GOLF EQUIPMENT

Golf Like the Pros:
Video Series & Book Review

By Jay Mankus, For MichiganGolf.com

The technology of golf over the past 20 years has been remarkable. Golf balls fly farther than ever, land softer, and putt truer while newly designed clubs allow players to improve their misses with a larger sweet spot. Despite these technological advancements, less than 10% of all of golfers in the world have ever broken 80.

Millions of people across our globe every year search for the one tip, that one gimmick, or most recent club design to turn their golf game around. Whether it is the latest article in Golf Digest, an infomercial, or newest technological breakthrough, almost everyone is guaranteeing instant success.

This promise of fast results, can't lose mentality, or if this doesn't work you will never be a good golfer solution is a philosophy Paul Wilson believes in if players learn how to "Golf Like The Pros!".

Unfortunately, promises like these often leave amateur players more frustrated and their golf game in worse condition than before they started. Since golf is unlike any other sport, different every day, no one tip, gimmick, or club will work for every golfer.

No matter how hard some people try, they will never break 80. These people may be able to break 90 or 100 consistently, but golf requires someone who is mentally and physically tough. These two ingredients more than anything prevent average golfers from becoming great.

Though this may be an unusual way of beginning a review, I want golfers to be realistic with themselves as they learn what Paul Wilson teaches in his Book and 3 Video Series, "Golf Like The Pros!". Since the 1997 PGA Teacher of the Year in Ontario, Canada makes the full swing, proper chipping, pitching, and putting look so simplistic, it is easy to say I can do that.

Nonetheless, as many golfers look out their windows to snow covered landscapes, golf is something few people practice, let alone think about this time of year. Therefore, be careful not to set yourself up for failure by immediately buying into the fast results "Golf Like The Pros!" promises.

Nothing is Guaranteed

While I do not disagree with the foundation Paul lays down for the golf swing, I am hesitant to assume his way will work for every golfer. Nor am I confident to endorse his notion that you will see results within a month or two, depending on how much you practice.

However, just to be fair, I will put his concepts to the test. Since his concepts are similar to George Knudson's, who influenced my golf swing during my mini-tour stint, I will implement Paul's philosophies of the golf swing. I will commit to practicing his drills for a month and see what results I have when I play next month in Florida. Following my trip, I will report if indeed I can guarantee you quick results!

As for George Knudson, he is a former Canadian who won 3 consecutive PGA Tour events in the late 60's. Like Paul Wilson, George believed in copying the best swings on tour.

In George's book "The Natural Golf Swing", he explains in vivid detail how he copied Ben Hogan's golf swing. Before George died of cancer several years ago, tour players said his swing looked more like Ben Hogan's than Ben himself.


Paul Wilson is definitely an expert in teaching the golf swing.

While Knudson's book includes every detail you would ever want to know about the golf swing, Paul Wilson does a much better job of keeping the complexities of the golf swing short and sweet. In his book "Golf Like The Pros!", Paul compares the perfect golf swing to the Iron Bryon.

By using detailed diagrams, Paul breaks down a perfect golf swing into 3 key elements: the circular rotation of your body, the unrestricted hinging of your wrists, and the tilted angle of your body. Diagrams throughout his book along with practical analogies on the 3 Video Series allow any novice to easily incorporate these three elements into their golf swing.

Now, if most of you are like me, you would rather a pop in a golf instructional video than take the time to read a golf book on the same topic. In most cases, I encourage people to watch videos first because they are quicker and easier to digest. However, in "Golf Like The Pros!", the nuts and bolts and meat and potatoes of the golf swing are provided in the book. The first video in the series of 3 covers a detailed look at the golf swing, yet amateurs who have played golf for several years might get the impression, "is this all there really is?"

On the other hand, once you read "Golf Like The Pros!" and then watch the video series, you begin to understand why Paul covers what he does in the video. Paul's video series appeals to beginners, yet his book is geared toward those who are determined to master the 3 elements of golf swing like the pros.

Diagrams for Success

As you read through "Golf Like The Pros!" some tips or common mistakes will jump out at you more than others. However, I assure you that three things will definitely enhance your golf swing: the numerous diagrams of the full swing, the chapters on self diagnosis, and analyzing the swing.

Diagrams of the grip, the set-up, takeaway, top of the back swing, at impact and follow through, mentally prepares you for watching the first video on the golf swing. Meanwhile, comparisons to the Iron Byron, proper verse improper technique, common mistakes amateurs make, and check lists of the golf swing make a complex swing easy to visualize and emulate.

