Having the opportunity to add some of my knowledge and humor to this column is also gratifying and a real privilege. Thanks to all of you for your positive feedback.
Back in 1975, I was an apprentice golf professional teaching golf at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course in Carmichael, under the watchful eye of long-time head golf professional Mike Macaluso.
My interview went like this: Mike wanted me to give him a golf lesson on the full swing so that he could evaluate my teaching philosophy and communication skills. I was extremely nervous and self-conscious because I was being scrutinized by someone who had been an outstanding player and teacher for more than 40 years.
My hands were shaking, and my face was dripping with perspiration. After five minutes of watching Mike hit range balls with his seven-iron, I had him stop. Then, I explained and demonstrated to him my philosophy of the golf swing.
Mike spent another five minutes hitting range balls, and the lesson was over. Mike was pleased with me and kept me on his teaching staff for several years.
As a PGA member, I am still teaching golf to juniors and adults today. I refer to my model as a single plane gravity swing.
In my opinion, the golf swing model I recommended and taught works well with men, women, and juniors of all physical body types and athletic ability. My premise is that we want to alleviate the impulse to hit at the golf ball and promote the action of swinging the golf club head through the ball.
The goal is to produce a golf swing that is easily repeatable with any club in your bag, on any given day, under any climate conditions, and under any mental approach.
Imagine how a pendulum swings with effortless rhythm and grace on a vertical plane. Now, imagine the pendulum swinging on a 45-degree plane or a 60-degree plane. The most significant amount of gravitational acceleration is at the bottom of the arc. How is that not cool?
It sounds like it is easy, but the hurdle to jump in our own “hit impulse.” Letting the pendulum fall is the essence of the swing. Forcing the pendulum to the bottom of the arc is wasted energy. Save your energy for giving your playing partner a high-five after the two of you win your match.
There are at least ten PGA members teaching golf in California and Nevada who graduated from my junior programs over the years. Most of the others went on to simply enjoy the game, and to this day, still, stay in touch. That is so gratifying and rewarding to me personally.
Having the opportunity to add some of my knowledge and humor to this column is also gratifying and a real privilege.
Thanks to all of you for your positive feedback.
Rod Sims is the PGA Teaching Professional at Mount Shasta Resort. He would love to hear from you and he can be reached at (209) 329-5634.