Swing Coach – Getting Kids into Golf
Some of our best lessons we learned in life, we learned as kids. There is a book entitled, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum, that supports this philosophy. These lessons develop our morals and, more importantly, our fine motor skills. Getting kids in sports is one of the best methods to develop our fine motor skills and sportsmanship. I picked up the game of golf from my grandfather, my swing coach, both for baseball and for golf. One of his favorite baseball players was Yogi Berra with the New York Yankees.
I spent long days during the summer months playing baseball with kids in the farming community where we lived. My grandfather, Qatspy, my swing coach, taught me the basic swing techniques and mechanics in baseball first, before introducing me to the game of golf. And to his credit he was correct to do so. If you placed a golf ball on a tee like baseball players use while taking batting practice, the golf swing all of a sudden becomes easier to performed.
My grandfather, Qatspy, my swing coach, taught me the basic swing techniques and mechanics in baseball first, before introducing me to the game of golf.
We would play baseball for hours in my grandfather’s pasture behind the house. We used welcome mats as bases and home plate. We even had my grandfather’s old ’60 Chevy pickup to serve as a backstop when we didn’t have a catcher. Before you jump to conclusions, yes, we did lean a piece of plywood up against the side of the truck to protect the truck. Because my grandfather used the truck to deliver milk to the Kraft Processing Plant.
Some of the ground rules were, the fourth foul ball was a called out, and any fly ball over the gravel road was a home run. And what was really nice about those summer baseball games was my grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies with whole milk that we had milked that morning.
My grandfather was an effective swing coach, because he established the relationship between my baseball-style swing and the golf swing. It was never the case of the golf swing vs baseball swing to him.
Never the Case of the Golf swing vs Baseball swing
A few years after I started playing baseball, my grandfather got me involved in golf. He did this by doing something that I have not seen before from any other swing coach. My grandfather was an effective swing coach, because he established the relationship between my baseball-style swing and the golf swing. It was never the case of the golf swing vs baseball swing to him. To build on my baseball-type swing, he set up a cut off section of a T-post, metal fence post, just below waist high into a five-gallon bucket of concrete. Then he mounted a 6-inch length piece of radiator hose on the top of the T-post to hold a baseball. This essentially was the modern-day tee ball holder that Major League baseball hitters use today in their batting practice. My grandfather was actually way ahead of his time, because this was in 1969.
Then he would have me practice first by just setting the bat up behind the baseball, then slowly presetting my wrists, by camming and camming-over, to the Lock Position. Then my swing coach had me take the bat back up to the top of the swing. The third week he had me swing through the baseball with about three-quarter speed. My swing coach had me do this before placing a golf club in my hands. I now realize that my grandfather was trying to transition me from a baseball-type swing into a golf swing. But he was also helping me improve my batting average as well.
3- Stage Golf Swing Coaching Process
Then, after three weeks of working with a tee-ball practice, my swing coach gave me a 7-Iron, one of the easiest clubs to hit in the golf bag. He would set a golf ball on a three-and-a-quarter inch high tee in the ground. He had me just go through the actions of presetting my wrists to the Lock position for a first week. Then the second week, he had me preset my wrists and then take the club up to the top position of my swing. He told me to just focus only on my left thumb and holding the top position. Then at the top, he wanted me to look at the orientation between the handle of the club and the ball. The third week, my swing coach had me complete a three-quarter golf swing through impact. My grandfather specifically wanted me to go slow in order to develop the proper feel for the golf swing.
What the previous two weeks of presetting my wrists with a 7-Iron did was allow me to focus on the feel and not think about my golf swing. The three-quarter dry run takeaway golf swing that I did four times a day during the third week allowed me to develop the subconscious muscle memory, or feel, without worrying about the results. My grandfather was more concerned about process than results. Results are the by-product of a well-defined sequential process.
When working with a new golfer just hitting a bucket of golf balls on the practice range, their focus is more on results rather than the process. Those two weeks of going through the paces, I developed the important feel in one’s golf swing. I wasn’t focused on results but rather process of building muscle memory. Especially in the nodular just above my pinky knuckle called the Ulna Styloid Process and the Flexor Capri Ulnaris muscle. If I didn’t focus on the process, a young kid’s first inclination is to see how hard and far they can hit a golf ball, instead of developing their techniques. My grandfather wanted the golfer to focus on their process of setting up the sequence in their golf swing. Like my swing coach stated, the only place RESULTS comes before WORK or SEQUENCE is in the dictionary and not in one’s golf game.
To learn more about how to take your baseball swing from the batter’s box to the tee box, purchase your copy of the ESPY Golf Swing Coach:
My book can also be purchased at Edwin Watts Golf Store in Jackson, Mississippi. Phone No. 601-956-8784
820 East County Line Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157
Please include an exercise routine in your weekly schedule.
Also, learning The ESPY Golf Swing Coach process is an excellent way to develop Rhythm without experiencing the Blues: