Picking up Some Tricks at French Lick

Not a game of perfect; instead a work in progress

Not a game of perfect; instead a work in progress

Dr. Bob Rotella, one of America’s top performance consultants, wrote a book entitled Golf is Not a Game of Perfect.

No kidding Dr. Bob.

After a few days out with the Warriors battling the challenging fairways and greens of the Donald Ross, Pete Dye and Sultan’s Run courses here at French Lick, I was ready for a few tricks so I headed over to the resort’s Valley Links Golf Learning Center for a dose of swing doctoring. Rain or shine you can work on your game as the Center has both indoor and outdoor ranges and putting greens. There are plenty of stay, play and lesson packages.

Adam Marshall, the genial head golf professional now in his sixth season here at French Lick, began by filming my swing on his iPad using the VI Digital Coaching System. If you’ve ever seen your swing on video I’m sure you’ll agree that a picture certainly is worth a thousand words. In my case, those words aren’t pretty. I am reminded of a quip from one of my non-golfing friends: “Surely there’s a cheaper and faster way to humiliate yourself in public.”

In order to help me with my lack of power, Doctor Adam gave me a few tricks. He had me strengthen my grip which helps me rotate my hands, square up my open alignment and make a lower takeaway to keep the club on plane. I liked his tip: “Imagine you are sweeping the dew off the grass.”

Adam is a born teacher who seems to understand immediately how to communicate with his student. Words don’t work for me; I’m better with visual images. He makes a point of explaining why he’s suggesting the changes so you can go home and self-analyze what’s working, what’s not and why. He also never overloads his students’ brains with more than three swing tips.

By the end of our hour together, I was hitting longer and straighter. I’d still like another 75 yards but that’s going to take quite a few more hours on the practice range.

Why is golf so addictive? Because it looks so easy but it’s really so damn hard. And it will never be “a game of perfect.”


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