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Jim McLellan: In Search of Golf's Bad Habits

By Jim McLellan,

Nowhere in recorded history is there witness to a baby's first words being, "Give me a cigarette and a shot of whiskey." Mini humans are not born with these vices. They are acquired. But, heck, you knew that.

Let's assume that the babe adds a few years to his/her life and bumps into the game of golf. The stars and planets are in the correct alignment and Sam Snead becomes his golfing bud. Everyday they play golf. The "babe" watches Sam's sweet swing. Sam offers no advice.

The young prodigy watches the master, notices the still head, the full backswing and follow through. Through osmosis, the rhythm, the tempo of the swing becomes part of his swing. Soon, they are both "swinging to music."

On the other hand, let's say the pup doesn't have this phenomenal happenstance and falls into the trap and pitfalls of other ways to "learn" the golf swing. He takes golf lessons, reads books, and devours golf magazine (and Internet) tips These methods address the thinking part of the brain, the cerebrum. Motor skills are not acquired with this part of the brain.

In paragraph two above, the golf swing is learned the correct way. The swing is consistent, powerful, reliable, accurate, low maintenance, simple, and will last a life time.

In paragraph three above, the swing is contrived, complex, confusing, inconsistent, lacks power, and is never understood. The recipient is addicted to searching for the swing that the "lucky" kid owns.

Those who have the "paragraph two" golf swings do not read golf tips and do not take golf lessons. Those who have acquired bad habits through the incorrect approach to finding the mysterious beautiful golf swing keep returning to the source of their bad habits. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first sign of insanity.

Are you starting to get it? Scooooot up a little closer - so the Anti-Pros words don't fall on the floor before they reach your hammer, anvil, and stirrup...YOU ARE NOT BORN WITH BAD GOLF HABITS...YOU ACQUIRE THEM from some golf pros, bad advice, magazine golf tips, golf books, etc.

I have been in this game since the earth cooled. I get phone calls, letters, and e-mail every day from golfers of every skill. Their stories are always the same. They are confused and frustrated because some golf pro told them to do "such and such." Or a magazine tip that suggested some idiotic body maneuver the pretzel twins with the carnival would find impossible.

You are not born with bad golf habits...you acquire them.

Interested in facts? 99.9%, no make that 100%, of the problems golfers have today are not from lack of information. The source of their woes is bad golf information that they have swallowed hoping and praying that it would help them. Want proof? Let me skip over to my golf site and pluck a few sentences from some of my email. See you in the next paragraph!

I had watched 3 or 4 tapes that were supposed to be the answer to my golfing prayers! To my dismay, I only became more and more confused. I also tried tips that I read in golf magazines and tips from other golfers. My head was spinning out of control as was my golf game! Private lessons seemed to be the next logical approach. You guessed it, more confusion was added to my already inconsistent swing.

Terry Thompson, Waverly Ohio

I took lessons in college, where we focused on grip, stance and wrist cock, and then we were let loose on the driving range. I was told to bend my knees, shorten my swing, keep my eye on the ball, etc. As a result, I would skull every ball I'd hit -- how's that for consistency.

Joel Tomaneng, Mtn. View, Calif.

I have spent the last 27 years of my golfing career looking for golf's ultimate panacea. I have had hours upon hours of personal instruction and week-long golf camps. I have purchased every training aid known to exist, including swing trainers, special clubs, straps, and putting devices. I own a library full of books and videos on golf instruction. ALL TO NO AVAIL!!!

Dr. Jim Anderson, Worthington, Minn.

I had watched other videos and taken lessons with no positive results. One video I purchased by a well known golfer and now commentator, analyzed the vector and plane movements of the golf swing and how I should apply this complex and idiotic analysis to my swing. Some of the lessons I have taken had my body in such unnatural and uncomfortable positions I wondered how I could ever master them.

I wonder if Michael Jordan's basketball game could be improved if he ran a vector analysis of his approach to the net or turned his left shoulder in 10% on his free throws. I was so frustrated I was ready to give up the game.

Barry Davis, St. Charles, Minn.

I've gone to several Internet sites concerning golf tips. All seemed confusing and complex and involved too much thinking drawing lines, holding towel under your arm etc...

Mark Patnaude, New Bedford, Mass.

I have been playing golf for 34 years. In this time I have tried videos that talk about gravity, coiling, placing the hands differently, and even automatic golf. Nothing seemed to help.

Pat English, Jackson, Tenn.

Sound familiar? Let's assume that you are a golf pro and golfers write to you every day with horror stories like these. Would you not be encouraged to wear a fake beard and tell people you played the piano in a house with a red porch light rather than admit to being a golf confuser (pro)?

Those are the facts. Do with them what you want. Maybe it is time to box up your golf books, and magazines, and videos and donate them to the good will. But, who would want to do that to some poor unsuspecting soul? And think about this, pretty please, don't your best golf shots happen when you are not thinking about your swing?

Am I right, or am I right?

Tired of your golf swing? Like to trade it in for something that works? Start by reading paragraph two above, again and again and again.


To learn more about Jim McLellan's simple approach to learning your best golf swing in the shortest period of time, visit his site at www.mcgolf.com.

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