NEVER LET IT BE SAID this game is simple. John Cassidy, the teacher in this little drama, says often: “Golf is hard.”
He makes it look so easy.
Cassidy, of course, is not just Dr. John, teacher to the stars (and lowlife bloggers). He’s a player, in fact champion week before last against a strong field at the Washington Open Invitational at Meridian Valley CC. He’ll try to make it a Northwest two-fer June 10-12 at the Oregon Open at Black Butte’s Glaze Meadow.
Golf is hard …
So the euphoria of the best round of my life – a round in which I know I did at least some of the things I worked on with Cassidy – was followed by a couple rounds with little of the snap and flow I felt that day. Not horrible, but not great, and no one in my group would have said they noticed much difference in my game at all.
But I know, and there’s no going back. After two lessons, it feels better, even when the scorecard looks about the same.
John Cassidy, 32, teaches golf at Alderbrook Golf and Yacht Club in Union, Wash. His student is a 50-something-nearer-to-60 hack who is sick of being so bad.
And I have the evidence of my lowest round ever, and it wasn’t a fluke, it wasn’t a coincidence … it felt like where I should be, and still with room for improvement – lots of room.
So I have to be excited about Lesson 3. Dr. John says in his experience the third lesson is where the student really starts to get it. Golf is hard … but this is fun.
A Cassidy sampler (from Lesson 2):
After my comment that the core and stability exercises are the ones I tend to skip in my workouts: “That’s OK, it’s only the most important part of the golf swing.”
“A lot of sitting on your back foot …” So he shifted my stance, my hips mainly, slightly forward. It felt right, instantly. I felt like I was not falling forward when I swung, but I still felt like I was in motion through the swing, toward the target.
“We’re doing better making the (shoulder) turn, but we’re not quite making the turn.” He gave me one of the fundamental drills in golf instruction: with hands crossed over the chest, holding the club shaft parallel to the ground at shoulder level, turn back until the left shoulder is over the ball, then back through, in balance … so that when I’m turned all the way onto my left side I can lift my right foot off the ground and not topple over.
“It’s a process, it’s an order of operations … If you can get everything started correctly, if you can get to the top in a good position, you will swing down in the correct way, too , naturally, because you’ve set ourselves up to deliver the club to the ball. But if you go back incorrectly, everything from that point is a makeup.”