Lewis: Saying goodbye to a mentor

I lost a great friend and mentor this past month in Hall of Fame golf instructor Jim Flick. He taught golf for more than 50 years and he died of cancer at the age of 82. He was considered as one of the top three best golf instructors of the 20th century.

I worked with Flick for three years at the Pebble Golf Academy where he brought the Jim Flick /Jack Nicklaus Golf Schools four times a year. Through Laird Small, the director of instruction at the Pebble Beach Academy, I assisted with the school and learned so much from Flick and Small.

Flick was Arnold Palmer’s college roommate and was sought by Jack Nicklaus for his golfing knowledge.

Flick was big on the concept of swinging the clubhead and letting the body follow. He also felt that it was imprint to be correct rather than comfortable. Most golfers do what feels good over what is correct. Flick always preached that if you do it in the correct way long enough, it will become comfortable for you.

Most importantly, though, he never wanted instructors to take the “you” out of your swing. A long as you can repeat a move it can be improved. One swing for all golfers was never accepted.

At the golf school, we met every morning before the instructions started, and go over new ideas and different ways to teach. He was a big supporter of teachers constantly learning, even if you’ve been doing it for a long time. Many of my weekly tips in this column come from both Flick and Small. But it was Flick’s passion for reading that sparked a fire in me. Today, I have a library of over 200 books, audio tapes and videos on golfing.

As I continue to bring you tips to improve and make your game more enjoyable, I want to thank my friend Mr. Flick for all he has given me.

Practice Mind vs Playing Mind

Flick taught me to use the conscience and sub-conscience mind in the game of golf.

We practice and make decisions with the conscience mind. And we play golf and trust our swings with our sub-conscience mind.

The conscience mind gives orders and the sub-conscience mind trusts what has been taught.

Sometimes golfers hit balls on the range without thinking about anything and have no target. Then the same golfer uses the conscience mind while playing. The conscience mind does not trust their swing and is forces constant change and club selection.

Golfers with smooth swings, beautiful shots and nice putting strokes use their sub-conscience mind and trust their swing and game.

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