Sunday, March 6, 2011


Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey
courtesy LIFE
 PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida - There are golf swings and there are unusual golf swings. Some are the result of golf lessons from teaching pros while others have a more homemade appearance.  Although 80-90% of all amateur golfers have a natural tendency to swing over the top, no golf instructor teaches or even encourages the practice.  This weekend, a very unusual golf swing appeared at a PGA Tour event. Not only that, the guy with the unusual swing was contending. If not for a triple-bogey on the infamous par-three 15th hole at PGA National, Tommy Gainey might have been playing in the final group on Sunday at The Honda Classic.

At the fine website you can read the February 25, 2011 article by Lee McGinnis, Ph.D. and PGA Member. I found the following passages to be refreshing as well as revealing.

"In conducting our study on the country’s top teaching pros, we’ve discovered a different philosophy. The pros in our research seemed to be more inclined to prescribe change that was seamless and without pain. They also prescribed strategies that were focused on providing the simplest route to effective change without trying to alter too much of what the student brings to the table."

I must admit that I'd never encountered these types of golf instructors on the road to creating the great OVER THE TOP GOLF swing. The vast majority of teaching pros knew how to swing one way and one way only. Common sense tells us that they must also teach that same exact swing because to do otherwise would just make them look clumsy. So PGA and PGA-type golf lessons are nothing more than an imprint of their swings onto your mind and body. Sort of like having someone else's face tattoed on top of your own.

"While it may be human nature or the nature of coaches and even business practitioners to inflict change and dramatic change in order to validate their positions, our pros were more inclined to work with what they had."

I'm not implying that there's no potential for improvement going the big bucks golf lesson route. It's just that stories of golf swing recidivism after lessons run about 90% for reverting back to old habits. Most amateur golf students add that they find themselves more confused than ever.

You've got to own your swing. It's as simple as that. Once you do, you can correct your problems within a few holes, not a few months. Tommy Gainey has a lightning quick golf swing....he's got his right elbow permanently attached to his right hip bone....who taught him that golf swing? My bet is that he came to his golf teacher or golf coach with a lot of unusual but innate habits that the instructor further shaped into something workable.

Golf lessons that focus more on what you can't do instead of what you are actually capable of doing are bad. You'll find that any PGA teaching pro who will work with your outside-in swing or funky grip is the exception to the rule. The pros themselves say that 90% of amateurs have, and will always have, an over the top swing. There are more than 100 web sites advertising that they can fix, cure or correct it.

Last thought insired by Tommy Gainey's success....yes, amateur golfers can correct a homemade outside-in, over the top golf swing or any other problem but without periodic refresher lessons from a teaching pro and constant practice, forget about it. If you are a person who likes golf lessons and practicing then you are definitely on the right road. For others like myself who rarely get to play, much less practice, golf lessons can be more like taking a wrong turn. And if you travel too far before turning back, your destiny will lie in a place that is far from any fairway.


Keywords for this article: golf, swing, over the top, lesson, instruction, eBook, amateur, golf instructor, golf lesson, golf swing, homemade, outside in, OVER THE TOP, PGA NATIONAL, practice, quick, teaching pro, Tommy Gainey, unusual
Revised 09-03-2012