The Golfer Within

Find the Golfer Inside

One day, golfing with my Grandfather, I grabbed a club walked to my ball and prepared to hit a safe lay-up shot short of the water protecting a huge green. My Graps asked what I was doing and why. He knew I could easily reach the hole with a 6 or even a 7 iron and wondered aloud about my reasoning for taking a safe, albeit, boring shot with the shorter club. I told him I just didn’t feel confident with my longer iron and was afraid to hit into the water.
He asked, “Dave, if you weren’t afraid and did feel confident, what club what you use?” My response was of course I would hit the 7 iron. He told me to grab the 7 iron, act like I had confidence and was without fear and put the ball on the green. That was maybe the first time I found the golfer inside.
For the rest of my life when I was faced with Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt I would strive to find the fearless, confident or certain person inside. Did it always work, did I always find that person? No, of course not. But it did and does work most of the time. When I have chosen to find and draw out the person inside, I have never, ever, lost anything more valuable than a golf ball. I have always found much more value than I had risked.
How did my grandfather know that the golfer inside me could make that shot that day to that green? He knew because I had spent hours on the practice tee executing shots just like that. He knew because he had spent hours teaching me what a good swing would feel and look like. He knew because he had spent years teaching me to act bravely and do what needed to be done. He knew what I did not yet know, that a golfer inside me could and would make that shot.
Choosing to act without mental recognition of failure or defeat is what he taught me. Preparing for whatever hazards that lie in wait, so they end up as just pretty ponds, is what he taught me.
To find the golfer inside, you must put a golfer inside.
I love to listen to the dialogue between a world class golfer and her caddie. Often the last words from the caddie are, “Alright, you’ve got this!” I imagine the final words or thoughts of the brain surgeon, just before raising the scalpel, are, “I’ve got this!” I am certain that every remarkable achievement has followed the unshakeable belief that ‘I’ve got this’. They have all earned the right to say and believe without doubt, “I have got this!”
This is not to say that somehow every ordinary human being can miraculously rise to the occasion at hand without adequate preparation. As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s gotta know his limits.”
This is about becoming the golfer you want to be. Is that golfer you want to be; a club champion, a bogie golfer, the best short game player in the group or the week-end duffer that has the best time? Defining the golfer, you want to put inside is the first step.
Take a few minutes to describe, on paper, the golfer you want to be. The more detail the better. How will others describe you? What will your golfer epitaph be? Ok, so it will probably take more than a few minutes, and will most likely be a work in progress. Describe the swing, the attitude, the style, the skill level of that golfer inside you. Jot down a few role models. Are you an Arnie or a Phil? Maybe your inner golfer is Bryson Dechambeu or Moe Norman. I like to see my inner golfer being as cool as Freddie Couples and as tough as Tiger Woods. Hey, it’s my imagination and my inner golfer. I get to pick!
Building the golfer inside.
Now that you have a mental and physical description of that golfer inside you, your inner golf self, it’s time to build him and begin using him.
Step One: Learn all you can learn. Imagine all you can imagine. Figure out how to do it. You need to learn because learning means understanding what somebody else already imagined. No one taught Pythagoras the Pythagorean Theory. Did someone teach Einstein that E=MC2 ? Before they could imagine those keys to everything someone must have taught them something.
Do you know what causes a ball to slice? Someone does. Bernoulli perhaps, or a good golf instructor. When you know what causes a ball to slice, then maybe you can imagine a swing that will cause a ball to draw. You have imagined a swing that draws the ball, now how do you execute that swing?
Use everything you have learned, every bit of your imagination to clearly visualize the sequence of events that will create a motion that executes a swing that will draw the ball. Now go out and try to swing the club like you imagined the swing to look. This is learning, not practice. Learn until you know exactly what you must do to draw the ball. Use video, an observer or an instructor to help you learn to execute a swing that draws the ball.
It might take a few minutes or several months to learn the swing that gets the specific result you are looking for. Learning means failure. Do you know how many different attempts it took for Edison to finally get a light bulb to light?
Things a great golfer learns: How to hit high, low, short, far, straight, curving, stopping, rolling, long swing, short swing, hit the sweet spot, hit on the toe, hit on the heel, hit on the back of the club, hit it thin, hit it fat, tee it high, tee it low, know when to hold ‘em know when to fold ‘em.
Step Two: Practice what you know you should do. Practice until you can do what you know you should do. Practice until your inner golfer is as good as the inner golfer you intended to create. Practice with a singular purpose, to learn to execute the motion of the swing. You don’t learn to draw the ball, you learn to execute a motion that draws the ball.
I often hear from my students that the swing doesn’t work because the ball didn’t do what they wanted. The ball can only react to the motion of the swing, can never react to your intentions. If the ball didn’t do what you wanted, it is most likely not the design of the swing but the execution of the design.
Practice never ends. You change over time, your body changes, your mind changes, you get older! Practice helps you maintain your expectations and abilities, even increase them, as time goes inexorably by. As my Graps said, “You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.”
Practice builds skills and until it is a skill you are still learning.
Step Three: Test yourself in a real-world scenario. When you believe you have practiced enough to have developed the skills needed to execute the swing motion regularly and consistently it is time to test it. Kind of like a dress rehearsal for a play. Now is the time to judge everything based on what the ball does.
If you have been learning and practicing a high flop, the ball better do a high flop. This is a real world, on the golf course as it lies, golf shot. Hopefully you have a friendly course where you can go try some shots from various locations to see if you can execute the shot at a moment’s notice. During a friendly round put the new shot into play. Put a wager on the shot to create a little pressure. If your goal is to win the club championship, you better practice this new motion countless times.
When asked how much training and practice a runner needed to run in a marathon, the coach said about 2000 miles worth, “But not all on the weekend before the race!”
This doesn’t mean you don’t run in any races, just don’t run in the big one. As a golfer try out your new swing in skins games or league play, understanding that it is just a rehearsal swing. . .its not the main event.
The day of reckoning! Today is the reason you did all the work. Today is opening day on Broadway, the biggest skins game of the year, the Club Championship, the day that is the first day you start using your inner golfer.
Step One: Review what you know. Think about it!
Step Two: Practice with a purpose.
Step Three: Rehearse.
Step four: Act with confidence.
Breathe in Breathe out go to the next shot.

