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Lesson of the Week: Bruce Gross

Bruce is the friend of a good friend and student of mine, John Cherner, and John was nice enough to convince Bruce to take a lesson from me. Bruce is a highly trained marathon runner and is strong as heck to boot, so when I first took a look at his swing I pretty much knew that by the end of the lesson I could get him to hit the ball much better. We started off with a pitching wedge, hitting to a flag that was 95 yards out. Bruce couldn’t get within 30 yards of it, and when you see the first batch of swings it should be apparent why. Weak grip, no wrist cock, no lateral lower body movement; generally just devoid of any technique that would produce any club head speed or solid strike. I first focused on the grip, then went directly to the wrist cock, then to the sequence of the sidearm throwing motion. It took quite a bit of pushing and pulling but being a good athlete Bruce caught on quickly as we worked and by the end of the lesson he hit one about 120 yards directly over the flag with a divot in front of the ball. I should have filmed myself at that point because I had a bigger smile on my face than Bruce did. I don’t know if he even realized what an amazing transformation he had just made, but I have to say I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything quite as startling as the difference in the first and last swings. Like I said in the video, if the PGA and the equipment companies want more people to play and to continue playing then they ought to be promoting better teaching, because what makes the game fun is improving. When a guy like Bruce takes lessons and shows up with a swing like his, there is a problem. It wouldn’t take long for him to get frustrated at what he might perceive as his own incompetence and quit the game. Now he should be excited enough to want to practice and to continue to play and learn more about how to get better. I always consider that to be my mission.
 

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3 Responses to Lesson of the Week: Bruce Gross

  1. Tom Kirkendall February 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Remarkable progress in two hours. Excellent teaching job, Wayne.

  2. Jesse Cavanaugh March 1, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    The fact that you take the time to post and analyze your lessons is really remarkable. I don’t know of anyone else that’s doing this to this extent. I especially enjoyed the remark towards the end about being able to train people to “give” good golf lessons. In my eyes, and I believe we spoke about this when I came to see you, 1 person can’t teach everyone and I will never understand the competitive animosity that some instructors have towards others. In the end we are all trying to help other players, members etc….

    As a young instructor, I feel I am pretty knowledgeable of the swing(mostly due to you and a few others that I have been able to watch) but I am still learning and improving my craft of teaching, communicating the information to others. To be able to watch this video, form my own opinion of the swing and then “watch” you and your plan of attack is very valuable. Thanks!

  3. Clint March 2, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    Bruce, by the end of your session with Wayne you are doing three things so well that it’s pissing me off, to be honest. :) A) Your takeaway is right up the plane ; B) You start the downswing with your hands moving out toward the ball, which as Wayne frequently points out is a nice anti-stuck move; C) You are planing the shaft thru impact really nicely. I am a low handicap and work hard at trying do all three of these things, with very little success. Keep up the great work and progress.

    Wayne, you alluded to putting your hands on your students, like Bruce I know you’ve shown this hands on work in an ocassional video, but I for one find it extremely useful, and would love to see you pushing, pulling, and otherwise manipulating your students to get them in the correct positions much more often in the online lessons and lessons of the week. It really does help convey a clear idea of how to get the body to move as desired.

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