Pickle's Custom Golf
Gary Pickle - Teaching Professional - Custom Club Maker

Manuel de la Torre Method (Wikipedia)

Manuel works within a "concept".  Everything taught is taught within the context of that "concept".  Manuel's "concept" is to "swing the club" and the body will respond.

Golf instruction can be divided into two approaches.  That which constitutes more than 90% of today's golf instruction is body-focused. The central premise of this type of golf instruction is built around the idea that if the golfer learns to correctly move various body parts (hips, legs, shoulders, etc.) the result will be a movement of the golf club that will produce effective golf shots. That which constitutes the other 10% of golf instruction is club-focused. Its central premise is that the golfer should instead focus on learning how the golf club should move during an effective swing. De la Torre has devoted his career to refining and teaching this approach to both golfers and instructors.

The difference between these two approaches may seem minor at first consideration. However, any student (or instructor) who has experienced both will immediately appreciate the simplicity of de la Torre's golf instruction which is unique among the leading golf instructors. De la Torre brings to light the absurdity of thinking that the cause of a poor shot is related to what your body is doing (eg. Hips are too fast, arms are too slow, shoulder turn is off plane, etc.) He correctly observes that if the club is moving correctly, there is nothing you can do with your body that produce a poor shot. Conversely, if the club is moving incorrectly, there is nothing you can do with your body that will correct the problem and avoid the poor shot. By way of analogy, regardless of what he does with his body, if the marksman does the right thing with the rifle, the bullet must hit the target. If the golfer does the right thing with the golf club, the ball must go to the target. He therefore has made a life's career and many satisfied clients by diagnosing and then fixing the motion of the club.

Body-focused instruction is problematic because:
  • no two golfers' bodies are exactly alike,
  • it asks golfers to consciously control body motions that are by their nature unconsciously controlled,
  • it asks the golfer to address too many things during the 1.5 - 2.5 seconds required for a golf swing, and
  • demands that all body motions be correct in order to achieve the desired result.
     [body-focused instruction is particularly difficult if not impossible for golfers with disabilities/physical differences.  try body-focused when the golfer has no legs or only one arm!  If all the body parts must be correct......!!???]

By contrast, club-focused instruction teaches:
  • how the club moves for an effective swing,
  • the club's movement is universal for every player and every club, and
  • a lesson simple enough to accomplish during those same 1.5 - 2.5 seconds.

The problem with the "fault and fix" approach (body-focused instruction) is that yesterday's "fix" gets over done and soon becomes today's "fault".  And thus the never ending cycle of one swing "flaw" compounding into another and another and so on.
It is much more productive for students to learn a swing "concept" (club-focused), other than the "fault and fix" concept.  A correct concept is based on principals of clear thinking, logic, common sense and scientific principals.  Over time and with a correct "concept",  students are better equipped, (i.e., have the information based on unwavering scientific principals and common sense) to help themselves and ultimately improve.  Just as "flaws" in a swing compound, the good things in a swing compound.  A correct thought leads to a correct motion.  That correct motion allows access to the next correct motion and the next and so on.
The "fault and fix" approach to the golf swing doesn't work long term for anyone.  It won't hold up over time, under pressure and certainly not at tournament time.  And for those who analyze the statistics of reported handicaps each year, those statistics don't reflect well on the games' instructional process.  Or as the golf magazines would have us believe, we just haven't bought our game....yet.
Poor swing instruction and standard, off the shelf equipment, it's no wonder the handicaps don't come down or that so many people quit the game each year.  Golf isn't fun anymore.  It's too difficult.