A golf learning paradise

My best ever golf experience was spending a week or so in Scotland with Kendal McWade. Kendal was a PGA pro who woke up one morning and realised what he was teaching was a load of rubbish.

He was teaching his pupils the same way that he was taught the game. But this way had failed him.

– was no fun
– didn’t work too well
– was boring
– was slow

When he awoke this morning he asked himself, “there has got to be a better way”.

For the next two years he did what a lot of golf coaches are afraid to do. He questioned the system. He looked outside the industry and wasn’t scared to try something new. He put his hand up and said, “I’ve got a lot of learning and improvement to do”. He had the courage to walk his own path and leave behind what he knew in his gut to be wrong.

My week with Kendal came years after he started on his mission. It had a profound impact on me and the highlight was walking around Murfield with him watching the 2002 Open. I got to pick his brains and learn from a guy that saw golf differently. We watched the way the pros went about their business, how their coaches coached and listened in on the conversation. We both stood fascinated watching a young pro give a “wee lad” a complimentary golf lesson.

“Don’t swing too quick”
“Cock your wrists”
“Finish with your weight on the front foot”.

The barrage continued for several minutes. The young kid was having a great time smashing balls into the makeshift net (albeit slightly hindered by the pro’s requests) but I’ll never forgot what Kendal said next;

We have an important job to do here. We have to stop the destruction of golfing talent. We have to help these kids, not fill their minds with useless information. We have to teach them to play the game.

I knew what he meant. Prior to my trip I’d been to golfing hell. After a promising start to golf (basically playing “my” way and improving quickly) I started taking lessons. It was here that things unraveled for me as I had my natural flair and passion beaten out of me. All the pros wanted was for me to “fix my swing”. This never really worked that well for me – I had airswings, lost my power and ultimately became frustrated as my early improvement success came to a grinding halt.

At the height of the pain I spent 18 months working on my set-up position. The pro was too stubborn to change his approach and my body simply wouldn’t do what he wanted. In utter frustration I reverted to playing right-handed as I was able to achieve the specific spine and hip angle by switching. Those months should have been a highlight, learning the game, inventing new shots and watching my game improve. Should have been, but it wasn’t. It was a golfing hell.

Kendal taught me that I had the ability and skill to strike a ball already inside me. All I needed to do was get out of the way and it would pour out. I learned more from Kendal in one week then what most had taught me in 10 years. Hitting the ball was fun. Learning new shots was exciting. And exploring the art of the possible was exhilarating.

When I left Scotland the seed was planted. I wanted my own teaching facility where I could assist other golfers and offer them a golfing nirvana. In 2008 I set up an indoor teaching studio. It was OK but only just. Indoor coaching has its place, but it’s being outside where the magic happens. You can smell the grass. You can feel the wind. You get to see the ball fly against the sky.

It has been 10 years since my first trip to Scotland. And I’m more passionate than ever in exploring learning and human performance. I’ve written over a million words about coaching and thousands of golfers have read my stuff. What started out as a bit of a hobby has grown. I’ve learned lots and used my experiences to shape a better and easier way for golfers to play great golf and find more enjoyment.

But there’s a new chapter about to start. I’m getting ready to…

[headline_tahoma_medium_left color=”#000000″]Open my own Golf Learning Paradise[/headline_tahoma_medium_left]

Clare and I have bought a property on The Sunshine Coast, Queensland, and will be moving there soon. I made sure we’d have enough land to set up a golf learning facility. Driving range. Putting green and even a bunker. There’s still a lot of work to do, but it’s not really work when you’re living the dream.

Things probably won’t be up and running until Feburary/March but I thought I’d plant the seed early. If taking private lessons with me is something that’s interesting to you then let me know. If you don’t live nearby I figure there are worse places to go for a holiday. Bring your clubs and have a lesson while the family goes to the beach.

This has been in planning for years now and will be Australia’s only natural learning golf facility. This is your chance to work one on one with me and get specific help for your game. I’m giving this my all and want to create a place where golfers can have a remarkable golf experience.

More information to come, but do contact me with any questions.

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John Stead - November 23, 2012

Hi Cam,
I think that as a society we are taught from a young age not to question “THE SYSTEM, INSTITUTION OR THE WAY THINGS ARE DONE.
This entire concept of authority in which I’m right your wrong and “It’s the way we have alweays done it” has produced so rightly worded by your self years ago is the one size fits all/the cookie cutter system. The production line of golf tuition.
As an educator, schools are entrenched in this thinking. The teacher is the expert and not ever to be questioned on their expertise.
I have learnt so much from kids that they become the teacher and I the student.
Yes there has to be a line drwan regarding respect and learning but what about exploring potential and passions.
Great to hear your living the dream. Does that mean whern I get back 5 handicap or better I can then start giving “Lessons In Auto Golf”.
Ta Steady

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    Cameron - November 24, 2012

    Steady: Yep, things need to change. People are worried about making mistakes and being different. And the “system” supports it. Shame really, coz most of us have plenty more to offer.

