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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Goodbye, Jim

As you probably know, teacher Jim Flick died Monday from pancreatic cancer at the age of 82. USA Today did a nice article about him that you can read by clicking this link. Many pros sought his help -- not the least of which was Jack Nicklaus, and their work eventually resulted in the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools.

I never met him, but I've known who he was since I first started learning to play golf. It was through a large book he did with Bob Toski for Golf Digest called How to Be a Complete Golfer. I sometimes mention things Flick said because he believed in keeping it simple. Rather than write some long history of what he did, I'd rather just post a couple of short videos that show some of the simple things he taught. You'll learn a lot from these two short videos if you take the time to watch them.

The first one focuses on grip pressure and how it affects all aspects of your game, from club fitting to how you hit the ball. It reflects one of his basic thoughts that I always keep in mind when I write instructional material -- the club is a tool. (Flick likes to call it an "instrument.") The idea behind using a tool is that the tool does most of the work, something that most golfers just don't understand:

And this second one focuses on a classic technique that many of the greatest players have used. It's the idea that you swing with your arms, not your shoulders. Initially this sounds like the opposite of what Hogan taught, but again he's talking about tension. Your shoulders have to turn for your arms to swing freely, and that's one of the reasons I stress being able to see your trailing shoulder between your forearms at the top of your backswing -- if you were looking down the target line, that is -- because that helps keep your arms where they can swing freely:

Like I said, Jim Flick kept it simple. Not only will his friends miss him, but so will the world of golf instruction.

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