A golfing mission
The young kid was having a blast. He was stepping up to the ball and swinging without a care in the world – and each shot sounded sweet, the ball flying off the clubface and then smashing into the net.
He then repeated. Just swinging and hitting the ball. Standing next to me was Kendal McWade, a new age golf coach, come mentor of mine, and we were at the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield. We were standing outside a teaching tent, observing and chatting about all things golf.
Kendal and I were fascinated with the kid. He was poetry in motion – his funky swing producing him joy and satisfaction. His swing, although raw, wasn’t much different from some of the pros we’d been watching – just on a smaller scale.
“That kid has all the talent necessary to be as good as he wants”, said Kendal. I agreed
Then it happened. A moment that changed my life and altered my thinking and career.
A young pro was walking from kid to kid offering advice and swing instruction. When he got to the future champion, the pro stopped, watched him hit a few balls and then decided to change his grip, stance and swing.
The magic was lost. The young guy made a valiant attempt but there was no flow. The ball was topped along the ground.
“That was better”, said the pro. “Keep working on those few things”.
BETTER? It was bloody awful. Why couldn’t the pro see what Kendal and I could see? What was the point of coming along and changing his swing? What was wrong with offering some encouragement and letting the wee lad swing?
Kendal then imparted his usual wisdom…
“This is why golf teaching is in trouble. They don’t yet understand that it’s not all about the swing. They don’t realise they’re hurting these kids. Your mission Cameron, as is mine, is to stop the destruction of golfing talent everywhere”.
**Stop the destruction of golfing talent**
Kendal knocked me over with that one. Up to that point I was sort of wondering aimlessly through life – not sure what I was doing with myself or why. But in that moment I realised that was what I was going to do. I was going to become a coach that aided learning and improvement and not make it worse – I was going to help inspire people to become better players through their own talent, rather than overload them with useless technical instruction.
So I stepped things up. Increased my knowledge and went about finding ways of making golf improvement better. And almost everyday since then I’ve never forgotten why I do what I do. All of the blog posts, research and answering emails has been about inspiring others to believe that they have the necessary talent inside them to play the golf of their dreams.
And it’s working. Take this email I received from Tom.
On weekends when I don’t play at the club I try to take my 4 y.o son to the Par 3 course or the range to hit a few balls. He is really starting to play well now and it is exciting to see it is all his own doing. I am actually learning things from watching him play. He plays totally without consciousness or awareness. I think because of this he has no negative emotions after a poor shot. He simply walks to the ball and hits his next shot. If it is a good one he gets excited over it, but a poor one is just accepted. I have never seen him once in nearly two years show one sign of anger or negativity after hitting a bad shot. The challenge for me is to keep him in that blissfully ignorant state as he gets older. Last time we played he parred 4 of the first 10 holes but is totally without a clue on scoring. The holes range in distance from 40m – 90m so are ideal for a pipsqueak.
Anyway I thought you would be interested in the feedback, I am not one to go one about my children but I thought as a case study on GolfGooroo teachings you would be keen for an update.
The little pip-squeak is getting great coaching from his dad in part because of what he has read of Golfgooroo.com. There’s little chance he’ll get distracted later on by over zealous coaching – I reckon he’s on his way to having a lifetime of fun, enjoyment and satisfaction on the course. But it goes deeper than that – Tom is also learning and enjoying golf more. He gets to share in his son’s passion and his own game has improved as a result.
So it’s win-win and far more meaningful than a swing change or some quick-fix.
When we trust more in our own talent and ability to learn we really do get more out this crazy game. And when we help others realise the same, we all win.
My greatest mission so far will be the writing of a new book – the aim is to share the automatic golf story with more golfers from around the globe. The goal is to help golfers, fathers and coaches understand the importance of natural learning and continue the mission to stop the destruction.
But I need your help. Your pre-order of the book is needed to help get it published and your contribution is a sign that you too want to help little pip-squeaks, and yourself, get more from hitting that while ball around the course.
Please visit this page to order your copy of the book.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. This campaign ends shortly and if I can’t raise the funds the book will not go ahead, be delayed significantly or take on a lesser form. Your help here is appreciated.