I decided to take a new tactical approach to my ladies instruction. I decided to jump right into the explanation of how to use the core muscles while swinging a golf club; for the first time in 30 years.

The results were astoundingly positive.

Just the one simple point of trying to get them to keep the golf club and their arms in front of them throughout their swing gave them a radically different starting point on their journey toward becoming accomplished golfers. I talked fleetingly about the grip and setup, and promised them we would fine tune their basic move as the weeks progressed.

But the key point was to keep a functioning core muscle golf swing in the forefront of our lesson plan.

I was able to illustrate before their actual practice session by hitting 4 perfect driver shots long and straight. My driver had been in the bag for the better part of three weeks. I pulled it out and let it fly, using the very explanation and information that I just revealed to my lady golfer/students.

I could not hit a bad shot. I tried to show them what happens when the arms get away from the body but I kept catching up and hitting it with the same trajectory in the same direction. Even better than hitting it bad I guess.

The girls did great. Raw beginners were swinging like they had been playing for years. the basic premise was a success.

It can work for anybody!






The Moment Of Swing Synapse




We spend so much time thinking about golf swing technique, actual swing mechanics, that we overlook the timing aspect of our total swing experience.

If you think about the times you were hitting your shots really well consistently, you will undoubtedly become aware of the sequence that you followed to get to those good golf swings. Not the actual mechanical sequence, as in grip aim stance etc., but the timing sequence as in the muscular synapse, or when you started your swing after you set up to the ball. How much time did it take you to start your motion once you felt comfortable over the ball.

When did you feel in your muscles that you could let your swing happen? Your swing awareness at the time lead you to the exact moment that your swing was supposed to happen, and then you let it go. More often than not a bad shot creeps in here and there, and if you think about it, your timing mechanism was a little off meaning you got a little anxious or waited just a little too long, maybe because of doubt or indecision, to let you sequence begin, to begin your swing.

As a result, your muscle synapse, within your consciousness of that particular moment as it related to that particular shot was not in the same reality that surrounded the good sequence of shots. You changed your golf swing synapse, if only slightly, and altered the experience of that particular shot. It is a matter of a millisecond a small moment in time that can make a gigantic difference between high success, moderate success or failure of anything in between.

Let’s face it we all want to hit good golf shots or we probably would not be playing the game. Your golf swing synapse, when you allow your muscles to fire, means as much or more than your actual physical mechanics. I guess it relates to “being in the zone” or in the flow of the moment that it takes to let your swing happen.

It is not even something that you can think about afterwards it is more of a “consciousness of the moment” sort of thing, where it happens on one shot, then when you are ready to hit the next shot, you feel your moment, the moment to start your swing, then you trust it, then you let it go. Doubt or indecision will sometimes enter the equation and we all do the best we can do. But if you think about this “moment of golf swing synapse moment of being ready to swing”, maybe your best will start to get a little better.

Trust your decisions, trust your judgment, trust your mechanics, then get in there and get in there and let your swing happen. Wait for your swing moment to arrive, then just let it go.

Impact Position

Impact Position

Golf Lesson Rates

impact position white dot back of left hand

White Dot Back Of Left Hand At ImpactI took a video trying to illustrate the impact position of the top hand in my case the left hand by using a white dot placed on the back of my glove.

What I got was a great picture of this  position illustrated by the white dot. This position squares my club face and allows me to swing into a balanced proper follow through given the fundamentals of the swing illustrated here.

This is indeed a proper impact position. The ball is gone and sailing toward the target. What happens after the impact does not really matter since the ball is already gone.

But what happens after the impact is a direct result of what I need to do get get the club face square at impact and ultimately what happens to get me into a balanced follow through and end of swing position.

I am balanced on my left side pushing off with my right side with my head and chest pointing at the golf ball.

Life Lessons From The Game Of Golf

Life Lessons

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There is nothing sacred or mystical about the game of golf.

It is just a dirty old game that drives once sane men to the brink of madness. Trying to figure out the game is next to impossible. You might be able to figure out some things fundamental to the golf swing itself, but when it comes to the game, to playing and scoring and luck and breaks and fairness and all those semi-abstract or purely abstract entities, there is no sense in trying to make sense of any of it. One day the ball goes into the hole quite easily, and the next day you couldn’t putt the ball into a bushel basket. Life Lessons From The Game Of Golf.