The Driver,

It is NOT hard to hit a golf ball with your driver. However, it is hard to hit the ball hard. 

Working with hundreds of students over the past 10 years, it is clear to me that the driver is the most misunderstood, poorly used, ill fitted and ill-suited club in the average golfer’s bag. I cannot recall more than a few students that were satisfied with their driver or their ability to use it.

In many a golfer’s bag you can find an assortment of irons, woods, wedges and putters that are often hand-me-downs or bargain purchases. Sitting in the midst of that hodgepodge is a very expensive driver. Most likely purchased because of its adjustability, its claims of being longer or straighter, or because it is used by the best golfers in the world. Often, I see a $300 driver in the bag with a $30 putter!

The driver should be the easiest club in the bag to use. The ball sits high on a tee. The ground the golfer stands upon is almost always level and well manicured. The face of the driver is often two or three times larger than the face of any other club in the bag.
So why is that club the source of such abundant frustration, anger, hype, hyperbole and mystery?

Let me try to cure some of that for you. First let yourself believe that the “DRIVER” is not a required tool in your bag. Understand that the driver is the least likely club to lower your score and the most likely club to raise your score. Believe me when I tell you that the driver is not more important than any other club and has the same purpose as every other club.

So, what is the purpose of the driver (and every other club)?

The game of golf is all about going from A to B in the least number of shots, repeated 9 or 18 times. Logically then the first shot is intended to make it easier to get to B with the 2nd shot and so on and so on. If the first shot ends up making it more difficult to get to B, that first shot was a waste. Down the middle, down the middle, chip and a putt for par, next hole.

Standing on the tee box of that tough par four it is very unlikely that the goal of your driver swing is to put the ball in the hole. Therefore, distance is not the issue unless and until you are within reach of the hole (B) with an easy shot. Direction is the key. I am not telling you to give up on your driver, I am suggesting that you use it like any other tool. Choose the tool to fit the job at hand. That is called course management.

The likeliness of the average golfer discarding the driver for another more useful tool is remote. So let’s find a way to make your driver a better tool, and you a better craftsman with that tool.

Just as not all hammers are the same, not all drivers are the same. Getting even more specific not all basic claw hammers are the same. They may all have the same basic design, look and functions but they can be so different. In the hands of a master craftsman the claw hammer is a tool of precision and grace. Gee, kind of like a driver!

