Bryson Dechambeau won his first professional golf tournament yesterday at the John Deere Classic. Known for his eccentric personality and unique swing, some have compared him to Moe. I’m excited to see a Single Plane swing having success. It validates much of my work over the years. Bryson has demonstrated that there is an Alternative way to play golf – at the highest level. I am grateful to see him shake up at the golf “swing” industry – and turn it on its head. I believe it is good for golf.
I am also concerned.
Yesterday in the press conference after the tournament, Bryson was asked by one of the reporters what he felt that motivated him to persevere and what were his long term objectives with his scientific approach to playing the game. Bryson’s response was inspiring.
He said that ultimately he wants to make the game easier for amateurs to help the game.
I was excited to hear a professional talk about the match and what it needs. If anyone can do it, Bryson has the best chance. What he was saying in the press conference was honorable and admirable. But was it realistic? I don’t know.
Here’s why I’m concerned.
I have played many tournaments but never won a PGA Tournament so I can’t attest to Bryson’s expertise in that regard just as Bryson, has ever taught scores of amateurs. Don’t get me wrong. I am on “Team” Bryson and ready for the challenge of helping as many golfers we can. Keep in mind that I have been teaching amateurs for over 25 years – and have some expertise in this area.
(If I was sitting in a room with Bryson, here is the conversation I would have with him regarding helping amateur golfers)
Bryson here is the greatest challenge we face going forward:
Amateurs don’t like to practice.
I know what you’re thinking. Making the game easier by having single length clubs and swinging on a Single Plane will make the game easier for everyone. I agree with you completely, but no matter what clubs you give them, or how they swing, Amateurs don’t like to practice.
No matter what you teach or what clubs they use, golfers MUST practice. What I mean by practice is not run to the range and hit balls. Bryson, look how you practice. You practice with a purpose. You are accountable. You study and build your movement. You analyze your swing in detail. You are a student of the game.
These are the second problem.
When amateurs do practice, they practice incorrectly.
Bryson, you practice with the purpose of perfecting the movement of your golf swing. Amateurs practice with the purpose to hit balls better. There is a huge difference in these two objectives.
I know your twenty-five years now. I’ve taught thousands of people the Single Plane swing. I’ve fit thousands of sets of clubs to the Single Plane. Have I made the game easier? Sure. Have golfers had more joy and fun? They tell me they are. Nothing makes me happier than to have one of my students have more joy and fun with the game.
However, finding a student who practices correctly is rare. Nothing frustrates me more than to see students practice without the purpose of movement and just start whacking balls without a plan.
I see it every day in my golf schools. I present the most relevant golf instruction data and information to them. I show them a perfect Single Plane model. I show them exactly what they should do and how to do it starting with the simple basics of grip and setup and then swing positions. We go through each piece, and I teach them how to learn new movements.
Then we go to the range and hell breaks loose.
They completely ignore their purpose and like mad men start whacking balls. (I didn’t say women here because women are more restrained and purposeful. Guys, women listen better than you).
At our Schools – of course, we control it. We feel the students back in. The Graves Golf coaching team gets them back on track. We slow them down and get them practicing correctly. We stop them and make them focus and use video to study their movement.
At the end of the school when the students leave, we feel like we are letting our kids go off to college. What will happen when they are on their own? What will they do? Are they going to be okay? Will they listen to our advice or go back to their old ball-whacking habits?
Bryson, we are on the right track. The Single Plane is an easier way. It’s a start, but the challenge is still in front of us. We must SHOW Amateurs how to practice and BUILD golf swings.
You Show them and I will teach them.