Thursday, October 30, 2008

Understanding Golf

Submitted by one of my students:

ONLY A TRUE GOLFER WILL UNDERSTAND THIS : Don't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it. Never try to keep more than 300 separate thoughts in your mind during your swing. When your shot has to carry over a water hazard, you can either hit one more club or two more balls. If you're afraid a full shot might reach the green while the foursome ahead of you is still putting out, you have two options: you can immediately shank a lay-up or you can wait until the green is clear and top a ball halfway there..

The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about the golf swing. No matter how bad you are playing, it is always possible to play worse. The inevitable result of any golf lesson is the instant elimination of the one critical unconscious motion that allowed you to compensate for all of your many other errors

Everyone replaces his divot after a perfect approach shot. A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponents' luck. It is surprisingly easy to hole a fifty foot putt. For a 10. Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut. Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts It's not a gimme if you're still away. The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through the center of a very large tree. You can hit a two acre fairway 10% of the time and a two inch branch 90% of the time. If you really want to get better at golf, go back and take it up at a much earlier age.

Since bad shots come in groups of three, a fourth bad shot is actually the beginning of the next group of three. When you look up, causing an awful shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you ought to start watching the ball if you ever want to see it again. Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe. If you want to hit a 7 iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard. To calculate the speed of a player's downswing, multiply the speed of his back-swing by his handicap; i.e., back-swing 20 mph, handicap 15, downswing = 300 mph.

There are two things you can learn by stopping your back-swing at the top and checking the position of your hands: how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove. Hazards attract; fairways repel. A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours. If there is a ball on the fringe and a ball in the bunker, your ball is in the bunker. If both balls are in the bunker, yours is in the footprint It's easier to get up at 6:00 AM to play golf than at 10:00 to mow the yard A good drive on the 18th hole has stopped many a golfer from giving up the game. Golf is the perfect thing to do on Sunday because you always end up having to pray a lot. A good golf partner is one who's always slightly worse than you are....that's why I get so many calls to play with friends.

If there's a storm rolling in, you'll be having the game of your life. Golf balls are like eggs. They're white. They're sold by the dozen. And you need to buy fresh ones each week. It's amazing how a golfer who never helps out around the house will replace his divots, repair his ball marks, and rake his sand traps. If your opponent has trouble remembering whether he shot a six or a seven, he probably shot an eight (or worse). It takes longer to learn to be a good golfer than it does to become a brain surgeon. On the other hand, you don't get to ride around on a cart, drink beer, eat hot dogs and fart if you are performing Brain Surgery !!!!

Jim McLellan

The AntiPro/The Maverick

Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing

Golfer's Crying Towel!

Our pro shop consisted of a concrete block structure built on a slab at the site of an old city dump. This modest primitive structure housed a U-shaped counter designed to sell buckets of balls for our driving range customers. A medium bucket was 50 cents, large was 75 cents, and extra large was 1 dollar. (My Dad was a great salesman. Notice the absence of a small bucket). Additionally, we sold tickets to play our par 3 course. On one wall there were usually 2 or 3 sets of clubs for sale, (I remember selling about one set per month, if we were lucky), a small snack bar and a few tables...which were never all full at the same time.

The West windows provided a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains from Pikes' Peak to Mt. Evans to Long's Peak and several other 14,000 ft+ peaks. Many were snow capped year 'round including days when Summer temps reached 100 in the city . . . less than a two hour drive away.

Unfortunately, one of the rituals we were forced to endure was being the recipient of horror stories from golfers who had just completed their rounds. Many had to describe every shot from the first T to the last putt! They informed us that the more they read about golf and the more lessons they took the worse they did. I heard these stories for years. Some readers wonder why I'm the outspoken Anti-Pro. I will guarantee if they had my background experience they would feel the same or more so.

My Mom was a tough Irish lady & had very little tolerance for whiners. After about 2 seconds of some golfer's moaning my Mom would throw them the crying towel and say "Tell your troubles to Jesus, the Chaplin's gone a shore!" You would have liked her.

Jim McLellan

The Anti-Pro/The Maverick

Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Emperor's New Clothes

Perhaps you will spot some similarities between this prophetic story and today's golf instruction. Mr. Andersen's story may also apply to our upcoming presidental election.

The Emperor's New Clothes
by Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75)adapted by Stephen Corrin in Stories for Seven-Year-Olds. London 1964

Many years ago there lived an Emperor who was so exceedingly fond of fine new clothes that he spent vast sums of money on dress. To him clothes meant more than anything else in the world. He took no interest in his army, nor did he care to go to the theatre, or to drive about in his state coach, unless it was to display his new clothes. He had different robes for every single hour of the day.

