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.


Golf Swing Myths

Follow these links to find some great easy to follow swing tips. Just a couple simple things. These are golf swing keys and Hogan’s swing exercise that can really get you on the right track to swinging better and hitting more efficient golf shots.

Just as a prelude to Miller’s take on Hogan’s finish, you do not need a strong grip to hit a draw. More to the point it is how you get your club face into impact via club path the dictates your ball flight.

Tour players have discovered this swing finish position via swing path adjustment. It is an entirely different way of getting into impact. Miller explains it very well. The old ways are ok. The new ways are better and more efficient.

Golf 2017

Golf 2017

As a PGA trained and certified professional, I deal in every aspect of the game. If you start at the beginning, playing and hitting better golf shots is what every body is after. Playing golf requires a golf swing and golf equipment. While equipment can make a difference in your shot quality, good equipment together with good golf swing technique is the easiest and best way to lower your scores.

Once you learn to strike the ball, you have to learn to get the ball in the hole. That is the goal of the game of golf as proposed in the original rules of golf written by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith on March 7th, 1744 according to Wikipedia. They were entitled “Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf” and consisted of 13 rules.

While getting the ball into the hole is no easy task, hitting better quality golf shots that get the ball closer to the hole on a consistent basis is a good way to start. This is Golf 2017 where you as a golfer can benefit from finding some golf swing keys that will work for you as an individual. You have many avenues to follow to reach this golf.

Golf 2017. You can read books and articles, you can practice, learn by trial and error, hit thousands of golf balls, use video training, swing analyzers, or get some help by a trained teacher of the golf swing, either using high tech equipment or using the trained eye, a simpler and much more effective method.

I  have used and taught with high tech equipment, and own many devices that will help you learn about your swing. But over the years it has become evident to me that most regular golfers, recreational golfers, do not want to use this high tech stuff, but just want to hit better shots and make better swings. I have come to this conclusion by teaching, listening, and talking to my students and by interacting with the thousands of golfers who pass through our golf shop every season.

I use high tech equipment, both for playing and for analyzing the golf swing.

One instance or thousands of one lesson remains clear in my mind and illustrates the accuracy of this machine’s measurements. The student was hitting shots and became interested in seeing the results on the computer screen all the numbers along with a view of each shot, a line indicating the shape and distance of each shot. If you take all the lines as a whole a pattern emerges, which is quite helpful in indicating a golfer’s tendencies and what the golfer needs to work on.

This is Golf 2017.  Watching the shots on the range in reality and seeing accurate results on the computer screen lend great validation and validity to the analyzing capabilities of the equipment you are using.

This is Golf 2017. Modern golf is an entirely different animal than golf of the past. Modern equipment requires an entirely different approach to swinging the club and hitting shots. I am not saying you can’t, but it is quite difficult to hit quality golf shots using modern equipment and an old style golf swing. That is why Tour Pros, the best players in the world, are always tinkering or overhauling their golf swings. They need to adjust their muscle firing sequence and muscle structure to the requirements of modern golf clubs and golf balls.

Secretariat & The Golf Swing

Secretariat and The Golf Swing

By: John Lombardo PGA of America

Secretariat and The Golf Swing
My fascination with Secretariat has crept into my quest for a functional golf swing. Ever since I saw the movie I have had this feeling that this horse is a key in golf swing evolution. I have watched over and over again the video of the Belmont Stakes world record performance from 1972, and watched in awe a once in a lifetime athletic performance.

I have always been fascinated with world class athletes, particularly the athletes that seem to function on a level or plane above and beyond their peers, those athletes that have an extra level of awareness, physical ability, or just plain athletic ability. I have downleaded pictures of Secretariat. Stop action photos of the horse in action dirt flying all four hooves off the ground seemingly flying through the air having more fun than any living being ever deserved to have. Secretariat was a genius a running freight train at runaway speed. There was no laboring, no weight, just pure speed, pure effort, pure peerformance, pure totality of effort.

If you measure that performance against the other horses, it is hard to understand how Secretariat could have opened such a lead and maintained and increased it over that length of race. What is more the jockey said Secretariat was actually accelerating past the finish line for another quarter of a mile before he was able to slow him down. What un-encumbeered exhiliration! Strength of body and spirit.

It became part of my journey to learn the path of least resistance in my golf swing. It took a while, but one day I discovered a simple move in my takeaway that enabled me to swing in a more fluid unencumbered way with a total accelerating release of the club head at and through impact. It actually occured to me during a quick punch out shot from behind my golf cart.

My goal is to swing the club the way Secretariat ran. I used it for an 18 hole round without even practicing and the results were astounding. Iron shots flying 20 yards further than at any time this year. Driver shots longer and straighter. Approach shots flying high and at the flagstick. It was a revelation and a great feeling.

I say now that if I can maintain this awareness I will start playing in tournaments again and I will win money. I still get goose bumps watching Secretariat run, or just looking at the pictures. What a role model.

