Black Mesa Golf Club
La Mesilla, AZ
While attending the PGA show in Orlando this January, the exposure to all the new training and teaching innovations were remarkable. You can purchase any variety of electronic launch monitors that will measure how your golf ball is spinning, the speed of the launch and the launch angle. These monitors will give you, quite frankly, an overload in information.
Being somewhat old school in my view of teaching, I always will trend towards teaching and training devices that provide bio-mechanical feedback.
Many of us will try to “play” golf via “swing thoughts or keys” which normally is the perfect equation for a disaster to happen. Let me expound on this. When we work on mechanical points on the range we are specific (most of the time) on what we want to change. By its very nature when we work on the swing we are not perfecting it, we are changing it. When we play we have no latitude for experimenting as golf balls cost money. Unless you’re the person playing with range balls, in which case this will help in any means.
I found a product called “impact snap”. While I normally stay very far away from endorsing products, as it can be the kiss of death for a product line, (I consider to this day a muscle back blade as the ultimate golf club) this line is quite intriguing. Let me give a working day example.
One of my students is a classic over the top player that I know I can fix but also know it will take enormous time and monetary investment. Looking at the Impact Snap for under $120, we decided to roll the dice and got a string of 7’s.
This product for my student was able to instill a feeling of returning the golf club to an inside path and encouraged a delayed position on the forward swing. The actual impact position was beyond good. It has eliminated the average players killer (which is lead wrist collapse) which is also called flipping. I only wish I had a video of the first try, as while being a simple teaching aid actual correct impact position had to be worked at. I know if it was easy everyone would do it.
For a small investment my student has accelerated his learning curve and now is able to move on to playing with a swing feeling, as opposed to swing thoughts. My student is so much happier now and I can only relay this via a round I witnessed.
We played TPC Sawgrass and his round was beyond expectations. It was so good that a 17 handicap reached the dreaded 17th 8 over par. Euphoria can be dashed at the 17th so easily, but this time he went back to the feeling of a good swing and one swing later, no mulligans or do overs, had a 7 foot birdie putt. That he left it one roll short and proceeded to bogey the very tough 18th was a testament to the axiom that ‘we should never stop trying and learning’.
So, if you are ever at Black Mesa and see an older gent on the range, with any number of contraptions laying on the grass next to him, it’s only me…the little old par maker working on the feeling. After all, don’t we all play the 17th at Sawgrass every swing we take?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.