When buying a hammer ask a few questions:
  • 1.      What is it going to be used for?
  • 2.      Who is going to use it?
  • 3.      How much will the hammer get used?
  • 4.      How many and what kinds of other hammers and tools does the user have?
  • 5.      What is the skill level of the user now and into the future?

Same questions should be asked when buying a driver.

Let me try to help you with your driver by focusing on just three key areas.
  • 1.      What is the right driver for you.
  • 2.      What is the correct technique for using the driver.
  • 3.      What you can do to become more suited to using the driver.

Step 1: Picking the right driver. 

First understand that price should not be an issue. The most expensive and least expensive can be equally suited to you. My grandfather loved to work with wood, his favorite saw was a little jig saw that I had as a kid. He made the most beautiful little shapes with that “toy” saw.

When choosing your driver look for certain key elements.
·         The built in design bias of the club.
o   Loft
o   Weight (the swing-weight of the club)
o   Balance (rotational and longitudinal)
o   Shaft stiffness
o   Shaft length
o   Grip
o   Materials
o   Quality and type of construction
o   Adjustability (perhaps the least important)
·         The esthetics of the club.
o   Shape
o   Color
o   Overall appearance (used clubs especially)
o   Do you like looking at it?
o   The sound it makes
·         Look at yourself
o   Why do I want a different driver?
o   What am I expecting the driver to do for me?
o   What am I willing and able to do to be better with the driver?
o   What do I know about drivers?

With the first group of items; a good and honest fitter, golf instructor or sales person can help you. The second group is all about you. That third group can be tough. Use honest self-inspection and open curiosity to allow discovery. Just as a good carpenter is a student of hammers, you can become a student of drivers and all the other tools in your bag.

Once you have taken the time to honestly and completely answer the questions I have listed earlier, it is time to make the decision. Prioritize the items and create your own personal “cut-line”. The driver you ultimately choose must fit the criteria in every question above the “cut-line”.

Step 2: Your personal technique.

With that shiny new driver in hand it is time to hone your technique. You do have a clearly defined technique you are trying to master, don’t you? Clear steps, written down, memorized, rehearsed and corroborated?

Break your technique description into 6 steps
  1. Pre-shot. 
  2. Set-up. 
  3. Take away.
  4. Impact. 
  5. Follow through. 
  6. Finish

Consistency comes from making each step easily repeatable. Just as the musician learns a song note-by-note so the song can be plaid as a unified tune, the golfer must learn the swing technique bit-by-bit to make the driver swing a unified single motion. Play the song not the notes. The good musician can practice by beginning at any point in the song, the golfer should be able to practice from and to any point in the swing.

Below is a description of the technique for one my students. The list is just for one student. Each student creates their own unique and personal list. Words and phrases that mean something to one person may not ring true to another. Write your own list, it may be shorter or longer, it most assuredly will focus on different things than this golfer’s list. Make it personal, make it profound to you.

  • ·         Pick the target.
  • ·         Pick the starting point.
  • ·         Visualize the ball’s flight
  • ·         Walk slowly to the ball and create the set-up. 

  • Head behind the ball, the longer the club the further behind the ball.
  • Right foot 90' to the target line left foot slightly open.
  • Stacked to attack little to no weight on the heels.
  • Hands neutral for the short irons, progressively stronger for the longer clubs, palms parallel.
  • Left arm higher than the right.
  • Right elbow tucked into the body.
  • Shoulders and hips slightly right of target line.
  • Spine bent forward between 30o and 40o or 1 to 2 O’clock.
Back swing:
  • Stay connected.
  • Keep the feet solidly planted.
  • Take the club back by taking the left elbow straight back.
  • Insure that the club head is staying outside the hands and target line.
  • Begin setting the wrist hinge when the club is parallel to the ground and still in front of the toes.
    • right wrist back
    • left wrist up
  • Turn the left shoulder down and past the golf ball.
  • At the top the club should bisect the shoulder at the shirt's sleeve-shoulder seam.
  • The wrist should be fully hinged (for a full shot) by having very relaxed forearms.
  • The back of the left hand and wrist should be flat.
  • Hesitate at the top to feel in balance, controlled, coiled and relaxed.
  • Weight should be fully transferred to the inside of the right foot.
  • Bump the left hip out by moving the left knee out over the toes.
  • Feel a little bit like you're falling down to the left.
Down Swing:
  • Turn the hips left swing out to the right.
  • Think left shoulder down a bit then up and back, drive the right shoulder to the ball.
  • Keep the left foot solidly planted.
  • Butt stays out (behind you), feel like you are doing a crunch shifting the butt to the left on the way down.
  • Let right foot roll to the inside and turn onto the big toe
  • Just prior to impact feel like you are throwing the head of the club out and through the ball to the right.
  • At impact hips are open 30' shoulders square to the target line.
  • Lead into the impact zone with the hands.
    • Back of left hand to the ground.
    • Club head lags behind.
    • Shaft leaning forward.
  • Do whatever it takes to get the weight moving to the lead side so 90% of weight is on left foot at impact.
  • Right foot fully rotated onto the big toe.
  • Rotate the right hand aggressively over the top of the left.
  • Accelerate to a full finish.
  • Finish in a balanced position with the head, right shoulder, right hip, and right knee stacked straight up and down.
  • Finish with the right shoulder slightly lower than the left.
  • At finish the club head is below the hands.
Sound like a lot, but probably has fewer notes than even the “Minute Waltz”!

