More Than My Pro

Two completely different “events” have converged in a perfect storm of my golf world this week. The first: I’ve been sucked into the social media war of words about proper golf swing construction and instruction. Primarily, it has centered around Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee’s various takes, many of which have drawn the ire of current PGA Tour professionals.

From an uneducated view – and having not read every statement – it seems the center of the argument is about letting naturally talented athletes/golfers (see: Woods, Tiger) use their God-given skills to be great, not deconstructing them into swing machines. I don’t know if that is a good opinion or not. But, it is a little personal for me.

I started taking golf seriously when I hit my teenage years. Working in the game at a local country club fueled my passion to play it. I swung hard, had a strong grip and putted with my right index finger down the shaft of the club. Quirky? Yes. Detrimental? No.
There were plenty of professionals who wanted to change some of those characteristics. My canvas was still relatively clean. The trouble was, it didn’t feel natural for me to do it. One pro steadfastly said he would work within my uniqueness and make me better AND comfortable at the same time.

That second event this week: That pro, Alan Schulte, is being inducted into the Indiana Golf Hall of Fame. One of the best players the state has ever seen, he was my first real swing doctor and the only one I’ve ever sought for swing advice in 20+ years since. I worked for him in various capacities through the years and was there for his first PGA Championship. Most importantly, he has been a great friend.

The moral of this story? In golf, don’t seek out professional help just for the answers. Seek it out for the relationship. The answers will eventually come, but getting stuck in the technical isn’t what the game is all about.

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