Jim Flick: "A Teacher's Teacher"
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In the last few years, Jim worked with a number of promising juniors, including U.S. Amateur champion Philip Francis, who was a member of the 2008 NCAA champion UCLA team as a freshman; and Beau Hossler, who qualified for the 2011 U.S. Open at age 16, then was in contention this year well into the final round at Olympic. Jim also taught several top women players, including the LPGA's Jimin Kang and former No. 1-ranked junior Ester Choe.
Jim produced more than 75 articles for Golf Digest, including several cover stories, plus monthly tips for the past eight years. He also wrote three top-selling golf instruction books: Square to Square with Dick Aultman, How to Become a Complete Golfer with Bob Toski and Larry Dennis, and Jim Flick on Golf with Glen Waggoner. He was a member of the Golf Digest Professional Staff and was highly ranked among America's 50 Greatest Teachers, a peer-review survey conducted by Golf Digest.
In his final days, TaylorMade CEO Mark King was often at his side. Jim taught at TaylorMade's Kingdom, and its learning center will be renamed in his honor. Tom Lehman dropped off his Ryder Cup trophy replica, a tribute not just to Flick but also to Lehman. Toski phoned him every day, as did other teachers and players.
Jim was a complete professional. He often would call me, not just to see how I was doing, but to ask me what I thought of so-and-so's performance in the most recent tour event. I would try my best to give him a thoughtful answer, and I always felt Jim listened. Then he would give me his opinion, which always was more insightful than the perspective of other teachers. He understood not only the golf swing, but also golf equipment -- "hold the instrument lightly," he would say -- the golf mind and the learning process. He was truly was one of the icons among golf instructors. I have lost not only my teacher, but my friend.