A Golfer’s Soap Opera!

Adhering to the stringent policy of protecting the identity of my students I submit the following saga employing the utmost discretion and anonymity.

The dedicated reader may remember a past post entitled Breaking News. To avoid redundancy, you may want to turn back the pages of this blog for review.

This particular golfer approached, dare I say desperately pleaded with me___ to view his swing, via video tape, analyze and offer suggestions. I agreed to do so for FREE.

I will admit that there was something in it for me. That something was the satisfaction of seeing a pile of clay turn into a magnificent sculpture. I became involved in this mission personally and up to my eyeballs, with great hopes for the student and the obvious thrill of seeing how I could transform his golf swing. But more importantly, to inspire you___the reader___and all other golfers that were about to witness the complete transformation of a golf swing, in a short period of time!

The first video arrives. The back swing was far short of the recommendations on the DVD, the left arm was bending way too much, the head was moving all over the place, there was no
display of power in the swing, there was no forward press, the back swing was way too fast, and the follow through was pathetic. There’s more but you get the drift.

I, or should we say WE, went to work.

Step by step the swing was transformed into something quite striking. After only one week the swing was hardly recognizable from the previous swing. He emailed and asked what I wanted for Christmas. I told him that a video of his new sensational swing would be perfect.

Videos were emailed 2 and 3 times a week. The transformation was stunning. The back swing became full, the left arm straight, the pace of the back swing became slow and deliberate, the forward press set the tone for a swing that was waltz timed tempo based, there was real power, the swing looked relaxed, natural , and in the hands of a fine golfer. The follow through would need some tweaking and the metamorphose would be complete. The small egg would morph into a soaring Eagle, the nondescript bud would turn into a gorgeous Orchid, the 97 pound weakling would become Mr. Universe.

My wife joined in the excitement of seeing, before our very eyes, the remarkable difference.

“OMG,” said she, “is that . . ._____? Doesn’t even look like the same golfer.”

In a few short weeks the swing was completely reworked and became a thing of beauty with power and consistency to spare. The swing was 90% there! Then FLASH ! . . . followed by BOOM! . . . lightening & thunder strike!!

“Jim, I have a blister.” So? I thought, Do I hear a violin playing “my heart cries for you?” I had dozens and dozens of blisters. Babe Zaharias and Ben Hogan got blisters that bled. They wrapped their hands in gauze and continued to practice.

“Jim, I practiced for 2 hours, I’m pretty tired.” Ben, The Babe & I practiced for 8 hours some days, and got tired, but who cares. I’m your golf coach not your Mommy, I thought!

The race car was starting to leak oil. Yikes, is the right front tire starting to wobble?

“Jim, some say that Sam Snead was double jointed and that’s why he had a full swing.” Front and left rear tires have the major wobbles. More oil leaking, right front wheel rips loose and bounces, dangerously over the fence & directly toward the horrified, screaming fans in the grand stands.

Hang on golf student, the checkered flag is in sight. OMG, the yellow flag just came out and is flapping like Old Glory in a hurricane.

“Jim, someone came by and told me I could hurt my back with my new swing.Sweet Baby Jesus . . . Major oil leak, bottom of race car shooting flames, gas leak, engine blows, black smoke belching from exhaust pipe, two more wheels fall off, sparks fly 30 feet in the air, car pieces fly off in all directions.

After a few short days of climbing Mr. Everest, he sat down on his backpack. He “beached himself’ like a whale, shot himself in the temple playing Russian Roulette, and sabotaged a golden opportunity to have a swing to die for, a swing in the 1% class of all golfers, a swing others would stop to watch and drool over. Split seconds from Grrr-rabbing the brass ring he falls off of the Carousel.

I had such high hopes for him and the untold golfers he could inspire with his example. I am seriously disappointed for him, but more importantly for all golfers who could bear witness to how easy and quick it is to build a pretty, powerful, effective and consistent golf swing in a few short weeks. I saved the videos, showing his remarkable progress!

