First Authourization School Part #2
The follow article was written by Mr. Alex Sloan (USPGA, LM, GSED) who attended the First Authourization Instructors Course in The Golfing Machine.
During that time as we sat around the table with Mr. and Mrs. Kelley I soon realized, I was in the presense of genious. I could hardly sleep that night in anticipation of what was to come. Tommy and I were up at 7:00 A.M. and off to breakfast.
For a man of 75 he seemed tireless in his lectures. But, at the close of the day, I could see fatigue. He would drop us off nightly at 9:00 P.M. at our motel. It was a 12 hour day for the man.
He was like a Mr. Milk-Toast. By that I mean he was the gentlest man I have had the pleasure of meeting. Nothing ever caused him to raise his voice or change his way. He just stayed on an even keel constantly. His phone would ring while we were sitting in front of him in class, he would answer the phone and never rushed the caller but patiently answered what ever question was asked.
He was 75 at the time we were with him. He put in a 12 hour day with us each day. At the end of the day he was exhausted but he tried to hide it. He would pick us at our motel at 9:00 A, M. and drop us off that night at 9:00 P.M. We were so excited.
During the month of December, in anticipation of the upcoming trip, I had nightly studied my 4th Edition of The Golfing Machine Book. I had received a list of things I was told to be familiar with. I do not learn qickly so I started by filling page after page of things I was supposed to know and remember starting with the Table of Contents and what each chapter was about. All the reference numbers in Chapter 2 and what they were. A complete working knowledge with the Glossary.
I was overwhelmed with it all but I spent each night studying and filling page after page with the information. To say I knew it all by the time I arrived in class would not be truthful. When we were in class, he never tested me on any of it. He would lecture daily on each of the Twenty-Four Components in detail. He fully covered the Three Essentials and Three Imperatives. He mentioned that he almost put the Essential, Rhythm, as an Imperative but then decided to keep it as an Essential.
When we were with Homer in 1981, he told us he came within a gnat’s hair of placing Rhythm as an Imperative. On his last hour on earth he again talked about Rhythm and how it is what gives us the great compression on a solid impact.
It was an experience that has turned my entire teaching outlook around and has broadened my teaching ability to such a degree.
He would answer all and any questions we had. We all could not at any point in time come across anything about his “System” that was not justifiable. It and everything in the book is covered by Laws.
I was unimaginable part of the time of what I thought I knew, I didn’t really didn’t know.
Mr. Kelley who wrote the book is a very unique individual himself. He is a Christian, retired aircraft employee with the Boeing Aircraft Company. His job with the company was a problem solver. If Boeing had a problem that they couldn’t solve Homer was the first person that they would call for. This will gives you an inside to the kind of mind that the man has.
Forty years ago he went to a local golf professional in Seattle and took a golf lesson. The golf professional gave him a lesson and Mr. Kelley said “Fine, why do I have to do these things”. I am assuming that the golf professional would have told him the same thing that I would have said as that is the way you would have done it.
But again the kind of inquisitive mind that Mr. Kelley had, he would not accept that so for the next forty years and actively engaged in writing the book for twenty-eight years he started delving into the golf swing.
What really impressed me when I was in his home in Seattle was that he did so much of his research in a very small one room besides a one car garage and he hit balls of a practice mat like you see at the driving range. These balls had been hit time after time to the extent that there weren’t any dimples left on them. He was hitting balls into a one time, a solid tarpaulin, it was now completely in shreds.
The edge of the platform that he stood on where he reached for and I would say millions of times, he would roll the ball up onto that platform to a point that it was worn just as smooth and round as a piece of granite.
It was amazing to just observe all these little things and the integrity of the man when he started talking to us. I didn’t ask Mr. Kelley how old he was as it was none of my business I didn’t really care but he was like the fountain of youth. In time, it started to fill in. But it took years of constant study.
As Homer Kelley states in the Preface in The Golfing Machine Book; “This book can support individual “MY Way” procedures but no “THE Way” theory. So this is not a method by a “System”.
This System is “Infallible” and for the first time in my life I have a System that I can teach. No matter what person walks through my door of my golf shop whether you are a “Hitter” or whether you are a “Swinger” it doesn’t make any difference what, age, sex, Religion you are, it makes absolutely no difference at all.
When you come into my golf shop and take a golf lesson you do not have to worry about a professional changing your golf swing. I am not going to make anyone out of something that they are not. We have simple things that we tell you to do and if you do these things it really does works.
Homer started the day by saying that it was a good idea to work along a list of 450 questions from the beginning to the end of The Golfing Machine Book. Homer said “The questions might be a little vague to you at this stage but you are going to get questions from students that aren’t to precise and I would like them answered whereby it goes into the Principle rather than same at the detail where a thing like this.
