A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing legendary golf instructor, Jimmy Ballard, on The Back Nine Radio Show. This morning, Jimmy Ballard hosted a teaching summit for members of the Gateway Section at WingHaven Country Club.
I consider myself a student of the game and enjoy the process involved in getting better at golf. So an opportunity to learn from one of the game's greatest teachers was an absolute treat I was not passing up. I was impressed by the number of Section Professionals in attendance on this Friday morning. Considering how busy these men and women are this time of year, it was refreshing to see some of the Section's more accomplished players and teachers eager to meet and learn from Jimmy Ballard.
Jimmy opened up the session reviewing the fundamental absolutes he feels golfer's need to understand. How the arms move in the golf swing, what happens to your head in your back swing and follow through, and the importance of coil vs. turn. The manner in which Ballard explains these fundamentals is amazingly simple. I don't see how anyone could have a different methodology after hearing Ballard talk about the golf swing with such conviction. Best yet, he backs up his theory with easy to understand diagrams and photos of players like Annika Sorenstam, Curtis Strange, Rocco Mediate, Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan.
Ben Hogan and the several books he authored are a common reference for Ballard as he breaks down the various movements in the golf swing. Ballard shares experiences working with Sam Byrd, one of the few people who helped Hogan with his golf swing, and the person Ballard considers his mentor. He references conversations from over 40 years ago as if it was yesterday, giving those in attendance a glimpse into the minds of players like Hogan, Gary Player, Johnny Miller, Curtis Strange, Jim Colbert, Paul Azinger, Jesper Parnevik and Annika.
After two hours inside listening to Ballard discuss what makes a good golf swing, the group moved outside to the WingHaven Country Club practice area. If you ever wanted to take a golf lesson, but were concerned about it being too hot you need to call Barbara Blanchar at WingHaven Country Club. Her air conditioned hitting area provided a comfortable setting for the participants to watch as Ballard helped each person with their golf swing.
The day concluded with a nice lunch inside WingHaven's newly renovated bar and restaurant. If you are looking for a golf professional from which to take a lesson, let me just say it might be worth seeking out one of the professionals that attended today's session. Chris Scott and Brian Schmersahl from the Falls Golf Club, TJ Valvo from Old Hickory, Jeff Whitfield from Mid Rivers Golf Links, Dave Furlong from Ballwin and Tom DeGrand of Pro-Am Golf Center were among the 20+ attendees. As part of the seminar, Jimmy Ballard also unveiled his new training aid - The Golf Swing Shirt. Many of the attendees had the opportunity to demo the training aid and I can tell you I'm ordering mine immediately. It's a shirt you easily slip over your clothing that will help you to feel the proper arm position in the golf swing. If you want to get better, visit The Golf Swing Shirt and order yours today.