    Look forward to seeing you up in Sunny QLD

    Reply
cam280 - November 23, 2012

Inspirational Cam, I once found an old golf ball in the bush that had the St Andrews emblem, I often thought it was a sign that one day I would play there hopefully for the Seniors Open Title against the likes of Tiger and co. You are definitely making the right move to sunny QLD.
What do you think about introducing as apart of your specific coaching a tournament for Auto golf where being able to play so efficiently that points are awarded for being able to move through the field. I’m not saying hit up on players exactly but something along those lines. At the end of the day I reckon the biggest stumbling block in life is “CHANGE”.

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    Cameron - November 24, 2012

    Cam280: I had a game there last year. It was the highlight of my trip and well worth the effort. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a post I wrote about it.

    Re the tourny. It’s something we can work on. I want to move in, and get things started first. Maybe you can help organise the first one?

    Cheers,

    Reply
Michael M. - November 23, 2012

Hi Cam, great to hear your living the dream and having the balls to do something like you are! It’s a great state for golf and to live in! Might have to convince the MRS to come down the coast for a holiday!
Mick M

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    Cameron - November 24, 2012

    Thanks Mike. Would be great to host you for a day.

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Tony Lucas - November 23, 2012

Let me offer my congratulations as well Cam and I look forward to being one of your students at some time.I’m a little like Steady and would love to be in a position where I could help like minded golfers then if they wanted the real thing they could enrol in your school and play with the guru.
Cheers Lukey

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    Cameron - November 24, 2012

    Thanks Lukey. Make sure you get some practice in. I’ll be working you pretty hard.

    Reply
Troy Vayanos - November 25, 2012

I love teaching golfers as well Cameron.

It’s satisfying when you can improve some part of their game.

I’m based in Brisbane and would love to come and visit your facility when it’s up and running.

I’m sure it will be a great success.

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    Cameron - November 25, 2012

    Troy: cool, keep in touch and we can work something out.

    Reply
Tom McCardell - November 27, 2012

Well done Cameron. That is great. All the best with the move and good luck with the venture. I am already factoring in a visit. No doubt you will keep us all posted.

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    Cameron - November 28, 2012

    3 Putt: We might have to call you 1 Putt after a lesson or two 🙂 More info will be coming over the next few weeks/months. Cheers,

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Terry Ryan - December 10, 2012

Cameron: great news and welcome to the lovely Sunshine Coast. I have not taken a lesson for over 3 years now, and have been trying to put into practice your automatic golf teachings. As you would know from your records, I have been in and around your stuff for a few years now. Last Thursday as I played a few holes late in the afternoon, something just really clicked in my head about set-up, and I am striking the ball beautifully now. Once you get settled up here, however, I will defintely drop by, specifically for some discussion about putting, which is preventing me from playing to around a 7 handicap mark. All the best. Terry

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    Cameron - December 10, 2012

    Terry: I’ll be building a putting green and focusing a lot more on the short game. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for more info. Thanks for dropping by.

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Brendan Smith - December 10, 2012

Hey Cam
Must admit I haven’t even gone near your website after you decided you were going to sack all those so called IT experts & go to one site. I better go & see if I can still log in. Anyways I’m on the Gold Coast and am loving it. I would definately come to visit you for a weekend for lesssons. I just don’t seem to gel when I’m watching videos or reading blogs. I need the real thing. Someone telling me what to do (kinda like my wife LOL)
Rgds
Brendan

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    Cameron - December 10, 2012

    Brendan: Let me know if you have any trouble with access. Private coaching is still the best way to improve – nothing beats it. Look forward to meeting you. Keep your eyes peeled for more. Cheers,

    Cameron

    Reply
Terry Ryan - December 12, 2012

Are you at liberty to say where exactly on the Sunshine Coast you have bought?

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Don Hutchison - December 15, 2012

G’day Cam,
I enjoy your work and am writing to wish you the very best in your venture and that I support your approach in your endeavours to expand this type of instruction, teaching and learning. I just might call by one day after you are up and running to see how you are going.
All the best.
Hutch.

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    Cameron - December 15, 2012

    Hutch: Look forward to it. Give me a tingle when you’re going to drop by.

    Reply
john perry - December 18, 2012

I would be very interested in your methods,at present I follow Darryl klasson videos which I find extremely informative.I also have lessons from Ratchell Heathington,unfortunately I still play off 20 which I find fustrating yours john perry

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    Cameron - December 19, 2012

    John: I think I offer something completely different. There’s less focus on the technique and more on playing, enjoyment and learning. All this equals better scores and an improved technique. Let me know if I can help you further.

    Cameron

    Reply
Fred - January 10, 2013

Paragraph writing is also a excitement, if you be familiar with then you can write if not it is complicated to write.

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    Cameron - January 10, 2013

    Fred, if you write like you speak you won’t have too much trouble. Plus, it takes practice, like golf, there is no easy way.

    Reply
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