Ernest Jones – Personal hardship revealed secrets of the golf swing Video
I’m going to talk to you about Ernest Jones, the golf coach from back in the day, World War I. He actually went out to fight in World War I. Ironically, Ernest Jones came from this town where I’m in at right now, Manchester in the United Kingdom.
Unfortunately, Jones lost his leg, lost the bottom quarter of his leg in World War I in a bomb accident. He came back playing golf just on one leg. His first round, he shot 83 standing on one leg. He followed that with a 72, a level-par around the 72 standing on one leg.
Is there anything we can learn from that? Well, there probably is. It shows that you don’t need to have massive power through the legs to get around the golf course in a decent score. If you can keep good balance, you can turn nicely, turn back through the ball nicely, and probably strike the ball quite well.
Now it isn’t the easiest drill to practice but it’s not a bad idea to help you work on your balance, and to certainly help on the rhythm and the timing. Just to click balls away standing on one leg. You can see I can hold my balance there because I’m not trying to over hit the ball.
Then practice on your right leg as well. You’d probably find you’ve got a preferred leg, be it right or left, that you’d rather stand on. You want to try and hit golf balls just standing on one leg, just keeping your balance. Anything where you try and jump on the ball and smash it too hard, you’re going to be falling over.
Ernest Jones then moved out to the United States. He taught golf out there for a long time, did about 3,000 golf lessons a year, which was far more than anybody else in the area, in the region.
One of the theories that he used was he actually taught an awful lot indoors. The idea behind that was the pupil then didn’t get too obsessed about what the golf ball was doing. So if he was able to change someone’s golf swing -- I often feel that when you change someone’s golf swing, initially, they will get worse. It sounds tough to actually admit that but from my experience, you change someone’s golf swing, if you’ve done it yourself, you’ll feel it’s a bit awkward. It’s a bit difficult. You hit the ball worse.
The initial feeling then is, “Well I don’t like that. I’m going to go back to my old technique because at least in my old technique I could hit it better.” Because Jones taught a lot inside, there was no problem with seeing where the golf ball went. It just went into a net. Or even he would practice or get a pupil to practice without a golf ball at all, just hitting at the tee peg.
There’s therefore no negative reinforcement. You’re trying this new thing but it’s producing bad results. I would encourage you to do this as well if you are making big changes to your golf swing. When you’re down at the practice ground, hit less balls, do loads and loads of practice swings. If you do hit shots, don’t overly focus on where the shot went.
It wasn’t the best shot you ever hit because you’re not going to hit great shots for probably the first 2 or 300 golf balls at least after making a big change to your technique and your swing.
That’s something that Ernest Jones had right. Get rid of the golf ball. Practice with a tee peg into a net. If you’re hitting balls, don’t worry too much about them. Ingrain the changes and then see the improved ball flight.