Friday, May 14, 2010



ONTARIO, Canada - I have a vivid recollection of a particular event in my golf life that occurred about fifteen years ago. Playing badly, which was often the norm, the part of my brain that controls creative thought must have taken matters into its own hands. It was a survival tactic, of course, to keep me from losing my mind altogether. My latest battery of golf lessons were still fresh and there had been encouraging signs. But as the story usually goes, either because of a lack of talent, discipline, motor skills and/or time to practice, the swing that my pro tried to teach me during his golf instruction wasn't working. So out of desperation, on my next backswing my subconscious mind made me fan the club open. Before my conscious mind could catch up, the shot was in the air.

Naturally, the ball took off like a rocket and came to rest somewhere in the vicinity of my target. And for the rest of that day and probably quite a few more I hit some great shots and felt as if I'd discovered Penicillin. I asked a few golf pros their opinions on fanning the club as I was going through this vortex of excitement but none recommended it other than to say "whatever works."

That experiment didn't last very long. Timing is critical in the golf swing if you are going to square the clubface after using a radical takeaway. The dynamic of opening and closing the club produces a great deal of force against the ball but without perfect timing the ball is liable to go anywhere. As those of you who play with my Over The Top Golf swing know, squaring the club face isn't an issue but back then, while doing a "proper" golf swing, it was.

So why am I taking up space on the Internet talking about a failed experiment from fifteen years ago? Because day before yesterday, on the fourth tee at PGA's south course (which they have since named the Wannamaker), after playing poorly up until that point, I focused on fanning the club open, albeit very slightly, on my takeaway.

If you read my blog or have purchased my DVD, you know that I "own" my swing-that is, I can make corrections on the fly. There were other things I needed to address to get my round on track, which I did, but the feeling of consciously letting the club open on the backswing made my shoulder turn seem more three-dimensional, if that makes any sense. All of a sudden I didn't feel stuck on one plane-back and through. I noticed a freedom of movement that I hadn't felt before. It felt like that Dyson Ball Vacuum Cleaner commercial, you know, the one that goes around corners? I'm not talking about any radical opening of the clubface-just a naturally occurring movement that enhanced my feeling of rotation tremendously.

It is now May and in South Florida that means lots of empty golf courses. So I teed off alone, except for a couple of starters, and hit two huge slices. The one guy said "great shot if it was cart path only." It was pretty much all the support he could muster but I appreciated his breaking the awkward silence during my walk back to the cart. The next couple of holes weren't much better but let's not dwell on it.
With regard to fanning the club open during my takeaway. This barely perceptible move caused an enormous improvement in distance. Of course, I was conscious of doing it but nobody else would have noticed. The twosome ahead of me were Don and Ralph from Vero Beach, both good players, I'd guess about 10 handicaps. After waving me up to join them on the front, we ended up playing the back nine together.

It can be frightening to join a group of strangers when you haven't been playing well. Both these guys were consistent and pretty long. It was a pleasure not only meeting and playing golf with them, but also seeing my tee shots sometimes going past theirs. What started out a disaster culminated in my leaving the course with an eagerness to return. Yes, I corrected what problem I was having with my Over The Top Golf swing. I also added  something valuable. A slight fanning of the club to get my shoulders into a smooth 3-D like flow.


Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, fan the club, golf instruction, golf lessons, golf swing, hit great golf shots, over the top golf, shoulder turn, square club face
Revised 09-03-2012

Sunday, May 9, 2010


ATLANTA, Georgia - During the Golf Channel's telecast of The Player's Championship there was a segment where famous golf teacher Butch Harmon described a swing flaw of PGA player Dustin Johnson. Butch is a golf instruction guru. I don't keep up with the pro golfers and their statistics all that much. Dustin, I believe, is one of the longest hitters on tour and a rising star, but his clubface is "shut" at the top according to Mr. Harmon. But when asked whether he'd try to correct this flaw he responded "You never take away from what someone does naturally. You try to make it better."

