Golf Lessons By Tom Ward

"The Best Lesson I Ever Had"

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As a Golf Instructor who has traveled extensively around the world teaching the game of golf to players from all walks of life, I have heard numerous excuses from golfers on why they don't play better. Such worn out expressions such as " You can't teach an old dog new tricks", or I'm too old" to name a couple. Then a few years ago I ran into a fellow that changed my life, and inspired me to become a better teacher by walking in his shoes so to speak. When I stage golf clinics, or exhibitions I try to motivate golfers to reach their potential, and I have Steve Minot to thank.

Steve's example has not only made me strive to be a better instructor, but more importantly to have greater patience, understanding, and become more grateful for all that I have in my life. I never allow my students to use the word failure, or think for a moment that they can't succeed in reaching their desired goals.

"Failure is not about falling down in life, it's about not getting back up".
That profound statement reminds me daily of Steve Minot who heads up a Colorado based golf tournament that is held annually every August in the Denver area for disabled golfers. I have been privileged since 1991 to have been invited to participate in the tournament and stage a demonstration for all the golfers in attendance.

Steve has polio! I remember vividly the first time I played golf with him, and he would fall face down after each shot he hit. Well my first inclination was to help him up which I learned quickly that he had no need for my assistance. Can you imagine the love he must have to play the game under this scenario? Other golfers get tired after walking a few holes.

After we played, Steve asked me for some suggestions about his game which I gladly supplied. I felt that fundamentally he did a lot of good things. He's a fine golfer who regularly shoots in the high 70's and low 80'S. I was determined to get him out of the falling down mode after each shot which he had continued to do. I began to hit shots on one leg to simulate what Steve was experiencing to help give me a better understanding of how to attack his problem. This allowed me to reap information of the restricted motion that was forcing him out of balance after his shots.

Well, without going into great detail, I was quickly able to get Steve back on track, and eliminate his balance problem once and for all. It was so rewarding to see him hit the ball well, and maintain his balance throughout his entire swing. The bonus that was derived later was that he began to hit the ball much further than he ever had before and with tremendous accuracy.

Since that time a few years ago, I have incorporated numerous variations of (trick shots) so to speak, hitting on one leg, on my knees, behind my back, blindfolded, with only one arm, etc. In reality, these are solid fundamentals that drive home the point to people who attend my clinics will observe that no matter what limits you may have physically, they don't have to be mentally. Remember, that ball doesn't care if your black, white, red, or with one arm, one leg, sighted or not. Only 3 things effect the ball flight:

  • 1. Speed
  • 2. Angle of attack
  • 3. Clubface at impact(square/open/closed).
Golf truly is a great equalizer because it doesn't discriminate. Finally, the wonderful saying "What the mind conceives, the body can achieve" really drives home this point that the only limits we have in our lives are in our "minds". I have Steve Minot to thank for this valuable lesson. It's the best lesson I will ever have, because it's a lesson of a Lifetime.
Gaylord Golf Package
Dates: January 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014
Located on the west side of Otsego Lake on one of the most scenic sites in northern Michigan, The Natural is among Gaylord's top golf experiences. Now you can stay at nearby Beaver Creek Resort and play golf at The Natural for less than $100. Based on double occupancy and a two-night minimum required.
Price range: $100
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