Many years ago, all excited, intrigued, I had my first video lesson, with a top-notch teaching professional, a lovely person, at Celtic Manor in Wales.
I never had another one.
What I saw horrified me and destroyed for ever any notion I had that my golf swing was remotely as it should be or how I’d imagined it. Cramped, crabbed, crap, take your pick. I wasn’t quite scarred for life but it was close and I swore I’d never subject myself to torture by video again. After all, what was the point? I could usually navigate my way round a golf course – after a fashion – but my method, such as it was, was beyond repair.
There was an outing that same afternoon, at The Oxfordshire, not somewhere you’d choose to recover from swing trauma (unless you spent your time in the wonderful Japanese baths) and I somehow staggered to a grand total of 13 points. It was little short of a miracle to reach double figures.
At the prize-giving afterwards it turned out that there was a booby prize, a consolation for the person with the fewest points. It was a bottle of champagne, the proper stuff but even I, old blatherwycke herself, had enough sense not to complain when the winner was announced – with the heady total of 15 points. Phew.
I haven’t played at The Oxfordshire since. Nor shall I.
Helping Mo with her tips now and again doesn’t count as a video lesson in my book because I don’t ever have to look at it again. I admit I’ve had a gander at my high-speed effort this week – blink and you’ll miss it, not! You could probably make a cuppa – and I did realise what the problem has been all these years: I’ve been playing the wrong way round.
I should’ve been a lefty. Perhaps then I could’ve been a contender…..
The picture of the innocent with a full backswing, parallel no less, was taken more than 50 years ago – at Boat of Garten, one of the loveliest places to play golf – and I doubt I’ve got anywhere near that since. Until, that is, I followed Mo’s instructions the other day and did a couple of counter, left-handed swings that looked a heck of a lot freer than the right-handed version.
Ah well, as a late, lamented Scottish friend used to cry in his broadest accent: “Too late, too late.”
About the only thing I’ve got in common with Bryson DeChambeau is a red cardi. He got his for winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational (presented by Mastercard) – Arnie really rocked a cardigan in his heyday; I got mine as a present from Dai (it’s from Pinehurst, where we met) and I bet neither of us will ever send it to the jumble.Mention of Bryson reminds me that it’s probably obligatory to rattle off a litany of praise and thanks to his many sponsors and supporters but I’ll confine myself to just a few that caught my eye as they celebrated their part in his victory. They’re in no particular order and would, if this were a for-profit sort of blog, be paying me NOT to use their products.
“Bryson DeChambeau boldly overpowers Bay Hill with a Bridgestone golf ball to win API….3-piece TOUR B X….allows for maximum speed and distance on long shots and superior spin and control on short shots….” You can, apparently, have a free ball-fitting consultation. Never thought of that, I must admit.
“Bryson DeChambeau closes out API with SIK….SIK Pro C Armlock putter (with descending loft technology)….
“LA Golf partner B DeC wins with all LA golf shafts….graphite shafts that were specifically designed for him….
“FlightScope Ambassador B DeC wins API….trusts FlightScope’s popular X3 model to help prepare for competition…..global leader in tracking and analyzing sports performance data….accurate feedback during practice sessions….”
DeC’s spikes and tees also get a mention and I then had to go for a lie down. There’s an awful lot that goes into the making of a superstar, turning a player in to a business, a brand. It’s exhausting.
Mind you, Arnold, oozing panache and charisma and with the considerable help of Mark McCormack, was the original endorser par excellence. He (they) made millions long before prize money moved into the stratosphere and for years after his best playing days were behind him. Best of all, everybody loved him and he loved them back.Talking of champions, there seems to be a lot of chat, not least from the man himself, about what’s wrong with his game at the moment, where has Rory’s spark, his mojo gone? Probably not too far but I’m increasingly certain that Mo was right when she suggested a while ago that he get in touch with Dave Alred MBE PhD.
He’s worked with numerous sportspeople, most famously Johnny Wilkinson and helped golfers like Luke Donald, Francesco Molinari and Padraig Harrington. There are a couple of notorious obsessives in there and Alred’s website stresses words like “uncompromising” and “unequivocal” and phrases like “relentless drive and application towards improvement”.
Perhaps that’s not to Rory’s liking and the Ulsterman and his team haven’t got the desire or bottle to commit to such a tough regime but, boy, I’d love a season or two of Scary Rory (on the course). It would be brill. I really, really want him to notch up a few more majors (at least three, preferably more, including a Masters) but perhaps his Poppy will just have to read about Daddy’s achievements in her history books and settle for seeing the odd flash of brilliance now and again.
This seems a good time to admit that after checking out Bridge Base Online the other day, I had to look up the meaning of the words “kibitzer” and “kibitz”. Then I, an interfering old besom of long standing, started laughing. How on earth had I not known!!
A kibitzer is “an onlooker (at cards, etc) who gives unwanted advice; an interferer.”
Kibitz (vi) is “to give unwanted advice, to meddle, to comment out of turn.”
In my defence, these days I try to wait my turn before commenting….
And Dave Alred does have a nice smile…
To finish on a high note, Leona Maguire got a text from Catriona Matthew, Europe’s Solheim Cup captain, when she finished in a share of 6th place in the LPGA Drive On Championship (presented by Volvik) at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in Florida last week. Leona, who has a base at Lake Nona, has played there with Annika Sorenstam a few times, so her golfing education at the highest level continues apace.
Until next week.