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Play Bandon!

The Golfing Machine - Friday, September 14, 2012

Play Bandon!

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If you love golf, if you love a challenge, if you want a golf experience that is beyond compare, go to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It’s not a question of IF, but WHEN you should go. My recommendation: Do not put it off until ‘someday,’ but go as soon as possible and play Bandon.

Resort owner Mr. Mike Keizer has done everything right. The golf courses are a challenge for any level. Although the courses look friendly and open they can be very fickle and devious. Leave your ego at home and bring an extra order of patience; not patience for slow play, but patience for yourself because most golfers have a difficult time hitting exact spots on the golf course. Sometimes you need to be surgically precise or else your golf ball follows the law of gravity, and then you can be in a disastrous predicament where ordinary skills are not enough to extricate yourself from impending doom – and a double bogey or worse is quickly earned.

These four golf courses: Bandon Dunes, Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails and Old MacDonald are individually unique. Each with its own personality and flavor, I enjoyed all of them. Each requires a different skill set to play them well. If you are looking for a leisurely round or a walk in the park these are not the courses to play. They are demanding and every shot must be planned, this is not a grip it and rip it facility. The beauty of these golf courses is unsurpassed however, it can be distracting standing on a bluff overlooking the untamed Pacific Ocean or seeing the Oregon coast range of mountains blanketed in low silvery fog. Don’t forget you are here to play golf so refocus your attention, listen carefully to your caddie and make the best stroke you can.

Caddie? Take a caddie! There are many reasons to take a caddie at the quadrillo of courses at Bandon, the least of the reasons is you won’t get lost. Lost! Yes, there are a few tee complexes that have multiple tees for multiple holes and as you stand on one you see multiple greens. It’s a good idea to know which one is your target. Plus, the caddies know these courses and their idiosyncrasies intimately. For example, I was looking a putt which I thought broke two feet left only to discuss it with my caddie to find it actually broke three feet right. I saved a few strokes there. Plus many of the demanding tee shots must be placed accurately between bunkers or to a specific side of the fairway so as not to roll into the hazard. Again for the love of the game, to assure proper direction and choice of clubs, take a caddie – it is the best money ever spent.

Lastly, but assuredly not least, the accommodations are immaculate and practical. You can wear your soft spiked shoes anywhere at Bandon. Before your round in the morning breakfast is great and the dinner meals are as good as any fine restaurant in the world. Mr. Keizer knows how to treat his guests and I felt like I was his personal friend and that he himself had invited me to play. Everyone on the Bandon staff is courteous, kind, compassionate and at your service.

My experience was extraordinary and beyond my expectation. I will return to Bandon!

The 411 on mass produced magazine articles and video for the public

The Golfing Machine - Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen who want information about the golf swing, please be aware of information drivel on the Internet. Golf magazines, The Golf Channel and information from celebrity instructors, they are competing for your golf dollars. These groups share one thing in common: the more you watch or read, the more money they make. The more money they make, the more drivel they produce.

Here is an example of celebrity golf drivel: Hank Haney came out with a video, “How to Fix a Flat Swing.” Who said a “flat swing” needs fixing? Ben Hogan’s swing, which is thought to be quite good, is considered flat as his hands barely reach the height of his right shoulder if not lower than his right shoulder. Hogan is widely regarded as one of the best ball strikers ever. Therefore, is a flat swing necessarily bad? No, not at all. Then why does Mr. Haney say it needs to be fixed? The reason is he wants you to think it’s bad, which will lead you to change it, leading you to make other changes in order to fit his model, buy his videos, endorsed gadgets and enroll in his schools.

