WHAT PEOPLE SAY
IT JUST MAKES SENSE!!!!! Make sure you get a lesson in with Don when you're in Aruba!!! Well worth it!!!
Don's unique approach has allowed me to focus my not so frequent playing self on what truly matters---striking the ball. Have been working with him since his arrival at Divi. My annual trip is not complete without a tune up or just a friendly chat with Don.
Hi Donald i had a great time in January. My second lesson with you and you have helped my game again. We will be back in Jan. and I will sign up for another lesson. I cant thank you enough for easily changing a few moves and increasing distance and accuracy.
I can tell you that i learned more in 2 hours of playing golf with Don than I had learned in all my life!
Don has simplified the game of golf in a very innovative way and his teaching method brings a very high level of fun back into the game!
John Harvey Chase
THE SEARCH FOR THE GOLFING HOLY GRAIL
The quest for golfing salvation lies not on the road to Damascus but on the CA 602 from El Puerto De Santa Maria to Sanlucar de Barrameda in Cadiz, Spain.
Among the vast armies of sporting fanatics none come more devout than the golfing maniacs. Throughout the world millions of fervent seekers of the ‘golf secret’ devour daily the latest golfing gospel via the thousands of instructional articles, books, videos and T.V. programs. The fashionable golf coaches of the day are truly the new high priests of this vast congregation.
Yet, yet, yet; within the bosom of even the most pietistic of these worshippers lurks the awareness of golf’s eternal dichotomy- the realisation that this immense flood of golfing wisdom is not being matched by an equal flow of improved players! There are an estimated seven million club golfers in Europe, and another twenty four million in the USA. Untold millions exist in the Far East. Despite the immensity of this golfing fraternity, and the availability and variety of so much golfing sagacity and wisdom, the average handicap is 20.
The most plaintive lament most frequently heard at the numerous post-mortems conducted daily at every golf club is the heart felt yearning to achieve a reasonable level of consistency. This argument invariably offers the evidence that the player has demonstrated reasonable mastery of his golf swing only the previous day to record a decent score or to win a match play event, yet within a few hours, even on the same course and in similar weather conditions, he has lost all sense of the feel and co-ordination of the last occasion, and the unequal struggle to attain some adequacy during the game has left him in a morbid state of despondency.
All of the chit-chat of the practise grounds, driving ranges and friendly matches support the proposition that the average golfer knows the skills of the modern golfing gods are beyond his capabilities. He (or she) simply craves the enjoyment of striking the ball (in more or less the right direction) far more consistently. Despite all the variety of modern equipment and technical advice, all to sadly, the majority of golfers fail to achieve these humble goals. Perhaps the time is right to question and confront the traditional deference and veneration proffered to the fashionable teaching deities. Surely, out there somewhere, is a golfing explanation which will enhance the enjoyment and appreciation of thousands of golf’s hopeful hackers?
The following account can only honestly record the writer’s own achievement of golfing salvation and sanity. However, his conversation was echoed and endorsed by the scores of other disciples who had the good fortune to attend the same avant-garde golf clinic. Many stories were circulating throughout the golf courses of Andalusia at the beginning of this 2005 season they all focused on the establishment of a revolutionary Golf School. Its slogan of “The solutions to all of your Golfing problems- Guaranteed” is certainly innovative.
The founder of the “FeelGolf Method”, Donald Ross, is so confident of his tutorial procedures that he guarantees to refund fees if there is no visible progress during a lesson.
The sheer provocation of these claims makes them irresistible. Or so it would appear when forty or fifty people from many countries gather together to test out the validity of these assertions. The venue is typically Andalusian. The practise area with its own building with tables and chairs for all, extensive grass and mats, in an ideal rustic setting with cork pine tree borders. The practise green and chipping area and sand bunkers have obviously been designed to provide not only first rate facilities but also conducive atmosphere to assimilate the unfolding of a unique teaching process.
