Reaching my golf potential with Jim Venetos: Book Two

Looking north from Crystalaire Country Club
Looking northwest from Crystalaire Country Club

I’ve been driving the 80 miles to Crystalaire for my lessons with Jim Venetos. At first, I rather dreaded the drive; it’s a long way for a golf lesson. But, to quote Venetos, “It’s a chill drive.” It’s especially nice on a late Saturday morning to hop in my car and head to the desert. I’m kind of a desert guy at heart and Crystalaire looks across the Antelope Valley toward the Tehachapis and my beloved Eastern Sierra.

This was my fifth lesson with Venetos and I’m pleased with my progress. My initial goals were: 1) To hit the ball more solid more often. 2) To shorten my back swing. 3) To quiet my lower body on the full swing. The Venetos swing makes all those things happen with but a few “thoughts.” Venetos would say there’s only one thought needed…stillness…but I’ve never been a man of so few words.

My job of the last dozen years is coming to an end at the end of July, so my work with Venetos has come at an interesting time. It feels like a time for change in more ways than one. I plan on playing a lot of golf through the summer and into the fall. This is a rare opportunity and I know that once I’m back working it will, again, be hard to play and practice as much as I want.

I have a week of golf coming up the second week of June and a big golf week planned for September with one of my favorite cousins. We’re not sure where we’re going to meet…could be Vegas or it could be Scotland but I know it will be a trip for the ages.

Here are a couple thoughts about the Venetos method as regards some questions raised here and elsewhere:

Distance is the same or a tad more with all clubs, I was hitting 9 irons about 135 yards with my idea of a 3/4 swing. Venetos said I should consider that distance a full 9 and that 3/4 swing a full swing…he saw no need for a 9 iron to fly any further. Point taken.

The shift into set up feels natural quite very quickly though I do not close my shoulders as much as Venetos would like. To me, that’s the only element of the swing that feels like a physical challenge.

I hit a draw 90 percent of the time and with the Venetos swing I hit it about 60 percent of the time. The address position gets rid of some movements and some of the movements that have been eliminated were the timing elements I used to make the ball work right to left. When I do it right, the balls draws the same amount with the Venetos swing as my previous swing.

The weight-left swing tires my left leg out by the end of a Venetos 90 minute lesson which always lasts for two hours. I have taken to practicing standing on one leg whenever I’m standing in line or riding the subway. It’s good for my balance and my sense of left side stillness and stability. I can hike all day at elevation but I get worn out hitting a lot of golf balls in a two hour lesson. That’s just me…

Venetos added a goal I had not considered. He said he’d like to see my handicap drop from 10 ish to a 5 ish. I am not so sure. I ain’t getting any younger or any better looking. Still, it’s nice that Venetos sees that kind of improvement as a possibility. I putt well and have a good short game so any drop in my handicap will have to come from how well I strike the ball.

Reaching my golf potential with Jim Venetos: Book Two

8 thoughts on “Reaching my golf potential with Jim Venetos: Book Two

  1. Freddie says:

    Hi Paul. I found your site while looking up Jim’s site. I saw you’d moved on. I saw one of your reasons was plantar fasciitis. The thing is, you probably hadn’t spent a lot of time like that prior and PF is brought on by sudden increase of workload. Anyway, I’ve been doing Jim’s lessons and academy for nearly 2 months. Dramatic change for me because I was always an over the top golfer. I can recommend this to any golfer who is over the top and either pulls or slices- or both! You described having a draw already so you probably did t get the same satisfaction.

    Also, regarding plantar fasciitis, I’ve had it and the only cure was to wear a night splint for a couple of weeks which retracts the foot. If it ever comes back, try that and you’ll cure it.thanks for posting your thoughts. I haven’t met Jim in person but I actually think online is a better way to go because it takes months to internalize. Early on, I saw my ball striking on long par 3’s improve dramatically and that sold me. I basically expect to hit the green from 170 in, and that wasn’t the case before as an 8-9hcp. Driver is just starting to catch on (stsrting to remains still) and that is where I hope to see so,e gains in scoring for sure. Best of luck!


    1. Freddie

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m glad to hear Jim’s method is working for you. On the subject of PF I came across a fascinating article you can read here. It turns traditional understanding of what PF is, how it’s caused and how it should be treated on its head. I’ve been following the strengthening and flexibility mantras for over a year now and any symptoms of PF are gone, gone, gone. I know a teaching pro who had near-crippling PF in both feet at once. After wearing orthotics and night splints, with no relief, he read the article I linked to. His PF is now as gone as mine. Paradigm shifts are hard to accept but this one is the real deal.

      I liked Jim a lot, as I think I made clear in my articles. That there is a great deal of truth to Jim’s method I would never deny. Most people have too much movement and too much shift. But, more now than even while I was working with Jim I will say this; stillness is a lack of motion but the golf swing is a motion. More than this, it’s a body motion. The best players at all levels control the entirety of their motions and they accomplish this control on the most consistent basis. Thanks again and good luck with you swing and your game.


  2. al says:

    Hi, I have been using Jim’s swing for a while now and have cut my handicap down from 15 to 10. The technique is sound, if not unconventional, but that is good, cos conventional teaching is poorly designed at best. When I switched, I started to, at first ‘push’ the ball right, but when I closed my shoulders even more, the flight came well into line – straight with a slight draw. I can crush the ball with this swing – all my club lengths have increased distance. The stillness is – for an easy explanation – is to stop the urge to push with the right shoulder. It is an exagerated term, but when thought about consciously as the sole swing thought, it stops the over the top move. You will have to work with the timing of the swing, like all methods, I swing about 80% of full speed. The technique is the only swing I can hit accurately straight from the first tee without spending 20 minutes on the range first. It is truely an innovation in golf teaching – I wish the two tour pros that taught me had introduced this swing right from the start of my golfing career! Once used repeatedly, you begin to ‘see’ the set up position instantly – every shot the same, from bump and run to driver. Jim is a guru, minimising the variables means less to think about, less to mirco manage, less to work on sequence of timings with multiple swing thoughts, you’d be daft not to stick with it! HIs technique is a superior ‘design’ than traditional golf instruction, both in action and in performance!


    1. I’m happy it works for you. Do me a favor, send Jim an email that says, “You will have to work with the timing of the swing…” and let me know what he says.
      Thanks for your comment.


  3. Joe Headrick says:

    Hi, I have been trying to sign up for Jim’s course but keep getting a server error and I have tried contacting him via his website and FB page with no reply. Do you have any contact info for him? Thanks, Joe Headrick


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