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Bag Chatter: An Interview with Bluegrass Fairway

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Bag Chatter is a series of interviews that spotlights brands around the golf industry and the people behind them. We’re looking to make this a regular thing, so please comment and share through your medium of choice. If you have a brand and are interested in participating in these interviews, you can email [email protected] for consideration. Our first interview is with Matt Reynolds, the man behind Bluegrass Fairway. 

Give us the quick elevator pitch. In your own words, what is Bluegrass Fairway?

We are a golf accessories company, but we are a little bit different from what you might find in national chain stores. We use super high-quality, made-in-the-USA materials, and we make everything by hand right here in Kentucky. We don’t mass produce, and we’ve developed a bit of a cult following in only our second year. We started the business in October 2015 and are definitely still growing.

What do you think differentiates your products from others in the marketplace? Why do you think people would buy from Bluegrass Fairway?

We like to use “vintage” or “retro” styled materials. The vast majority of our leather comes from Horween in Chicago or Tennessee Tannery, and we hand pick every hide. We want to provide a quality item that will break in well and wear nicely over time. It’s timeless. It’s something you can hand down to your kids. I’m super passionate about the game. I love the traditions. I love the architecture. We want to provide a classy product that reflects what we appreciate about the game of golf. Needless to say, I doubt you’ll see something in neon orange from us. Sorry in advance!

Would you say you have a “flagship product,” so to speak? If so, what is it?

Leather scorecard holders and yardage book covers are our bread and butter for sure. I’ve been very pleased at how all of our products are selling, though, to be honest. It’s so fun to design something and have people respond positively to it. I really get a huge kick out of it.

Bluegrass Fairway Yardage Book Cover at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Bluegrass Fairway Yardage Book Cover at Harbour Town Golf Links.

How long ago did you start playing golf? When and how did golf first grab your attention?

I took up the game when I was about 15. I was a sophomore in high school. I had just transferred to a new school and my new friends all played golf, so I started taking up the game. My first job was at Wildwood Country Club here in Louisville, so I spent a lot of time at that course. I also worked my butt off in college and finally got pretty good in my mid-20s. A couple years later, I finished top-5 in the Kentucky Open and ended up becoming a scratch golfer. I think what got me hooked on the game was that I was really competitive and I couldn’t understand how this game was so hard, so just the challenge of the game humbled me. The competitive nature that I have pushed me to never stop grinding. It was something I felt like I had to conquer.

What prompted you to start this company? Were you already a leather craftsman? How did that come about?

I had a cheap, old yardage book cover that fell apart, and I took it to a shoe cobbler to fix it. He said to me, “You know, we could easily make you a better one.” He and I collaborated on a design, and he made me another one from scratch. He then made me a couple more, because my friends all wanted one after they saw the one I had. Then one of my friends suggested I sell a couple on Etsy. So I developed a brand name and a logo and made an Etsy store. I didn’t sell any the first month, and I thought, “Gosh, this was a dumb idea.” I was about to take it down and then I sold a bunch during the next two months (November and December of 2015). It eventually grew to a point where I started to outpace my cobbler friend. At that point, I met another friend named Will Jacoby (of Steurer and Jacoby) who happened to be local to me, and also already had a lot of the equipment and seamstresses I needed. So, the bottom line is that I got a little bit lucky for sure, but now Will and I have an agreement where we partner together and help each other out. Really, it had a bit of a fluke beginning and just grew organically from there. I realize that I’m lucky and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Was there a big defining moment or big break for your company? What got you where you are today?

We’ve had some really cool customers that have totally shocked me. The very first big sale I was about three months in when I was contacted by the Orlando Magic. They bought several scorecard holders for a golf event. That was a moment where we thought, “Maybe we’ve actually got something here?” Since then, I’ve had several awesome customers show up. Most recently, the USGA just purchased yardage book holders for the Mid-Am and they sold out in the very first day. Curtis Strange is a customer of mine as well. I’m fortunate to say I could rattle off a few other really fun names. It’s been a blast so far.

Bluegrass Fairway "The Crenshaw" Wallet and Scorecard Holder

Bluegrass Fairway “The Crenshaw” Wallet and Scorecard Holder.

If you weren’t doing this, what else would you be doing? Is there anything else you have a passion for or are trained for?

