Topics and Thoughts (July 29, 2015)

cropped-school_jimmclean_0761.jpg Jason Day, Texas? This means Jason still has a home at my Jim McLean Golf Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. Jason trained their with his coach/caddie Colin Swatton for 3 years. He used our fitness area, our Simulator, our indoor putting studio, our outdoor bent grass putting green, the 9 holes practice course, the short game areas, and our driving range. All before he got married and moved to Columbus, Ohio. He did incredible work at JMGC. Jason is the best person you could ever imagine. He treated everyone great, especially all of our junior golfers who all love him. It’s great when he comes back to visit. The Ft Worth,JMGC facility, has a “Year Around” junior academy. Go to We have a phenomenal record with… Current U.S. Amateur Champion Kristen Gillman, 2013 U.S. Jr runner up Lakerabe Abe, Brad Dalke #2 ranked junior in the USA plus many, many more. We have had our juniors get four year scholarships to top colleges like Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, OSU, Oklahoma, Brown, Houston (my college), etc. JJ Henry practices at this facility regularly and other top players stop in, too. The list of tour players using our practice facility is huge. Jason Day continues to work up the world rankings and may achieve the goal he set as a teenager when he stated he wanted to be #1. Go Jason, and all of our great young players. Over the past 3 months I’ve been teaching all over the place. I’m now back at Trump National Doral, but I’ll be going up to Firestone next week to work with Gary Woodland. Here’s the list of recent travels: Liberty National in NJ, Scotland, Queenswood GC in London, Seattle for the US Open, Stockfarm in Montana (Missoula and Hamilton), Cordevalle in San Martin ( site of next year’s Women’s US Open ). Jon Horner is the DOI. Alexis Thompson wins on LPGA tour last week. Jon Curran made the cut in Canadian Open and is having a good year on the PGA tour. My son, Jon, won the Maine Open with 68,65,64. He’s been playing the China PGA also. My other son, Matt, is teaching like crazy at the famous Fishers Island Club in New York (it was ranked in the top 10 courses by Golf Digest). Cristie Kerr is playing good (#1 all time money winner for an American woman). What are real teachers? Lots of announcers are saying they can teach? But you don’t teach!  Interesting? It’s easy to say you can do anything. Everybody is a great Monday morning quarterback. I wrote,with Adam Kolloff, a book on using Trackman. It is doing great. It breaks out how we teach using Trackman with 3 levels of golfers. You must use safety zones. But you must also know how to teach, not just read numbers. There are 24 true fundamentals that we analyze at my golf schools. What is a fundamental?  Grip, stance, straight left arm, no head movement. No!  Instead they are things all top ball strikers have in common. It’s only taken 40 years to break this out. Teaching beginners, high handicap golfers, talented juniors, average juniors, challenged adults is all different. Teaching at levels. Stages. Handicaps…it’s all different. It’s not teaching everybody the same thing, or a rigid method. That’s a very simple minded way of teaching and thinking. Having a system and not a method is what I’ve done at all of my schools. A system is like a team. A college or pro team. Basketball is a good example. Who’s on your team? Do you teach them all one way. Your way? A great coach does not go into the room and say this is the way we are going to play. The great coach instead goes in and sees who is on his team that he adapts to, and then he/she will get the most out of the talent he/she is given. The great coach will have a system they totally believe in, but it’s adaptive. You play within a system, not a one way method. It’s the same with a great football coach. Does he inherent a tremendous running game? Passing game? GREAT KICKER? What does he have to work with and how can he/she make them better. What is a teacher that doesn’t teach?  What is a teacher that truly has no success stories as a teacher?  Who have they taught?  Name them. They might only have theories. NO ENGINEERING DEGREE ANYWHERE, BUT THEY TALK LIKE AN ENGINEER WITH EQUATIONS AND VECTOR FORCES AND STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE THEY NEVER MET.  Meaningless.  The research they have conducted is very minimal at best. Scientific procedures for testing their theory was never applied. If they handed in a paper at any top college or university that paper would most certainly get an “F”. Do you know how a theory is proved?  First it’s put forth to other experts who try to disprove it. THERE IS A COTTAGE INDUSTRY AROUND PRO GOLF AND AVERAGE GOLFERS, TOO. Golf specific PT trainers? Sports psychology…for average weekend golfers? If you can’t play you search for anything. You don’t want it to be YOU, not your talent level, or work ethic. There is money in vocabulary. You have to follow the money. Working out is good, especially if your weak. Most great players were very athletic as kids, and had a serious work ethic. Many golfers do not need extensive workouts as adults. That’s a ploy to get them to pay you. Many people get hurt. Don’t forget this. Lots of great players do not work out much at all. Many that work out are now using bands, not heavy weights. If you walk, carry your bag, push a cart, or just play 18 holes your getting good exercise. Your hitting practice shots before the round and then walking 4/5 miles. Do things you enjoy that makes you move. By all means stretch and work on flexibility. Hitting golf balls is good golf exercise. Working out almost never makes you hit the ball further. That’s the truth, but I want to see my students in good shape and stretching their golf muscles. Wow, lots of random thoughts popped out in this piece. Maybe it’s a little incoherent? I hope you gleaned something from my off the cuff thoughts today. -Jim McLean

Topics and Thoughts (July 29, 2015)

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