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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Course of study
By KELLIE DIXON, Times Staff Writer
Published October 10, 2007
Times staff writer Kellie Dixon takes instruction from Vince Buelk, director of golf at Brooksville Country Club.
[Maurice Rivenbark | Times]
[Maurice Rivenbark | Times]
Using the Digital V1 Coaching System, Vince Buelk goes over a video of Kellie Dixon's swing, on the left, comparing it to that of LPGA player Amy Fruhwirth.
My first lesson
My dad and brother play. I went to clinics with my siblings growing up. But I didn't play my first 18 holes until last year when dad picked me up a set of left-handed clubs. I am right-handed, but hitting left in softball felt more natural. Same deal with golf.
When I showed up to Brooksville Country Club to see director of golf Vince Buelk, we talked briefly about my goals and he introduced me to the Digital V1 Coaching System. He set up the camera while I chopped away at some balls with a 6-iron.
The Digital V1 Coaching System is something Buelk learned about while working as a teaching pro for the Ben Sutton Golf School. Some golf pros use cameras to teach their students. This system goes a step further.
Instead of just pause, rewind and review, Buelk loads the video on his computer and into the system, which pairs you with a professional golfer - in my case, LPGA player Amy Fruhwirth.He turned her into a lefty on the screen.
We watched my swing. We watched her swing. Then he broke down why hers looked a lot less painful. Using the computer he drew lines to compare my stance to hers. My right arm needed to be straighter.
He drew a circle around her left shoe on her finishing stance. Her spikes were up, facing behind her. Her body turned so her belly button and nose faced the target. My feet stayed planted. Buelk also pointed out that my arms were breaking down on my swing. That's why I was getting on top of the ball.
Buelk made those observations while running the images. But he finished the discussion by giving me one swing thought - follow through.
When you do that, it's almost like you're posing at the end of the swing. Admiring your shot, if you will.
He didn't give me a tip for every phase of my swing, even though he went over it all. He meshed the instructions together into one sound byte.
When we returned to the driving range, I wasn't thinking about my stance, my backswing, my arms or my finishing pose individually. They were all connected - swing through.
Back on the driving range, I started making solid contact. My distance with the 6-iron improved from roughly 50 yards to at least 150.
Buelk is one of a few area pros who uses the Digital V1 Coaching System.
He also is one of the few who will analyze your swing via e-mail. Golfers e-mail him video of their swing, he pops it on the computer, matches it to a pro, and uses a microphone to recordthe lesson.
Dad was always after me to play golf in high school. Get decent, he said, and it's an easy ticket to a college scholarship. No way, I said. Soccer was my game. Funny how things change. Now that I have this new gig as a golf writer, I realize my knowledge is limited. Time to catch the bug, an editor told me. Best place to start is on the practice tee with a golf pro.
Get into the swing
Brooksville Country Club: (352) 796-8236
Director of golf: Vince Buelk. A 1996 USF graduate, he has been a member of the PGA of America since 1998.
Full hour: $60 - includes the Digital V1 Coaching System
On V1: www.v1golfacademy.com
Share a tip you recently learned or give feedback on an area pro you recently visited. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (352) 544-9480. Include your name, town and phone number.