I work at my family’s insurance agency and have since I was 22 years old, so the Bluegrass Fairway thing is kind of a side project for me. And I love it. I’ve always wanted to figure out a way to make golf my livelihood, and it’s just now starting to take shape. I used to REALLY geek out over the tour gear posted on GolfWRX. You know, back in 2005-2006, WRX was posting all the special wedge grinds and drivers out on tour that normal people couldn’t get, and I used to go crazy over that stuff. I would totally gobble it all up. Golf has been such a passion for me, and it’s so fun to play a small part in the industry.

What would be your ideal foursome? Who would you like to play with? No limits. Could be dead or alive, famous or not famous.

I’d have to say Tiger Woods first. I just idolized him growing up and would be so honored to play with him. That one’s a no-brainer. Second would be my grandpa. I never got to play golf with him, but my dad always tells me he was a great golfer, so that would be really awesome for me. Last, I’d probably have to say Donald Ross. He is my favorite architect by far. I would love to pick his brain on architecture and what makes a great golf course.

What’s your best golf story? Either the funniest or most unbelievable thing that you witnessed on a golf course. Yes, the 19th hole counts.

Hands down it would be the day I was the standard bearer during the PGA Championship in 2000 at Valhalla. I was in college, but I was just barely young enough to qualify as a standard bearer (the guy who carries the sign for the players in the group that shows their names and scores). We had one guy no-show on Sunday, so they asked me to double loop. I was like, “Are you kidding me? OF COURSE!” I was like a kid in a candy store. So, the guy says he’s going to do something nice for me (like I was doing him a favor and he needed to reward me or something) and he gives me the final pairing on Sunday. So I was the standard bearer for Tiger Woods and Bob May on Sunday at Valhalla. Technically, I walked with them the entire way, but I was absolutely floating on air. I still remember the sound their drivers made when they made contact that day. It was absolutely incredible and unlike anything I’d ever seen. To top it all off, Tiger gave me his ball after he made the five footer on the 18th hole and said, “Here man, thanks for walking with us today.” Of course I still have it. It was truly a day I will never forget.

What tour pro (past or present) has your favorite golf swing?

I really like a golfer who shapes the ball, so I would have to go with Phil Mickelson. He doesn’t just go, “I always hit a draw, so I’m just gonna hit a draw all day.” He seems to hit the shot that needs to be hit depending on the situation. Personally, that’s the kind of player I gravitate to.

Bluegrass Fairway Handcrafted Headcovers.

Bluegrass Fairway Handcrafted Headcovers.

What’s the most underrated golf course you’ve ever played? What’s your favorite course that isn’t Pebble Beach or the Old Course?

My all-time personal favorite is Pinehurst No. 2 (like I said, I’m a Donald Ross fan). I’ve played it six times. Each time, I’ve really tried to take it in. I didn’t get to play it before Crenshaw redesigned it, but I still love it so much. I say that to follow up with the fact that there’s a few courses in that area that are just unreal. I would say Mid Pines (right down the street from Pinehurst) is my favorite “underrated” course I’ve ever played. It’s a Donald Ross masterpiece for sure.

What are your thoughts on the state of the game? A lot is said about how the game is struggling and we need to grow it. What do you think?

We all hear it a lot. It’s discouraging to me because this is my sport, so it’s not fun to hear. That being said, I feel like we’re kind of getting used to how things are in the post-Tiger world. It seems like the club companies are recognizing that it’s not wise to bring out five drivers in one year anymore. Personally, I think courses kept closing because it just got to the point that there were just too many. It seemed like there was one on every corner. I do feel like a lot of that has stabilized now, and golf is starting to claw its way back. Personally, I feel like the game is really strong. There’s a young breed coming (Spieth and company) that’s really going to move this game forward in my opinion. Tiger set the bar at a place that he’s always going to be in the conversation (rightfully so), but this young group is going to make their own waves for sure. I honestly think the game is in much better shape than most people will acknowledge.

Lastly, what do you guys have in the works? Are there any product releases forthcoming? How do people find you and get in touch?

We are working on a new golf bag, so that’s exciting. We’ve put one together and it’s currently in testing. We will probably do a small release and see how the feedback is and take it from there. Expect a carry bag with an old school kind of look, because that’s kind of what we do. It will use all the same leather and waxed canvas that we use on all our other materials. As far as social media goes, we are definitely most active on our instagram account @bluegrassfairway and as always check out our website www.bluegrassfairway.com.

