State of Golf Worldwide | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

State of Golf Worldwide

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 14:00 -- Don Trahan

The game of golf is seeing participation drop all across the world. Golf courses and clubs are struggling to stay open and overall rounds played are way down. What could be the cause of all this? Sure, finances play a big part, and after 2008, many courses were never able to recover while golfers themselves simply couldn't afford to play as much as they once did.

I read an interesting article discussing Bubba Golf, and the impact that Watson will have on the golfing world after being so successful with a homemade swing. Bubba is famous for saying he's never taken a single lesson and that he is entirely self-taught. While it's possible that winning the Masters with no lessons could spark interest for others to pick up the game, I think the way in which golf is currently being taught is the bigger issue.

I believe that golfers are being driven away from the sport because of bad instruction! They've got way too many things going on in their head that they're unable to make a good swing with any sort of consistency. Of course, the fact that the majority of instructors teach a rotational swing doesn't help either.

In order for golf to see a rise in popularity, golfers are going to have to start seeing better success on a more consistent basis. I believe the Peak Performance Golf Swing is the answer. There probably isn't an easier swing to learn than a 3/4 limited turn vertical golf swing, and I think many in the Surge Nation can speak to that!

Keep it vertical!

The Surge

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Comments

john.mcc@verizon.net's picture

Submitted by john.mcc@verizon.net on

Surge, my ball striking and long game has improved under PPGS. However, my short game has gotten worse. I've read Dave Pelz' book and I have the Kenny Knox video. What I find frustrating Is trying to execute two different type swings on every hole. Any ideas?

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

John:
It is difficult because it is like two different games. Suggestion - try loking for videos on youtube - lots of different ways to chip and pitch are out there. Plus check the golf magazines and other books too. I use the Kenny Knox method, have been more consistent with contact, has really helped with pitching from 20-30 yrds. But you may not be comfortable with doing this. You might want to check the videos with DJ - doesnt move the body as much, uses more of a putting stroke. Find a youtube video of Jim Furyk - he uses this method.
Good luck - hope this helps :)
Jerry - Warren, MI

SeniorGolfer73's picture

Submitted by SeniorGolfer73 on

Don, your comments and advice are right on. I'm now 75, but three years ago I attended your school in Atlanta. This was the best investment I ever made when it comes to learning how to play golf. Three years ago my handicap was 17, now it's 11, thanks to PPGS. I'm playing better golf and enjoying it more than I did 30 years ago. Do I have arthritis-yes, do I have fingers that just don't close like they used to-yes, has my swing speed declined-yes. Do I have the aches and pains like I used to after 18 holes of golf-no. Recently I had to get a cortisone shot in my right knee, the surgeon told me I could play golf, but be careful how much pressure I put on my knee. Did I go to the range and try to figure out on my own to lesson the stress-no, I went to your site and typed in knee pain and there was your answer, narrow my stance and open my left foot more. It worked-no pain or stress on the knee.

I play from the senior tee's, my clubs are fitted to me. I don't carry a 3-4-5 iron in my bag. I do carry extra wedges in my bag, pw,aw,sw,lw. Per your advice and instruction my short game has really improved. My driver has a higher loft than I thought I needed. I use the PPGS swing with all my clubs, which helps me not to do allot of extra thinking on the course.

Over the years I've tried many programs to improve my game and I must say none of these programs have helped improve my game like PPGS. Thanks Don and keep showing us how to enjoy and improve the game of golf.

dgundling@verizon.net's picture

Submitted by dgundling@veriz... on

PPGS bottom line for me is that my index has gone up about one stroke per year. Started about 5 years ago when I was shooting between 90 and 95 regularly. Now I struggle to get under 100.

golfdesign@gmail.com's picture

Submitted by golfdesign@gmail.com on

Those of us who have been around for a while know that golf's popularity has always had ups and downs. Golf heroes (Jones, Hogan, Arnie, Jack, Tiger etc.) have motivated us to take up the game. I think we are in between heroes right now but there will be others.
Don is 100% right about instruction and making golf easier and faster to do well. If we struggle to gain a moderate degree of proficiency in any athletic endeavor, most of us will give up and move on.
Golf is and should be a life long sport, with good instruction, a simple and pain free swing technique, and a relatively short learning curve, beginners might stick around.

SODAK65's picture

Submitted by SODAK65 on

I agree totally with you, Don. Another thing that drives people away from golf is the price of equipment and the cost to play. Manufacturers are pricing equipment at ridiculous levels. $400 or more for a driver that probably costs $75 to make in China? Their cost markup is obscene! I'm lucky that I can play on a military golf course for $165 per month. These private courses that want $5 or 600 per month to play are pricing themselves out of the market because only rich folks can play them.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Golf is like politics, everyone has an angle to benefit their cause and golf instruction is no different. When taking up the game about 15 years ago I was determine to learn the game through proper instruction, lots of practise, having good equipment and money was not a problem. People like Bubba Watson are what I call freaks, ie have some sort of natural ability and so, make the game look so easy when it's the extact opposite, 90% of golfers never have this gift and follow the mistaken path that regular play will make them better and the only thing that keeps them playing is every once in a while something clicks and they end up with a good score on the day.