I love the game, I love playing the game, I love the irony and the unfairness of it all. I have hit a zillion golf balls with major physical injuries, overcome a paralyzed left arm and left shoulder ( I golf from the right side), played the last three and a half months of the 2008 season on my left leg because I blew out my right knee and couldn’t put any pressure on it so I had to swing on and around my left leg. I hit the ball better and felt like my game was more under control as strange as that seems. Funny thing is that I could not putt anymore.

I missed hundreds of putts to the same side of the hole except for those few days when I could not miss a putt even if I tried and everything I stroked went into the hole. Same great stroke on those other days, but just had weight in a different place at address because of the injury and didn’t take the time to figure it out. There is not much free time to do anything as a club pro in this world and this economy. On the good days I was under par. I was hitting between 12 to 16 greens in regulation on a normal basis, but shot high scores when I was not putting well. Playing golf on one leg is an interesting experience. Almost as interesting as playing with a paralyzed left shoulder and left arm that I incurred in a bizarre factory accident that should have rendered me dead or at least dismembered, but left me paralyzed instead. Life Lessons From The Game Of Golf.

I started playing golf as rehabilitation, and found I liked the whole idea, it suited my mentality and fed and nurtured my health and well-being. I started by taping my left hand to the grip of a club then after I put the left hand on the grip, I would swing the entire swing by using my right arm and right side, since my left arm was not working very well.

After a while, the muscles on my left side began to respond and regenerate, and I was able to swing a little using both arms. It happened almost imperceptibly, I hardly noticed, but one day I was using both hands and both arms, despite what I was told by a dozen neurosurgeons and neurologists. Then I broke my left wrist in five places while I was changing a hole placement on the golf course. The cutter caught a rock and I bent back my wrist and snapped it. I still haven’t fully recovered from that one almost twenty years ago.

I learned to swing the golf club a hundred different ways and I also learned that the same fundamentals are common to all those ways of swinging. Most of the strength and flexibility exercises I developed and try to show on this web site were born from my injuries. I push myself to the brink then try to recover and strengthen the injury. Life Lessons From The Game Of Golf.

I love the metaphysics of it all, the uncertainty principle, like the bounce Tiger Woods got the other day when his ball hit a cart path and bounced over a boundary fence ending up out of bounds. In years past the ball would have hit a cart path gone out of bounds, then hit a rock and bounced back into the fairway from where he would make a birdie or eagle. This time Tim Clark sent him home early. Time and tides change, the ebbs and flows of reality lead us down many different pathways, especially where golf is concerned. The more you think you know about the game, the less you actually understand. Life Lessons From The Game Of Golf.

There is no rhyme or reason as to why things happen, except maybe that luck and good breaks run in cycles too. It does not matter how good your are, sometimes you need a little comfort from the unknown and by the unknown, sometimes you just need a good break, a good thing to happen to you. I remember hitting the most perfect lob shot I ever hit in my life that was so soft it stuck in the very top branch of a pine tree, a fraction of an inch more and I was stiff to the hole. I could not accept it. After I related the story, I asked a friend how long my bad luck would continue. Without even breaking a sweat, he answered with a sweet smile on his face, “It could go on for years, or even lifetimes.” Oh well so be it. I am still here and still playing despite all the odds and because of an iron will and the strength and constitution of an elephant. Life goes on, and so will I, at least until I cannot go on any longer. But I will still be playing golf !


Multiple Swing Synthesis



I was outside this afternoon hitting wedges across my lots. The measure is about 40 yards on a diagonal so I can get a gauge on the swing for these different distances. I have been swinging pretty well making solid contact leading with my hands through the impact area and gripping the golf club lightly so the club head releases through impact.

This works fine repetitively but once in a while when my setup is a little off or the ball position is off, I will use a slightly different swing, BY REFLEX (INTUITIVELY) to get the same good result.

I have learned to use many different muscles, setups, and ways to swing the golf club to get quality shots. It is funny how I am now realizing the fruits of my labor. The feel or reflex action that takes over to strike a golf ball is amazing.

Like I said, if something is a little off, my body reacts to the swing and lets itself do what it has to do to pull off the shot. Not every shot is perfect, but few golf shots are perfect; and every swing is different because every shot is different. It is quite an advantage to be able to get a quality result from an unexpected circumstance.