You make think my position is quite harsh but let’s look at humanity. Everyone is different. Therefore, my contention is there is no such thing as too flat or too steep. What is missing is having an instructor who knows how to construct the proper alignments that fit you and not fit you to some imprecise model. Many people will say they have read The Golfing Machine and understand it and can teach you the proper alignments, but our instructors have been through extensive training to learn how to construct the proper alignments for YOU! Our Authorized Instructors can be found on our website at:  http://www.thegolfingmachine.com/amateur-golfers/instructors/find.html

Videos and articles produced for the masses only serve one purpose and that is to line the pockets of the celebrity instructor, magazine or TV channel with money. If you want to throw your golf dollars away please continue to buy these videos, watch The Golf Channel and purchase magazines. If you want to learn to apply proper techniques to your golf game, increase your knowledge about YOUR golf motion, improve your golf stroke, increase your golf competency and eventually lower your score. You can increase your enjoyment by using proven geometric alignments, learning your stroke pattern and then take your golf dollar and invest in yourself and your golf game with a Golfing Machine Authorized Instructor.

Unfulfilled or frustrated with your golf or Instructor?

The Golfing Machine - Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The lack of results in your golf stroke may not be your fault. During my tenure with The Golfing Machine (TGM) book, which started in 1977, and my association with the Authorized Instructors beginning in 2000, I have witnessed many students taking lessons from non-Golfing Machine instructors. The information uttered, stammered, regurgitated by most golf instructors is awful, despicable and downright embarrassing to a properly trained and educated TGM authorized golf instructor.

Being a college graduate, I have attended many lectures and I am able to follow most people and their train of thought. However, when I listen to golf professionals “teach” I am embarrassed; they are simply spouting off as much information as they can in 30 to 60 minutes. Often, they try to impress their student with their knowledge of golf. Do they have an agenda or lesson plans prepared? Usually, and unfortunately, the answer is: No! Do they follow a logical progression from one thought to another? Again, no! Can they give a complete explanation of the concept and how you are going to integrate it into your swing? Sadly, no! Then why are you wasting your precious time and money with them? Please remember that if your instructor says “here is what I do,” this usually means he does not understand the complexity and variability available in the catalog of golf strokes.

Here is an example of what a golf instructor recently said to a student: He stated that the arms are not raised during the backstroke, “they do not go up,” he said stringently. This statement he made is absurd and not raising the arms during the backstroke makes hitting the ball impossible. A proper golf stroke cannot be made unless arms are raised by using the proper musculature; if these muscles are not activated, the arms will stay by the side. The correct muscles must be activated in order for the hands to go up to shoulder height in any full golf stroke. This hapless and unknowing student, however, did not question this instructor; he took this farcical statement as fact.

I hope you begin to ask your instructor questions and I suggest you ask him a lot of questions; if he cannot properly explain to you how and why the concept under question works then it’s time to find a more knowledgeable instructor. Remember, you success in golf is directly correlated to your instructor’s knowledge. If he states that “this” is the most recent swing model, again it’s time to find a new instructor. Proper geometrical alignments, physics and biomechanics never go out of style; they are the backbone to any good instructor’s knowledge base.

To Lag or not to Lag that is the Question?

The Golfing Machine - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mr. Homer Kelley wrote in The Golfing Machine that Clubhead Lag was the “secret to golf”. Clubhead Lag by definition is the bending of the Clubshaft during the Startdown of the Downstroke. It occurs because the static Clubhead is inert and resists the change of the direction of the players body especially the arms which in turn bends the Clubshaft as the Clubhead tries to remain stationary. The secret of Clubhead Lag takes time to understand, effort to apply and diligence to master. The question is it necessary?

“Apparently there is no factor including Clubhead Throwaway (no lag – when the Clubhead out races the hands into Impact) – that cannot with proper assembly, adjustment etc. be worked into a fairly effective stroke pattern for some application or other” (1-K). Mr. Kelley wrote that even without Clubhead Lag a person could play golf, however, in 3-F-7-A he states that clubhead throwaway or loss of lag is Steering.

Here is where you the golfer must put on your thinking cap and decide what is best for your game. You must sift through information and opinion about this topic of “Clubhead Lag” and take a stand. Anyone can make a statement that sounds logical and in golf there are hundreds of experts with their personal viewpoint, their opinion of what the “tour players” do and these “experts” have the right to their opinion, but are their thoughts logical?

Is it logical to think that the clubhead should out race the hands to the ball? Or, is the logic of Imapct explained that the Clubshaft is forward leaning by design. Is it logical to shorten the radius of the golf stroke from the left shoulder to the left wrist? Is it logical to believe that a shorter radius will move faster than a longer one?