The various notice boards around the clubhouse had already established the wealth of teaching and playing experience which, our coach was bringing to his demonstration. Nothing however, could have prepared the assembled flock of novice beginners, middle and low handicap golfers, teaching pros and tournament playing professionals for his iconoclastic demonstration of the majority of traditional golfing precepts. It was heresy of the highest order. It was a desecration of the game’s Holy Writs. Incidentally, by general agreement it was also voted the most entertaining and informative afternoon these golfing disciples had ever witnesses.
The exposure of existing dogma was the core of this evangelistic exposition.
Audience participation was guaranteed by the invitation to quote their favourite pieces of received wisdom on various stages of the golf swing. The tutorial procedure from grip, alignment, stance and posture, was debated and then, quickly and efficiently, the folly of naively accepting these beliefs was demonstrated by the Maestro gleefully showing that a completely contrary interpretation produced the desired result. Nothing was held sacrosanct. It was gifted showmanship of the highest order. Thoroughly entertaining, and also enthrallingly instructive. It gave all the pleasure of watching an amazing trick golf show with the bonus and benefit of complete explanation.
The evangelistic nature of the exposition and the corroboration of the revolutionary theories which had been demonstrated was superbly summarised by the final ceremony of the Master Class: “the laying of the hands” Every disciple was personally initiated into the grip and ball striking sensation of the “FeelGolf” Method by Donald Ross. Then, to clinch the argument for the being the solutions to all of your golfing problems, each pupil went along the range to practise this sensory experience. Again, the atmosphere was akin to fervour of a mass religious conversion. The open driving range places were unanimously echoing to delight, “Oh’s” and “Ah’s” as the novices discovered the joys of successful repetitive striking. It was intoxicating, sharing the euphoria of this collective experience. The results were being greeted so rapidly because they were so immediate. There was none of the usual feeling of enduring the purgatory of trial and error; it was direct entry into golfing nirvana.
Fittingly, and in keeping with the events of this exceptional day, the final curtain call and humorous epilogue was supplied by our golfing messiah. The sparks from the evening barbeque out on the range had ignited a cork tree. Ever ready with the appropriate epigram. Donald Ross invited his congregation to share his burning bush imagery. He convinced all and sundry that the soaring flames resembled an effigy of a certain fashionable golfing guru. It was all there, the sombrero hat, the beach balls gripped between elbows and knees, the braces around the shoulders and the golf shafts supporting both hips. After the preceding uncomplicated and realistic exhibition, it was sheer joy to share this hilarious fantasy. There was no doubt among this flock of newly converted whose methods they preferred, and whose they would go forth to practise and proclaim.
For all those who may seek to join this growing band of born-again golfers. Mecca is located at
The Links at Divi Aruba
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung by Volker Mehnert
7th September 2004
“Absolutely cured” by Ross.
The Secret of Donald Ross / Charlatan or a Big Catch
The man understands his business. He is a Golf Coach that’s for sure, however he could even earn his money as an actor or entertainer. It could possibly be these entertaining elements during his lessons that attract the participants, rather than his unusual way of teaching, which he represents. These golf lessons are certainly somewhat an event.
Appearance by Donald Ross: Almost without a break he scurries back and forth on the driving range in his “clinic” in front of his pupils. ‘Drastically wrong’, ‘unnatural’ and ‘dogmatic’ are just a few words to describe the teaching methods of most of the colleagues. That is why we should forget everything we’ve been told so far about the golf swing: turning those shoulders, moving those hips, swinging this, holding that tight – all needless attachments for a movement that is not as complicated as it is pictured.
And what is so special about the teaching methods of this golf coach? “There is a secret about how to learn golf” he says “and I know it”. “Hand action” is the secret he mentions over and over again, believing in that method, which he has put to market as “Feel Golf”. The quality of a golf swing should be the result of hand movement, which is the key. “The more you use your hands, the better your golf game will be” says Don Ross. And the surprise is yet to come: It’s not your left hand, but your right hand which is the vital part of a golfer’s body. “What has a right-handed person ever done willingly with his left hand?” Don Ross asks and answers the question himself: “Nothing” – so why should he by all means play golf with his left hand? The utterly unnatural way of getting to know the game, which has been the answer to so much trouble in Golf Sports and why so many people feel like complete beginners even after 4 or 5 years of practice. You won’t find this in any other sport, so why in golf?
