Negative feedback drills are essential to eradicate bad habits

February 17, 2020- by Steven E. Greer

I have said many times that I believe the key teaching method used by Jack Grout on the young Jack Nicklaus was his drill of holding Jack’s hair to provide painful negative feedback when he moved his head. Towards the end of his life, Mr. Grout was nice enough to give me lessons too. However, he did not do this drill with me. Therefore, that is likely why I did not gain much from the lessons. I am still resentful that Grout did not see the same greatness in me as he saw in Nicklaus (sarcasm).

As a result of my previous 40-years of golfing as a flipper, I have several bad habits that have been hard to shake. I joke to my instructors that I want them to use a taser to provide negative feedback. Heck, I will be waterboarded if that is what it takes.

Well, I was getting very frustrated with my swing this week. I could not figure out how to stop the Deadly Dip, which is the tilting of the spine instead of the proper turning of the shoulders in the transition. In desperation, I set up teaching sticks to make a narrow path for the club to come down into the slot.

I was amazed at how difficult the drill was to perform without hitting the sticks. I shattered the fiberglass stick. That got my attention.

Finally, I learned that I needed to pull the shaft down the line, which meant I had to turn the shoulders and transfer weight to the left leg. The negative feedback of shattering the teaching stick was the breakthrough I needed.

As you see in the video, my back after impact is not tilted towards the camera. This HUGE for me. I have never been able to achieve this!

Look at those 56-wedges. They are as good as any touring pro.

Stay tuned.


Update February 18, 2020- I posted my story about negative feedback on Monday afternoon. My actual negative feedback epiphany occurred on Sunday (see red shirt in video). On Monday night, the Como Expedition featured Mike Bender talking about the exact same thing (i.e. how negative feedback is powerful, and he used training sticks too).

It is remarkable how many times I have discovered a drill or a concept only to see a famous teacher talk about the same thing. This means that my scientific method of experimentation is resulting in verifiable, reproducible, golf remedies that others have found to be true as well.

That is science, folks. That is what The Golf Project is all about.

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