Let us consider an analogy of a water skier. Visualize a person being pulled on skis by a boat, this person and his center of gravity is directly behind the center of gravity of the boat, he is lagging behind it. Now, consider this person stretching the ski line and moving in an arc around the boat. As he makes this movement around the boat his center of gravity is catching up to the boats center of gravity; and the moment the center of gravity of the boat and the center of gravity of the skier become in line, the skier is no longer being pulled as now he has caught up. He has nothing to pull him and he does not have any means of self-propulsion and therefore, he slows down and sinks. Similarly, once the clubhead becomes in line it cannot move itself as it does not have any way to propel itself, it is reliant upon the golfer’s pivot for propulsion. Therefore, the clubhead will be moving in its own orbit, while the golfer’s Power Package and Pivot have ceased to be effective.

If you believe that the club will propel itself, that it has the ability to swing itself, then you are welcome to this belief and the “constant struggle for consistency” (3-F-7-A), and the Clubface with be moving without rhythm. However, if you desire to be consistent and to have a better golf game, then we welcome you to the world of The Golfing Machine and its Secret of Clubhead Lag. We and the Authorized Instructor base are here to assist you with your golf game.

What you need to know about The Golfing Machine

The Golfing Machine - Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mr. Homer Kelley was very knowledgeable about the golf motion when he wrote The Golfing Machine. As many of you know he began his review of golf information with the simple thought of creating information that was concrete and reliable. Although, Mr. Kelley had great respect for Golf Professionals and their enthusiasm, he was looking for information that was founded in geometry, trigonometry and physics.

After a day of practice he was leaving the driving range with Mrs. Kelley, he stopped and looked at a man who he had seen practicing almost daily. He said to Mrs. Kelley that the only thing that man needed was a little “concrete” information. Mrs. Kelley replied with all the information you have collected over the years you should write it down. These simple words turned Mr. Kelley’s internal search for “concrete” golf information into the external work The Golfing Machine.

Mr. Kelley was a logical, thoughtful and vibrant man. Because mechanical structures, relationships and operations had streamed through his life and work as an engineer’s assistant at Boeing, he was able to make analogies from those worlds into golf. For example, although the Left Shoulder is not a “real” Hinge it can operate like one. Another analogy he made was the “Trigger” that begins the firing of the Power Package; is it a “real” trigger” NO, it is an analogy. When this “Trigger” fires it allows the Left Wrist to Uncock (release) just like pulling a trigger on a gun releases the hammer toward the butt of the bullet. Notice that the word cock is analogous to the cocking and firing of the hammer on a gun. This is a pure mechanical thought that he brought into golf to make it easier to understand.

Lastly, on the very first printed page since the first edition in 1969 Mr. Kelley wrote: The Golfing Machine: its construction, operation and adjustment. When you take instruction from an Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine he will treat your golf motion as if it were a machine. He will assist you in constructing a motion that will work for you, not one that is a fad or based on opinion.

As Mr. Kelley was so fond of saying “Happy Golfing,” when you are operating YOUR motion based on concrete information you will become happier golfer.

Grip, Stance and Posture

The Golfing Machine - Thursday, August 09, 2012

During my range practice sessions while I ponder Mr. Kelley’s work sometimes, I take the opportunity to listen to other golf professionals give instruction to their students. When I ask them the basis of their teaching the answer I inevitably receive is “Grip, Stance and Posture.” These concepts seem simple and straight forward and an instructor who knows them would be invaluable to his students. Although, these three concepts are the basis of their teaching, I wonder if they know the depth of information contained within each. Let’s briefly explore these three concepts and their relationship to golf:

Grip – According to the dictionary, grip is “the act of taking firmly and holding fast with the hand, teeth or instrument, etc. secure grasp, firm grip.” (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged).

This definition is opposite of the grip definition given by most golf professionals. They state that you should have a light grip, as if holding a bird in your hands. My question is what size is the bird? How firm would your grip be if the bird were an eagle? Most golfers when they grip the club firmly also tighten the muscles of the elbow and the shoulders and therefore the appearance is that their grip is too tight when the fact is they are using the wrong the muscles.