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Peter Schmitt is an avid golfer trying to get better every day, the definition of which changes relatively frequently. He believes that first and foremost, golf should be an enjoyable experience. Always. Peter is a former Marine and a full-time mechanical engineer (outside of the golf industry). He lives in Lexington, KY with his wife and two young kids. "What other people may find in poetry or art museums, I find in the flight of a good drive." -Arnold Palmer

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. M. Vegas

    Oct 15, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    IMO they should donate to the Church of Satan

  2. BIG STU

    Oct 15, 2017 at 5:08 am

    I really like what I see here and I am going to keep up with this company. Besides the owner Matt is a big Donald Ross fan whats not to like? Makes him A ok in my book. If the bags he is going to be making look like the ones in the article I will by one along with the covers. One of my many vintage Macgregor sets would look good in those bags

  3. OB

    Oct 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Vintage regression?!!

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Instruction

The Wedge Guy: The easiest-to-learn golf basic

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My golf learning began with this simple fact – if you don’t have a fundamentally sound hold on the golf club, it is practically impossible for your body to execute a fundamentally sound golf swing. I’m still a big believer that the golf swing is much easier to execute if you begin with the proper hold on the club.

As you might imagine, I come into contact with hundreds of golfers of all skill levels. And it is very rare to see a good player with a bad hold on the golf club. There are some exceptions, for sure, but they are very few and very far between, and they typically have beat so many balls with their poor grip that they’ve found a way to work around it.

The reality of biophysics is that the body moves only in certain ways – and the particulars of the way you hold the golf club can totally prevent a sound swing motion that allows the club to release properly through the impact zone. The wonderful thing is that anyone can learn how to put a fundamentally sound hold on the golf club, and you can practice it anywhere your hands are not otherwise engaged, like watching TV or just sitting and relaxing.

Whether you prefer an overlap, interlock or full-finger (not baseball!) grip on the club, the same fundamentals apply.  Here are the major grip faults I see most often, in the order of the frequency:

Mis-aligned hands

By this I mean that the palms of the two hands are not parallel to each other. Too many golfers have a weak left hand and strong right, or vice versa. The easiest way to learn how to hold the club with your palms aligned properly is to grip a plain wooden ruler or yardstick. It forces the hands to align properly and shows you how that feels. If you grip and re-grip a yardstick several times, then grip a club, you’ll see that the learning curve is almost immediate.

The position of the grip in the upper/left hand

I also observe many golfers who have the butt of the grip too far into the heel pad of the upper hand (the left hand for right-handed players). It’s amazing how much easier it is to release the club through the ball if even 1/4-1/2″ of the butt is beyond the left heel pad. Try this yourself to see what I mean.  Swing the club freely with just your left hand and notice the difference in its release from when you hold it at the end of the grip, versus gripping down even a half inch.

To help you really understand how this works, go to the range and hit shots with your five-iron gripped down a full inch to make the club the same length as your seven-iron. You will probably see an amazing shot shape difference, and likely not see as much distance loss as you would expect.

Too much lower (right) hand on the club

It seems like almost all golfers of 8-10 handicap or higher have the club too far into the palm of the lower hand, because that feels “good” if you are trying to control the path of the clubhead to the ball. But the golf swing is not an effort to hit at the ball – it is a swing of the club. The proper hold on the club has the grip underneath the pad at the base of the fingers. This will likely feel “weak” to you — like you cannot control the club like that. EXACTLY. You should not be trying to control the club with your lower/master hand.

Gripping too tightly

Nearly all golfers hold the club too tightly, which tenses up the forearms and prevents a proper release of the club through impact. In order for the club to move back and through properly, you must feel that the club is controlled by the last three fingers of the upper hand, and the middle two fingers of the lower hand. If you engage your thumbs and forefingers in “holding” the club, the result will almost always be a grip that is too tight. Try this for yourself. Hold the club in your upper hand only, and squeeze firmly with just the last three fingers, with the forefinger and thumb off the club entirely. You have good control, but your forearms are not tense. Then begin to squeeze down with your thumb and forefinger and observe the tensing of the entire forearm. This is the way we are made, so the key to preventing tenseness in the arms is to hold the club very lightly with the “pinchers” — the thumbs and forefingers.

