The "Phantom Golfer" was included as the last chapter of "The Secret of Golf". George Peper and Mary Tiegreen's 2005 compilation ended with "The Greatest Player you never met". He became an overnight sensation.
This clip of us was shot 25 years ago. Five years later, he was gone. Since, many folks have found me while searching for him. He wasn't only a golfer. He was a human dynamo.
Another fighter..Ali..claimed on film.. "Oh, ...I always said that I was the greatest...No..No, you're the greatest!".
Since retiring from the sordid West Virginia political mire, I've been hanging with a bunch of golf addicts instead of power mongers. My blood pressure in now normal.
We all meet on the Golf Channel's discussion board. One particular thread, 18 Theories, has been going on for years. It's the only one I read. It began as a discussion about the 2005 "Secret of Golf" book by George Peper and Mary Tiegreen. It explores the various secrets of the worlds greatest teachers.
Of particular note are the posts by a fellow called "tb 172", but his friends call him Tom. He, alone, has been able to relay the holy grail on the back of a business card. "Squish and Turn".
Here's today's exchange..
tb172: The horizontal gear is your hip/waist.
The vertical gear is the torso/shoulders.
You Must lateral flex the spine to engage them.
All other members just enjoy the ride.
You throw the clubhead in a circle as this happens.
From reading your postings, the loose connection is that your forward inclination to the ball from the hips at address sets the shoulders on an oblique plane.
The compression of the respective side maintains that plane from take away to impact.
The hips move counter clockwise as shoulders move clockwise.
That keeps you balanced, centered.
You are timing it with the throw.
Like the second hand of a clock.
The quicker you can do that, the farther the ball goes.
If you compress the right side from a chip, pitch or full swing. The ball happens to majgically be in the way of the downstroke.
It is crucial for precision that everything finishes. That means arrive at impact with everything you took away.
That requires instinct. I think That is at the root of what you are talking about. But it's hard to trust the natural swing instinct, if one does not trust ones jacked up swing. Especially when abused by mags, corporate instructors. and tippers.
I try to erase that, I don't know too many who came out without being frustrated with bad backs.
Aping is the key here. The old way. Find a sucessful swing and ape it.
I aped that move from Bobby Jones.
Sybervision Tape. Spent a lot of time figuring out what makes it tick.
Because I was a 15hcp and shot par after viewing it 20 times over one night while on vacation. A month after vacation I lost it. I did not know what I was doing. But I was doing it.
I found someone who taught it. Mike Austin. That man could hit a ball.
Mike got me into kinesiology, facinating.
The human Body is a wonderful thing.
In the end you are correct. You must trust the proprioceptor nervous system to do it's job. (muscle memory)
That is why you have to practice every club in the bag equally. They are like notes in a scale."
Tom has helped many avoid many of the dead ends the game of golf offers.
Springtime in Appalachia Early April
The blooms are stark raving in the hollers and I should be digging ramps on north slopes. My friends think I've dropped off the end of a ravine. I've been busy spinning my wheels.
West Virginia has been home for twenty five years and if I stay another..please shoot me. A lot of focus is here. Big Coal and little politicians abound. I have, true the pledge to my dear wife, renounced all politics since my 60th last year. Since heart attacks gallop in my family, I'm watching all my selves.
I've decided to keep the Illustrious phantom golfer at the top knowing it's the best content I'll ever have. Besides, it's a thorn in the ass of Tim Nicholls, the manager of Shell Castle LLC, the owner of Count Yogi Golf Company. Yesterday I received a cease and desist notice from Nicholls demanding a lot of things. I'll post it later.
I've taken several blogs down that mention the phantom golfer, but I refuse to keep this creator of golf art off the web. He was the people's golfer and my good friend.
So, Shell Castle LLC, through their manager, Nicholls, sent me the following, thick with threats and warnings.
Shell Castle Enterprises LLC
2893 Instone Court
Westlake Village, California 91361
April 11, 2010
VIA E-MAIL [firstname.lastname@example.org]
& U.S. MAIL
Mr. David Rao
909½ South Henry
Elkins, West Virginia 26241
RE: Shell Castle Enterprises LLC (“SCE LLC”)
Infringement of Copyrights and Trademarks
Dear Mr. Rao:
This letter will serve as formal notice that the above-referenced company is the legal owner of various registered copyrighted materials and trademarks, all regarding the marks “Count Yogi” (USPTO Application No. 77/562442) “Yogi Golf,” (USPTO Application No. 77/908971) and “King of Golf” (copyrighted film, US Copyright Registration No. PA0000664978, registered on September 13, 1993). SCE LLC is the assignee of Timothy R. Nicholls, successor owner of these materials from Harry Montana Frankenberg, professionally known as Count Hilary Yogi.
It has come to our attention that you are, or have been, utilizing these copyrighted materials and registered trademarks, and showing videos or internet streaming which utilizes our copyrighted films to promote your business without our knowledge, authorization or permission. We hereby demand that you cease and desist from utilizing any of our copyrighted materials or trademarks, including, but not limited to, the materials and trademarks stated above, or personally benefiting in any manner from this illegal infringement. You are currently in violation of both state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, the Federal Copyright Act and Lanham Act, infringement of intellectual property, conversion, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, unfair competition and tortious interference with prospective economic advantage.
Moreover, we hereby demand that you identify (if any), the individuals and/or companies or business entities, including their principals and officers, you have collaborated with or with whom you have done business using our copyrighted materials and trademarks, so that they may also be contacted, including, but not limited to, their names, their addresses, telephone and facsimile numbers and e-mail addresses. Should you fail or refuse to promptly respond to this demand and cooperate by voluntarily providing said information if any, please be advised that SCE LLC has already consulted with legal counsel and are fully prepared to go forward forthwith against you alone with any and all remedies to protect and enforce our rights regarding this infringement, in both law and equity. In addition, SCE LLC will also seek immediate injunctive relief, which will include reimbursement of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs to do so.
At this point in time, you can keep damages as minimal as possible by immediately taking down the offending materials from the internet or any other public arena or media, cease and desist forthwith the use of our copyrighted materials and trademarks, and voluntarily providing the requested information. We do have all the proper documentation to prove our ownership rights. We hope that we will hear from immediately.
Nothing contained herein should be construed as a waiver of any of SCE LLC’s rights, claims and remedies available to me, in law or in equity, all of which are hereby expressly reserved. You may govern yourself accordingly.
Very truly yours,
SHELL CASTLE ENTERPRISES, LLC
TIMOTHY R. NICHOLLS, Trustee,
Shell Castle Trust No. 1, Its Manager,
Shell Castle Enterprises, LLC
I love the last line of his letter. "You may govern yourself accordingly." He implies I am guilty of many felonious acts. He really should have had his lawyer look the letter over before sending it. I'd love to make him feel better, but can't. I'm going to govern myself accordingly. I promise