To explore the correct muscle activation, try this: Shake the hand of one of your same-sex friends and in so doing both of you increase your grip pressure until it is a firm 8 on a scale of 10. Now, while you both have the same grip pressure, and without changing it, relax the muscles of your elbows and shoulder. Now, while still maintaining the same grip pressure, move your arm back and forth rapidly like you were using a saw. Notice that your grip pressure did not change but you can move your arm quite easily back and forth. As long as your grip pressure remains firm and the same pressure throughout the golf stroke your arms will be able to move properly.

My next question is: How to align your hands to the grip on the club and to each other? If your golf professional cannot accurately explain how to align your hands to the club’s grip and to each other then it is time you found someone who can. If your professional states, “I want you to grip the club like me” this is the signal to find someone who knows and understands the relationship of the hands to the club and to each other.

Stance – The subject of stance is as rife with antiquated thoughts as the topic of grip and its tightness. The definition of stance, according to (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged), is a “manner of standing, posture, especially with reference to the position of the feet, an in certain sports.” The topic of stance is related to the position of the feet in golf. But the question is the position of the feet relative to what? To the base of the clubshaft plane? To the line of flight? To each other? Are they internally or externally rotated? The relationship of the feet to the line of flight, to the base of the plane as well as to each other is paramount to being able to make your pivot move correctly. If your golf professional cannot adequately explain how to align your feet and why, it is time to find an instructor with up-to-date information about the geometric and biomechanical relationships that are necessary to develop a proper pivot motion.

Posture – The (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary, Unabridged), tells us posture is defined as: “To place in a particular manner, to pose.” If your golf professionals states that you should have “an athletic posture” ask what does that mean. If he or she says you should look like a golfer he does not understand how to align the various joint structures of the body to achieve a Golfers Baseline Position (GBP) as defined in the “Biomechanical Integration Approach” by Dr. Matt Rosman, GSEE. Our sport of golf is different than all others. The joint relationship that creates our GBP must be understood so that each of us can place ourselves in the proper bodily alignment which will give us the most flexible pivot each of us can create. If your golf professional cannot explain why and how to align yourself properly then it is time to find someone who can.

We have begun to explore the three concepts upon which most golf professionals lean; and believe are the corner stones to their professional knowledge base. I gave you a brief look at these concepts combined with questions to pose to your instructors to make sure you get the most education from your instructional dollar.

The Golfing Machine Authorized Instructors have been trained to explain all the relationships of your grip, stance and posture plus any of the idiosyncrasies that you may have in your physical being that may require special alignments.

Are we creating Golfers or Athletes?

The Golfing Machine - Thursday, August 02, 2012

When we were young many of us played various sports including football, baseball and basketball. Some of us participated in track and field – running races, pole vaulting or high jumping among other activities. Because we had a broad base of athletic interests we were given the moniker ATHLETES. This moniker meant that we participated in many sports but we did not limit our interest to just one. Athlete is defined from the World English Dictionary (on line).

Athlete: (please notice the plurals used below).

  1. A person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed or endurance
  2. A person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities
  3. Chiefly (Brit) a competitor in track and field events.

Some of us, however, preferred one sport and enjoyed it more than the others. We became GOLFERS.

Now to my dismay – during a golf lesson - throwing a disc, jumping rope, tossing a medicine ball and running around a golf course are considered athletic endeavors and therefore, golf professionals are creating athletes, but not golfers. The workout craze on Tour has created the perception that stronger is better; is there any statistical evidence or studies that state a high correlation between physical strength and increased golf performance, as in lower scores? Let me pose this question: Do you think other coaches, for example: baseball, basketball, track and soccer coaches have their participants play golf to get ready for their competitions? I doubt it. Why? Because they know the skills are not the same, and each of these sports require individualized competencies to become an efficient performer.

