Lessons and Wisdom From John Jacobs
Vintage lessons and wisdom from the legendary British player and teacher John Jacobs.
Released on 2/17/2011
I must tell you the first lesson,
I've no idea how to teach golf.
There was not a practice ground at Hallamshire,
there's a low out-of-bounds wall down the first fairway,
and you used to teach near that wall,
out of the way down the first fairway.
And (mumbles) one day, lovely old boy,
with six hickory shafted clubs in a little drainpipe bag,
and he had the worst over the top swing you've ever seen.
And he shanked it over this wall all the time,
balls flying over the wall, and I couldn't stop him.
But I suddenly thought, and I kept getting these
balls nearer to the wall, and of course eventually,
he smashed his club on the wall.
I thought, crickey, I'm going to be fired
before I've started here.
But he thought he was hitting the over the wall
as opposed to hitting right in the heel of the club.
And he did it with another club.
I took him up to the shop, sold him a set of steel
shafted irons, I was in.
It doesn't start with a golf swing.
If I start with a group of people or a person,
I say now, first of all, I tell them my philosophy:
golf is what the ball does.
What the ball does is absolutely dependent upon
the impact the club makes with the ball.
That's why when Laddie Lucas did my biography,
he called it Jacobs' Impact on Golf,
he particularly wanted that word in there.
Good swings are not always the same.
If you can get the correct impact, and it's repeatable,
I wouldn't dream of changing it.
I'm not teaching orthodoxy in the sense
of everybody has to look the same.
There are certain obvious rules,
the ball's to the side of you and it's on the ground,
so the fact that it's to the side of you,
the arc is going to be end to end.
It's on the ground, you've got to swing it up and down
at the same time, which means you've got to stand
correctly to turn to get the end to end,
and you swing your arms up and down in unison with that.
Now, I didn't ever want too much detail,
I didn't want people to think about my new shot,
I want to get a big picture.
If you turn and pop the club up, the club,
the thing that's going to hit the ball,
will be parallel to where you where you want the
ball to go in the plane, which will catch the turf.
That wouldn't do it, it's out of line, it's wrong.
This is the right plane, but it's in the wrong direction.
So, the measurement of whether you have a good
golf swing is what the ball does,
and I'll show you how to get there.
I got them thinking, and I could tell them,
That ball tells you your club is what, you tell me.
Well, the face must've been open,
or the swing must've been so.
So that was a totally different way of doing it.
Nobody told me how to teach it,
everything I said was because I was wanting to play it
myself, I was desperate, I wanted to be the
best player in the world, not the best teacher.
That's a big one, to say the best teacher.
I should've said a good teacher.