|Don't ever forget this: All club pros are jerks. (Mike Bailey/WorldGolf.com)|
Forget all the lessons you took from golf pros. Forget the straight left arm, proper posture, head still, full shoulder turn, pronate, supinate, belt buckle to target, complete follow through, right elbow in pocket and the zillion other things some guy charged you $40 a half hour to remember.
There are only two lessons you'll need in order to be a good golfer. I'll tell you about them later in the article in order to force you to read the whole piece.
First, a truism. Not one of the two lessons but a truism, regardless. Don't ever forget this: All club pros are jerks. "Jerk" wasn't really what I wanted to say, but I believe in self censorship. Why are they jerks? I have a theory.
All their lives people have told them how great they are. When they were kids beating all the other golfers in town, their parents would brag about them. When they were the whiz kid golfers in high school who beat everyone in the state, the papers wrote stories about how the kid would be the next Jack Nicklaus. In college, they were All-American and were so good, they quit their junior year to join the PGA Tour. Then after two or three years of lousy golf, they quit and became a club pro.
All club pros ever think about is what could have been, so it leaves them in a constantly pissed-off mood, and that's why they treat everybody like crap. When they give you a golf lesson, it's because they want your money for that fresh bottle of Jim Beam later. They won't tell you the real secrets of golf. I will.
Lesson No. 1 has a story behind it. Dub Pagan was an old tour pro in West Palm Beach, Fla. who played against Snead, Hogan and Nelson in his time. I had never swung a golf club before, so I asked him for a lesson. I gave him 20 bucks, and he asked me to hit a few for him. I topped a couple of shots, and he said, "Stop - that's enough. Here." He handed me the $20 and said, "That's the worst swing I've ever seen. Go take up some other sport. You'll never be a golfer."
I was so upset that I swore to practice like crazy to show him he was wrong. Within three years, I had a single-digit handicap.
Lesson No. 2 also has a story behind it. Another pro, this time a woman, couldn't stop me from swaying during the swing. In frustration, she said, "Pretend you have a dime stuck between your ass cheeks, and you can't let it fall out during the swing."
I tried, but for the first couple of swings, I couldn't get the right feeling, and it was impossible to squeeze your cheeks together with your legs spread apart at address. She explained that I was to only imagine squeezing the dime near the top of the backswing and also right before the club head contacted the ball. This derriere squeeze would supposedly keep my right hip and leg from swaying too far right on the backswing and my left hip and leg from swaying too far left at contact.
When she left the range to answer a phone call, I took a dime out of my pocket and shoved it ... well, you can guess. I swung a few times and hit the ball pretty well. But then, before I could remove the dime from its new home, the pro returned. Unfortunately, the lesson lasted another 45 minutes, and try as I could to force it out, the dime stayed in place. You try to remove a dime from your ass in 90 percent humidity without your hands.
So what have you learned? You've learned that club pros are jerks and think they are better than you. Second, you've learned two secrets to good golf.
Lesson One: Have someone you respect tell you that you suck in golf.
Lesson Two: Pretend you have a dime stuck between your ass cheeks, and you can't let it fall out during the swing.
Why, in no time, you'll be a great golfer and can go around acting like a jerk.
August 7, 2009
John J. White is not a bad golfer. He just plays one on the course. When he is not golfing, he is an engineer and freelance writer. He has won several awards for his short stories, and has been published in literary magazines. He is currently working on his fourth novel, "Nisei," and lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife, editor and typist, Pamela.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
Forget all the lessons you took from golf pros. Forget the straight left arm, proper posture, head still, full shoulder turn, pronate, supinate, belt buckle to target, complete follow through, right elbow in pocket and the zillion other things some guy charged you $40 a half hour to remember. There are only two lessons you'll need in order to be a good golfer.
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