In the great city where he lived life was gay and strangers were always coming and going. Everyone knew about the Emperor's passion for clothes.

Now one fine day two swindlers, calling themselves weavers, arrived. They declared that they could make the most magnificent cloth that one could imagine; cloth of most beautiful colours and elaborate patterns. Not only was the material so beautiful, but the clothes made from it had the special power of being invisible to everyone who was stupid or not fit. for his post.
"What a splendid idea," thought the Emperor. "What useful clothes to have. If I had such a suit of clothes I could know at once which of my people is stupid or unfit for his post."

So the Emperor gave the swindlers large sums of money and the two weavers set up their looms in the palace. They demanded the finest thread of the best silk and the finest gold and they pretended to work at their looms. But they put nothing on the looms. The frames stood empty. The silk and gold thread they stuffed into their bags. So they sat pretending to weave, and continued to work at the empty loom till late into the night. Night after night they went home with their money and their bags full of the finest silk and gold thread. Day after day they pretended to work.

Now the Emperor was eager to know how much of the cloth was finished, and would have loved to see for himself. He was, however, somewhat uneasy. "Suppose," he thought secretly, "suppose I am unable to see the cloth. That would mean I am either stupid or unfit for my post. That cannot be," he thought, but all the same he decided to send for his faithful old minister to go and see. "He will best be able to see how the cloth looks. He is far from stupid and splendid at his work."

So the faithful old minister went into the hall where the two weavers sat beside the empty looms pretending to work with all their might. The Emperor's minister opened his eyes wide. "Upon my life!" he thought. "I see nothing at all, nothing." But he did not say so. The two swindlers begged him to come nearer and asked him how he liked it. "Are not the colors exquisite, and see how intricate are the patterns," they said. The poor old minister stared and stared. Still he could see nothing, for there was nothing. But he did not dare to say he saw nothing. "Nobody must find out,"' thought he. "I must never confess that I could not see the stuff."
"Well," said one of the rascals. "You do not say whether it pleases you."
"Oh, it is beautiful-most excellent, to be sure. Such a beautiful design, such exquisite colors. I shall tell the Emperor how enchanted) I am with the cloth."
"We are very glad to hear that," said the weavers, and they started to describe the colors and patterns in great detail. The old minister listened very carefully so that he could repeat the description to the Emperor. They also demanded more money and more gold thread, saying that they needed it to finish the cloth. But, of course, they put all they were given into their bags and pockets and kept on working at their empty looms.

Soon after this the Emperor sent another official to see how the men were ,getting on and to ask whether the cloth would soon be ready. Exactly the same happened with him as with the minister. He stood and stared, but as there was nothing to be seen, he could see nothing.
"Is not the material beautiful?" said the swindlers, and again they talked of 'the patterns and the exquisite colors. "Stupid I certainly am not," thought the official. "Then I must be unfit for my post. But nobody shall know that I could not see the material." Then he praised the material he did not see and declared that he was delighted with the colors and the marvelous patterns.
To the Emperor he said when he returned, "The cloth the weavers are preparing is truly magnificent."

Everybody in the city had heard of the secret cloth and were talking about the splendid material.
And now the Emperor was curious to see the costly stuff for himself while it was still upon the looms. Accompanied by a number of selected ministers, among whom were the two poor ministers who had already been before, the Emperor went to the weavers. There they sat in front of the empty looms, weaving more diligently than ever, yet without a single thread upon the looms.
"Is not the cloth magnificent?" said the two ministers. "See here, the splendid pattern, the glorious colors." Each pointed to the empty loom. Each thought that the other could see the material.
"What can this mean?" said the Emperor to himself. "This is terrible. Am I so stupid? Am I not fit to be Emperor? This is disastrous," he thought. But aloud he said, "Oh, the cloth is perfectly wonderful. It has a splendid pattern and such charming colors." And he nodded his approval and smiled appreciatively and stared at the empty looms. He would not, he could not, admit he saw nothing, when his two ministers had praised the material so highly. And all his men looked and looked at the empty looms. Not one of them saw anything there at all. Nevertheless, they all said, "Oh, the cloth is magnificent."
They advised the Emperor to have some new clothes made from this splendid material to wear in the great procession the following day.
"Magnificent." "Excellent." "Exquisite," went from mouth to mouth and everyone was pleased. Each of the swindlers was given a decoration to wear in his button-hole and the title of "Knight of the Loom".

