PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Chiding Chi

March 15, 2007

*"Continue in a state of grace until is succeeded by a state of glory." Seymour Dunn *

David Leadbetter's Swing Chi piece continues to draw comment. This one from the old country takes an old-country approach to instruction and questions what's new in David's. From Bryan Patterson of Donegal:

"__People, such as my old boss John Jacobs and indeed Henry Cotton and a number of competent teachers of that era—'60s/'70s—sussed the relevance of weight distribution throughout the swing. As for the baseball bat drill, it is rather old hat.  Relating the swing of the hands and arms to the core is nearly a 100-year-old fundamental.   __Perhaps if he had encouraged Nick Faldo to adopt this principal he would have created more hand and arm action (afterall this is what the baseball action really promotes—swish—apart from relating the hands-arm swing to the core, which is lost in supposed 'modern teaching') thus giving more naturalness in turn and more power, thus prolonging his career and who knows more Majors.... __

"As John Jacobs used to say, 'there is nothing new in golf, only a number of opportunists trying to convince us that they have re-invented the wheel'. As the great Peter Thompson once said; 'All you need to know about swinging a golf club you could write down on the back of a cigarette pack."__

Whoa, Bryan. The fact that David got so much attention with this Swing Chi package is evidence, I think, that his putting these elements together got our readers' attention and that the lessons you extol hit home. No reason to disparage David for adding a bit of research and imagery to "sell" them. And Faldo did okay in the majors department. But I see your point. And I love that Peter Thomson quote. Sorting out the instruction that comes your way, knowing what's right for you, is not easy.

Here's a bald plug: You can make that process a lot easier, almost to the cigarette-pack level of simplicity, by registering for the Golf Digest Challenge, starting today. The Challenge will help you track your short and long game handicaps and then serve up tips and drills for what ails your game. As Peter Thomson also said, I believe, "You make your best decisions when you're happiest." Get happy and and do the Challenge. Good decision.

--Bob Carney