Butch Harmon's curriculum vitae suggests that, more than most (or all) instructors, we should listen when he is talking about golf and instruction, as he is doing in his new instructional videos, "Butch Harmon About Golf."
His clientele through the years has included Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. He, too, is the son of renowned teaching pro (and former Masters champion) Claude Harmon.
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"You think about Stewart Maiden with Bobby Jones. That's great," said Terry Jastrow, whose Jastrow Productions produced Harmon's videos. "You think about Jack Grout with Nicklaus. You think of Harvey Penick and Ben (Crenshaw) and Tom (Kite). But in the aggregate, on any matrix you want to use -- number of players he helped get to number one, number of majors his players have won, number of tour events won, international players -- you cold argue that he's the greatest teacher of all time."
"Butch Harmon About Golf" includes two DVDs with more than four hours of instruction, as well as interviews with many of those with whom Harmon has worked, including Tiger Woods.
"When we first talked about it, I said, 'how do you make it great? How do you make it different? There are hundreds of these out there,'" said Jastrow, who through the years has produced instructional videos with Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Curtis Strange and Phil Mickelson, among others.
"Just doing it with Butch is a giant step. But he said, 'I think I can get my guys. I'll bet they'll tell you how I helped them.' My God, I thought, that would be gold."
They all agreed to do it, including Woods, who said this: "No one understands the golf swing nor has more knowledge about the game than Butch. He can help any golfer, amateur or pro. He is a great communicator and motivator. Simply put, I think that he is the best instructor in the world."
"The lineup he's touched, nobody could deliver like that," Jastrow said. "I said, 'really?' Butch said, 'yeah.' He talked to Tiger and said Tiger will do it. They were all happy to do it. Every single one said the sweetest things about Butch, how he's a great communicator, how much he's helped them."
The videos can be ordered through the website for $79.95, plus shipping and handling.
-- John Strege