Golf instructors have lost their way in the muck created with the hope of producing more powerful athletes. This belief is forcing golf professionals to push their students toward exercising. My question is how many golf professionals from the 30K in the PGA take time to exercise? During a seminar I gave a few years ago I asked the 40 or so PGA Professionals in the room how many hit balls on a regular basis, which we defined as three or more times a week or more. The answer was one! All of these Golf Professionals had at their disposal a driving range, golf course and putting green within yards of their offices, yet they could not muster the motivation to practice. Now, these same professionals are demanding their students exercise! How is a student who has two children, a job, a mortgage, a wife, etc. making time for exercise? I guess he could give up his golf lesson time and focus on his exercise routine.

Golf professionals look at golf egocentrically, meaning that it is the only thing in life worthwhile. That thought is, however, far from the truth, most people must decide on how to juggle their limited free time between many competing factions.

I believe that we should educate GOLFERS who understand and master their golf motions from basic chipping to pitching and full motions. We should be educating GOLFERS who are competent in getting themselves around a golf course in the fewest strokes possible.

Golf is unique, it has different movements and requires different skill sets in order to become competent. These skills, which are mandatory for the trip from tee to green, are not transferable to other sports. Golf skills are as different from other sports as the skills of soccer goalie are from a catcher in baseball.

Golf is a sport of a lifetime; if you want to increase your competence and skill in golf over your lifespan, please see an Authorized Instructor of The Golfing Machine, who will direct you how to become more competent and a better golfer over time.

Look Who is Talking!

The Golfing Machine - Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Many of today’s celebrity golf instructors brag about having met or given advice to Mr. Jack Nicklaus, Mr. Tom Watson, or even Mr. Tiger Woods. They speak about their great golf swings and why they function as they do. They get a lot of press when speaking about their trade. Some have gone so far as to write books about Mr. Ben Hogan – as if they actually knew him or had a personal relationship with him. These instructors want you to know their opinion of why he was great.

Now on the flip side, one celebrity instructor has taken upon himself to not only write a book about the great Mr. Ben Hogan but to include in his book a portion where he condescendingly criticizes Homer Kelley.

“We are not machines McLean states and can’t be simply programmed to make great golf swings every time.” Although, McLean thinks of himself as intellectual he is unaware that Cognitive Psychologist analogize the human brain as “wetwear” instead of hardware or software giving credit that the brain is flexible and programmable. McLean states later in the same chapter that he believes in “breaking the swing down into its building blocks which are manageable for my students.” Ironically, this is similar to Mr. Kelley’s Three Zones: Body, Arms and Hands in Chapter 9.

Why Jim McLean felt strongly to not only bash Mr. Kelley but also to criticism him for reading about Ben Hogan and Sam Snead who at the time Mr. Kelley was writing about golf were at the top of their games? There is a double standard McLean can publish a book about Ben Hogan to increase his cash flow; but Mr. Kelley was criticized for simply reading about Mr. Hogan and actually chastised for not having “seen him hit balls”.

Mr. Kelley was curious about golf and golfers and so having a scientific mind he explored all books at this disposal during the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. In his library he had books authored by Ben Hogan and Sam Snead along with many others, they were considered highly proficient in their skill levels and therefore sought after as experts in their fields. No wonder Mr. Kelley read their books.

No one has chastised Jim McLean for reading The Golfing Machine (TGM) or going to see Mr. Kelley. McLean no doubt has taken a few concepts from TGM to add to his repertoire of teaching information including his well know plane cone; which he draws a line from the hosel through the students waist and another from the hosel just above the students shoulder. These two lines are similar to Mr. Kelley’s Elbow Plane (10-6-A) and the Squared Shoulder Plane 10-6-C. He would not want to burden his reader by referencing Mr. Kelley’s book so he simply left it out.

McLean in his book takes a shot at Mr. Kelley’s golf equipment calling them “old golf irons and beat-up woods;” adding that “it was a strange collection of clubs in a tattered old bag.” These clubs are currently right behind me as I write this let me tell you exactly what he owned: Wilson Haig Ultra Power irons (2 – Pitching Wedge with True Temper Pro-Fit stiff with Walter Hagen’s name on them). The woods are First Flight persimmon (1, 3 and 4 with Shot Master stiff shafts by True Temper). I am looking at his all leather bag which is rectangular and has a pull cart attached to it. He also owned a full complement of putters one of which was given to him by Don Shaw, GSED his best friend and for whom caddied 60 rounds. These clubs may seem odd to McLean who may have changed club as often as he changed his socks; as a player was given equipment for free by major manufacturers; but Mr. Kelley’s passion was for how to swing the club properly, because when he was introduced to golf little was known about the geometry of  golf.