It was an illuminating statement. It is also the exact same thing I have been telling you for the last year and a half.  Yes, folks, Butch inadvertently proved me right, or did he? Upon further examination it's obvious that his reference was to a closed clubface while mine is to the over the top swing most golfers have. Would Mr. Harmon concede that swinging over the top qualifies as one of those things that some golfers (most, actually) do naturally and that an instructor should "try to make it better?"

An email to the Butch Harmon Golf School asking whether any of their teachers would be willing to work with a student who wanted to keep his or her over the top swing has produced no response so far. I will write an informative post about it if one is received. Surely someone besides me offers common sense golf lessons.

If you aren't satisfied with the current state of your game, with your current golf swing, why not take Butch's and my advice and build upon your strengths, whatever they are, good or bad? This may sound asnine but if your "improper" grip is comfortable, I say "keep it." Common sense golf instruction. The thing I did best (or worst, depending on who you talk to) was swing over the top so I built upon it and now I kill the ball. Dustin Johnson built upon a flaw or two and now he kills the ball. Get the correlation? We all have that potential but if you try to do things you see PGA golfers doing on TV (or even some of what pros try to teach), forget it. It's not going to happen.


Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, Atlanta, Butch Harmon, closed club face, Dustin Johnson, golf instruction, golf lessons, golf school, golf student, golf swing, golf teacher, over the top golf swing, Players Championship
Revised 09-03-2012 Revised 03/10/2013

Thursday, May 6, 2010



FORT PIERCE, Florida - Spring has sprung here at OTG because I am spending more and more time in the shipping department. Every time someone orders my golf swing instruction DVD I feel their hope and optimism which is such an added incentive to try to improve my product. And I guess that one of the best ways to do that is by talking about Over The Top Golf in practical terms so that when you receive the instruction you'll learn almost effortlessly. After your round of golf feel free to let me know how it's going.

Many of my older blog posts deal with issues golfers face. From junior golf to lessons from pros to the confidence factor, talking about golf and swings, in particular, my wonderful method which involves just five set-up changes, I try to address things we all experience.

Receiving correspondence is rewarding. Mostly, I'll have to admit, because your comments have been positive. Many of them are also helpful. Although I feel like I have brought a wonderful new golf swing to the sport, people's remarks always remind me how I still have more to learn.

Richard to Over The Top Golf: Looking forward to enjoying my 2 or 3 rounds a month without much time to practice in between. Have tried many, many different approaches. Some have been helpful for a little while, then they blow up. I don't want to have to worry about meltdowns anymore. Just be able to be consistent and respectable with friends and family whom I play with who are consistent and respectable.

When I got this email it dawned on me how many golfers arrive at the course in fear. It's not just golfers who want to improve who are trying Over The Top Golf, I thought. Some of us are uncomfortable with our game and need basic stability. Playing erratically is often embarrassing. Richard used words like "respectable" which paints a portrait of where he wants to go with his golf swing. He also used the term "meltdowns" which describes where he's been. And he's had golf lessons.

If I can help Richard turn his nervousness into confidence just by giving him five set-up changes the world will be a better place-especially for Richard. Going in, he knows I promised that he can still use his own swing. And even though it doesn't work properly, it is essentially what he does best. I don't care if you have a baseball grip, a baseball swing and are trying to smash a home run every time. Keep the horrendous swing, incorporate the five set-up changes and all your homers will be to center field. In golf, that means the middle of the fairway.

Playing decent golf should be easy but it's not. Richard is obviously no beginner yet he's struggling just to maintain respectability out there. Enter Over The Top Golf. A new, dependable golf swing should get him on the right track. Next stop, confidence. After that, perhaps some more stations farther down the line.

Waking up on a golf day with an "I can't wait to get to the course" feeling is priceless. Is it time for you to get on board?


Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, baseball grip, beginner golf, dependable golf swing, five set-up changes, golf instruction, golf lessons, golf swing, over the top golf swing
Revised 09-03-2012