So that would be a thing that you can keep in mind when you answer the student. It would be the Concept and this is a thing I want to do as I am not teaching you professionals how to teach or how to play golf but just how to use the book and it’s like knowing all the numbers and get the basic principle”.
First day opening Speech by Homer
Homer opened the day by saying, "So this very momentous occasion is under way. I am excited as anyone could be because I have been working on this for sometime". Tommy stopped him. He had forgotten to turn on his recorder. That being done Homer repeated his statement
As this was the first class for Authorized Instructors, it was a special occasion for Homer and indeed, a very auspicious occasion.
The following are Homer Kelley’s opening remarks as he started for a second time as all tapes were now turned and running. “For prosperity this is the First Official Class for Authorized Instructors in The Golfing Machine and a very momentous day for me and I hope you feel that way to.
Present are, Tommy Tomasello, Alex Sloan and Larry Aspenson and we are going to Pioneer the presentation of this subject in a class like this and there will be as much discussion after presentation as there is material for a while, to get this presentation the way we think it will work.
There were only the three of us, ten had signed up but we were the only ones to show up. He left no stone unturned.
I have had a lot of doubters here but I am very very happy that you particular professionals are “The Pioneers”. You will be working with the curriculum. This is our premise.
What you want and what I need is a curriculum like this or some kind to guide you along also. I think the student will get a lot out of it because they can see where they are, what’s left and where they are going and they will be checking the book, studying the book like you guys spend all your hours studying”.
Now the first session’s assignment is simply to read the Page “X” (The Golfing Machine Book).
Has anyone any questions about these pages, or has anyone any favour of them or studying the reference list in Page “X”? My very first Golfing Machine Book was the Forth Edition and was sent to me by Mr. Ben Doyle (USPGA, GSED).
This particular book was the one I took to Seattle for the course. Ben had written me a nice note in it. I would bump into Ben on trips to Augusta during the practice rounds. He always carried a book wherever he went. One day I was standing behind him on the practice range. We were watching Davis Love getting a lesson from his father Davis Love 11.
I casually said, "Wow, look at that well trained Pressure Point #3". Ben jumped around to see who said that and when he saw me he shook my hand and we continued watching Davis Love bomb the ball out of the range.
I actually had that 4th Edition of The Golfing Machine Book with me during the class. I mentioned to Homer that what was being read from the book did not agree with the book that I had. He checked my book and reached up and grabbed a new book and gave it to me. Homer gave me the current 5th Edition.
When I look at my 5th Edition Book today as I write about this monumental event it is so tattered, it is hanging together by a thread after all its use. Page after page has lines yellow highlights of things I want to recall.
First day of class Tommy and I had our tape recorders on ready. He opened the day by saying, "This is a very momentous occasion". Tommy stopped him. He had forgotten to turn on his recorder. That being done he repeated his statement. As this was the first class for Authorized Instructors, it was a special occasion for Homer and indeed, a very auspicious occasion.
With those words spoken, we were of on a fabulous nine day excursion of covering the work of this great man who had spent forty years of his life finding the “Truth” of golf.
We spent 12 hours a day for 9 days with Mr. Kelley taking a lunch break each day to go to what he called “The Beanerie.” It was not far from his home and where he had gone daily for lunch for many years. He was well know by one and all there.
Mr. Kelley had a very technical curriculum for us to follow. Each night promptly at 9:00 he dropped us off at our motel and then we went to eat dinner , return to the room and talk and study for a short while and preparing for the next day’s class before falling into bed. Mr. Kelley was there promptly at 9:00 next morning picking us up.
When we discussed the suggested stroke pattern in the book he said he was sorry to have put Snap Loading as the desired loading action. He now felt Random Sweep was much better but once he put something in the book he would not change it.
He might remove it but not change it as was done in the 7th edition for Zone Three with Component number ten. I do not believe Homer would ever have made that change based on what he told us about Snap Loading.
One thing Homer told us in class about conveying the information; we are limited only by our imagination.
One thing I want to share with you. The first two or three days I was with Homer I kept saying something that made him flinch. Each time I used the word "Position", he would flinch.
On about the third day he stopped after I had used that word and made this speech. "Position is what we get when we take a still picture. It is not something we use when talking about the golf swing. As the golf swing is a moving experience using the golf club it is not an accumulation of positions." Rather than say "Position", let us say "Alignment".
Stay Tunes for Part #3
Alex Sloan (USPGA, Lm, GSED) "Infallible Golf" DVD on sale NOW