A swing only a golf doctor can love

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By DAN GOLDMAN

When recently presented with the opportunity to get a free (did I mention free) golf lesson at Mountain Springs with Tony Murphy and his video swing analysis, I only had two questions:

1. Is it court-ordered?

2. Is it free?

Although a judge has yet to throw the PGA rulebook at me, I've got to admit that since I started golfing a few years ago, I've developed a very slight tendency to cause massive property damage and extraordinary personal injury with a golf club in my hands.

So, before I could send my next drive whistling into the grille of some hapless Land Rover, I figured it was time to swallow my pride, admit that I needed help and take a lesson with Tony.

After all, it was free.

Now Tony is a 58-year-old instructor with 20 years of teaching in the books. Before moving over to Mountains Springs last March, he made a name for himself at Seven Oaks in Bakersfield and Saddle Creek in Copperoplis, where he was so successful, he got a nickname The Golf Doctor. It even says so right on his license plate, 1GOLFMD.

And like every good doctor, Tony is up to date on the latest technology in his field.

Armed with the Swing Solutions 600 a $7,300, two-camera monstrosity that replays the most vile of swings in super slow-motion on a 17-inch color screen while having the nerve to make you look fat in the process The Golf Doctor can diagnose your affliction, delicately dissect the problem and then recommend a course of treatment.

Problem was, with my game, I was going to need the Golf Surgeon General.

Because we only had an hour or so to, you know, save the free world from my swing, Tony figured we'd keep it simple and work on my biggest problem.

Since I assumed he wasn't talking about drinking, I didn't have to think too long or hard until I narrowed it down to one word slice.

How bad is my slice? You've heard of a 12-to-6 curveball I've got a 9-to-3 slice ? I wanted my golf nickname to be Torque, but my friends insisted on Boomerang ? you get the idea. I'm not very good.

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