The rascals sat up all that night and worked, burning more than sixteen candles, so that everyone could see how busy they were making the suit of clothes ready for the procession. Each of them had a great big pair of scissors and they cut in the air, pretending to cut the cloth with them, and sewed with needles without any thread.

There was great excitement in the palace and the Emperor's clothes were the talk of the town. At last the weavers declared that the clothes were ready. Then the Emperor, with the most distinguished gentlemen of the court, came to the weavers. Each of the swindlers lifted up an arm as if he were holding something. "Here are Your Majesty's trousers," said one. "This is Your Majesty's mantle," said the other. "The whole suit is as light as a spider's web. Why, you might almost feel as if you had nothing on, but that is just the beauty of it."
"Magnificent," cried the ministers, but they could see nothing at all. Indeed there was nothing to be seen.
"Now if Your Imperial Majesty would graciously consent to take off your clothes," said the weavers, "we could fit on the new ones." So the Emperor laid aside his clothes and the swindlers pretended to help him piece by piece into the new ones they were supposed to have made.
The Emperor turned from side to side in front of the long glass as if admiring himself.
"How well they fit. How splendid Your Majesty's robes look: What gorgeous colors!" they all said.
"The canopy which is to be held over Your Majesty in the procession is waiting," announced the Lord High Chamberlain.
"I am quite ready," announced the Emperor, and he looked at himself again in the mirror, turning from side to side as if carefully examining his handsome attire.
The courtiers who were to carry the train felt about on the ground pretending to lift it: they walked on solemnly pretending to be carrying it. Nothing would have persuaded them to admit they could not see the clothes, for fear they would be thought stupid or unfit for their posts.
And so the Emperor set off under the high canopy, at the head of the great procession. It was a great success. All the people standing by and at the windows cheered and cried, "Oh, how splendid are the Emperor's new clothes. What a magnificent train! How well the clothes fit!" No one dared to admit that he couldn't see anything, for who would want it to be known that he was either stupid or unfit for his post?

None of the Emperor's clothes had ever met with such success.
But among the crowds a little child suddenly gasped out, "But he hasn't got anything on." And the people began to whisper to one another what the child had said. "He hasn't got anything on." "There's a little child saying he hasn't got anything on." Till everyone was saying, "But he hasn't got anything on." The Emperor himself had the uncomfortable feeling that what they were whispering was only too true. "But I will have to go through with the procession," he said to himself.
So he drew himself up and walked boldly on holding his head higher than before, and the courtiers held on to the train that wasn't there at all.

Hans Christian Andersen was born on 2. April 1805 in Odense (Denmark). He was son of a poor shoemaker and could hardly attend school. His father died when he was 11 years old. When Hans Anderson was the age of 14 he ran away to Copenhagen. In 1822 he went to the Latin school in Slagelse. He died in Copenhagen 4. August 1875 in the age of 70 years.

Jim McLellan

The AntiPro/The Maverick

Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

"As A Man Thinketh"

I remember the exact date a friend of my wife gave us " As a Man Thinketh,__ I was 30 something. It changed my life, forever. I have recommended this book to several friends and the effect has been the same for them. The book is very inexpensive and is a quick, enjoyable read. It should be required reading for each and every human being. Look on EBay, Amazon . . . etc. Let me know how it changes your life!

Jim McLellan
The AntiPro/The Maverick
Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Younger Next Year

" 'Tis more blessed to give than receive," is an expression some may regard as corny . . . but it works for me. It is much more fun for me to give someone something and see the smile on their face, or receive a success story about how the joy of one's life has increased because of my golf instruction, than it is for me to get something, . . . a gift that I don't like in the first place, such as a tie, for Christmas, with ducks on it.

Having covered that, I must share something with you that will, indeed, change your life. it has mine. The book___ Younger Next Year: A Guide to living like 50 Until You’re 80 and Beyond by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, MD . . . and it is awesome. The book reaches far beyond the typical garden variety book on improving ones health because it works! We have the audio version and listen to it at home and in our car. It is so informative and fun to listen to that we are not in any hurry to get to our destination as we travel by car.

One of the best overviews can be found at This man is an authority on the subject of health and fitness and I've been a fan of his for decades.

Younger Next Year is available for both men and women and can be found at several places on the WWW . . . Amazon, EBay, their site, will love it! Let me know what you think!

Jim McLellan
The AntiPro/The Maverick
Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Golfer's Soap Opera!

