The Founder and Director of Instruction of THE Senior Golf Academy of America is Jack Gibson, Life Member of the PGA, who has been teaching golf for over forty-five years. From 2005 to 2016, he was the Director of Instruction at La Quinta Country Club (home of the Bob Hope Tournament). For ten years prior to that he was the Director of Instruction at the world renowned Cabo Del Sol in Los Cabos, Mexico. While in Mexico, Jack taught for the Nicklaus-Flick Golf School and formed the Cabo Del Sol Golf School using the talents of local Golf Professionals along with PGA Professionals from Canada and the U. S. spending the season in Mexico.
Since returning to the States, Jack has been the Lead Instructor, in Southern California, for the VIP Golf Academy, the oldest golf school in the country specializing in individual and couple’s instruction. He founded THE Senior Golf Academy of America in 2017 after research showed that there was not one golf school in the United States specializing in instruction for the many seniors who play the game.
Jack’s status as one of the top PGA teachers in Southern California has been demonstrated by his consistent finish near the top of the yearly SCPGA Teaching Competition, which features the top Teaching Professionals in Southern California, working with a student they had not previously met. Jack tied for 4th in 2014, 7th in 2016, 8th in 2017, 7th in 2018 and 9th in 2019.
He has also been honored by GOLF Magazine as a nominee for their roster of “Top 100 Teachers in America.”
Jack’s book, Thought Reduction Golf which emphasizes his philosophy, “Think Less-Play-Better” will be presented to each student along with a Short Game Reminder Manual. Jack’s book may be purchased on line or from Jack and has become a popular gift item with his students.
JACK GIBSON’S TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Club Oriented vs Body Oriented Teaching
We hear and see a lot on TV and read in golf magazines about how the “Big” muscles of the body are supposed to control the golf swing for distance as well as accuracy. Well, if you are not as flexible or likely not as young as the guys and gals on the Professional Tours, it just is not true. Even then, it is obvious from watching those amazing golf shots that most of the power comes from how fast the player is able to swing their club head with their hands and arms. Sure, it would be nice to get the whole right side involved (for right-handers) in a golf swing but mainly just to “get out of the way” of the arms and hands so they can do their work.
We will work on getting the body involved, as much as our students are able to do without hurting themselves but the idea is to swing the golf club with the hands and let the various body parts “react” to the swinging motion of the golf club from start to finish. Students with “bad backs” soon discover that they are once again able to swing the golf club without pain by simply allowing the body to follow the golf club, rather than just lunging at the golf ball with their bodies.
I will admit that I taught or tried to teach those often uncomfortable body and golf club positions for some 25 years, as that is what I was taught in those PGA seminars we had to take to be PGA Pros. When I moved to Mexico in 1995 to teach at Cabo Del Sol, I soon found that those old methods just didn’t work for tourists just in town for a few days or even for my adult Mexican students. I read the book Swing the Clubhead, written by the great teacher Earnest Jones in 1937 and was surprised that I had started using some of the same words and phrases as Jones before even reading his book. Later, I was inspired by the teachings of Jim Flick and Manual de la Torre to continue teaching my students to control their golf club with their hands for both distance and direction.
Since starting THE Senior Golf Academy of America I have been pleased but sometimes overwhelmed by the response of senior players and couples who miss what has sometimes been referred to as “Old School” instruction. We are swamped with videos and articles showing how great a certain top player swings and many instructors believe they can teach the average player to copy those moves and positions and therefore become a better player. Well, it just doesn’t work that way. A few weeks ago, I happened to be reading through the PGA Magazine while waiting for a student. He arrived at about the time I had reached a photo of a student trying to copy the body positions some instructor had taught him, while another was wearing some contraption like a parachute harness while the teacher was helping him swing. Before I could put the article away my student noticed the pictures and exclaimed, “OH my God; that’s just what I’m trying to get away from.” I have since showed the article to some of my other students with similar reactions.