Step 3: You! The engine of the swing.

You are the source of power, precision, and grace in the golf swing. To be able to execute a wonderful golf swing the golfer must develop and marry certain mental and physical attributes.
  • ·         Balance physical and emotional.
  • ·         Concentration targeted and specific.
  • ·         Strength of body and mind.
  • ·         Courage to chance and fail.
  • ·         Imagination for positive possibilities.
  • ·         Forgiveness of self and circumstance.
  • ·         Flexibility of body and choice.
  • ·         Effort and desire to succeed.
  • ·         Speed in motion.
  • ·         Grace in winning and losing, success and failure.

I seriously doubt than anyone has all of those traits in abundance and definitely never more than is needed. To be a great driver of the ball you must have enough of those traits, so you are noticed for them.
You, alone, can never expect to develop into the type of person that exemplifies all of these virtues. You, with the help of friends and professionals, can expect to have a wonderful journey down the fairway.

The Short Half of Golf

Golf is structured in two parts. I don't mean the front nine and the back nine. What I do mean is the long of it and the short of it.

On your typical par 72 golf course there are 10 par-fours,  4 par-threes and 4 par-fives. Half of the strokes allotted to par are to get the ball to the green (the long of it). The other half of the strokes allotted to par are to get the ball in the hole (the short of it).

Par-3: 1 shot to get it to the green, 2 more to get it in the hole.
Par-4: 2 shots to get it to the green, 2 more to get it in the hole.
Par-5: 3 shots to get it to the green. 2 more to get it to the hole.

Unless you are either really good or very lucky the chances of getting the ball on the green in less than the allotted 36 strokes are very slim. The typical amateur golfer shooting in the 80's or 90's may never have fewer than 36 shots to reach the green. That same golfer may regularly have fewer than 36 putts.

So you may ask, "What's the point?"

As a golf coach not just a swing instructor it is important for me to get my student's to focus on the Short Half of Golf. Even so most of my students want to hit it farther. There is a reason most practice areas in the country are called DRIVING RANGES! Spend just an hour or so at a typical golf course driving range and you will see hardly anyone practicing out of the bunker, chipping onto the green or putting. You will see a lot of golfers slicing, hooking, topping and whiffing their driver in a vain attempt to hit it better and longer with the big stick. All to get more out of the 14 times they will use the big dog.

Why aren't those same golfers trying to get better with the clubs they are going to use for the rest of the 70 or 80 shots they are going to attempt on the golf course?

I am making the case here for making golf all short half. I do not mean that the game should only be short par threes, but that is a good place to practice. If you make the game all short half you can make your practice all short half. You can play an all short half game on the courses you now play!

How long is the short half? The answer depends on the length of the golf course you play. The length of the course you play should not be much longer than 36 times the distance you hit your 5-iron or hybrid. PGA tournaments, played by the best golfers in the world, are usually played on courses shorter than the distance of a top pro's 5-iron times 36.

Let's say you hit your 5 iron 140 yards including roll.  135X36 = 4860 yds. So any set of tees around 5000 yards gives you a chance to hit your best score ever. Providing you never use a club longer than your 5-iron.

For your first time playing a 'short half round' with your friend, hole number 1 is a pretty tough 325 yard par-4.

