Golfing Port Royal – A field of dreams
By Kim Swan, J.P. Teaching Professional
Port Royal Golf Course for the past 47 years has been my field of dreams first as a golfer – today is no different – there remains that natural ‘mystic in the air’, as I coach golf persons of all ages and skills levels both locally and from around the world.
I am sure that it is obvious, as I can’t say enough about what it means to me to have grown up playing a world class public golf course like Port Royal in the 1970’s. For me as a young boy in the early 70’s, the transition from football and cricket did not come easy – in all honesty the passion for the great game of golf came first – the excitement of experiencing some awesome shots together with the inability to conquer this sport immediately captivated me beyond compare.
World Class Local Knowledge
I am deeply indebted to the foundation given to me in golf from homegrown experts here in Bermuda – mainly from my uncle Golf Professional Herman ‘Tucci’ Bascome – but there were others who played a part in my early development during my formative years in Bermuda. Of course, there was Walter King, Rogers Outerbridge, Alex Crofton and a host of others along the journey, but it was the golf foundation laid by Pro Herman ‘Tucci’ Bascome that nurtured my passion – a solid base which took my talents to a level which allowed me to compete at the highest level internationally as an amateur and professional golfer – punctuated by wins at collegiate level for Troy University in Alabama and Louisiana, 3 Bermuda Open Titles before the age of 30 along with numerous creditable performances in international professional events – including making history by being the first Bermudian to qualify and participate regularly on the PGA European Tour in the early 1980’s and with Keith Smith having Bermuda win the Americas Zone qualifying and be represented for the first time at the World Cup of Golf in 1984.
Drills Teach Skills
The past 4 years have been spent plying my trade as Teaching Golf Professional at Port Royal Golf Course – coaching and/or teaching golf daily. Next to my days regularly playing golf – it is the closest a person can get to the game of golf. It is important for golfers to appreciate, that to LEARN to play golf at a creditable level, takes time and proper application of proper methods and techniques – practice, patience and persistence are key for success.
Today as a coach, I am blessed to have had some great teachers and players share their knowledge with me, for me now, it is a blessing to impart my knowledge to a player – often it is a pleasant reminder of a fond memory. Especially when it’s a player with the hunger & thirst to improve their game.
Following the example of my earliest teacher – Golf Pro Herman ‘Tucci’ Bascome – I use drills to train my students. Drills, when applied consistently will train a golfer. If a golfer accepts and sticks with the drill their skill will evolve and improve – drills are meant to be repeated in training, a player must commit to stick with them. When drills are respected and consistently applied, they can become a lifelong golf coach and a companion to a player. Personally, just sharing this knowledge reminds me fondly of the many drills I have learned and the great golfers I learned them from.
Lean not unto your own understanding
To often we see golfers of all levels, when they are having difficulty – trying to analyze their golf problems or that of a friend or family member – well meaning but not always beneficial. A famous scripture reads, “lean not unto thy own understanding…” is most applicable to golf coaching.
• rarely does a proper grip feel comfortable or
• seldom do golfers appreciate the importance of proper posture/stance /ball positioning
or quite often golfers arms are tense and fail to properly hinge their elbow &/or make an effective turn around a stable lower body on the backswing.
These and other swing mechanism are necessary to make a consistent golf swing but cannot be developed in short order. We encourage golfers of all levels to engage a PGA Golf Professional to learn how to enjoy playing this great game of golf.