So I got some answers from Peter Kostis regarding my question to him on Sam Snead’s swing compared to the modern players.
First of all, I respect a guy who responds to challenges, even if the challenge comes in the form of implied criticism, which mine certainly could be construed to be.
To my question, he responded that his teaching in his personal time and what he says when he is doing analysis for CBS are two different things, and that he must remain neutral on television.
While that’s a worthy answer, I disagree heartily with it and I’ll tell you why – if you’re a doctor and treating patients, I would be astounded if you publicly supported something different (and profoundly harmful to the patient in question) on television in the interests of being “neutral.”
But here is the thing – you can only be neutral in a given situation if that situation involves opinion.
You can’t be neutral when it comes to correct versus incorrect (what is your opinion on 2 + 2 = 4?) or right versus wrong (should you teach or support with comments a golf swing that destroys joints and ligaments over time?).
If you’re a conservative or liberal person in life, you must be neutral in delivering the news – opinion has no place in factual situations.
You may have an opinion on what you think about the news, but the news itself is fact-based, and I don’t see how you can have more than one opinion on “armed man robs bank at 5th & Elmer.”
You can’t decide that your opinion means that there was no crime committed because you don’t like that particular bank, and that since it’s your opinion, it’s valid.
No, it’s not.
If you are a rabid fan of the Denver Broncos and you’re giving color analysis for a Cowboys-Broncos game and you happen to be from Seattle – you’d better not be a homer in the booth, because neutrality is required, and your opinion of who should win the game is not appropriate to half the viewing audience.
So, there are times when neutrality is required in being on TV, but if your job is analyze swings and if a certain swing model (the modern swing model of restricting the hips with a planted leading heel and a full shoulder turn against the restricted hips) is a bad thing to be doing, then I feel you must point it out to the viewer and not be in praise of it.
I feel that a man like Peter Kostis has a duty as a golf instructing professional to not give any credibility to a swing concept or theory that is harmful to the swinger.
If a certain swinger doesn’t like your analysis, that’s his problem. We know that there are good swings and bad swings, and if yours is a bad swing, then change it.
Golfers like Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy are two examples of golfers with really unsound swing moves in their early years but who got smart and made changes because of injury.
But here’s the thing – some golfers are not intelligent or independent enough to make that decision alone, and they depend on those teaching them to not kill them with the moves they’re being taught.
Tiger Woods was not smart enough to see that Sean Foley’s swing model is a back-breaker (or he was too stubborn to leave him once he figured it out, take your pick), which is why I was screaming it from the sidelines since 2010.
Some don’t listen. What are you gonna do?
If one’s comments upset a certain establishment, then one has to wonder what the establishment is about – teaching proper swing mechanics or raking in money teaching impossible positions and moves for most to perform and worse, who really harm those who can and do.
If you’re looking at a bad swing (mechanically and in terms of health and longevity), then I don’t see how you don’t call it what it is.
If challenged, then you explain why it is bad.
Kostis actually agrees with the modern swing restricted hip move being bad:
So, I can’t agree with Peter Kostis, who is admittedly between a rock and a hard place – if you’re there to analyze something and you see garbage up on the monitor, then I feel you’re duty-bound to call it such.