Your playing partner pulls out the driver hoping to stay out of trouble, slices the ball into the weeds and trees 170 yards off the tee into trouble. You grab the trusty 5-iron knowing you can't hit it far enough to reach trouble and strike a fearless shot 130 onto the fairway. For the second shot you are away so you hit first. Now a 6-iron struck pretty good but only 120 yards. Your friend has no choice but to hit it sideways to get it back to the short grass he muffs the shot out of the deep grass and gets to keep his turn to shoot. His third shot does reach the fairway. You are both on the fairway, you are 75 yards from the green in 2 and your friend is 125 out in 3. So even after his longer drive he is away.  His 4th shot comes up short, your 3rd shot is on the green! You have a pretty easy hit and run with a 9-iron onto the middle of the green. His 5th shot is a pretty good chip but he still 2 putts for a 7. You putt right up to the hole for a tap-in 5 and go one-up.

Your thoughts heading to the next tee are, "Just a little better putt and I par the hole." His thoughts are, "I hate this game, now I have to hit another damn driver."

Sitting in the bar after the round, settling up the wagers, you buy the drink because you took all three Nassau bets. He remarks, after sipping his losers scotch , "I can't believe you beat me hitting those dink shots off the tee, I out drove you on every hole!" Your response is a bit harsh, " I know. I just wish I would have chipped and putted a little better." Winners scotch does taste better.

The next day you are both at the range. He is sweating and cursing, hitting a large bucket of balls with his driver, while you chip and putt after hitting a couple of dozen iron shots.

Do we play when we play golf?

Have you ever read the definition of play? How about this for a definition of play as a verb, borrowed for the internet;
engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.
 Is it possible to play golf that way? Have you ever seen anyone actually playing golf that way?

As adults, maybe we take it all too serious, perhaps we have forgotten how to play. I think we know how to play. If you have ever spent time at a bowling alley during league play you have certainly seen adults playing. Ever watched adults playing softball, baseball, tavern pool, frisbee, or fishing? The list goes on and on. Why do we see so much joy during those activities and so little during golf? 

Most of us wouldn't ever do those other activities if they weren't fun. So why do we golf? Certainly it is not for a 'Serious or Practical' purpose.

My grandfather used to tell me that I couldn't choose to play golf well but I could and should choose to have fun while doing it. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to choose to have fun while I golf. It can be difficult to have fun when the play is slow, or when you are playing poorly. I remember playing with my grandfather when I was about 12 and having a horrid game. I was grumpy, angry and frustrated. Graps asked, "Why are you being such a #%$$?" My answer was because I was playing so bad. His response, as always, was brief and to the point, "Why be upset, you're just not that good!"

I play those words in my head whenever I play poorly. I try to use it as motivation to get better. A reason to practice, a reason to have fun practicing. I did learn that even though I couldn't choose to play well I could choose to learn to play better. Oddly enough the more I strive to get better the more fun I have. 

Now if I could only find a way to get the other golfers to play faster.  

Goal Setting

Back to Basics

After several months working to get back to a low single digit handicapper and eventually to scratch, I seem to be moving backwards. I took some time to process the journey I have been travelling. Looking backwards I can see that the trip has not been a straight one.

Like most of my students I allowed the desire for short term gains to influence the overall journey. In other words, I kept changing paths. For a while I was strictly conventional, then a bit of stack and tilt crept in, followed by a relapse into "natural golf". I ended up with a swing focusing on style rather than substance. Somehow, I forgot the purpose of the journey was to prove that the simple "Turn - Turn" swing could get a golfer to the best golf of their life.

I spent a little time on the range the other day going back to the beginning. Neutral set-up, “Turn – Turn” swing, rhythm and tempo. Results were great. On the flag with my wedge and in flip flops too! 

I think it is important to examine what caused me to alter my path. DISTANCE!!!

Like everyone else I started looking for more distance instead of lower scores, disaster. I reread the early part of my book and remembered that distance was the last of the key outcomes. 

1.   Smooth full turn around a fixed axis, creating powerful weight shift with the proper sequence of movement.
2.   Consistent rhythm and tempo
3.   Controlling the bottom of the swing arc. . .hitting the ground exactly where I want.
4.   Predicting and controlling the ball’s flight.
5.   Distance. Be long enough and just long enough.

When the focus moves from the first four outcomes to the fifth outcome (distance) too early in the journey, those first four skills are not automated and habituated so they must begin to fail. That is what happened to me over a very frustrating and discouraging few months. Each outcome-skill must be developed and habituated in the correct sequence. This is a very valuable lesson for me as both a golfer and an instructor, I must be patient with myself and help my students be patient with themselves.

