Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Preview: "I Hit the Ball Great at the Driving Range, but ..."

Everybody's favorite Chicago-area Big Lebowski fan, BeeZee a.k.a. abzgolf a.k.a Brian Zipse, has given me the honor of previewing a manuscript for his burgeoning book "I Hit the Ball Great at the Driving Range, but ...". It's a compilation of "Dear BeeZee" columns on a variety of topics.
(artwork by JT Munson)
Brian Zipse lives in Tinley Park outside Chicago with wife and baby daughter. He's a Master Teaching Professional with the World Golf Teaching Federation, a status only attained by 300 of that organization's 18,000 members. He has been teaching golf for 10 years, and he's a contributing writer to Universal Golf and The Green Links Pages. Brian's website is
The subtitle to the book is "The Best of Dear BeeZee", and it can be best thought of as 72 holes of golf oriented "Dear Abby" type columns. The questions and answers cover all aspects of improving both the enjoyment and the performance of amateur golfers. It deals with the mental side of the game as well as with physical and technical aspects.
To a golfer who's coming back to the game after a lengthy absence he recommends: "Most beginners would improve faster if the first motion they tried with a golf club was to swing it at chest level, like a baseball swing ... after this is comfortable, bring back the ball. Make the same easy motion, letting the ball get in the way. Yes, the golf swing can be as simple as letting the ball get in the way."
Another golfer has a problem with roller-coaster performances, and not being able to stick with what he knows is right. Brian's advice includes "Get off of this merry-go-round now! By constantly looking for a fix to your golf swing and then abandoning this fix as soon as it stops working, you are in essence not learning, not building, and you are inviting inconsistency to be your golf partner."
Those of us who pay attention to Brian's comments in the various The Golf Space forums know how passionate he is about helping golfers play better and enjoy the game more. This passion is evident in the advice he provides. For most part his tone is positive and encouraging, but at times also stern when that's called for. He definitely has the kind of temperament any good teacher needs.
The writing is casual and easy to read. I wish Brian the best of luck with the book, and with his continued contribution to the promotion of the game of golf.

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