While I have not yet tried the drills for the golf swing, the various charts picturing the circular rotation of the body, unrestricted hinging of your wrists, and tilted angle of your body become engrained into your mind.

Every angle is covered, from the front, back, and side views. Thus, if you are disciplined, have the desire to improve, and revert back to these pictures, improvement seems highly probable.

These diagrams continue in the chapters for analyzing your swing and self diagnosis. Since most people learn through doing or performing a skill, Paul's pictures provide a visual aid or reference point for the golf swing. Paul encourages golfers to take his book to the practice range, but if you practice his drills at home you can easily memorize proper technique.

RELATED LINKS

PAst TGM feature stories

Past articles by Jay Mankus

Past PGA Tour tournament coverage

More than anything, the visual aids in these
two chapters can help amateurs become self reliant. While amateurs can become dependant upon their PGA professional as they struggle with tips from lessons, the book "Golf Like The Pros!" gives golfers something to fall back on. "Golf Like The Pros!" equips amateurs with knowledge, skills, and a foundation for the golf swing to become self reliant when they revert into old ways or develop bad habits.

Most beginning or young amateurs will find the book and first video is definitely the most useful part of the "Golf Like The Pros!" series. However, the remaining 2 videos each include one useful tip assured to improve all golfers short games.

The second video on the short game demonstrates using multiple irons on short, intermediate, and long chip shots. Many of you witnessed this on television last summer as professionals chipped with drivers, 3 woods, and long irons at last year's U.S. Open on Pinehurst #2.

On the putting video, the final video in the 3 part series, Paul explains a rolling drill which allows players to feel the rolling motion which putting requires. This drill helps keep your strong arm from taking over your putting stroke, thereby reducing the likelihood of pulling short putts.

Just a Few Clubs Short

On every upside, there is also a downside, thus is true in the "Golf Like The Pros!" Book and 3 Video Series. While I would highly recommend buying Paul Wilson's book, the video series excludes many aspects of golf.

I have no problem with the first video on the Swing, except to include more visuals on his student hitting balls for those people who are visual learners. As for the Short Game and Putting Video, many situations were left out.

For example, all of the chipping clips were to an open green. There was no mention of what to do when you have to carry a chip over a deep bunker, body of water, or to an elevated green. There was no mention of what to do with uphill, downhill, or sidehill lies on a chip.

Finally, hitting any type of shot from the sand was not covered nor mentioned. Besides learning distance control on chips, I believe improving your sand shots must be included on a Short Game Video.

While the Putting Video dealt with more situations, others were excluded. Teaching amateurs on how to tell the difference between down grain, into the grain, and across the grain putts on Bermuda greens is extremely useful to learn. There were few if any drills and tips to overcome bad habits, something every golfer needs.

As I reflect on the "Golf Like The Pros!" Book and Video Series by Paul Wilson, I see 3 major observations. First, Paul Wilson is definitely an expert in teaching the golf swing. It is clear through his diagrams, simplistic approach, and useful terminology he has been and will continue to be successful in teaching amateurs to swing like the pros.

This is the main reason why I recommend Paul's book for any golfer struggling with their swing. Whether you are a 20+ handicap or have a single digit handicap, I incorporated similar concepts into my swing and added 20 yards to each club within a year.

Second, I see a professional who, because of time restraints, situational knowledge, or true passion has not broken down the Short Game and Putting like the Golf Swing. Some professionals love to teach certain aspects of the game and it is clear the full golf swing is Paul's forte.

The Short Game and Putting Videos are beneficial to beginners, but in the same sense I don't want golfers to review what they already know. The first video and Paul's book is cutting edge, the last two videos in my humble opinion are not.

Finally, Paul's ideology within his book and video series only works with the perfect student. In a perfect world, every golfer has time to practice, is highly motivated, and extremely disciplined.

While the foundation he lays down is proven, it is up to each individual to put in the time and energy required to be a great golfer. Then, and only then will players begin their transformation. If you really want to learn how to develop a swing like the pros, Paul Wilson can teach you. The rest is up to you!

Paul Wilson Golf
4022 Major Mackenzie Drive East
Markham, Ontario
L6C 1P8

To order "Golf Like The Pros!" or if you have any questions, call 1-905-887-4651 today.

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