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"Short Game Secrets" by James Ridyard

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Having the word "secrets" in the title is enough to keep me from buying, or reading the book. 

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So, I downloaded a couple of these videos after following James on Twitter - he shares a lot of good thoughts and a couple of the videos he shared intrigued me. I particularly liked the one below that he retweets quite a lot.

There are a number of videos and it can be hard to know exactly what you get. The 5 DVD set includes:

  • Approach Wedges
  • Scrambling
  • Bunker Play
  • Practical Green Reading
  • Putting Performance

The two I was particularly interested in were the Approach Wedges and Scrambling videos and I got both 2.0 and 1.0 versions of each. For info, I'd recommend getting 2.0 first, as it may include the 1.0 videos as well (I ended up with 2 copies of 1.0). I'm going to try to review without giving too much information. James has worked with a number of top players and coaches (Tour and otherwise) to pick up on what they do well and try to dial in when coaching. What I did really like was that a lot of what he says resonates with @iacas, @mvmac and others preach with pitching and short game in general, such as delivery of bounce, loft and shot selection. All of the videos are full of information and whilst they are relatively short - 40 minutes or so - there is so much there that you won't necessarily pick it up within 4 or 5 views.

Approach Wedges 1.0, 2.0: This is relatively technical and addresses a few key factors (launch, strike etc). I would say that, for a casual player, this is not the one to get, as whilst there are some good concepts in there, it doesn't necessarily give you that much to immediately go away and work on. I will re-watch it to try to glean more, but there wasn't that much in here that I wasn't aware of already. It is also possibly the hardest section to work on on your own, without access to Trackman etc., but James does make some good suggestions. Approach Wedges 2.0 is more technical and doesn't really apply to me right now, dealing with spin rates, smash factor. It might suit a low handicapper, but I wouldn't suggest it as necessary viewing.

Scrambling 1.0, 2.0: Whilst the Approach Wedges 1.0 was a bit heavy, Scrambling gets straight into the task of how to score lower shots and particularly varying trajectories with your wedges to accomplish this. You look at when to use certain shots and easy ways to vary high, low and mid trajectories to accomplish this - James explains it quickly and easily and I could immediately take this knowledge to the course and play around with it. I would suggest that this and 2.0 are almost essential viewing - they combine lots of information with really effective presentation and clear ideas of how to build this in to your game to shoot lower scores. 2.0 also includes some really useful situational based sections, with James taking a certain shot and explaining his choices clearly. There's also a nice fault fixer element that would help those who struggle with thins and duffs.

In short, they are really useful viewing, but I'd advocate Scrambling over Approach Wedges, simply for the ease of incorporating it into your practice. If you'd like any more information, please ask, but I'd certainly recommend looking them up.

Edited by b101

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Uhhhhhhhh…? James is coaching, among others, Francesco Molinari.

He is qualified.

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15 hours ago, iacas said:

Uhhhhhhhh…? James is coaching, among others, Francesco Molinari.

He is qualified.

 

15 hours ago, iacas said:

Uhhhhhhhh…? James is coaching, among others, Francesco Molinari.

He is qualified.

In a 12-way tie for 69th-best short game on the PGA tour???  Maybe he needs a MORE qualified coach.

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29 minutes ago, YeOldeDuffer said:

 

In a 12-way tie for 69th-best short game on the PGA tour???  Maybe he needs a MORE qualified coach.

Yeah. Ok. I think you jumped the gun on your unfamiliarity with James. Better to just own up rather than grab a shovel and keep digging.🤷‍♂️

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13 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Yeah. Ok. I think you jumped the gun on your unfamiliarity with James. Better to just own up rather than grab a shovel and keep digging.🤷‍♂️

Oh, I have been wrong before and will no doubt be wrong again. But in this case, I assure you, lack of familiarity is not a problem. Much the opposite, sadly. If James was half as good as HE thinks he is, I'd sign up for a lesson tomorrow. May I ask how many lessons YOU have taken personally from James?

Edited by YeOldeDuffer
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On 5/3/2019 at 9:57 PM, YeOldeDuffer said:

Pretty much useless. This guy is hardly qualified to give advice on this topic. Astounding that he gets people to view this drivel or to pay him for lessons.

You challenged his qualifications, not any of us.

3 hours ago, YeOldeDuffer said:

Oh, I have been wrong before and will no doubt be wrong again. But in this case, I assure you, lack of familiarity is not a problem. Much the opposite, sadly. If James was half as good as HE thinks he is, I'd sign up for a lesson tomorrow. May I ask how many lessons YOU have taken personally from James?

 

Our connection with him is irrelevant. It is ok that you didn’t like his instruction, that is fine. There are many famous instructors that I don’t like either.  Folks were just reacting to your suggestion that the OP instructor was not qualified.

The video was posted in the OP not as an endorsement by the way. It was posted just for discussion.