Let’s Talk A Little Golf Turkey

Technique and high-tech learning are a hug part of our game. There is no disputing this fact; but after a quarter of a century, more like 35 years, I have come to know that you can use all the high tech equipment and training devices you want, but if you cannot control your golf club during your golf swing, all the high tech training and information and gizmos you invest in are not going to help your too much. These aids and devices create a false sense of security and a false pattern of muscle memory.

If you do not have the strength to control the golf club during your golf swing, well, it is kind of self-explanatory.

All it takes is a minimal investment and a few minutes a day, or every other day. What is better, you don’t even need to hit shots. You can train in your living room

For the better part of 25 years, I’ve been teaching golf to all levels of players. For over 35 years I have been studying the golf swing, in both practice and theory, and have fought my way back through career threatening injuries, by hard practice, and by learning to swing the golf club in many different ways.

This is something you can do for yourself if you want to continue playing the game at any kind of competent level; and I don’t think there has ever been a golf born who does not want to get something more out of their game.

The choice is yours, the time and monetary investment is minimal. The rest is up to you.

I know that I do this every day while hitting all kinds of golf shots, and that my control of the golf club and swing power has improved dramatically.

If you want further information email or call 315-224-1103. I would be happy to discuss the topi further.


Gain Golf Strength

Gain Golf Strength

Do you want to hit the ball farther? Do you want to control your golf club more efficiently during your swing? Do you want better control over your golf shots?

Get yourself a pair of wrist weights. Gain golf strength. Use the heaviest weight you can tolerate. Put the wrist weights on your wrist and hit golf shots with whatever club you want to use.

Putting the weights on your wrists makes a big difference, as opposed to swinging a weighted club. Weighted clubs are not the answer.

Without getting into all the explanations, putting the weights on your wrists is a whole lot more effective than swinging a weighted object.

With weights on your wrists, the practice becomes more focused. You can hit full or half shots, with a normal golf club. You are maintaining your feel, your natural moves. Simply you gain golf strength.

While at the same time, simply and efficiently, adding strength to your arms and all your golf muscles.

Wrist weights offer you an entirely different equation for ultimately gaining more control over all your golf shots and your golf swing.

It is an entirely different dynamic than swinging weighted objects, using cockamamie swing aids that tell you nothing and teach you nothing, or doing endless boring exercises that get you in shape but do not guarantee that you will swing the golf club better. You gain real golf strength.

Give it a try. I do promise that you will not be disappointed with the results!


Release The Club Head

Release The Club Head


“True Release And Squaring The Face”

By: John Lombardo PGA Of America
I seem to have come full circle. In a nutshell, I am now swinging the golf club with a true release and squaring of the club face at impact, at the bottom of the swing.

Like all true meaningful discoveries, this one kind of happened by accident.

To re-trace a bit, I have spent the last five or six years learning to swing the golf club with my core muscles, learning to keep the club in front of me throughout the entire swing. Keeping in tune with the huge growth of big strong Tour players, I have tried with great success to follow their example of swinging with the large muscles. Much of my views and teaching approach is described on

Last week after work I wanted to hit a few balls on the range so I grabbed an old six iron that we had lying around in the bag room. It turned out to be an ancient Powerbilt iron with a stiff shaft. I hit a few good shots then went into a funk trying to swing this club with the modern method. So I just decided for some reason to grip the club extremely lightly with my fingers, and just let it swing using gravity and golf club design as my guiding light.

The results improved dramatically as my shots started to fly high and straight with very little effort. It seems I actually tapped in to a distant memory of how I used to swing a baseball bat. While my body played a huge role, the ultimate power came from a strong free release of the bat head through the hitting zone. This could only be accomplished with a very light grip, letting the wood do the work so to speak.

So I decided the next time I played golf I would grip the club so lightly that the grip actually moved around in my hands as I moved into my back swing. This has become my only swing thought: a grip so light the club feels like it is moving around in my fingers. My body seems to coil so much easier into a compact, full turn with the club fully loaded and ready to swing.

But when it comes time to change direction, my coil uncoils and I just, to put it simply, “throw” the club head at the ball, letting gravity and the design of the club square the face at and through impact. Yes, throw the club head at the ball. The results have been astounding. I am hitting my 9 iron 145-150 regularly and my ball striking and accuracy have improved.

What is more important is that this swing feels totally natural, spontaneous, and un-rehearsed. It is a free and tension free approach to swinging a golf club, that works in all kinds of weather, and repeats itself of its own volition and free will. My only swing thought is to grip so lightly that the grip moves in my hands. My body gets involved naturally without me thinking about it, I take straight deeper divots again, and am able to get my full body involved without thinking about it.

I finally came to the conclusion that I am not a Tour player, and while the modern approach to swinging, large muscle ultra contolling motion, woks for the big strong and well conditioned it is not going to work for me over the long haul.

It feels so good to actually “know” what I am doing with a golf club without actually controlling or knowing what it is I am doing.

Letting gravity, force and my nature swing the club is what will carry me through. I do not have the physical prowess of the big strong swingers, but have gained distance, and control of my trajectory and shot shape. All my previous hard work is not in vain. There is so much more going on that I could not have accomplished without my previous training. But the thought and process has become a matter of simplicity, trust, and talent.

It is a winning proposition.