Been playing PPGS now for 5 years, H/C hasn't changed, but I'm hitting the ball better than ever thanks to fitted clubs, so i got one thing right. Starting to think now that you "have it" or "you haven't", never was the sporting type with any natural ability, but have the determination to compete with the groups i play with. I can start with 4 pars in a row then wipe the next 4, or even start with 4 wipes then par the next 4, obviously my swing goes through tantrums, LOL.

The moral of this story is that we follow and listen to the champions, when in reality the champion's body is vastly different to ours, look at Bubba's feet while swinging, it's like dancin. Nicholas held his club like holding a baby bird. Look at the body torque that Tiger has, all of these create problems for the average golfer.

I'm waiting for Don to come down under again this November as I'm booking some one on one lessons with him, after that then I think it will be lawn bowls, LOL.

Brady's picture

Submitted by Brady on

More than likely it will be the beginning of 2015 before Don will be able to do an international trip because of his surgery. Current plan is go make a few small US trips when he gets cleared to teach and travel before he hops a plane for a really long flight.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Brady, Thanks for the update, that will work fine with me as I had a few things
to organise, this side of Xmas.

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

One of the things that seems to be happening is a gradual loosening of traditional golf etiquette and manners. The world has become a casual place where decent appearance and proper manners have taken a back seat to allowing people to 'do their thing'. It's not just sloppy apparel but conduct on the golf course that's is out of control. One of the biggest offenses is how folks park their carts too close to the greens, often in front of and just a few feet off the putting surface. This means we all have to wait till they finish putting and they slowly walk back to the motorized cart and after putting their clubs away and club covers on and even marking the score they slowly move out of the way. It seems very rare that we ever see a course marshal around to remind people of common courtesy. Rare to see any one reminded to keep up pace of play let alone do simple things like pull there carts past pin high on the path side of the hole, fix ball divots and marks on the greens, wave the group behind through (if they are holding up play). et..
There are many more offenses but suffice to say that it seems just as there are fewer dad's (and or mom's) teaching children at home, there are fewer dad's (or mentors) teaching new golfers common golf manners and procedures on the golf course. I guess golf is simply reflecting the current trends in the world. Every one is so careful not to hurt anyone's 'feelings' by giving them guidance. Maybe there should be required etiquette lessons before anyone is allowed to play on their own out there. A punch card of basics all need to pass before being allowed to play. Just like discipline for children is good in the long run so would more enforcement of long standing golf standards be good for the current and future state of the game.

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

Robert:
So true. We have been fortunate not to see this usually because we like to play early, and we play fast. But yesterday at Heather Hills we saw some of these crimes take place.
Hope you and the missus are doing and playing well. Last week on Sunday shot 85 with four doubles. At Heather Hills shot 89 with two doubles and a quad (pu). Overall play is getting better. Have a great week talk again soon.
Jerry - Warren, MI

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Jerry,
Cool you have been playing better. I know what you mean about have a string of good holes and then the double trouble. Any more I figure that's just golf and happens. I used to get real frustrated but let it go fairly easily now. I figure another good hole is coming so why waste my time lamenting a double bogie?
Moving on right?
Golf on!

Jerry Gaughan's picture

Submitted by Jerry Gaughan on

Robert:
Excellent thought. Like Surge says in secret #5 do the next one right. The quad started with my worst drive of the day and finished with my only 3 putt of the day. Next hole - drive right down the pipe, 2nd was pulled but a good chip from under a tree, and a 15ft w/ 2ft left to right putt for par. Great to let a bad hole go - next hole is another opportunity for great things:)
Play well friend,
Jerry

resumez@cox.net's picture

Submitted by resumez@cox.net on

Robert;

So True, so true -- unfortunately
It is extremely rare to see anyone replace a divot in the fairway - or even use the sand bottle.
And I have seen people literaly park the cart within a foot or so of the green! UGH!
Keep hitting them STRAIGHT and LONG
Amos

MikefromKy's picture

Submitted by MikefromKy on

(One of the biggest offenses is how folks park their carts too close to the greens, often in front of and just a few feet off the putting surface. )

Robert I guess I could agree with that statement as long as the person parking close to the green did not have a handicap flag me or parking on the green in a handicap cart some one that cannot walk at all. Marshall's don't say a lot any more because golf courses are half full around here and they need the money. I questioned the the tallness of the rough Friday at my local city owned course and was told the Pro suggested cutting the rough so they could get some customers back and was told by the grounds crew that the guy that designed the coarse design it to have tall rough. I laughed and said that was the first time I herd that in 30 years and the rough has never been this high you can't advance the ball very far out of it. This kind of stupidity slows play and chases customers away.

resumez@cox.net's picture

Submitted by resumez@cox.net on

to all:

I believe at least some of the problem is the golf courses themselves. It seems that almost every course wants to be Hilton Head, Augusta or Pebble Beach, with similar prices. Frankly I think we have enough of those kind of courses.
What I believe is really needed is a lot of "everyman's" courses - designed for ease of maintainence as well as playability an not overly long -- the kind of courses where beginners can learn the game and still have a chance for an occasional par.
Another problem is the male ego. It never ceases to amaze me at the number of men that play the white tees or even the back tees when they really should join me on the 2nd tees. After after all, THEY are men!