So, those are what I believe are the four fundamentals of a good grip. Anyone can learn them in their home or office very quickly. There is no easier way to improve your ball striking consistency and add distance than giving more attention to the way you hold the golf club.

More from the Wedge Guy

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 Texas Children’s Houston Open betting preview

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As the Florida swing comes to an end, the PGA Tour makes its way to Houston to play the Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course.

This will be the fourth year that Memorial Park Golf Course will serve as the tournament host. The event did not take place in 2023, but the course hosted the event in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Memorial Park is a par-70 layout measuring 7,432 yards and features Bermudagrass greens. Historically, the main defense for the course has been thick rough along the fairways and tightly mown runoff areas around the greens. Memorial Park has a unique setup that features three Par 5’s and five Par 3’s.

The field will consist of 132 players, with the top 65 and ties making the cut. There are some big names making the trip to Houston, including Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala.

Past Winners at Memorial Park

  • 2022: Tony Finau (-16)
  • 2021: Jason Kokrak (-10)
  • 2020: Carlos Ortiz (-13)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value). 

Key Stats For Memorial Park

Let’s take a look at several metrics for Memorial Park to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:

Strokes Gained: Approach

Memorial Park is a pretty tough golf course. Golfers are penalized for missing greens and face some difficult up and downs to save par. Approach will be key.

Total Strokes Gained: Approach per round in past 24 rounds:

  1. Tom Hoge (+1.30)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+1.26)
  3. Keith Mitchell (+0.97) 
  4. Tony Finau (+0.92)
  5. Jake Knapp (+0.84)

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee

Memorial Park is a long golf course with rough that can be penal. Therefore, a combination of distance and accuracy is the best metric.

Total Strokes Gained: Off the Tee per round in past 24 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+0.94)
  2. Kevin Dougherty (+0.93)
  3. Cameron Champ (+0.86)
  4. Rafael Campos (+0.84)
  5. Si Woo Kim (+0.70)

Strokes Gained Putting: Bermudagrass + Fast

The Bermudagrass greens played fairly fast the past few years in Houston. Jason Kokrak gained 8.7 strokes putting on his way to victory in 2021 and Tony Finau gained in 7.8 in 2022.

Total Strokes Gained Putting (Bermudagrass) per round past 24 rounds (min. 8 rounds):

  1. Adam Svensson (+1.27)
  2. Harry Hall (+1.01)
  3. Martin Trainer (+0.94)
  4. Taylor Montgomery (+0.88)
  5. S.H. Kim (+0.86)

Strokes Gained: Around the Green

With firm and undulating putting surfaces, holding the green on approach shots may prove to be a challenge. Memorial Park has many tightly mowed runoff areas, so golfers will have challenging up-and-down’s around the greens. Carlos Ortiz gained 5.7 strokes around the green on the way to victory in 2020.

Total Strokes Gained: Around the Green per round in past 24 rounds:

  1. Mackenzie Hughes (+0.76)
  2. S.H. Kim (+0.68)
  3. Scottie Scheffler (+0.64)
  4. Jorge Campillo (+0.62)
  5. Jason Day (+0.60)

Strokes Gained: Long and Difficult

Memorial Park is a long and difficult golf course. This statistic will incorporate players who’ve had success on these types of tracks in the past. 

Total Strokes Gained: Long and Difficult in past 24 rounds:

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+2.45)
  2. Ben Griffin (+1.75)
  3. Will Zalatoris (+1.73)
  4. Ben Taylor (+1.53)
  5. Tony Finau (+1.42)

Course History

Here are the players who have performed the most consistently at Memorial Park. 

