Friday, May 20, 2011

Jim McLean, The TGM Poseur

Recently, Jim McLean posted this video on YouTube with his criticisms of Homer Kelley's book 'The Golfing Machine.'

McLean's ripping into The Golfing Machine does not really surprise me as he's been known in golfing instruction circles to really rip into any type of instruction that is non-Jim McLean, non-X Factor, non-8 Step Swing.

What is surprising is the straw man argument that he uses as Kelley's book is filled with expressing the point that there is no 'one way' or 'perfect swing.' And Kelley further expressed this in clinics, seminars, etc.

This textbook can support individual "My Way" procedure but no "The Way Theory." - The Golfing Machine

Feel no concern for the perfect stroke. There are trillions of precision patterns with totally correct alignments and relationships, perfect for some application or preference. - Homer Kelley

There is little excuse for forcing the average weekend golfer – who has some strong tendency or other – to adopt any procedure or Stroke Pattern that calls for the elimination of that tendency. It is fareasier to develop a Stroke Pattern that properly compensates for it. Change the factors that are easily controlledto fit those that are difficult to change. - The Golfing Machine

It's fine with me if a person does not like The Golfing Machine. But, to get so much of it blatantly wrong destroys McLean's credibility towards the subject and hurts his credibility the next time he goes after another teacher or teaching philosophy. It's so absurd that it would be akin to a historian claiming that he read the works of Ghandi and that Ghandi loved violence.

McLean tries to point out that TGM is a 'method.' This again is the exact opposite of what TGM is about. It's a system for a golfer to develop their own, customizable golf swing. I would think that 'spending an entire day with Homer Kelley' is something that McLean would've understood. I know I never spent an entire day with Mr. Kelley (I was 6 years old when he passed away), yet I understood from the beginning of my reading of The Golfing Machine that it's not a method.

McLean discusses how the 'TGM swing' has 'no weight shift', which is not factually correct. Homer Kelley didn't prescribe 'no weight shift.' Nor did he prescribe a 'weight shift.' That's because he didn't command that a golfer have either. Again, a system to develop a customizable golf swing for each individual golfer. But apparently that one flew over McLean's head in his talk with Homer Kelley.

Furthermore, there's no mention of 'being perfect at the top (of the swing)' or 'going into a perfect finish' in the book.

McLean then says "people who teach it gets into this religion of the perfect golf swing. Now here's what I'd like to point out to you. Why hasn't somebody been great doing it?"

I'll take this excerpt from writer Andy Brumer:
Noted golf teacher Chuck Cook, GSED, worked extensively with Payne Stewart, Corey Pavin and Tom Kite prior to their US Open victories. And Ben Doyle, in addition to teaching many Tour players, worked extensively with Steve Elkington prior to the Australian’s PGA Championship win at Riviera Country Club in 1995. What’s more, Elkington himself has become an Authorized Instructor of “The Golfing Machine” and has achieved GSED status. Pia Nilsson, Annika Sorenstam’s former coach, and a powerful force in the rise of Sweden’s competitive golf program during the 1990s, visited Ben Doyle in order to learn the fundamentals of “The Golfing Machine”.

The same Bobby Clampett working as a CBS Sports Golf Commentator, pointed out during a recent telecast that PGA Tour player Brian Gay revamped his entire swing and game by first studying “The Golfing Machine” from cover to cover. Gay continues to work on applying Kelley’s wisdom to his game with the help of his coach, Lynn Blake, a Golfing Machine expert.

Another Authorized Instructor of “The Golfing Machine”, Englishman Martin Hall, GSEM, taught the young LPGA star Morgan Pressel since she was a child. In 2007, she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, becoming the youngest winner of an LPGA major championship in history. Zach Johnson, who won the Masters the same year, works with a teacher whose philosophy and methods are Golfing Machine based. Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer, publicly acknowledge “The Golfing Machine” as the source of much of their Stack and Tilt theory, a method of swinging employed today by Tommy Armour III, Dean Wilson and Charlie Wi, among other successful PGA Tour players.

Mike Holder, formerly the head golf coach and now the Athletic Director at Oklahoma State University is a strong Golfing Machine proponent, and he instructed all of the great players he coached at Oklahoma State in its principles. Many of these “Cowboys,” such as Bob Tway, Willie Wood and Scott Verplank. went on to outstanding PGA Tour careers, while younger Oklahoma State players on Tour today include Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan. Oh yes, the current U.S. Amateur Men’s Champion, Peter Uihlein stars on the Oklahoma State University golf team. -

I'm not sure what McLean considers 'great', but we have:

- arguably the greatest female golfer of all time
- one of the greatest ballstrikers of the 90's (Elkington)
- arguably the greatest college golf team in the last 30 years.

All under the TGM umbrella.

As far as today goes, I think most would consider Heath Slocum and Boo Weekley to be top 10 ballstrikers on the PGA Tour. I have statistics that back it up.

Some may think Slocum hits the ball too short, although he's not a very big guy. But, he's the worst putter statistically on Tour and keeps his card each year, so he's doing it somehow.

But Weekley is quite long off the tee and is widely considered a great ballstriker.

And both work with TGM Authorized Instructor, Mark Blackburn.

If it's true that McLean did spend a day with Homer Kelley, there doesn't seem to be much evidence of that in his straw man argument. It's too bad because he could've learned something, but apparently chose not to.



Unknown said...

Perfectly stated, Richie!

Rich H. said...

I had a great TGM instructor :)


Ronnie Martin said...

I'm glad you finally addressed that arrogant DB. It blows my mind that even he would get on his soapbox and declare TGM as a method. Where the hell did that come from? Was he bored that day? I think sometimes people are hard up for material to write or talk about and they just throw something on the wall to see if it sticks. I'm an AI but I can think on my own and I believe that had Homer had accesses to the technology that a lot of the guys who rip TGM have now he would have really been hailed as a genius that was ahead of his time. Good job Rich.