With this story still having shelf life, part of me just can’t get away from one angle that continues to amaze. That is, the endless stream of infomercials, books, videos, and gadgets which promise to make you a better golfer. I’m not sure any of them have made improvements upon “Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf,” that came out more than 50 years ago, but needless to say, the flow of money being poured into whatever quick fix is thrust into public view hasn’t evaporated.
“Practice Like a Pro” is a DVD collection offered for “3 easy payments of $29.98” — plus the infamous shipping and handling, of course — and if you Google it, whose face pops up but that of Tripp Isenhour. He’s there with a big grin on his face, so we assume the photo was taken before the red-shouldered hawk fell into his world with a resounding thud. Standing next to Isenhour is Dr. Bob Rotella, who knows a thing or two or three or 20 about books and videos that promise better golf. Isenhour is billed as a “PGA Tour pro,” which begs the question: Does anyone know of any “PGA Tour amateur?”
Reportedly, the Dec. 12 session was to film a video in the “Practice Like a Pro” series and you’d be wise to wager that there won’t be anything about a drill on taking aim at feathered creatures in trees. As to whether or not these videos are “revolutionary” or truly reveal “secrets of the short game,” as the advertisement states, that’s for you to decide.
This is America and thanks to our precious capitalism, Isenhour, for sure, is free to cash in on his status as a professional golfer and pitch products like the “Practice Like a Pro,” just as you are within your rights to purchase the Medicus dual-hinged Driver, the Brush-T, the Heavy Putter, the Swing Glove, or any magazine that announces on its cover that you can cure your slice or hit your drives 20 yards further.
Getting better at golf is a huge industry, but I guess it took the unfortunate death of a migratory bird to make me realize once again just how huge it is. I mean, Tripp Isenhour offering help with golf instruction? I hadn’t heard much of him since he won the Trinidad Open.
American architecture allows practically no option as to where the drive shall go…now, let me ask what manner of golfer will be developed by courses of this nature? The answer is—a mechanical shot producer with little initiative and less judgement, and ability only to play the shot as prescribed. BOBBY JONES