Strokes Gained Total at Memorial Park past 12 rounds:

  1. Tyson Alexander (+3.65)
  2. Ben Taylor (+3.40)
  3. Tony Finau (+2.37)
  4. Joel Dahmen (+2.25)
  5. Patton Kizzire (+2.16)

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: App (24%) SG: OTT (24%); SG: Putting Bermudagrass/Fast (13%); SG: Long and Difficult (13%); SG: ARG (13%) and Course History (13%)

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Wyndham Clark
  3. Tony Finau
  4. Joel Dahmen
  5. Stephan Jaeger 
  6. Aaron Rai
  7. Sahith Theegala
  8. Keith Mitchell 
  9. Jhonnatan Vegas
  10. Jason Day
  11. Kurt Kitayama
  12. Alex Noren
  13. Will Zalatoris
  14. Si Woo Kim
  15. Adam Long

2024 Texas Children’s Houston Open Picks

Will Zalatoris +2000 (Caesars)

Scottie Scheffler will undoubtedly be difficult to beat this week, so I’m starting my card with someone who I believe has the talent to beat him if he doesn’t have his best stuff.

Will Zalatoris missed the cut at the PLAYERS, but still managed to gain strokes on approach while doing so. In an unpredictable event with extreme variance, I don’t believe it would be wise to discount Zalatoris based on that performance. Prior to The PLAYERS, the 27-year-old finished T13, T2 and T4 in his previous three starts.

Zalatoris plays his best golf on long and difficult golf courses. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 3rd in the category, but the eye test also tells a similar story. He’s contended at major championships and elevated events in the best of fields with tough scoring conditions.  The Texas resident should be a perfect fit at Memorial Park Golf Club.

Alex Noren +4500 (FanDuel)

Alex Noren has been quietly playing some of his best golf of the last half decade this season. The 41-year-old is coming off back-to-back top-20 finishes in Florida including a T9 at The PLAYERS in his most recent start.

In his past 24 rounds, Noren ranks 21st in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 30th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, 25th in Strokes Gained: Total on long and difficult courses and 21st in Strokes Gained: Putting on fast Bermudagrass greens.

In addition to his strong recent play, the Swede also has played well at Memorial Park. In 2022, Noren finished T4 at the event, gaining 2.2 strokes off the tee and 7.0 strokes on approach for the week. In his two starts at the course, he’s gained an average of .6 strokes per round on the field, indicating he is comfortable on these greens.

Noren has been due for a win for what feels like an eternity, but Memorial Park may be the course that suits him well enough for him to finally get his elusive first PGA Tour victory.

Mackenzie Hughes +8000 (FanDuel)

Mackenzie Hughes found himself deep into contention at last week’s Valspar Championship before faltering late and finishing in a tie for 3rd place. While he would have loved to win the event, it’s hard to see the performance as anything other than an overwhelming positive sign for the Canadian.

Hughes has played great golf at Memorial Park in the past. He finished T7 in 2020, T29 in 2021 and T16 in 2022. The course fit seems to be quite strong for Hughes. He’s added distance off the tee in the past year or and ranks 8th in the field for apex height, which will be a key factor when hitting into Memorial Park’s elevated greens with steep run-off areas.

In his past 24 rounds, Hughes is the best player in the field in Strokes Gained: Around the Greens. The ability to scramble at this course will be extremely important. I believe Hughes can build off of his strong finish last week and contend once again to cement himself as a President’s Cup consideration.

Akshay Bhatia +8000 (FanDuel)

Akshay Bhatia played well last week at the Valspar and seemed to be in total control of his golf ball. He finished in a tie for 17th and shot an impressive -3 on a difficult Sunday. After struggling Thursday, Akshay shot 68-70-68 in his next three rounds.

Thus far, Bhatia has played better at easier courses, but his success at Copperhead may be due to his game maturing. The 22-year-old has enormous potential and the raw talent to be one of the best players in the world when he figures it all out.

Bhatia is a high upside play with superstar qualities and may just take the leap forward to the next stage of his career in the coming months.

Cameron Champ +12000 (FanDuel)

Cameron Champ is a player I often target in the outright betting market due to his “boom-or-bust” nature. It’s hard to think of a player in recent history with three PGA Tour wins who’s been as inconsistent as Champ has over the course of his career.

Despite the erratic play, Cam Champ simply knows how to win. He’s won in 2018, 2019 and 2021, so I feel he’s due for a win at some point this season. The former Texas A&M product should be comfortable in Texas and last week he showed us that his game is in a pretty decent spot.

Over his past 24 rounds, Champ ranks 3rd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 30th in Strokes Gained: Total on long and difficult courses. Given his ability to spike at any given time, Memorial Park is a good golf course to target Champ on at triple digit odds.