Keep hitting them STRAIGHT and LONG

Amos

Robert Meade's picture

Submitted by Robert Meade on

Agreed Amos,
I no longer play off the back tees. You are right that we see guys hit off the champion tees and yank it 75 yards. Really? I figure unless I am a scratch golfer (or close to it) I have no right to hit anywhere but off the middle tees, or as you say the men's regular. It does make the game funner and pars and birdies possible.

Kevin McGarrahan's picture

Submitted by Kevin McGarrahan on

Robert and Amos,

I fully agree. The RTJ Golf Trail here in Alabama has tees set up by handicap, so only scratch golfers are supposed to play the championship tees. They have a starter at the first tee and if you don't have a valid handicap, they move you up to at least the middle tee. After you tee off, the starter marks your receipt with the tee you are supposed to play. During the round, the course marshal checks to see that you are playing the correct tee. Each player in a group is assigned the appropriate tee to play from.

I know a lot of golfers who refuse to play from different tees; everyone plays the same tee. Usually the macho guys insist that everyone play the long tees. I don't play much with them.

On another note, I started chipping and putting today. I'm finding it difficult to resist making full swings. I have full range of motion, but lack the strength in my right arm. That means that I cannot swing with balance between the left and right. Oh well, it is a work in progress. The doctor says I may be able to play a full round by late September. We shall see.

NeilofOZ's picture

Submitted by NeilofOZ on

Robert, we don't have the option of which tee to play from as I have just joined a golfing network so I can get my "Golf Link H/C Card" back. last week we were allocated the blue tees, which are for members, but some of the tee positions were black, being Championship tees. It really spooked me out at the time, but at the end of the day my long game performed well, just 3 putted about 8 greens that were the size of football fields, otherwise would have had a reasonable score.

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

Amos,

Very good points about the need for "every man's"courses. The municipal course that I play would likely fit your description.

As for tee selection, I think that should be the choice of the player paying the green fee. That being said, I grit my teeth when I have to follow someone playing the wrong tee.

For me the right tee is wherever I won't have to hit most of my approaches with a fairway wood. I still have enough length with the driver to play the whites or the blues. My choice to play the whites, is more related to having an enjoyable game with my other senior friends that play the same tee.

Jsusko's picture

Submitted by Jsusko on

I have been a PPGS disciple for the last 5 years or so. I am 62 years old and have been playing golf for about 50 years. I learned the game as a caddy. By learning the game I mean the swing and the etiquette of the game. I learned a long time ago to play ready golf and I have not a lot of patience with those who do not understand the etiquette of golf. I share your thoughts, Robert. [It drives me crazy when I see someone walk up to a tee with the range finder and then walk back to their cart and pick out a club rather than taking 2 -3 clubs up to the tee.].

I agree with your attitude about having a punch card and I will be in charge of teaching such a course.

Jsusko's picture

Submitted by Jsusko on

I have been a PPGS disciple for the last 5 years or so. I am 62 years old and have been playing golf for about 50 years. Over the last year or so, I have been plagued with plantar fasciitis which has limited my enjoyment of playing. I used to walk 18 holes to get exercise, however I could not walk as the pain was excruciating. Well, to make a long story short, I have gotten back into a gym and the problem is getting better, however, I wanted to share an experience that I had just last weekend. I played 9 holes on a golf bike. After 9 holes, I was a bit tired, however, there was no plantar fasciitis pain. Hallelujah. These bikes are going to change the golf world for the better.
By the way , I shot my best 9 holes in about a year. [41].

Dave Everitt's picture

Submitted by Dave Everitt on

I suffered with this problem for a couple of years, about 20 years ago before finally going to a podiatrist and getting prescription orthotics. The pain was totally gone after a couple of weeks. They are expensive but were covered by my health plan. The over the counter arch supports that I tried during this 2 years of severe pain in both feet were a waste of time and money.

Jsusko's picture

Submitted by Jsusko on

Thank you, Dave I too suffered from this problem in the past and it went away for at least 10 years or so. I have been to a podiartrist and gotten orthotics and I use them daily. I agree that the over the counter arch support were a waste of time and money. I hope the golf bike is the answer.

dholmestft's picture

Submitted by dholmestft on

Well since Don used my name in the video I guess I should finally come out and state how much I enjoy listening to everyone talk about golf on this platform. The First Tee is not perfect but we are working hard to grow the game but most importantly teaching kids Core Values and Healthy Habits that will stay with them for the balance of their lives. Don has a true passion for golf and helping people improve and I look forward to working more with Don. Having just returned from my own personal 4-day 6-round golf trip at Bandon Dunes pain free thanks to my limited turn vertical swing....well maybe not as vertical as Don wants it but we are always on the path.... good to know the path is one that I get to continue to explore and develop for years to come