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The Power Triangle, Rectangle, Cube???

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newtogolf

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Dr. Don told me to warm up while he finished up some research.  I watched him hit some shots then write some notes down into his notebook, mumbling to himself the entire time.  When he walked over to begin the lesson he was visibly excited to share a break through he'd just come up with that would revolutionize the golf swing, "The Power Triangle".  He said he was going to teach it to me because of my athleticism I'd be able to take advantage of it immediately.

He went through a long winded explanation of golf physiology and new terms he'd coined to set the stage for this new swing he'd developed that would be the easiest and most effective swing method ever, after years and years of work, he claimed he had discovered Hogan's secret.  I couldn't help be a bit excited for him as it was contagious, plus I was all for a easy to learn golf swing that no one else in the world was aware of.  After another 15 minutes of setting the stage, he finally demonstrated the swing, it looked like his regular golf swing.  He asked me what I saw, I said it looked like a normal golf swing, which is exactly the answer he wanted.  He claimed no one discovered Hogans secret because it wasn't visible watching film, you can't see what his muscles were doing under his shirt.  He went into the explanation of the feel he was creating in his deltoids and upper pectoral muscles out to his hands to create the "Power Triangle" (PT) and that if I used this same feel it would be impossible to mishit the ball.

He had me set up and try to acquire the feel of the "PT" without the ball.  I swung a few times and then he placed a ball on the mat for me to swing.  The first five balls I hit were horrible, but he claimed I wasn't doing it right, when I finally hit a decent shot, he said "Thank you very much, you've got it".  I hadn't done anything different on the sixth ball as I had the fifth but he was convinced I used the PT on the sixth shot.  This went on the rest of the lesson, I now know that the swing was no different than any swing from a poor golfer, the good shot is the aberration, not the norm.  I practiced daily and spent two more lessons learning the PT but the results weren't there, either the PT was flawed, not so easy to learn or I was just not meant to be a decent golfer.  He was insistent that the swing method worked and that other students he taught we doing great with it, so I was really beginning to think it was me, until my fourth lesson.

When I showed up for the fourth lesson he was back to hitting shots and mumbling to himself.  He had me come over and shared with me that he realized there was a problem with the PT and had fixed it.  The power didn't come from the triangle of the arms it came from the Power Rectangle, (PR) the box between the shoulders down to the hips and connecting across.  He once again reviewed the physiology that supported the PR.  I was a bit frustrated that I spent 3 weeks focused on the PT and now he was hitting me with something completely different but if it worked I was okay with it.  We went through the same painful explanation and demonstration (that I couldn't see because it was what he did with his muscles) and then it was time for me to try it.  I followed his instructions, took some practice swings and then tried to hit the ball but the results were the same, one shot out of every 4 or 5 was good, the rest were no better than I was hitting a month ago.

I spent another 3 - 4 weeks practicing the PR and took my 5th and 6th lesson without any real improvement in my results.  I'd hit some better shots but that was because I was making more adjustments to compensate for my bad swing but I wasn't any closer to having a sound golf swing.  I had wasted three months working on swings that didn't improve my consistency or scores plus my overall frustration with golf was at an all-time high.  I decided that I was done with taking lessons from Dr. Don.

I knew Don would try to con me into more lessons so I'd go to the range at hours when I knew he'd not likely be there. That worked out well for a few weeks but the inevitable happened and Don showed up while I was practicing.  He walked over, said hello and watched me swing. He was cordial and asked me how my golf game was but it had to be pretty obvious from his observations it wasn't going well.  He used that as an in to explain the PR was also flawed and that he'd been working on a new swing method that he was having "phenomenal" results with.  I was nice but stern and said that I wasn't interested in paying to be a guinea pig for his research.  He said he understood but wanted to show me his new "Power Cube" and wouldn't charge me for it.  It was awkward and I don't like being a jerk, especially to older people so I listened and went through the motions.  After an hour Don left, my swing still wasn't any better and I made it clear to Don that I wouldn't be taking any more lessons.

We remained cordial when we saw each other at the range but he knew he was selling snake oil.  I'd watch him pull the same routine with others that he did with me and on a few instances he'd point me out as someone that took lessons from him.  I asked him not to do that as it put me in an awkward position if they asked my opinion of him it would not be favorable.  By September he had gone through at least two more iterations of his breakthrough swing and started to sell home made DVD's that he'd hand out to people and then a few days later hit them up for money once they confirmed they had watched it, it was sad.  I felt bad for Don, he was so desperate to achieve his 15 minutes of fame and cash out that he'd become obsessed with Hogans secret and a catchy phrase he could market to the masses.  He soon became "that guy" you want to avoid when you're at the range.

I had wasted the 2013 golf season on false promises and my own stupidity and lack of patience in thinking there was a magic short cut to learning how to make a proper golf swing.   I learned a valuable lesson, there are no silver bullets in golf, maybe Hogan was right, the answers were in the dirt.  

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At some subconscious level, I want to stumble across something that will magically make the game easier - even though I realize that's not how it works.

 

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Sadly this guy is not alone using this shtick. I have met a very similar guy at a range. He had a book he would give away and try to charge for. Good you realized his stuff was useless so you can find someone else to work with. 

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I have a Pyramid Power thingie I might let go...

I did not have the power cube or triangle, but I have wasted years chasing a golf swing with instructors who only knew a method but had poor grasp of fundamentals much less teaching them. Sadly, I knew less than they, so I was lighter in the wallet...

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I was more patient with Don than I typically would have been because I had verified he was the golf coach for a popular university in NY.  I think at one time he had good intentions and was really trying to uncover Hogan's secret but somewhere along the way he got lost and turned into more of a con artist than a golf pro.  

@JonMA1 I think we'd all would like to be part of something magical to make the game easier.  I know when I was serious about improving in golf I sought out an easy way to get good fast.  I realize today that it was a lot of time and money wasted.  The blog is a  way for me to document and remember my journey but I also hope it helps some new golfers that might read it from repeating the same mistakes I've made. 

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Dude you could almost make a comedy sketch of this blog entry. I can see Seth Rogen as Dr. Don discussing the power triangle and when you dont get it he pulls his shirt off and does some weird triangle arm and pec flex thing while encouraging you to touch it and feel what hes talking about. 

Edited by Gator Hazard

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15 hours ago, Gator Hazard said:

Dude you could almost make a comedy sketch of this blog entry. I can see Seth Rogen as Dr. Don discussing the power triangle and when you dont get it he pulls his shirt off and does some weird triangle arm and pec flex thing while encouraging you to touch it and feel what hes talking about. 

Or Chris Farley, teaching out of the back of a van...down by the river. 

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1 hour ago, Ernest Jones said:

Or Chris Farley, teaching out of the back of a van...down by the river. 

He was my original choice but for obvious reasons couldn't be the one.  I love that skit.

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@david_wedzik and I once saw a guy filming his own DVD at Whispering Woods when we were still there. His theory had something to do with the right shoulder - no, wait, it was the right elbow of all things - being the "center of the golf swing." As in the geometric center of some circle, not "the most important piece."

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Dr. Don went on to coin many other catch phrases for his swing methods (none of which I'm aware worked for anyone).  He had almost conned some independent broadcast house to consider producing a cable television show on his swing method but the deal fell through.

I give credit to anyone that works hard to earn a living and Don wasn't bad at giving basic swing tips.  The problem was instead of being a good golf instructor and helping people improve at golf he always tried to push his latest swing method on them and a bunch of lessons.  The range he worked at has distanced themselves from him so I'm not sure where he will end up, but I'm a bit relieved I won't have to run into him at the range anymore.

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