Friday, April 23, 2010


HOLLYWOOD, California - A bunch of guys discussing golf instruction on The Haney Experiment with Ray Romano over at The Golf Channel. It's pretty much unanimous that failure is imminent but many folks have been entertained by the show. Regarding the practical aspect of a golf pro used to working with the Tigers of the world trying to force Barkley and Romano to perform similarly, I find it sad. Not just for Charles and Ray but for the thousands of golfers taking golf lessons who are instructed to do things they can not possibly do. Coming over the top also known as an over the top or outside-in golf swing path is just one example.

Hank's golf lesson seems to be the same for Ray as it was for Charles. Ridiculous in my opinion as these two are as different as, well, Ray Romano and Charles Barkley. Not only that, Hank expects them to learn pro-type things like an inside-out swing path. Sure.

With the exception of me, there's nobody teaching how to optimize your golf swing. All these golf pros want to do is try to fix it and, as everyone knows, without constant practice and periodic lessons, it ain't gonna happen. What we do best and what's most comfortable is that inside takeaway and outside in swing. No getting away from that.

I have never tried to change anyone's swing right down to some pretty funky grips I've seen. What pros don't recognize is that all these "bad" things we do are actually our strengths because we can do them so well. Common sense golf instruction. So after I show them the five set-up changes of the Over The Top Golf swing they soon begin hitting straight balls using the same flawed swing as before. Distance is increased as is their confidence.

Could I teach a golfer what he needs to know to start winning on the PGA tour? Probably not. Could Hank? Definitely!

My point is that, for a really good golfer, pros like Hank can see the small flaws in otherwise perfect swings and fix them. But for an average golfer like Romano or Barkley, using the same methods as he uses for scratch players is overkill.

Can it be that golf pros are so limited in their golf instruction methods that, for all practical purposes, the only ones who benefit are the really good players with rock-solid foundations? Common sense golf instruction means tailoring the golf lesson to the student. If a student simply cannot correct an outside in swing path (more than 80% of all amateurs have an over the top golf swing according to golf pros,) what good does it do to keep insisting on it? Ray Romano's goal was simply to break 80. Instead of working with Romano's strong points, one of which was coming over the top, Hank Haney tried to mold him into the next Tiger Woods. Regarding his debacle with Charles Barkley, well, words just fail me....

Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, charles barkley, coming over the top, correct over the top, golf instruction, golf lesson, golf pro, golf swing, Hank Haney, outside in swing path, over the top golf swing, Ray Romano
Revised 09-03-2012