Don Ross appears to know the answer, and at first it seems plausible. How is a right-handed person supposed to feel comfortable with his left arm? So: hold the club loose, feel the club head, play the ball naturally as if you were throwing a handball or hitting a tennis ball.
Well the only way a right-handed person will manage this, is by using his right hand. This is all demonstrated during a small intermezzo at the table in front of the Pro Shop. Sitting down Ross shows the correct “hand action”, tells his pupils to do exact the same thing: back and forth on the table-top, repeating “hand action” over and over again. Back to the driving range: swing the club, hit the ball – doing this by using the right arm only. Who is the target group at Feel Golf (www.feelgolf.com)? You’d underestimate Don Ross, if he would restrict himself to a specific class. Beginners, advanced players, tour professionals – everyone should profit from his teaching methods. Even an experienced golfer will hit the ball better then ever after an hour’s lesson. Meanwhile we know that he’s not presumptuous. Some colleagues think he may be a charlatan, an English magazine truly considered him years ago for a “big catch”. However, let us leave the self-willed Scot to speak for himself. “I’ve been teaching golf since 1963, 5 years of which I spent at the famous Gleneagles. I went on tour as a professional for 3 years, I have watched 5 million golf shots. In all those years forty thousand people have taken part in my golf school, and every single person has improved their swing with my method”.
A long way to a better swing
And indeed, the golf swing of the participants had improved throughout the afternoon, the balls are flying straight and further than before. We’re even hitting the ball by standing on one leg, relaxing more, having fun and playing a bit like Don Ross. Is it really that easy, playing golf? The next day and full of excitement we want to prove our results by going on the course, the first round with the leading right hand. At some point it’s going well, on the other hand it seems quite bad – as you would expect playing golf. Maybe we’ve just become a slave to our left arm and have gone back to our old habit, anyway only a few are able to reach their handicap. However, this is already known: what is possible on the driving range, does not automatically mean it will work out on the fairway. Mister Ross however is confident: “hand action, more hand action.” And at the end of the weekend he announces his usual positive minded orders for the way home: “Now go home and half your handicap!” With pleasure Mr. Ross. Hope it’ll work.
I was going to write in to the letters page in Golf Links to thank Don Ross for his article about the straight left arm, but I notice you don`t have a letters page anymore (knowing how hard it is to get feedback out of our readers, I can`t say I`m surprised!), so I wonder if you could pass on my regards when you next speak to him. I have spent years having bad spells of getting stuck inside on the way back, causing pull-hooks, blocks and shanks. I`ve been working quite hard on my posture recently, and have managed to re-align the way I set up my lower body, with the result that I`m hitting the ball a bit lower, but I was still hitting pulls and blocks ( when you hit the ball as far as I do, blocks are killers!), until I read Don`s article about the left elbow. How obvious is that- a straight left arm coupled with a weak right hand grip meant both my elbows were tucked inwards, the left one locking my takeaway and making my first movement a snatchy jerk, and the right one pulling the club inside the line and jamming my arm into my side at the top of the backswing. An hour on the practise strip lining up not only my knees, hips, and shoulders to the target, but the elbows as well, and I had transformed my takeaway into a wide, fluid motion, with a perfect swingplane that resulted in an ideal hand and right elbow position at the top of the backswing. I haven`t hit anything remotely squint since, and I feel in total control.
Anybody that questions the science behind Don`s article need only look at Ernie Els. The most fluid swing in golf begins with a relaxed set-up and a left arm that is nowhere near straight. Cheers, Don, and Bill- keep his articles coming. Regards, Mowerman.