Geometric Orientated Linear Force.  Golf as described by Homer Kelly of the Golfing Machine.

Its pretty amazing to think that Homer Kelly wrote the first edition of this book in 1969, way before Trackman, K-Vest or any decent high speed cameras.

I was lucky enough to be invited by Andrew Argus, Director of Impact Elite Golf Academy at the Mines in Kuala Lumpur to learn more about The Golfing Machine.  I must say, it has gotten it’s fair share of skeptics and believers since it’s existence and believe it’s due to it’s complexity and well, scientific nature. Homer Kelly was an Aeronautical Engineer, not a Golf Pro. Therefore as far as Aeronautical engineers go, they are a complex bunch and complex adequately describes how a first time reader( unless with advanced geometric/physics background)will find the book. Puzzling terms, cross references all over the place, like a map all scattered and you trying to piece all the information together.

Andrew though, made all that puzzling information very clear. We started with the book’s  imperatives, as Homer Kelly puts it. He writes in the book saying ‘ even if you don’t grasp all of the book’s content, the 3 imperatives are the least you should learn’ The 3 imperative are :1. Flat lead wrist at impact 2. Trail hand index finger lag pressure point 3. Straight Swing Plane. Which if you think about, makes absolute sense.  Flat lead wrist = Clubface control, ball flight contro(dynamic loft)l. Lag = Power accumulation. Good Swing Plane = Sweet Spot control (centerness of strike), curvature control ( spin axis).

There is still so much more to learn. However if I were to summarize 3 things ( a very Homer Kelly thing to do, work in 3’s) I learnt from my trip to KL, they would be:

  1. The 3 imperatives are well, the nucleus of golf teaching. If a coach isn’t already teaching with the 3 imperatives somewhere in their teaching system, their system would be somewhat flawed. You might think it’s harsh I would say that. But as mentioned before, it makes absolute sense. If a teacher isn’t changing your swing to improve the 4 factors that affect ball flight(contact point, path control, face control or speed)then, well, why is he changing it for? To look nicer? because in his opinion it ‘ looks better’?  Or maybe for you it looks more ‘textbook’? what is textbook? For all golfers and teachers, we have to constantly remind ourselves that all the golf ball understands is impact. Not whether your backswing position looks like Adam Scott or Bubba Watson. Therefore however we adjust plane angles, body positions, set-up positions etc. It should have the 3 imperatives instilled somewhere, affecting the 4 factors that affect ball flight.
  2. The Golfing Machine isn’t the devil’s bible, which so many people have made it out to be. “Too Complex” “Outdated” “Golf Pro’s don’t need to know this” “Too confusing” “Not written by a golf pro so cant be any good” are all the common comments I’ve heard about the book.Now, I’m not defending the book nor it’s author. In fact, modern day coaching equipment like TrackMan and 3D have proven some of the theories not entirely correct or wrong. It is though, remarkable that a man wrote about the swing in such detail some 40 years ago, 40 years ahead of his time, much like Ben Hogan was with his glass plane, ball position adjustments and alignment adjustments.
  3. The more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know.Because the more you learn, the more you realise there is so much to learn and to learn after. It’s a big world out there and I’m thankful that I have coaches like James and Andrew to guide me on my way in this learning journey. Andrew didn’t have to reach out to me, spend 6 hours each day sharing Golfing Machine with me. But he did it because he loves the game, the education and appreciates what the game has provided for him. Which in turn, when it’s my turn, it’s my duty to do the same.

So 2 days and 110 questions later, I can now say I do know briefly what the book is about… only briefly because.. i have several chapters and 400 odd questions to go! See you soon Andrew.

Justin Han

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