Teaching Philosophy

 

THE MIND/BODY CONNECTION TO EXTRAORDINARY GOLF

Jim Waldron is an expert golfer, martial artist and philosopher who quotes Buddha, Nietzche and Hogan at the drop of a hat, hits driver 220 yards dead straight one-handed with his eyes closed, and has quietly built a reputation in just a few short years as a remarkably effective golf instructor. His golf schools are filled to capacity and you need an appointment often weeks in advance to get a lesson from him. Never heard of him? It's no wonder - he may be golf's best kept secret and let's put it this way - he's not your father's golf instructor.

He has lived for the past 33 years in a remote alpine valley in northeast Oregon's Wallowa mountains doggedly researching what for him is a fascinating mystery and lifelong obsession: the path of mastery in golf, including scoring, long game, short game, putting and mental game skill mastery. His students enthusiastically proclaim him to be the best teacher in the game. He's a local legend in the Northwest golf community, where he conducts the most unusual and perhaps the most effective golf schools on the planet.

At a Balance Point Golf School, "Total Immersion" and "Structured Deep Practice" training is the order of the day. The emphasis - by design says Waldron - is is all about effective learning of various golfing skills. Students engage in an intensive series of drills, ball hitting sessions, slow motion swinging in front of a mirror, exercises, lectures, video analysis, Q and A sessions and group discussion, seven or more hours a day, for one to five consecutive days. 

Some of your golf students I have talked to seem to believe that you have discovered the secret of golf. Have you?

No! (laughing), there is no "secret" to the game, only proven fundamentals and effective strategies. It only seems mysterious and enigmatic when you are looking at the game from a very limited point of view. If you mean have I broken new ground in golf instruction, in both the so-called physical and mental categories, I would say yes, absolutely. A lot of what I teach, both in terms of the physical fundamentals and mental principles, is entirely new information never before seen in golf. I discovered that there really are answers as to why golf appears to be impossible to get really good at, especially in the area of consistency.

A wise philosopher once said, "wisdom is knowing what to do and when to do it." That kind of wisdom is sorely lacking in golf. It really is the starting point for any serious golfer's journey to lasting game improvement. There are rules, if you will, that govern human peak performance in any field. I've discovered how to apply those rules to the game of golf. When you follow the rules, positive results happen automatically. When you break the rules, your game goes south. This is an exciting new paradigm that delivers what every golfer says they want from their game: continual score improvement, consistent shotmaking and more enjoyment.

That sounds a lot like sport psychology. Most of us are used to thinking of a golf instructor as someone who talks exclusively about the mechanical side of the game.

No, it's really not sport psychology per se which I have found to be a somewhat academic, ivory tower, overly clinical approach to golf improvement. With the exception of Bob Rotella, who is really excellent, and a few others, I haven't seen many sport psychologists who impress me with a practical knowledge of the game of golf. And yes, we've all been brainwashed by the dominant mechanistic model to believe that a. the full swing is golf and b. that a simplistic mechanical swing key is the secret to game improvement.

Not to denigrate the importance of the long game, it's clearly of supreme importance, and I do in fact spend more of my time teaching golf swing mechanics than any other part of the the game but it's still only a part of golf, not the whole, and if you can break 100 consistently, it's certainly not the fastest or easiest way to lower your score. The fact is that how you are prepared to learn, practice and play, your overall mindset about how to engage in the improvement process, has far more influence over the outcome than any actual mechanical content. I call this first of golf's fundamentals Preparation. A majority of golfers are not prepared at all and are in fact totally confused, perplexed even, by the game. Intelligent preparation strategies are a simple fact that have been almost completely ignored by the instruction Establishment and golf media. Ben Hogan himself said many times that the one of the secrets to his success, especially in winning majors, was simply that he was the best prepared golfer in the field. Knowing that you are the best prepared gives one tremendous confidence.

Jim Waldron and staff are dedicated to helping their students achieve significant, ongoing and permanent improvement. We are here to guide you in your quest for golfing excellence. Positive results - in scoring, shotmaking and enjoyment of the game - are what really matter. When we started Balance Point Golf Schools back in 1995, our goal was to become the best golf school in America. "Best" meaning the most effective in helping our students really breakthrough to playing the golf of their dreams.

The Balance Point approach is the integration of the science of golf swing and short game mechanics with the art of playing the game of golf. This balanced blending of both physical and mental training is the fastest way to learn new golf skills and is the gateway to playing golf in the Zone of peak performance. Imagine what your game would be like if you could step up to the first tee with 100% confidence in your technically sound golf swing and 100% belief in your ability to truly play the game well.

Our Integrative Golf Mastery holistic approach allows the student to develop correct technique, proper mental focus and emotional self control. We use two different types of coaching in our golf schools - Total Immersion training and Structured Deep Practice training. Total Immersion training is designed around the principle of Deep Insight or the student experiencing as many "light bulb" moments about a particular golf skill as possible. Structured Deep Practice is a very concrete method of training the body to acquire new movement patterns. It is non-technical and easy to understand and to perform. Every Balance Point Golf School will incorporate both of these coaching methods, with Total Immersion used in the early hours of a program and the Deep Practice method used in the later stages of the school.