As the World Turns, the Soap Opera reveals the true character of this cast member. It turns out the passion I perceived was only lip service. The stuff that makes golfers very good or great simply wasn’t there. When he told me he would do anything to have a great swing, he was simply reading his lines in the Soap Opera script.

No good deed ever goes unpunished. It’s his loss, but my sadness at seeing someone so close, caving in at the last moment is huge. Perhaps if he was paying for my advice he would have valued it more dearly. Who said life was fair? “What a crying shame”, as Mom used to say!

Jim McLellan,
The Anti-Pro, The Maverick!

Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing

8 Responses to A Golfer’s Soap Opera!

  1. “Beached Whales” – It takes a while to ingrain new swing patterns, but today, everybody is in a hurry for the instant fixes! I video’d myself in the before mode to share with you, but my swing even months later is still a work in progress. When I am proud enough to send the tape, I will too, but I know that 30 years of in-grained and incorrect motions take time to undo. For encouragement, I know that the fact that I have duplicated the perfect swing, means IT CAN BE DONE!. It takes time, and everyone is different. The Mona Lisa probably wasn’t an afternoon project.

  2. Jim i have to correct you,i have used your techings and have scored and won golf tournaments without worrying about straight left arms,for most people its almost impossible.

    I have a bend in my arm but i still get my hands higher than my head, keep my head still and follow thru.

    Centfigual force pulls the arms down and thru to a nice finish.It’s far more important to have proper hand position.

    Jim in your own dvd’s you never mention stright left arm, hands high,still head hands high, everything else takes care of itself.Look at Jim Morris and some of the greats from a 100 years ago thier left arms where completely bent but they still whipped the clubhead thru the ball.

    Jim don’t go there it’s wrong, we dont’t want to think about body parts but just swing.


  3. Hey Fred!

    This particular student approached me to help him build a golf swing that was classic and traditional and would hold up under the scrutiny of the critics. A fairly straight left arm encourages a wide arc and a wide arc develops more club head speed. That is the basis for this being important in the golf swing. There are exceptions to the rule, & there are, granted, tons of good players who bend their left arm. Do I think they would do better with a straighter left arm?…Yes….none of today’s top tournament players have a bent left arm. I was able to straighten this students left arm in a few minutes employing a “trick” I learned as a kid. It is absolutely possible for the vast majority of golfers to learn to keep their left arm straight.

    I have this students videos. The difference in his swing in 3 weeks is phenomenal and is hardly recognizable as the same golfer. The point of the article was certainly not the left arm. The point of the article is that he got very close to having a magnificent, powerful and consistent golf swing but sabotaged himself. He quit before he reached his potential. How many of us do this in all our endeavors?

    Glad you are doing so well with your golf game. Perhaps if you kept your left arm straight you could win the Masters.


  4. I was able to straighten this students left arm in a few minutes employing a “trick” I learned as a kid. It is absolutely possible for the vast majority of golfers to learn to keep their left arm straight.

    Well i have big problems with that,please share the trick,if it will make my swing better i will practice it.


  5. Fred & All!

    The best way to learn a motor skill is by seeing. In my DVDs I present an opportunity to not only learn by “Monkey see, monkey do” but make available that opportunity to view the DVDs infinitely until one understands the elements in the golf swing. More specifically I don’t mention the straight left arm because I show the student what to do. I have found that if something can be seen it is more productive to not mention, in words, what’s going on. . For this reason I don’t find it necessary to mention the left arm….or the fact that you need a golf club, or that you should be dressed, or that you play golf outside. PS. I will reveal my secret trick on how to instantly keep the left arm straight…for those who need additional help…in a later post.

    Thanks again, Fred!

  6. I have your video, and have been watching over and over. Gradually, my swing is improving, thanks to you! But I am also having some trouble keeping a fairly straight left arm. So I’m looking forward to hearing your trick. Thanks.

  7. I read this for the first time and it saddens me. I’m the sorry louse described in this post. I was so dedicated I remember practicing on a grass range and having so much unsolicited advice. I caved. I should be a lesson on what not to do.

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