My Grandfather would always tell me, "Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly!" Of course, he didn't mean that one should keep doing it poorly, or even get better at doing it poorly, but to understand that greatness is always preceded by failure. He would also say that one of the most powerful impediments to greatness, is to be "pretty good".  The time, effort and money it takes to get from "pretty good" to great, can be overwhelming.

Those truths are really hitting home on this quest to scratch. I am seeing glimmers of greatness but mostly is see myself getting better at doing it poorly. I can score better, but not actually play better. However, I do believe now that it is possible for the casual golfer to become a 0 handicap, and I believe I can be there before the end of summer.

Following the direction of my own book, I have begun the mastery process on me, a pretty poor student. To get to the mythical place of the '0' handicap index I have some tough obstacles to overcome.

1. Time
2. Effort
3. Money

Those are the key ingredients to any and every endeavor. I can commit plenty of #1 and #2 not so much #3 so my plan must fit that constraint.
  • I am over 60 years old, not an obstacle, at least not one anyone can do anything about.
  • I am overweight, that is an obstacle that effects performance a little, but since I ride it's not too big of a factor, still I want to lose 40 pounds.
  • Physically fit???  Not bad, but I have limited flexibility in the lower back, that is an obstacle. Doing a lot of stretches, using my Pro-relax electrical stimulator. I have the strength for golf but not the flexibility.
  • Ability. I have eagled every hole on my home course except 3 of the par 3's. Only one hole in one in my life. That means I have the ability to score low.
  • Skill. I believe skill is the automatic habituated high-quality application of ability.  That only comes with repetitions, hitting lots of balls on purpose and with a purpose.  Lots of time in my hitting area in the garage.  Probably will still only play once a week, maybe twice on occasion. 
The question is, "Can a casual golfer be a scratch golfer?"

The answer is, "Why not?"

What is the One Trick Pony's Trick!

One Trick Pony, is a song and a movie by Paul Simon, released in 1980. Until I heard that song I believed the term was a disparaging comment aimed at someone with limited talents and abilities. This song made me think otherwise. Perhaps it is better to have one trick that you can do very well than to have a multitude of ordinary lackluster abilities.

What could this possibly have to do with golf?

Let's look at the lyrics from the song:


He’s a one-trick pony
One trick is all that horse can do
He does one trick only
It’s the principle source of his revenue
And when he steps into the spotlight
You can feel the heat of his heart
Come rising through
See how he dances
See how he loops from side to side
See how he prances
The way his hooves just seem to glide
He’s just a one-trick pony, that’s all he is
But he turns that trick with pride
He makes it look so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God’s
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day
One-trick pony
He’s a one-trick pony
He either fails or he succeeds
He gives his testimony
Then he relaxes in the weeds
He’s got one trick to last a lifetime
But that’s all a pony needs, that’s all he needs
He looks so easy
He looks so clean
He moves like God’s
Immaculate machine
He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day,
One-trick pony
One-trick pony
One-trick pony, one-trick pony
One-trick pony, take me for a ride
One-trick pony
© 1980 Words and Music by Paul Simon
Whenever I watch a really good golfer, whether pro or amateur, I see one trick they all can do with grace. Oddly that trick is not hitting the golf ball! That golfer either fails or succeeds because of that one great trick and more importantly they accept that truth. They make it look so easy, they make it look so clean. They leave out all the extra moves that other golfers make, all that herky-jerky motion that is just not needed for that one great trick. I see that great golfer move from side to side, how their hands and feet just seem to glide. I can see their passion for that trick and the pride in their performance. 

For the past several years I have tried to learn that trick and teach it to my students. It is very hard to learn and even harder to teach. Do more with less, think simple, be natural, understand nature's laws. I have successfully performed the trick on occasion, and have witnessed a student feel that wonderful moment when the trick worked. I still do not fully own the ability to perform the trick every time and probably never will. Moe Norman called it the "Moment of Greatness". I ask myself and my students to evaluate each swing not by what the ball did but rather how well was the trick performed. For me 'staying in the moment' means staying focused on performing that one trick and nothing else.

That one trick that all golfers need is motion. A simple graceful balanced motion from side to side. A motion that begins from a quiet stationary balanced place and ends in a different quiet stationary balanced place. A smooth rhythmical rotating motion around the torso. A movement that starts from the feet and moves throughout the whole body. A movement that shifts the weight from both feet to one foot and then to the other foot.