Tuesday, May 29, 2012



I harp and harp on this: golfers hurt their backs because they don’t understand that the thigh bone is connected to the hip bone.  Don’t worry - I’m not going to do the anatomy thing again.  But if you’ve ever pulled a lower back muscle while swinging a golf club - - - this might prove interesting.
At 60 I believed I had become the Ancient of Days.  I was always a pretty long hitter.  Not 330 yard drives - but I could hit it 290 with some regularity.  At 60 I was down to 240 and shrinking.  Meanwhile they’re making the courses longer.  I was angry about getting old.  I was angry that I could no longer get around fast enough to develop club head speed - which is how you hit long drives.
I began developing what I later called THE MONGOOSE GOLF SWING.  I had figured out a way to get the club to the ball faster.  The shortest distance between two points. . .remember?  I could see the idea working.  But doing it the real world and seeing it in my imagination are two bloody different things.  And I mean bloody in the sense of hurting myself learning how to pull it off.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Einstein knew a few things about complexity.  He said that anyone can make something more complex.  The idea was to make it simpler - but not too simple.  There are limits for both how complex and how simple something can and cannot be.  The conventional golf swing - the one we’re all taught - has too many parts and too many places to be at the right time to be consistent.  Consistency = confidence.
When a player turns in a 62 - they announce a “spectacular round.”  What they’re really saying is that “he made a lot of putts.”  It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t that close to the hole all day.  That he missed a lot of fairways.  That he got up and down out of the rough 4 times.  He made a lot of putts.  Result: low number.  Next day - different results.  
Watching the Players Championship today I couldn’t help but see a lot of players with not a lot of confidence in their swing.  Why?  The pressure to win or to make the cut (I know they made the cut yesterday) puts a lot of extra stress on all those moving parts.  Result: balls in the water.  Balls off the fairway. Unplayable lies.

The full swing demands the golfer take the club away from the ball - take it up at the right angle - a full turn of the shoulders - the proper wrist cock - the head remains still - then when to stop the backswing and begin the forward swing - elbow in - right angle to the ball - the hands rushing to get the club head around so as not to cut the ball - but not too far around to hook it - and to arrive at the ball with the body in the perfect spot to apply power to the ball.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The other day I was thinking what if the MONGOOSE GOLF SWING grip technique were the conventional gripping technique?  What if everyone in the world was gripping their clubs with my separated hands technique?  Would I have the slightest chance of converting them back to the Vardon? Never!  I would be tagged a lunatic.  Well - back to reality.  My gripping technique is not being used by everyone in the world.  

With any grip where the fingers are touching or overlapping - the hands and fingers get weaker.  Right-handers are taught to squeeze tighter with the little finger and ring finger of their left hand - and tighter with the forefinger and thumb of the right hand.  Essentially a 4-finger grip - which explains why the big hitters grip comes unhinged on any given drive or when they’re trying to muscle a shot.  
When you separate your hands - you have a 10-finger grip (if we’re allowed to call the thumb a finger).  And rather than having to squeeze tighter with a couple of fingers - I recommend a very light gripping action.  Like someone learning to fence - you might hear this - “Think of holding a bird.  Hold it tight enough so it won’t fly away.  And not so tight you kill it.”
My grandfather lost two fingers to industrial accidents.  He was a machinist using primitive take-no-prisoners equipment as early as 1904.  He always said that when he lost his fingers - he could no longer feel himself moving around in the world.  I never got it.  Never knew what he was trying to teach me.  Years later --- I was walking down a winding road in Oregon and it hit me.  He spoke like a blind man who feels his way through the world.  Seems that even though we can see with our literal eyes - we do far more feeling our way through life with our fingers and hands than we realize. And only when we lose a finger or two do we become aware of how important they are to our existence. 

Every artist - makes art with his or her fingers and hands.  Wonderful things that they are.  Hands and fingers built the world.  Years ago I had the opportunity to talk at length with a neurosurgeon about the brain and the nerves - etc.  He said something that just floored me.  “Our whole body - every square inch of it - is our brain.  The 3-pound mass located in our skull is simply the nucleus.  The operating system as it were.  We get a tiny splinter in a tiny toe and it becomes the dominate thing in our life until we fix it” (or words to that effect).