Adhering to the stringent policy of protecting the identity of my students I submit the following saga employing the utmost discretion and anonymity.

The dedicated reader may remember a past post entitled Breaking News. To avoid redundancy, you may want to turn back the pages of this blog for review.

This particular golfer approached, dare I say desperately pleaded with me___ to view his swing, via video tape, analyze and offer suggestions. I agreed to do so for FREE.

I will admit that there was something in it for me. That something was the satisfaction of seeing a pile of clay turn into a magnificent sculpture. I became involved in this mission personally and up to my eyeballs, with great hopes for the student and the obvious thrill of seeing how I could transform his golf swing. But more importantly, to inspire you___the reader___and all other golfers that were about to witness the complete transformation of a golf swing, in a short period of time!

The first video arrives. The back swing was far short of the recommendations on the DVD, the left arm was bending way too much, the head was moving all over the place, there was no
display of power in the swing, there was no forward press, the back swing was way too fast, and the follow through was pathetic. There's more but you get the drift.

I, or should we say WE, went to work.

Step by step the swing was transformed into something quite striking. After only one week the swing was hardly recognizable from the previous swing. He emailed and asked what I wanted for Christmas. I told him that a video of his new sensational swing would be perfect.

Videos were emailed 2 and 3 times a week. The transformation was stunning. The back swing became full, the left arm straight, the pace of the back swing became slow and deliberate, the forward press set the tone for a swing that was waltz timed tempo based, there was real power, the swing looked relaxed, natural , and in the hands of a fine golfer. The follow through would need some tweaking and the metamorphose would be complete. The small egg would morph into a soaring Eagle, the nondescript bud would turn into a gorgeous Orchid, the 97 pound weakling would become Mr. Universe.

My wife joined in the excitement of seeing, before our very eyes, the remarkable difference.

"OMG," said she, "is that . . ._____? Doesn't even look like the same golfer."

In a few short weeks the swing was completely reworked and became a thing of beauty with power and consistency to spare. The swing was 90% there! Then FLASH ! . . . followed by BOOM! . . . lightening & thunder strike!!

"Jim, I have a blister." So? I thought, Do I hear a violin playing "my heart cries for you?" I had dozens and dozens of blisters. Babe Zaharias and Ben Hogan got blisters that bled. They wrapped their hands in gauze and continued to practice.

"Jim, I practiced for 2 hours, I'm pretty tired." Ben, The Babe & I practiced for 8 hours some days, and got tired, but who cares. I'm your golf coach not your Mommy, I thought!

The race car was starting to leak oil. Yikes, is the right front tire starting to wobble?

"Jim, some say that Sam Snead was double jointed and that's why he had a full swing." Front and left rear tires have the major wobbles. More oil leaking, right front wheel rips loose and bounces, dangerously over the fence & directly toward the horrified, screaming fans in the grand stands.

Hang on golf student, the checkered flag is in sight. OMG, the yellow flag just came out and is flapping like Old Glory in a hurricane.

"Jim, someone came by and told me I could hurt my back with my new swing." Sweet Baby Jesus . . . Major oil leak, bottom of race car shooting flames, gas leak, engine blows, black smoke belching from exhaust pipe, two more wheels fall off, sparks fly 30 feet in the air, car pieces fly off in all directions.

After a few short days of climbing Mr. Everest, he sat down on his backpack. He "beached himself' like a whale, shot himself in the temple playing Russian Roulette, and sabotaged a golden opportunity to have a swing to die for, a swing in the 1% class of all golfers, a swing others would stop to watch and drool over. Split seconds from Grrr-rabbing the brass ring he falls off of the Carousel.

I had such high hopes for him and the untold golfers he could inspire with his example. I am seriously disappointed for him, but more importantly for all golfers who could bear witness to how easy and quick it is to build a pretty, powerful, effective and consistent golf swing in a few short weeks. I saved the videos, showing his remarkable progress!

As the World Turns, the Soap Opera reveals the true character of this cast member. It turns out the passion I perceived was only lip service. The stuff that makes golfers very good or great simply wasn't there. When he told me he would do anything to have a great swing, he was simply reading his lines in the Soap Opera script.

No good deed ever goes unpunished. It's his loss, but my sadness at seeing someone so close, caving in at the last moment is huge. Perhaps if he was paying for my advice he would have valued it more dearly. Who said life was fair? "What a crying shame", as Mom used to say!

Jim McLellan,
The Anti-Pro, The Maverick!

Visit or Return to McGolf Home of the Perfect Golf Swing