Golf Instruction: Blacksmith or Technician?

GARY LINDEBLAD 1_crop Indian Canyon Head Pro, Gary Lindeblad, reminds us that technology has it place, yet the key to a golf swing is to keep it simple.

The understatement of all time might be that golf is confusing. It does not have to be. Modern instructors have turned a corner. They have inserted a massive amount of technology into what I believe should be an inherently simple, brain dead process. A good golf coach, instructor, teacher etc., teaches you how to play the game, and enjoy it. Remember, all you are doing is swinging a club, on a path. Hopefully, the path, is the path to success.
When you swing a club, you shouldn’t be trying to do anything that requires a lot of thought. If you are thinking of a litany of body movements, and trying to focus on more than one or two simple thoughts, you are doing too much. Developing a good swing requires a good grip, a good setup, and most important, a good finish. Everything in between is negotiable. We were all created with different psychology and different physical attributes. It shouldn’t be rocket science that we all aren’t able to swing the same way.
Technical is great for some people. In my experience, however, I find that the people who want to understand every aspect of what is happening tend to have fairly high maintenance golf swings. You cannot possibly think of more than a couple of words during your swing. If you are trying to do, and think about, more than one or two simple functions, then you’re doing, too much.
A good instructor should give you the queue to force the right movement that is impossible (almost) to screw up. A good swing is a little like setting up a row of dominos. You only have to flip the first one to make them all fall down. You don’t have to flip each one individually.
Keep it simple, focus on your grip, setup and finish. Active thoughts should be limited to something like “turn and finish,” or “swing out.” The more benign the thought, the easier it is to repeat, repeat, repeat.
Simple thoughts help make simple motions.

Gary Lindeblad, Head Pro at Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane, Washington, has spent 40 years as a professional at golf courses in the Inland indian-canyon logoNorthwest. He was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Section Hall of Fame in 2007, and inducted into the Inland Northwest Hall of Fame in 2013.

Editor’s Note: What do you think about the use of technology in teaching golf? We’d like to hear from you.  Tell us what you think in the comments section.

“I Actually Heard It Hit The Flag. I said, “Oh My God.”

Mo Martin (AP Photo)

Mo Martin (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Mo Martin wins 2014 RICOH Women’s British Open




Mo Martin, Professional Golfer, UCLA Graduate in Psychology, and now your 2014 RICOH Women’s British Open Champion! Officially, “Mo” Martin is officially known as Melissa Linda Martin. “Mo” is the nickname given to Melissa by her father after the battleship “The Mighty Mo,” because of her no quit attitude. Well, mighty Mo, in just her third full year on tour, never quit charging and put together an outstanding four days of golf, besting the tournament field by one shot.

As far as that one shot cushion goes; not many shots will be remembered as fondly, or replayed as much, as Martin’s near double eagle on the Par 5, 18th hole at Royal Birkdale. Martin’s eventual eagle 3 on the par 5, turned out to be the winning shot for the now first-time LPGA winner and first-time Major Champion.

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Mo Martin celebrates with caddie after hitting the pin with second shot on 18 (AP Photo)


Martin, at 5 feet 2 inches, is one of the tour’s shortest hitters, but is also its most accurate.

Unafraid and standing in the 18th fairway, Martin ripped a 3-wood, which started directly at the pin. “An absolutely perfect 3-wood,” she said. ”When it was in the air, I said, “Sit.” And then I said, “Stop!” And then, (when) I actually heard it hit the flag. I said, “Oh my God.”

Once the ball finished on the green, Martin faced a delicate five-footer for eagle. After backing away from the putt once, she composed herself and calmly rolled it in for the eagle/3. Martin finished the final round with an even par 72, and a 1-under/287 final total for the tournament.

Mo Martin of the U.S poses with the trophy after winning the Women's British Open golf championship at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club, in Southport, England, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

American Mo Martin poses with the trophy after winning the Women’s British Open at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club, in Southport, England, Sunday, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)

Martin’s final round 72 was the low round of the day and secured the victory for the American.

See Martin’s amazing shot here:


It seems just like a few years ago, the golfing world was debating the strength of American Women in golf. With Lexi Thompson’s win at the Kraft Nabisco (first major of the season), Michelle Wie’s win at the U.S. Women’s Open (second major), and now Mo Martin’s win at the Women’s British Open, I think the American Women are holding their own quite well (thank you) in 2014! Next Major up, the Wegmans LPGA Championship, August 14-17, Monroe Golf Club, in Pittsford, New York.

Editor’s Note:  What do you think of Mo Martin’s victory at the RICOH Women’s British Open? Please share your thoughts and comments with us in the comments section. We would love to hear from you. 

BIO: Keith Cook is a contributing editor for His career highlights include rounds in nearly every US state and numerous countries throughout the world. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumni living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer.

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Three Outs and One Designated Hitter at Senior Open

US Senior Open logoMaybe it’s their age, but I don’t remember so many golfers dropping out of a competition like what’s happening at the Senior U.S. Open Tournament.

Oooh, my back hurts.

WITHDRAWAL: Jay Haas, Greenville, S.C.

JAY HAAS has withdrawn because of a back injury.

Haas, who has played in 10 U.S. Senior Opens and recorded five top-10 finishes, was fully exempt and will be replaced by Fred Hanover, of San Marcos, Calif., the first alternate from the Vista, Calif., sectional qualifying site.

Hanover, who will compete in his first Senior Open, shot 72 at Vista Valley Country Club on June 23.

WITHDRAWAL: Kiyoshi Murota, Japan

KIYOSHI MUROTA has withdrawn because of a back injury.