Robert MacIntyre +12000 (FanDuel)

The challenge this week is finding players who can possibly beat Scottie Scheffler while also not dumping an enormous amount of money into an event that has a player at the top that looks extremely dangerous. Enter McIntyre, who’s another boom-or-bust type player who has the ceiling to compete with anyone when his game is clicking on all cylinders.

In his past 24 rounds, MacIntyre ranks 16th in the field in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, 17th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and 10th in Strokes Gained: Total on long and difficult courses.

MacIntyre’s PGA Tour season has gotten off to a slow start, but he finished T6 in Mexico, which is a course where players will hit driver on the majority of their tee shots, which is what we will see at Memorial Park. Texas can also get quite windy, which should suit MacIntyre. Last July, the Scot went toe to toe with Rory McIlroy at the Scottish Open before a narrow defeat. It would take a similar heroic effort to compete with Scheffler this year in Houston.

Ryan Moore +15000 (FanDuel)

Ryan Moore’s iron play has been absolutely unconscious over his past few starts. At The PLAYERS Championship in a loaded field, he gained 6.1 strokes on approach and last week at Copperhead, he gained 9.0 strokes on approach.

It’s been a rough handful of years on Tour for the 41-year-old, but he is still a five-time winner on the PGA Tour who’s young enough for a career resurgence. Moore has chronic deterioration in a costovertebral joint that connects the rib to the spine, but has been getting more consistent of late, which is hopefully a sign that he is getting healthy.

Veterans have been contending in 2024 and I believe taking a flier on a proven Tour play who’s shown signs of life is a wise move at Memorial Park.

 

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Opinion & Analysis

Ryan: Why the race to get better at golf might be doing more harm than good

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B.F. Skinner was one of the most important psychologists of the 20th century, developing the foundation of the development of reinforcement, and in doing so, creating the concept of behaviorism. In simple terms, this means that we are conditioned by our habits. In practical terms, it explains the divide between the few and far between elite instructors and college coaches.

To understand the application, let’s quickly review one of B.F. Skinner’s most important experiments; superstitions in the formation of behavior by pigeons. In this experiment, food was dispensed to pigeons at random intervals. Soon, according to Skinner, the pigeons began to associate whatever action they were doing at the time of the food being dispensed. According to Skinner, this conditioned that response and soon, they simply haphazardly repeated the action, failing to distinguish between cause and correlation (and in the meantime, looking really funny!).

Now, this is simply the best way to describe the actions of most every women’s college golf coach and too many instructors in America. They see something work, get positive feedback and then become conditioned to give the feedback, more and more, regardless of if it works (this is also why tips from your buddies never work!).

Go to a college event, particularly a women’s one, and you will see coaches running all over the place. Like the pigeons in the experiment, they have been conditioned into a codependent relationship with their players in which they believe their words and actions, can transform a round of golf. It is simply hilarious while being equally perturbing

In junior golf, it’s everywhere. Junior golf academies make a living selling parents that a hysterical coach and over-coaching are essential ingredients in your child’s success.

Let’s be clear, no one of any intellect has any real interest in golf — because it’s not that interesting. The people left, including most coaches and instructors, carve out a small fiefdom, usually on the corner of the range, where they use the illusion of competency to pray on people. In simple terms, they baffle people with the bullshit of pseudo-science that they can make you better, after just one more lesson.

The reality is that life is an impromptu game. The world of golf, business, and school have a message that the goal is being right. This, of course, is bad advice, being right in your own mind is easy, trying to push your ideas on others is hard. As a result, it is not surprising that the divorce rate among golf professionals and their instructors is 100 percent. The transfer rate among college players continues to soar, and too many courses have a guy peddling nefarious science to good people. In fact, we do at my course!

The question is, what impact does all this have on college-age and younger kids? At this point, we honestly don’t know. However, I am going to go out on a limb and say it isn’t good.

Soren Kierkegaard once quipped “I saw it for what it is, and I laughed.” The actions of most coaches and instructors in America are laughable. The problem is that I am not laughing because they are doing damage to kids, as well as driving good people away from this game.

The fact is that golfers don’t need more tips, secrets, or lessons. They need to be presented with a better understanding of the key elements of golf. With this understanding, they can then start to frame which information makes sense and what doesn’t. This will emancipate them and allow them to take charge of their own development.

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