WHO WILL BENEFIT FROM BALANCE POINT GOLF TRAINING?

  • The struggling mid to high handicap weekend golfer who suffers from poor full swing and short game technique
  • Golfers of all skill levels who lack confidence and who experience doubt, anxiety, frustration, discouragement and fear on the golf course
  • The beginner golfer who wisely chooses to start out right in golf and avoid developing bad habits
  • Low to mid-handicap amateurs who can't seem to take their practice range swing to the golf course
  • Every golfer who struggles with inconsistency in shotmaking and scoring
  • The low handicap amateur and tour professional looking for the competitive edge
  • The serious student of the mechanics of the swing who is searching for the final answer to the 500 year old mystery of the golf swing
  • The golfer who suffers from the "yips" or flinches in their full swing, chipping, pitching or putting strokes
  • Every golfer who has experienced the awesome potential of the mental game and is searching for a way to play golf in the Zone.

KEY PRINCIPLES OF THE BALANCE POINT APPROACH

Golf is really six games rolled into one. By intensely focusing your improvement plan - both time and energy - primarily on just one of these key areas, you maximize your effectiveness. Long Game (full swing fundamentals), Short Game (chipping, pitching, wedges, bunker shots), Putting Game, Mental Game, Management Game, and Fitness Game. We help our students improve their games - on every level. Balance Point is golf's first and only truly holistic and comprehensive game improvement program.

We created our holistic mind/body connection golf learning model as an alternative to the unworkable, frustrating and confusing traditional instruction model. That model is rooted in pre-scientific era beliefs about the body and swing motion. Balance Point is a 21st century scientific model that works. Why? Because it's based on proven scientific facts - not perception, opinion, golf tradition, dogma or belief. Our golf swing, short game and putting Mechanics models are based on Physics, Geometry, Biomechanics and Neuroscience.Science works, ie it creates results you can depend on. Tradition in golf often fails to deliver the positive results that golfers are seeking.

No other golf school in the world provides the level of personal attention to students that we do here at Balance Point. It starts with a free 15-30 minute game evaluation consultation for every prospective new student who calls our toll free office number. This evaluation includes a Golfer Personality Profile, a listing of your game's strengths and weaknesses, dominant learning style and a recommendation from us about which of 11 possible areas of game improvement - with a Balance Point golf school to match - would be the best place for you to start.
It continues during your golf school with an average student teacher ratio of just 3:1, an average school size of just 4-7 students (compared to 20 or more at other golf schools), swing mechanics instruction matched to your body type, and one-on-one time with your coaches for 30 minutes at the end of every school day. This kind of unrivalved personal attention to your unique learning needs continues after graduation with free 15 minute phone lessons, email support, video by mail and Internet lessons, and in-person private lessons.You deserve the best and at Balance Point Golf Schools we are dedicated to providing our students the best golf instruction on the planet.

Dear Dedicated Golfer,

Results...that's really the bottom line in golf isn't it? The long drive that splits the fairway, the 6 iron approach shot that covers the pin, the 15 foot downhill breaking putt that curls in for birdie...you make the shots, you shoot a low score. Yet why is it that in golf you so often fail to achieve the kind of results you know you are capable of producing?

If you're reading this letter you are very likely a passionate golfer, someone who loves the game and it's many challenges, a player with a burning desire to improve, to be the best that you can be. You may sense that there is another kind of golf game within your reach, far removed from your usual level of play...a game where you leave behind all of the doubt, frustration, tips, the "do this, don't do that" and the higher scores and discouragement that always seem to go along with that approach.

PLAYING THE GOLF OF YOUR DREAMS
A truly enjoyable game where lower scores, consistent shotmaking making and confidence are the norm, not the exception. It's no fantasy...it really is possible to achieve your goals of playing better golf. If you're like most of our new students, you probably heard about Balance Point Golf Training from a friend or acquaintance who participated in one of our golf schools or private lesson programs. You no doubt heard their story of remarkable achievement and real improvement in their game and wondered, "Will it work for me too?" The answer to your question is an unqualified "YES!"

Why am I so certain? It really all boils down to just one simple thing - this system works. Balance Point students - of all ability levels, from beginners to professionals - have experienced significant, often dramatic improvement in their golf shots and scores. Our proven track record of helping our students achieve permanent game improvement results is the best in the industry. Longer tee shots, accurate irons, consistent shotmaking making enabled these Balance Point graduates to finally realize their dream of lower scores and more enjoyable golf. Now they walk onto the first tee with real confidence.

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Twice chosen by Golf Magazine as one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in the nation.
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Golf Digest has named Jim Waldron as a Best Teacher in State for Oregon.
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