I would rather here more details from you on what exactly you didn’t like and why. I would help me make a decision on whether to watch or not.

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15 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

I would rather hear more details from you on what exactly you didn’t like and why. I would help me make a decision on whether to watch or not.

Yeah, @YeOldeDuffer. Discuss the details - what you didn’t like and why - or stop.

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5 hours ago, boogielicious said:

You challenged his qualifications, not any of us.

Our connection with him is irrelevant. It is ok that you didn’t like his instruction, that is fine. There are many famous instructors that I don’t like either.  Folks were just reacting to your suggestion that the OP instructor was not qualified.

The video was posted in the OP not as an endorsement by the way. It was posted just for discussion.

I would rather here more details from you on what exactly you didn’t like and why. I would help me make a decision on whether to watch or not.

What are you guys, his business partners?

The video was posted for discussion? OK, I discussed it. The qualifications of the guy who made it are fair comment, I'd say. Haven't heard any defenses of why it is any good, just a lot of visceral reaction to a negative comment. In my world, you need POSITIVE EVIDENCE to engage the services of a highly-paid individual, not merely a lack of negative evidence. All I've heard so far is that he coaches a pro on his short game . . . and that pro's short game is not rated very highly. Kind of like claiming to have been Shaquille O'Neal's coach on free-throw shooting (in case you don't get the reference, O'Neal was a great NBA player but an abysmal free-throw shooter throughout his career).

As for the videos, I don't think a video is a very good way to learn golf, maybe a little better than a book. Beyond that, I find Ridyard's videos / instruction very derivative (to use the kindest possible word) of prior books & videos by Pelz, Mickelson, and especially Tamayo. I'd rather go back to people with original thoughts, more practical (successful) experience, and a better understanding of basic physics than Ridyard than listen to someone who is merely parroting what others before him have said. I'm not going to do a frame-by-frame analysis of his videos -- they weren't even worth my time viewing them ONCE.

But opinions are like a***holes -- everybody has one -- and you are welcome to yours.

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6 minutes ago, YeOldeDuffer said:

What are you guys, his business partners?

The video was posted for discussion? OK, I discussed it. The qualifications of the guy who made it are fair comment, I'd say. Haven't heard any defenses of why it is any good, just a lot of visceral reaction to a negative comment. In my world, you need POSITIVE EVIDENCE to engage the services of a highly-paid individual, not merely a lack of negative evidence. All I've heard so far is that he coaches a pro on his short game . . . and that pro's short game is not rated very highly. Kind of like claiming to have been Shaquille O'Neal's coach on free-throw shooting (in case you don't get the reference, O'Neal was a great NBA player but an abysmal free-throw shooter throughout his career).

As for the videos, I don't think a video is a very good way to learn golf, maybe a little better than a book. Beyond that, I find Ridyard's videos / instruction very derivative (to use the kindest possible word) of prior books & videos by Pelz, Mickelson, and especially Tamayo. I'd rather go back to people with original thoughts, more practical (successful) experience, and a better understanding of basic physics than Ridyard than listen to someone who is merely parroting what others before him have said. I'm not going to do a frame-by-frame analysis of his videos -- they weren't even worth my time viewing them ONCE.

But opinions are like a***holes -- everybody has one -- and you are welcome to yours.

Thanks. I actually have never heard of the guy, but Erik has because Erik is an instructor as well. I am very selective on who’s teaching I follow. So input like this helps me make a decision if I’m going to spend time watching or doing something better with my time. 

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If you think Ridyard’s teaching is derivative of Pelz, man, you don’t know much about what he teaches.

It is far far closer to Sieckmann, which is just O’Grady, which is just Rodgers, which is also how I prefer to tech short game. It’s not much at all like Pelz.

And you’re slamming a guy for teaching multiple PGA Tour players? And for Molinari being top third in a category in which better ballstrikers are punished (they hit more greens).

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28 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

If you think Ridyard’s teaching is derivative of Pelz, man, you don’t know much about what he teaches.

 

Of course he does. And I’m quite certain he’s more than qualified to evaluate a PGA Tour coach with his years of training top level players who well exceed the accomplishments of Molinari for example.

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4 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Of course he does. And I’m quite certain he’s more than qualified to evaluate a PGA Tour coach with his years of training top level players who well exceed the accomplishments of Molinari for example.

And I'm sure you're qualified to make sarcastic comments based on your years of being an a***hole.

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4 minutes ago, YeOldeDuffer said:

And I'm sure you're qualified to make sarcastic comments based on your years of being an a***hole.

Lol. You’ve got that covered, pick something else chief.

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James Ridyard has been around for ages. He was part of Today's Golfer magazines instructional staff. A lot of the stuff he had done has been pretty decent imo.

I have a taster dvd from said magazine of the short game series and it's not bad. Not quite my cup of tea but certainly will be for many people.

 

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