by Jeff Skinner
As Matt Kuchar smiled his way through the media session after he wrapped up his Players Championship he said all the things you’d expect him to say. He thanked his parents, especially his mom on Mother’s Day and acknowledged how important his wife and family are to him.
He also said something I didn’t expect him to say. He said he had seen a golf instructor back in 2006 and made a swing adjustment and it took effect on the fifth ball he hit with it. That’s right the fifth ball. “It was six (2006), I was back on the Nationwide Tour, was working with a couple different instructors at the time trying to find somebody that clicked. It seemed like I’d find a new guy monthly and just not really click.
Then playing on the Nationwide, hanging out with a guy, Matt Weibring who played on the Georgia Tech team, he was friends with Chris O’Connell, suggested I see Chris. I did, and from the very first lesson from the fifth golf ball I hit with him watching I started hitting it better.
His idea for me was to make me a more consistent golfer. He wanted to eliminate timing. He knew I was athletic. He knew I was gifted with hand eye coordination. But his belief and the way that they like the club to work is a way that eliminates as much club face rotation through impact as possible, thus hopefully eliminating timing, and I feel like that’s been such a big help and something that has helped me to make the last 17 straight cuts, to have chances to win a lot of big tournaments. It’s just not — to play good golf, week in and week out.”
Certainly Kuchar has amazing hand eye coordination…but the fifth ball? His coach must be a genius and I bet Kuchar would certainly agree.
His coach, Chris O’Connell started with Matt after Kuchar had lost his card in 2005 and was back on the Nationwide Tour. Since then he has matured into one of the most consistent golfers on tour. Maybe this O’Connell guy knows what he’s talking about. There’s no maybe about it, he certainly does.
O’Connell’s phone may be buzzing non-stop since Kuchar’s endorsement. With players taking years to work on swing changes and it only taking Kuchar and O’Connell a few shots why wouldn’t anyone give O’Connell a try?
A little web surfing goes a long way. O’Connell is a Notre Dame graduate and former captain of the Irish golf team. He’s been named as one of America’s Best Young Teachers and had worked with the legendary Jim Hardy since 1998. He’s the co-founder of The Plane Truth Golf Institute and like Kuchar is an obvious golf junkie. In addition to Kuchar he has worked with Scott Piercy and Matt Weibring.