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The Golfing Machine Story

In 1941, avid golfer Homer Kelley had a problem. He was playing very good golf, shooting in the seventies, in his very first year playing the game. Golf is supposed to be more difficult than this, he was told, so he wanted to know why he was playing so well. He talked to several golf pros that taught the game, but none could give him satisfactory answers. Being a scientist at work and at heart he knew that there had to be answers. So the engineering aide from Seattle , Washington began what he figured to be a one week project mapping out the “science” of the golf swing.

Twenty-eight years later he finished his project. A wonderfully complete study of why the ball goes where it goes, how the club moves to make it fly long and straight or short and crooked, and what the human body must do to get the club to move in these manners.

This study was published in a book, and has been updated five times since. It has long been acknowledged as THE most complete study on the way the golf swing actually works. It has ALL of the answers within its 241 pages. Every golf professional who has searched high and low to uncover or discover the mysteries of the swing and found the ANSWERS, has all wound up in the same place—this little yellow book.

The book separates fact from fiction and science from opinion. It explains, by using physics and geometry, exactly what is going on at impact and during the rest of the stroke. It breaks down the golf swing into its samenesses and differences. The samenesses occur in every stroke and are explained in fine detail erasing all mystery to the questions of power production and ball flight.

The differences are the variations of the 24 actions of the golf stroke that CAN BE DONE IN MORE THAN ONE WAY. From these twenty-four components and their variations, it is shown how countless effective golf “swings” can be executed to produce ideal ball flight. A trained instructor can use these variations to custom fit a player with a “stroke pattern” that gives them their best chance to execute what the book defines as the three imperatives to good ball striking and what Kelley calls the “secret” of golf—sustaining the line of compression. He defines sustaining the line of compression as keeping the original impact points of the clubface and the ball in contact with each other for the 3/4ths of an inch that it takes for the ball to spring off the clubface after impact.

It is this principle on which the system that the book supports is created around.
This system, The Star System of G.O.L.F. (G.O.L.F. is an acronym for Geometrically Oriented Linear Force) is a synergy of two processes. These processes consist of an “engineering system” and a “feel” system. The engineering system isolates and coordinates the mechanics of the stroke pattern. The feel system translates them into a describable sensation—describable to, and by, the individual player. The result of this interaction is the slogan of The Golfing Machine—”Let Mechanics produce and Feel reproduce”.

The book was presented to the PGA of America, the organization that trains the vast majority of club professionals and teaching professionals in the U.S.A. , in 1973. It was rejected as the official teaching manual of the PGA because it was considered to be “over the heads” of the PGA members and the golfing public. The PGA then crafted a “simplified” swing and teaching model based on the book that was incomplete and misleading. When this “simplification” was finally updated into a book (The PGA Teaching Manual) it contained 600-plus pages with less information about how the swing works then the 241-page GOLFING MACHINE.

Despite the over 25 years the book has been on the market, and over 50,000 books sold, most golfers have never heard of it. A significant percentage of the golf pros and amateurs who have heard of it ridicule it despite often never having read the book. There are numerous reasons for these opinions.

It is not a how to book. The book is complex due to its complete coverage of the subject. Because Kelley tried to keep the book’s size to a minimum, so that it could easily be carried around, there is very little explanations of the explanations. An additional reason for the “heavy read” is it was written by a genius engineer, not an English professor or novelist. Because previously unknown elements of the swing were uncovered during the research, new terminology had to be adapted to classify these elements.

Perhaps the number one reason the book has remained an enigma is that most golf pros are severely undertrained as teachers. Nearly all instruction manuals are written from the experience of the author and this often leads to a “simplicity by omission” that has lead pros to not question old empirical axioms. Any thing, book, or person who is a threat to the assumption by the golfing public that “the pro knows it all,” will be most certainly denounced by some in any way possible.

So how can the average player, above average player, or beginner learn from Homer Kelley’s brilliant work besides, or in addition to, buying the book and reading it?

Mr. Kelley, who passed away in 1983 while giving a seminar on his work for the PGA of America, in his wisdom, set up a program to authorize instructors to teach utilizing his system.

There are over 150 Authorized Instructors of this system worldwide. Authorized Instructors have won every kind of teaching award there is including National PGA Teacher of The Year (twice). Their students have won every conceivable title in golf. But most would tell you that they are most proud of their former 100+ shooters who now score in the 70′s and one time powder-puff hitters who now win long drive contests.
There are dozens of other instructors who teach the system, some very prominent, who have not been authorized, but use the information in their teaching as gospel.

The first professional Homer Kelley authorized was a golf pro with a gift for imaginative thinking. He has utilized this imagination to further develop the practical application of teaching The Golfing Machine. His name is Ben Doyle, and he instructs both players and teachers on his lesson tee at Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel , California . Hundreds of teachers have copied many of Mr. Doyle’s teaching methods either directly from him or from one of his teaching or playing professional students.

The Golfing Machine organization was run by Homer Kelley’s widow, Sally, in Seattle , Washington , since Homer’s passing. Today the organization is run by a small group of Authorized Instructors who plan to preserve Mr. Kelley legacy as well as publish a new edition of the book which includes notes that Homer was to include in his next update.

Brian Manzella, PGA, G.S.E.D

As an Authorised Master Instructor of The Golfing Machine teaching system holding a Bachelor and Masters of Golf Stroke Engineering (GSEB & GSEM) trained by Californian Professionals Mr Ben Doyle and Mr Gregg McHatton, two of the worlds finest instructors, Steve Khatib has a complete grasp of not only the mechanics – physics and geometry of the golf stroke but how to practically apply them to teaching in a simple manner.

Steve’s specialty is to blend the art and science of golf together to best assist his clients. He understands the the game’s complexities to be able to teach them in its simplicity.

”If golf felt like it looks and looked like it felt it would be an easy game” (Gregg McHatton), Steve subsequently teaches the correct mechanics to clients, from which each develop their own unique individual feel derived from these mechanics. This feel is developed to form an integral part of a students ‘blueprint’ or pattern for their golf game. Having also worked with New York based Professional Mike Hebron a world renowned expert on education through golf and famous author of ‘The Art and Zen of Learning Golf’. Steve embraces the modern principles of adult education and catering for a myriad of learning styles and also understands through experience the best way to foster and nurture the development of young talent”.