This is one of my favourite stories and comes from all the way back in 2009.

“Rooster” is a golfing mate of mine and while he had amazing swing speed, he played with a wicked slice.

It was so bad that he had to aim 40-60 yards left on each shot.

And this made him slice even worse. By the end of the day he was aiming so far left that he could barely play.

If golf wasn’t so serious for Rooster it would have been hilarious.

A strong, fit guy with clubhead speed to burn, but he could barely land the ball on the golf course.

Compounding rooster’s problem this day was the course we were playing. It was super-tight. It had some of the narrowest fairways in Melbourne so he couldn’t start the ball too far left because he’d hit the trees just off the tee. (And he did this on a few occasions).

So poor ole Rooster was stuck. He was hopeless. His swing was getting tighter and tighter and he was getting more and more frustrated.

Rooster: Strachan. Mate. You’ve gotta help me. I can’t play golf.

Me: (trying not to laugh) You’re not wrong Rooster. You are really struggling today.

But I don’t like helping golfers mid-round. It’s not ideal. And besides, it wasn’t a coaching day for me and I wanted to focus on my game.

So I waited until after golf. I had a FSP Swing Trainer in the car and set it up in the car park (after we had a couple of beers).

Me: Rooster. I want you to take a swing and find a way to get your club through the foam gates.

Rooster made his typical golf swing. Fast. Full of energy but little control.

Three of the four sponges went flying.

Rooster: Arrghhhh! I can’t do it.

Me: It’s ok Rooster. Let’s reset the sponges and go again. Your mission is to get the club through the gates and that’s it. You don’t have to swing as hard as you want. Get that club through the gates! That’s your only goal.

Rooster swung again and while he still hit the sponges, it was a better attempt. I asked him to go again.

Me: That’s better. You barely touched them this time. How does that feel?

Rooster: Wow. It feels different already. The sponges are forcing me to make a change.

After a few more tries Rooster was able to swing the club through the gates without touching them.

Me: Now jump off the mat and make some swings.

It was clear that Rooster’s swing had changed.

Gone was the violent lunge at the ball and the ugly over the top move. His swing was more “on plane” and his impact position looked much more consistent.

Now, I am not saying Rooster was cured of the slice. Massive transformation can’t happen in 10 minutes. It’s a process and there’s no magic at play.

But he did lock into a better swing pattern in a short time. And he could feel the difference and this gave him some confidence.

And he was able to do this with very few verbal cues.

I didn’t have to tell him all the usual stuff, like;

Strengthen your grip
Close your stance
Take the club down on plane
Don’t swing over the top
Rotate your forearms through impact
Swing out to right field
Finish your golf swing
Start down by flattening the plane

His learning system did all of the heavy lifting by following a straight forward objective:

Get the club through the gates

And from a coaching point of view, I know that if Rooster used the Swing Trainer for a few minutes 3-5 times a week, he would certainly alter his swing for the better.

And this is usually all it takes.

Short and sharp practice sessions work best. You need full focus but you don’t need to whack balls for hours and hours. And you certainly don’t need to bamboozle your brain with 77+ swing thoughts.

And if you suffer from a slice and it’s been bothering you for many years, you’re going to need something that literally forces you to change your pattern.

And nothing forces you like the FSP Swing Trainer. The foam blocks don’t lie and you can’t ignore them. Either you have the courage to attempt the objective or you don’t.

If you hit them, you’ll know something was amiss. I you don’t hit them you’ll know things went well.

Either way, you’ll swing again and your learning system will go to work. It will do what it does best.


When it comes to golfers who slice the ball they usually have the following three traits:

They hate their weak slice
They have typically tried all the conventional wisdom
They still slice

So the only question that remains is,

Are you brave enough to disrupt your current pattern and force it to do something different?

Over to you.