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Viewer Mail--Op Ed

Gravity Golf

Dear Sir

I have been doing David Lee's drills for the last 2 years on a part time basis. I have studied all his work, and spoke with him in depth on every thing you have just criticized him about. It is obvious to me that you have not taken enough time with Mr. Lee. Otherwise you would retract all of your negative statements.

I have read a lot of your material and a lot of other people’s material on golf. I have tried yours and a lot of others teachings and I still did not improve my swing or my scores. David Lee and those drills have taken me from 22 handicap to scratch when nothing else, including yours, worked.

As far as him not proving himself on tour, I'm sure he would meet you AND YOUR WALLET on the golf course any day. I've played with David Lee and there is no question that he could be the leading money winner on the senior tour any time he wanted. If you were to spend any time with him you would see that most touring professionals would trade David Lee for their lifestyle any day. He lives in Golf Heaven!

In case you are wondering, I am not a close friend of his. I have nothing personal to defend for David Lee. It's just that he has been the only person who has been able to communicate and teach me what a good and perfect golf swing feels like. And I can repeat that swing over and over again. If you are a golf teacher you must know how difficult it is to communicate that feeling to people. You were never able to communicate it to me.

If you are half the decent human being that David Lee is, then you will respond to my letter and hopefully we can come to a better understanding. Otherwise I will assume you are just jealous of David.


Thank you for your letter about the Gravity Golf review. I appreciate your sincerity and directness. Please allow me to respond to each paragraph in your letter.

Paragraph #1

Yes I do agree with you; I have not taken enough time with Mr. Lee. I have never met him, never spoken to him on the phone, and have not reviewed the video tapes of his method. I would very much like to meet Mr. Lee someday. This was a book review sir, nothing more. If you recall there was quite a bit of praise for Lee in this review. Here are a few quotes:

"Yes, Mr. Lee makes many valid and accurate assessments about the problems in golf instruction and his folksy delivery and down to earth tenor makes this book hard to dislike. His tongue and cheek sarcasm toward the techno-buzz of the PGA merchandise show alone made me like this guy."

That doesn't sound much like criticism. What about this one?

"His theory, which has a good deal of merit, proposes that by forcing the body into a state of greater balance sensitivity the swing will be reigned as a result of the self preservation instinct."

More praise

I do admire that he urges the student to aspire to be a self-taught golfer.

A little more?

"...the historical perspective on Hogan and how Nicklaus changed things does make for interesting

As for the criticism, I will retract the following statement:

It's at this juncture that David Lee could never be confused with Bruce Lee. And the only Chi he knows is Chi Chi Rodriguez. I'm sorry, I couldn't help the conveniences of the pun ;~]

This sounds like a personal attack on David Lee and I apologize not only to you but to him. I was having a little too much fun with the words. But please recall that the smiley face was followed by this sentence:

It is the chi that is the vital energy and which forms the basis of the aesthetical release.

It is my belief that golf is a specialized weapons form martial art. This has been largely ignored by most instructors, Lee included.

Paragraph 2

I'm not going to argue with you. My material has been available on the web for only about nine and a half months now (as of November 4, 1998). If you were moving down from 22 to scratch all the while then how is it that this material is of no benefit? Did you suddenly stop improving after visiting this site? Furthermore, If Lee has brought you down to scratch why are you even visiting this site?

Paragraph 3

Here's what I said:

"What I find amusing is that Lee cannot refrain from explaining why he isn't on tour and why his name does not jog one's memory of David Lee PGA tour victories. I don't begrudge him for not cleaning up on tour; I just find it funny that one has to try to harness a bit of respectability before commencing to teach a game that is only learnable in the first place."

I never implied that he couldn't clean out my wallet. I am simply amused that anyone who is not a tour icon seems to have to explain away why someone else should listen to their philosophy. It's the "coulda, shoulda, woulda" routine. He didn't need to do that. I'm not attacking Lee here. I'm making an observation about golf instructors in general. An old high school friend of mine is a club pro and he loves that. He wants to see his family every night.

Paragraph 4

Yes it is difficult for a teacher to communicate that feeling. Why? Because the pure golf swing has no sensation outside of the ball and is completely void of all perception. I believe this is actually stated by George Butterworth in the foreword of the book. See "The Greatest Illusion In Golf". As far as communicating something to you . . . well sorry, I'm doing the best I can. I know I'll never win a Pulitzer, but some of the other readers have expressed different opinions. See Viewer Mail #6 and Viewer Mail #7.

Paragraph 5

Sir, it's a book review! It's one man's opinion. I didn't write the review because I'm jealous; I wrote the review because I read the book and it set me to athinkin'.


D.R. politely responded to my answers. For the sake of brevity, I will not post D.R.'s entire second letter but I will extract some of D.R.'s sentences and respond accordingly.

"I think you are wrong. (with all respect) A gravity swing(the one that most professionals are using) is not void of sensation or perception. It has a wonderful sensation. The feeling of falling the body mass against the weight of the arms during rotational movement is a wonderful feeling."

Well then I guess George Butterworth, the man Lee chose to write the foreword to his book, is also wrong. If you recall, I did not say that the pure swing was void of sensation. I said it was void of sensation outside of the ball. As for your second sentence, it is the perception after having swung that you are making reference to. The "wonderful feeling" you speak of is a physical reality of energy conserved and the lighter than air feeling is the result of the synergy of effortless movement. I like to call this "feeling fusion near the center." See Waking to the Orbit of Swing. This whole perception/sensation argument, however, can be a very sticky and convoluted subject. Though I like to speculate, I would rather leave it to the scholars.

"But the physics of a golf swing I'm sure has more to do with a baseball pitch."

No, the physics of chopping wood has more to do with a baseball pitch ;~] But seriously, I know what your getting at. You are speaking of the role of the dominant hand in the swing. This I call the vital metacenter. See also The Secret of the Waggle.

"I'm glad the book made you think. This shows you are intelligent."

I can only answer that with a quote by Sir Walter.


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The Progress of a Student and Teacher


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