Jim Waldron is a nationally acclaimed golf teaching professional, mental game coach, author, and lecturer best known for his pioneering research on the mind/body connection approach to learning and teaching golf. His holistic approach to golf improvement blends swing and short game mechanics, mental focus skills, physical fitness and emotional state control into a revolutionary golf instruction paradigm. He is recognized as one of the game's best golf swing instructors and swing theorists.
This unification of Western scientific principles with Eastern psychological insights is the result of his lifelong interest in and passion for a deeper understanding of human potential - both physical and mental - and especially about how that understanding can lead to peak performance breakthroughs in the game of golf. He began playing golf in 1960 and has been a serious student of the game ever since.
Jim's primary golf physical skills mentors and influences include Percy Boomer, Ben Hogan, Bill Melhorn, Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Mac O'Grady, John Schlee, Mike Hebron, Joe Dante, George Knudson, Mike Adams, and Nick Faldo.
Mental game mentors include Alan Watts, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Suziki-Roshi, Dr. Bob Rotella, coach John Wooden, John Grinder, J. Krisnamurti, D. T. Suzuki, and John Lilly. Jim has an extensive background in Eastern philosophy, psychology and meditation practices, having studied at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado and at Zen Center in San Francisco, California.
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.