Murota, who was fully exempt as one of the top-two finishers on the 2013 Japan Seniors Tour, shot a 7-over-par 78 in the first round of the U.S. Senior Open before withdrawing.

Murota, who was playing in his fourth Senior Open, was scheduled to tee off at 2:03 p.m. CDT in Friday’s second round from the first tee with Bill Glasson and Tom Byrum.


Can’t take the heat.

WITHDRAWAL: Darrell Kestner, Glen Cove, N.Y.

DARRELL KESTNER has withdrawn after he was treated for a heat-related issue during his opening round at Oak Tree National.

Kestner, who was competing in his third Senior Open and first since 2008, had completed his opening 14 holes of the first round and was 8 over par before having to withdraw.

Kestner, who was playing with Jeff Coston and amateur Craig Steinberg, started at 2 p.m. from the 10th tee.

Unfortunately, someone was waiting in the wings, hoping for a spot, and due to the late withdrawal, they are unable to get the chance to compete. US Senior Open Players

Round 1

Daniel Koestners, who was one of the lucky alternates who had a chance to play because of a withdrawal, is currently +9.

Kenny Perry, last year’s winner, was +4 for the day.  The story of the day is Collin Montgomery.  Monty calmly and smoothly worked his way around the course to the top of the leaderboard -6 for a cool 65.  Bernhard Langer is within range of the leader at -2, along with Vijay Singh.  Crowd favorites Fred Funk and Peter Jacobsen are in the hunt at -1.

Round 1 Leaderboard U.S. Senior OpenFirst 10 Players










Will Montgomery be able to maintain his lead?  History says no, especially in the last round.  He has been less than successful in playing majors in the U.S.

My money is on Vijay, and Fred Funk.  We’ll see.


Three Aces in the Same Day? Reno Golfers Defy the Odds!!!

Siera Sage logo 1Editor’s Note: Reno is the land of betting, taking chances, and going home broke, or taking home the winning jack-pot.  Three golfers hitting a hole in one on the same day, on the same course, on three different holes is one for the record books.  Let’s hope that what happened in Reno doesn’t stay in Reno.

The average golfer, according to Golf Digest, has a 1 in 12,500 chance to make a hole-in-one. But there has been no real number crunching to determine the odds on what happened at Sierra Sage Golf Course on Sunday, June 29, when three amateur golfers each

Hole #4

Hole #4

made a hole-in-one on three different par 3s on that eventful day.

One sure bet: it was busy at The Pub that day.

The first ace occurred during the Sierra Sage Men’s Golf Club’s annual President’s Cup tournament. Mark McKinlay was playing the uphill, 162-yard fourth hole when he crisply struck an 8-iron that reached a middle-back pin. It was witnessed by Tom Lamb, Jesse McDonald and Bill Stenberg.

“I’ve been playing since I was 10 years old and it was my first hole-in-one,” McKinlay said. The Reno 2-handicapper had come close, two inches the day before, at Sierra Sage’s hole No. 8.
“I was going to hit a 9-iron, but the wind kicked up and I went back for the 8-iron,” McKinlay said. “I’ve hit them up there a lot and it usually ends up on the back of the green, so I wasn’t holding my breath. I saw it in the hole and we all high-fived. Plus, it was a skin.”

Sierra Sage 2 Green Flag Tree oneLater in the day, Salomon Solano aced No. 16, a tricky downhill 163-yard par 3 over the sagebrush into a two-tiered green. His 6-iron struck pay dirt with the front-tier hole location. Wayne Yarbrough, Tim Rest and Denise Yarbrough were his witnesses.

Within the hour, Rich Barnes made it a trifecta, his 6-iron finding the hole on the 172-yard eighth hole, witnessed by Tom Baldwin, Peter Mandas, and Jim Mandas. It was the 56-year-old Barnes’ first hole-in-one.

“It was a regular trajectory shot that I landed in the middle of green, one big bounce and it trickled in the hole, just like on TV,” the 18-handicapper from Sparks, NV said. “My playing partners had never seen one. I did a little dance. I was so amped up that I hit my drive almost 350 on the next hole, but I got an eight. I would love to get another hole-in-one, it was pretty fun.”

Dave Nelson, president of Hole-in-One USA, a Reno company thOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAat issues hole-in-one prizes for tournaments through an insurance program backed by Zurich North America has never experienced such a onslaught.

“The closest thing to this happening I can recall was at the U.S. Open at Oak Hill in 1989 when four players (Doug Weaver, Mark Wiebe, Jerry Pate and Nick Price) aced the same hole on the same round. But it was an easy pin position, and they are pros for a reason,” Nelson said.  Using data from his company’s hole-in-one programs, which have been running since 1991, and measuring that against the 220 players who were at The Sage that Sunday, the odds of this happening again are greater than most of us seeing Haley’s Comet.

“Two holes-in-one in a day.  We could see that once every six years,” he said. Three in one day, on three different holes no less, that would come along once every 342 years.”

Sierra Sage itself has defied the odds. Five years ago it was slated for closure by owner Washoe County due to budget issues and lack of play. PGA Professionals Mike and Denise Mazzaferri’s Cal-Mazz Golf Group took over management and maintenance, working diligently to turn the course around. Today, it hosts the region’s largest men’s golf club along with many state amateur and regional tournaments.

To learn more about Sierra Sage call 972-1564, drop by at 6355 Silver Lake Road in Stead, just eight minutes north of the Spaghetti Bowl off US 395, or visit them at

Editor’s Note:  Have you ever had a hole in one?  Please tell us about it.  Send us your name, the witnesses, the course and the hole to  And please don’t forget to send us a pic if you can!