Monday, September 26, 2011
Thoughts On The Golfing Machine, LLC.
One of the things I’ve been pondering inside my ole noggin is the state of The Golfing Machine. I had originally learned about TGM back in 1996, when I was in college. Back then, Homer Kelley’s wife, Sally Kelley, was more or less operating the business on a shoe string budget and by herself, in order to keep the book alive. I actually remember seeing the book at a Golf Dimensions store in Myrtle Beach at the time, but decided against purchasing it at the time (I read the 6th edition before hand and could only understand, literally 2 pages of it).
Eventually the book and the company was bought out by Joe Daniels and he operates the company out of Oregon. They are still authorizing instructors and the sort. You can check out their Web site at www.thegolfingmachine.com
I was out of golf when TGM was bought by Daniels (and at the time, Danny Elkins), but from what I have researched, it appears that it regained some popularity when they purchased the company along with the popularity of the internet increasing. Then when the 7th edition came out and golf instruction on the internet hit its peak along with Lynn Blake getting back into instruction…TGM was probably at its height of popularity.
But soon thereafter, the popularity of TGM seemed to wane away, particularly in 2010. More and more people started to defect from TGM and there seemed to me to be a growing number of critics. In fact, at TGM had a booth at the 2011 PGA Merchandise show, next to AimPoint/Edel Golf’s booth and the K-Vest booth and had a dearth of visitors while AimPoint and K-Vest seemed very popular.
I often get a lot of questions about my feelings towards The Golfing Machine since I now work with George Hunt (www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com) on my golf swing and George’s swing instruction is based around the M.O.R.A.D. investigation…which Mac.O.Grady met with Homer Kelley personally to learn TGM.
I am still a big fan of TGM. In fact, I believe that I would not have reached this level of progression I’ve made with George if not in part for understanding TGM, first. TGM has many useful concepts and anecdotes along with the invaluable idea of how to look at the golf swing and how to practice and develop my golf swing.
However, I do hear the complaints (some that I agree with, some that I don’t) and I see the popularity of TGM waning over time. Here’s my thoughts on, if I was in charge and if I had the money, what I would do with TGM.
1. WELCOME BACK THE OLD AI’S
One thing that has appeared to happen over time is that many of the AI’s, particularly the GSED’s, are no longer on the Authorized Instructor list. I think Lynn Blake, one of the biggest proponents and fans of Homer Kelley who can succinctly memorize passages of TGM, should be welcomed back into the fold in any form or fashion. I feel the same way about a lot of TGM AI’s, particularly the old GSED’s.
Of course, we would have to gauge how much TGM that instructor still teaches. But, the philosophy here is simple, the more Authorized Instructors, the more the word gets out about TGM. And the more likely the accurate message gets out about TGM, so guys like Jim McLean cannot erroneously depict TGM in a negative light and be deemed credible.
Obviously, we’ll need to entice these TGM AI’s with a reason to come back because I doubt many would come back just because we asked them nicely.
2. TWO BOOK FORMAT
I think the big dilemma that TGM LLC faces is that you have 2 factions of people that are or were involved with TGM.
a) Instructors who want to learn everything that Homer Kelley thought and said.
b) Those who believe that TGM needs to be updated from Homer Kelley’s work
I think it’s hard to please both parties here and I think the expectations that a company could please everybody in both parties is foolish. Thus, I think we need to try to find the best possible solution.
My feeling is that there should be 2 books. One being the 7th edition as written by Homer Kelley. The other being a new book, written by Joe Daniels. The idea of the 2nd book is to give it a different name like ‘The Golfing Machine – The extended edition’ or to that effect. This would consist of Daniels using all of the resources that Homer Kelley didn’t have at his exposal and put those findings in the book, even if they conflict with Homer Kelley’s work.
Then they could come up with different types of authorization. Perhaps an authorization based on the 7th edition of TGM by Homer Kelley and an authorization based on the ‘extended edition’ by Joe Daniels. Obviously, this would not be a cheap endeavor. However, if marketed correctly the people being authorized by the extended edition could bring in a lot of revenue to keep the business running.
3. BETTER MARKETING AND PROMOTION
Again, another expensive endeavor, but as Jon Taffer in ‘Bar Rescue’ likes to say ‘penny smart, dollar stupid.’
I find part of the issue that TGM faces is the constant misperceptions by the public that is often fed to them by the media.. There should be a way to combat whatever non-factual nonsense that Brandel Chamblee and Jim McLean spout off about TGM. And there should be a better message generated to the general public about the advantages of TGM.
As I mentioned earlier, there needs to be something to entice instructors to want to become a TGM AI or come back to TGM. I would think the goal would be to expand our network of TGM AI’s, but to still give network a sense of exclusiveness. You cannot just allow anybody to just become an AI, but if you are too exclusive, the message never really gets out. It’s a tough balancing act, but if the benefits of joining TGM are strong enough, the best instructors will follow.