Thanks to Mr. Kelley who paved the way for people like McLean to earn millions of dollars using his information and allowed McLean and others to visit ask questions and kept their payment to a minimum if he charged at all. I for one was on the receiving end of Mr. Kelley’s generosity when it came to sharing his time. I am and will always be forever grateful to him for his time and the book which changed the lives of teaching professionals everywhere. My father taught me to give credit where credit is due, and all the credit for my teaching acumen goes to Mr. Kelley and his irreplaceable work – The Golfing Machine.

Called on to the Carpet!

The Golfing Machine - Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Jim McLean claims credit for discovery, but called to the carpet

By Joe Daniels, MS, PGA,GSED

In a recent article produced by the Jim McLean golf information factory he is quoted as being responsible for detecting that the clubface is more important than the clubhead in determining the direction of a golf shot. McLean states that he was one of the first golf instructors to declare that Face Angle was far more important than Club Path in determining Launch Direction. TrackMan, a launch monitor, has since then proven McLean´s theory right. McLean is taking credit for this find when in 1969’s first edition of The Golfing Machine, the book’s author, Mr. Homer Kelley, states: “The direction of the ball will always be square (90 degrees sic) to the leading edge of the Clubface at separation…”

Now we know that McLean visited Mr. Kelley because he stated so in his book about Mr. Hogan. Therefore, logic states that Mr. Kelley led McLean on a journey of mental discovery, which McLean has chosen to forget so he can take credit for and put himself in the limelight of being an intellectual in the field of golf.

Considering McLean’s disrespect for Mr. Kelley which is evident in his book on Mr. Hogan I do not believe him to be a threat to anyone’s intellect. This is evident with the facts of the X factor, the teaching philosophy he popularized, or is it now the Y factor? Is he running out of alphabetical letters to create any more articles or a theoretical concepts?

Yes, Jim some of us watch and listen and give due respect to those who came before us. Mr. Kelley in 1969 stated how the ball reacted off the clubface, yet you are now taking credit for finding this phenomenon. Shame, shame, shame!

Advantages of TGM Lessons

The Golfing Machine - Saturday, July 28, 2012

I am asked regularly about the advantages of taking lessons from Golfing Machine Authorized Instructors. My response is simply that the Authorized Instructors of The Golfing Machine have the best training in assisting you with developing your stroke pattern. 

A stroke pattern is a compilation of movements, concepts and requirements which a student uses that creates their best shots. Mr. Kelley understood that today’s stroke pattern will be better than yesterday’s; meaning that your stroke pattern will evolve until you have acquired and refined your personal pattern.

Many golf instructors use Tour Players as models and the one thing that all Tour Players have in common is that they all have different stroke patterns, which is why it makes them so interesting to watch. For example two of the best ball strikers ever were Ben Hogan and Mo Norman. When you look at their motions you see immediately notice the difference between them. Mr. Hogan has his knees flexed at address Mr. Norman’s knees are much more straight. Mr. Hogan’s swing is more around his body compared to Mr. Norman’s more upright motion. How can these talented players look so different? The answer lies within each player, they worked on their stroke pattern for years perfecting it to their satisfaction and we are witnessing the fruits of that labor.

Today golf instruction is fractioned on how to best “hit” a golf ball. Does the club come from the inside or the outside? Is the clubface open, closed or square at Impact? Should I stand closer or farther away? Should I be more upright or flatter? The answer is to do what you like under the guidance of a Golfing Machine Authorized Instructor who can assist you in the evolution of your pattern. With 446 quadrillion variations in The Golfing Machine text which includes swinging from the outside in or the inside out and everything in between I am sure that inside Mr. Kelley’s book there is a pattern that will suit you, and let’s face it this is all about you, it your pattern, your swing, your game… you should love it!