Sometimes we think we are in good position to pull the trigger, when the opposite is true. If we try to force the result bad shots happen. If we just go ahead and start the swing and let our muscles react, we always have half a chance and hitting a decent shot.

It is my approach and golf is a lifetime learning experience. I react almost instantaneously to each and every situation, even within the confines of each and every individual swing right up to the moment of impact, with an awareness of what I am doing on a micro second time level.

I played really well this fall because of my pre-shot routine and because I am learning to become immersed in the moment of each individual shot. It helps that I know many, many ways to get the job done, and it is apparent that these approaches or methods are ingrained into my golfing consciousness.

Fluid Mechanics Of The Golf Swing

Golf-Stay In The Game!

While there are as many approaches to teaching the golf swing as there are teachers, the fundamentals laws of physics, quantum physics, and fluid mechanics still apply.

This stuff about pushing the golf club away from your body to start your golf swing is a lot of malarkey. The back swing is basically where you store energy to initiate and execute the downswing, impact, and follow through. If you think you have to push the club away from your body and extend your arms to get a good back swing, you are disconnecting the club and your arms from your most powerful golf muscles, your back shoulders and core. You are wasting time and energy in your effort to get the club head back to the golf ball at impact.

There is a fine balance in discovering the correct method of taking the club away from the ball and completing your back swing. Strength oriented swings are great if you are able to maintain and use this quality, but flexibility and timing are even more important and more readily available to the regular golfer.

Storing power and executing a proper back swing as it relates to your particular golf swing is a result of understanding the mechanics of how your unique muscular system works. It is nothing more than finding the path of least resistance, the path of no tension, getting the club to the top of your back swing with the greatest amount of stored energy to initiate and complete your swing through the ball.

This eliminates the fighting between your mind and body, and helps your to use, what I am going to call “the fluid mechanics of your muscle system.”

To go backwards a little, any move of any part of your upper body away from the ball results in putting too much weight on your right foot. Then, in order to get the club back to the golf ball properly, you have to compensate by moving stronger and faster back toward the target. Not an easy thing to do for most people.

If you think more in terms of levers, all you have to do is keep your balance (50-50 on either leg and foot) and turn your shoulders to start the back swing. In other words, initiate your back swing with a shoulder turn instead of a hip and arms push away from the ball. Do not push on to your back foot and leg on the back swing.

Instead, stay evenly balanced on both feet.

The fluid mechanics of your muscles will then take over and create the correct lever system and power storage to get the club back to and through the golf ball in a consistently efficient manner.

Once you understand this move in practice and actually feel what it feels like a few times, the awareness of where the golf club is in your back swing filters in, and you start to know instinctively when to start the club down toward the ball.

The fluid mechanics of your own muscle system will tell you when it is time to let it fly in a more natural, relaxed, and fluid manner consistent with the way you are meant to swing the golf club.

In my own swing in starting the 2016 season, I played 18 holes with no warm up, then a few days later went to the range to hit some balls. I noticed in both instances that my left hip would not get out off the way, and I kept getting stuck against my left side and had to consistently make a great effort to get my left side out of the way. This left side stiffness is a result of many back injuries that I have suffered along my life’s path.

So I finally said to myself, “self, why don’t you just get your left side out of the way at the beginning of the swing, then you won’t have to worry about it anymore  as you attempt to hit a golf shot.”

This resulted in what I would describe as a really open stance with the left foot and hip open to the target. I then placed the instep of my right foot at a right angle to the target line then lined the sole of the club parallel to my right instep. My alignment was complete.

I then found that I was able to just rotate or turn my shoulders to get the back swing going, that my weight stayed evenly distributed on both feet, and that I was no longer pushing on to my right side. I felt lighter on my feet and much more able to move down and through the ball. My shots started to fly higher, longer, and straighter with much less conscious effort, and the club continued to release and fly through impact.

The fluid mechanics of my muscles were taking over my swing. I was taking my conscious mind out of my golf swing and understanding the motion, mechanics, and movement at a much more cellular level.

I played 18 holes the next day, shot 76, and only counted 2 swings where I lapsed and let my old muscle patterns creep in and ended up with two lousy shots.

What was really exciting was that I started to get a real feel for when it was time to let the club start down into the ball and get through impact. My swing started to take on a life  of its own. I felt confident that I was at least going to get the club face on the ball and that it was going to be a pretty good shot.