Saturday, May 22, 2010

Some passing thoughts on Hogan and his "secret"

Some passing thoughts

After the debilitating effects of my stroke I lost most of my strength.  In 2004, after having to relearn to walk, talk, read, write, zip a zipper, button a button and everything else I was released from my end of life hospice program in a nursing home.  I hobbled back into my life or at least what was left of it.  I still have severe neuritis in both legs and feet, severe back pain due to arthritis and residual paralysis in my upper right side which affords me little to no real power any longer.  The stroke hit me on the left side of my brain so the major residuals are to my right side. 

I then decided to see if I could swing a golf club.  That winter of 2004-05 I had a sand wedge and a foam ball to practice with in my little apartment.  I could not and still can’t even begin to approach swing a club to parallel.  It hurts far too much to do that.  As a result of my stroke my right arm hangs from the shoulder and I don’t have a natural arm swing anymore.  My left arm still swings when I walk but the right arm just hangs there like a sausage hanging in a butcher shop.  So with these problems it would seem playing anything but putt putt would be the extent of my golf.  Well that is not the case.

I met John Schlee over 20 years ago by sheer chance at a driving range.  I had just taken up the game and was horrible.  I had bought books and videos and went over the material just as if I was studying for the California Bar Exam again.  (I’m a lawyer).  My love for golf led me to become a PGA Tour Player Manager for Bruce Crampton and others.  As a result, I have had the privilege of meeting and studying the great players up close and personal.

Schlee took pity on me.  I detail what he taught me in my book “The Secret to a Great Golf Swing” and demonstrate it in my DVD “On Target Power”.  Even with my limited range of motion and pain I can hit the ball dead straight with a reasonable amount of distance.  At 58 and in my condition I will not be winning any long drive contests.  But, play to about a 2 handicap actually handicapped. 

I know for a fact that this mysterious golf swing is just that a SWING.  If it were a HIT I wouldn’t get the ball out of my shadow.  I learned the biomechanics necessary to swing a club fast and in balance while capitalizing on conservation of angular momentum.  The mechanics are simple; almost too simple.  I have had students come here from all over the country and the common comment they have is, “IT CAN”T BE THIS EASY!”  I just say, “Why not?”  Riding a bicycle is far more complicated than swinging a club yet no one seems to have a problem riding.  How may bicycle riding lessons have you had?  If I asked you to tell me each little detail of what you had to do with your body to get a bike rolling with you on it pedaling away do you think you could do that?  Do you think I would learn how to ride a bike from your description?

Hogan had a definite way he used his hands and arms that few understand.  All of the “experts” are looking in the wrong place.  It is comical if not just sad to see.  Hogan’s secret is like the arrow in the FEDEX logo; once you see it you can’t help but see it all the time.