And These Truths I Hold Self-Evident

Tom Velarde
Golf Professional
Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ

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Recently I read the ‘A Swing’ by David Leadbetter and have “toyed” with the concept. I always do this so I can have first hand feedback on questions that may be posed by any of my students. I also will always take away some thought or concept that I can incorporate into my own swing thoughts. 

David has struck a chord in that he really stresses the forward swing being under the plane of the backswing. I would believe that the huge majority of teachers would have no problem with this. At one time I also studied ‘Square to Square’ which is really quite similar to the ‘A Swing’. If you wanted to go deeper it also is covered by Homer Kelly as one swing type in the ‘Golf Machine’. 

For me all things always come back to Hogan and his fundamentals to the golf swing. Mr. Hogan was the ultimate genius in uncovering the fundamental’s that would stand the test of time. The proof of the pudding, so to speak, are that most if not all the swing theories out there now all point to some position or part of the Hogan swing as proof that their swing theory is correct. Me personally? I always like to look at the ENTIRE Hogan swing as something to be emulated and that becomes a forever riddle. 

First and foremost let me state that I now believe no one will ever be able to duplicate and control the golf ball like Mr. Hogan did. Today’s greatest ball strikers are not on the same page with Mr. Hogan. The equipment and the golf ball are so very different that comparisons are ludicrous. If Mr. Hogan had today’s golf ball he would have gone down in history as the very straightest long hitter of all time, but then I also pause to consider that he may never have developed with new equipment. 

Something about the old school pros who played by feel with no yardage books, no lasers, only a caddie who also defined a shot. “It’s a ¾ 7 iron with a touch of fade” would have been an old school caddie and player talk. Today’s talk is – “We have 175 to the front with the pin 13 back total carry is 188 so it’s a stock 8 iron”.  Gone is so much of the majesty of playing shots. Please do not take me wrong, today’s top line players at any level are so much better than yesterdays but today we play a different game. 

I am going down to the range now to see if the ‘A Swing’ can somehow be morphed into my beloved swing of Mr. Hogan. I deep down do think it can because somehow I see David Leadbetter a Hogan type person, also. This great game allows us all to move back and forward in time and that my friends is what will keep us all eternally young.

See you at the PGA Show in Orlando! I will be the one at the classic club displays.  

Tom Velarde is the Manager at Black Mesa Golf Club in Espanola, New Mexico, just northwest of Santa Fe. For more information or to reach Tom, email