When Top 50 golf instructor like Dean Reinmuth comes calling with an offer to check out your swing and offer the fruits of four-plus decades of top-level teaching, including a new level of golf power, only a bonehead would demur.
I might be a bonehead in many areas of life, but when it comes to improving my swing in any way possible with a guy like Reinmuth — who was credited for saving PGA Tour player Ricky Barnes’ career a few years back, and has worked with Phil Mickelson, Rory Sabbatini and Dave Stockton, among others — I’m in.
So it came to be that with Skype as our communication vessel and a very cool training aid called Swing Coach as the centerpiece of our lesson — Reinmuth himself helped develop it — we arranged a couple live video lessons.
Like many teachers today, Reinmuth is determined to preach his “Tension-Free Golf” gospel (it’s also the title of his 1995 book and the subject of his million-selling videos) to as many golfers as possible through technology. His San Diego-based golf school remains popular and he still hosts golf clinics all over the world, but video makes that world even smaller and more open to his philosophy of just letting the swing happen, naturally.
So, the goal in my case? To get me thinking about my swing far less, allow its momentum to gather naturally and to put that sometimes nebulous concept of “feel” in the driver’s seat.
That’s exactly what the Swing Coach does. With its 7-iron-length shaft and lightweight driver-shaped plastic head that cradles either regular or half-weight practice balls with a special release mechanism and a removable spacer, the training aid reveals, within a few swings, where a golfer sacrifices power and distance simply by fighting physics — the natural effects of gravity, momentum and centrifugal force that the world’s best players have learned to harness, swing after swing. The Swing Coach will absolutely not send a ball on a straight and strong path unless and until the clubhead is at full speed at the proper point in the swing — at the bottom of the swing arc, at impact or just past impact — and is on the proper path.
My video sessions with Reinmuth revealed just how effective this tool really is, and how beautifully it embodies his rhythm-based, “get out of your own way” teaching philosophy.