Sunday, July 18, 2010


FORT PIERCE, Florida - A beautiful July day in sunny South Florida much like most others have been this summer of 2010. The usually opressive humidity has been negligible - at least here in Fort Pierce - so playing golf has actually been do-able. And do it we did this week at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens. Want to find perfect conditions on a course you can actually play? This is such a place. Course superintendant John Lee and his staff of greenskeepers should be commended and very proud that their efforts have paid off in such a big way. And on the inside, if you want to speak to the guy who makes things happen, talk to Ed Sneed. An A+ facility. By the way, PGA National has five golf courses, four of them on this property, We played on the Palmer course, aka The General, which was, like most Arnold Palmer layouts, very playable.

Hopefully, everybody can agree that the golf swing - all golf swings - involves mechanics. Doesn't matter whether we're considering the methodical sameness of  a Jack Nicklaus or Lorena Ochoa swing or the hold on at the end and try not to fall over swings of Arnold Palmer or Helen Alfredsson. There is a certain geometry and physical dynamic to all of our unique golf swings, including my own, aka Over The Top Golf. I liken it to a fingerprint or your golf-DNA.

One of the most unique things a golf instructor is able to do is change a golfers golf-DNA but the operation has an extremely low success rate. Just look how many quacks are out there advertising cures for slices, hooks and every other ailment that can occur between the tee and green. It seems that the old golf-DNA finds a way to re-enter the golfer's system and eventually eliminates the new swing altogether. I should mention that the interaction between the two may result in feelings of confusion, frustration and the urge to drive your car into a wall after another blown Nassau.

Now, as some of us know, there is one golf instructor who can guarantee that the procedure will succeed without any possibility of recidivism. And so it was on this most perfect of days at PGA National that this operation was performed on a curious onlooker. It's a brave man who makes a decision to change his or her golf-DNA. Most of us sort of plod along and try to make the best of it with what we have. Oh, we'll change putters, start using hybrids, maybe even go to the driving range once in a while but the vast majority are comfortable in their own skin and are content to shoot in the 90s or 100s and leave it at that. No golfer who has made any progress wants his old golf-DNA back but without periodic lessons and constant practice it usually returns anyway.

"Hey there, my name is Fred and I was watching how you swing the club. That's a very unique golf swing." My new friend had been watching as I hit range balls before heading out. Fred asked whether I'd share my methodology with him. He must have liked what he saw, of course I agreed to teach him the five set-up changes of the Over The Top Golf swing. "You know, Fred, I said without ever having seen his old swing, in about five minutes you're going to be the happiest guy on the property." What happened next was about what I expected. Some low, straight shots. As was walking away, Fred's exclamation became the title of today's blog post. "I will never hit a tee shot the regular way again."


Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, Helen Alfredsson, Arnold Palmer, DNA, Ed Sneed, FLORIDA, fort pierce, golf instructor, golf-DNA, instruction, John Lee, mechanics, Jack Nicklaus, Lorena Ochoa, OVER THE TOP, PGA NATIONAL, unique golf swing
Revised 09-03-2012