By Kiel Christianson
SwingFix Instructor Brian Lackey is the Lead Instructor at The Golf Institute at Gaylord Springs in Nashville, Tenn. Having been comfortably ensconced in central Tennessee since his college playing days, he includes among many honors the 2008 PGA Tennessee Teacher of the Year.
Lackey spends as much time teaching the mental side of the game as the physical side. He also devotes a great deal of time to local youth players and teams, and has a 100 percent success rate developing his junior students into college-level players. For fun, he even has a trick-shot show that he puts on for corporate outings.
Lackey took a few moments out of his busy teaching schedule to answer our patented Five Questions:
1. First off, talk briefly about your golf instruction philosophy and how you preach it at your facility.
LACKEY: My philosophy is that strong fundamentals augment a player's natural ability. I am not an instructor that likes to make major swing changes unless they are the only answer. I build off a student's ability and natural characteristics while adding my own beliefs to the swing. Communication is key, and I try to keep things simple. I believe the secret of golf lies within the mind of the student and the ability of the instructor to unlock the potential within.
2. What attracted you to the SwingFix platform and how effective can this method be for golfers?
LACKEY: I started early with the SwingFix platform. When I was approached about the idea, I loved it; it was something I knew had benefit. My goal as an instructor is to help as many players as possible. When you are at a location, you’re somewhat limited to those in the surrounding area and those passing through. Being available on the Internet allows you to target a global audience. This method of instruction is all about communication. If you deliver the wrong message or if it comes through wrong, you lose the student immediately. I have seen a lot of success with students through SwingFix, more than I would have imagined.
3. In your opinion, what is the secret to taking the "range game" to the first tee?
LACKEY: The secret to taking the "range game" to the first tee is a lot about practice, but more about commitment. A player has to trust in what they are doing and commit to making that swing. Most players who are good range players and can't take it to the course struggle with staying as free of thought on the course as they are on the range. And old saying is practice like you play and play like you practice. Keep things the same so the mind doesn't know the difference between play and practice.
4. Is there a particular training aid that you tend to use most regularly and with the most effectiveness?
LACKEY: I developed a training aid several years ago with EyelineGolf called the Pendulum Putting Rod. I use it often in lessons along with a few other putting aids. For the full swing, I use a few inexpensive things that can be bought at the local Wal-Mart, but nothing branded as a teaching aid.
5. Is there a way students who have worked with you most often dramatically improve and achieve that coveted five-shot drop in scores? Power, consistency, short game, management, playing more golf, etc.?
LACKEY: My success with students and scoring goes back to the mental side. You can have all the tools in the world, but if you don't believe in them, you cannot expect to get better. I have seen students on (SwingFix) break their target score by 5-8 shots, but one of my best stories comes from a local man who has taken lessons from me for four-plus years. He just turned 69 and started golf just before we started working on the swing. Six months ago his average score was 90. For the last two months his average score has been 80 with his best round being 72. This success came through hard work on the swing, but primarily trust, trusting and believing in the tools he has. The short game and course management are the two biggest assets in playing better golf faster.
Take an online lesson with Brian Lackey.