March 25, 2016- by Steven E. Greer, MD
In 2005, at age 37, I got some good PGA golf lessons at Muirfield Golf Club in Ohio: Jack Nicklaus’ course. Jason Carbone (Who is now at nearby Baltusrol in New Jersey. See video at bottom.) was my instructor and he used video analysis. Prior to that, I had received a few lessons in high school from the famous Jack Grout (Jack Nicklaus’ teacher), but he was so old school, he never used video and I only learned about the proper grip.
With instructor Carbone and video, I finally learned how to swing a damn golf club. I had tried and tried for 25-years prior to that, and had only very erratic success because my swing required perfect timing due to its flaws. However, I was still MVP in high school, and my best round in a real tournament was one-under 35 at Mill Creek, despite lacking proper coaching.
Yesterday, it was warm and I was indoors too long, so I had the urge to do sprints. However, my start felt terrible. It was as if I was pushing against air. But once I got running, I felt strong.
So, I went to YouTube, and within five-minutes I found the solution to my problem. I was leaning too far forward on my hands in the stance, taking the weight off of my pushing legs.
This is what makes me bitter. In high school track, despite me being MVP and the fastest guy in the small school, I never once received a single second of instruction on the optimal starting stance. The lousy “coach” just laid out a piece of paper under a rock that listed what to run that day for practice.
I was telling this story to someone, and they said that they too had similar absentee coaching in track. I am not alone.
Likewise, with my high school golf “coach”, he literally never gave any coaching tips whatsoever, nor would he have been qualified to do so. He was just a chaperon who played free rounds of golf. I had to seek out the lessons from Jack Grout in 1984 myself.
My point is this: I, and millions of other middle class kids who never had fancy coaches at private schools and helicopter parents, could have been so much better with just the very basics of coaching.
“I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender.”