Age: 40
Occupation: Finance
Began working with Lucas in April 2013
Beginning club head speed: ~106mph
Current club head speed: 120mph

In his own words:

Since I began working with Lucas, my game has improved in all kinds of ways.  The easiest to measure is power.  Before Lucas, my driver swing speed was about 105-107mph.  After working with Lucas for two and a half years, my swing speed is 120mph.  But it’s not just my power that has improved.  As my movement patterns have gotten better, my ball striking is better, too.  Don’t get me wrong, I still hit plenty of squirrelly shots, but my good shots are much, much better.  My good iron shots have a penetrating ball flight, and I can finally hit low, spinning wedge shots when I want to. 

Of course, my scores have dropped, too.  Pre-Lucas, a good round was 80.  Now, a good round is in the mid-70s. 

My swing improvements have also helped parts of my game that I wouldn’t have expected.  My chipping and sand play, for instance, are much better than they used to be.

And things keep on improving.  It hasn’t been easy, but my consistency and power continue to get better.  I’m excited to see what I can do a year from now and beyond!

By way of background, I got obsessed with golf after college (late 90s, early 2000s) and spent thousands of dollars on lessons trying to improve.  I wasn’t bad without any instruction – mid to low 80s consistently – so I assumed that with a proper teacher I’d really improve.  That didn’t happen.

I saw a number of teachers, some even in the Top 100.  One thought my backswing needed improvement.  So I spent three months making my backswing look just like Ernie Els’, but it did nothing to improve my ball striking. 

Finally, I found a teacher whose method made sense to me.  He rejected video and taught through a series of drills.  His favorite ones involved hitting balls one-handed, with both the left and right hands.  He said, as almost all instructors do, that he had discovered the key elements that the great swingers of all time have/had (that’s one of the reasons it’s so hard to distinguish good instruction from garbage – there are lots of convincing instructors out there!)

It’s sad to say, but I worked on this method, on and off, for 10 years!  I kept convincing myself that I was on the verge of real improvement, that I was about to turn the corner.  And any time I pushed this instructor on how my progress was going and how long it would take to be “trained”, he just told me to trust the drills, that the drills would transform my swing into a swing like Freddie Couples’ or Jack Nicklaus’. 

Over time I lost what athleticism I had in my swing and my power numbers (I wasn’t measuring them then, so I’m not positive what they were) declined.  I’m not sure my scores got worse – making a few more putts can really save a round – but my enjoyment of the game sure did.  I hated playing golf and avoided it as much as I could.  There were definitely moments when I seriously considered quitting.  I kept practicing though, always hoping that improvement was coming. 

I found Lucas through a friend.  Lucas encouraged me to take a slow motion video of my swing and compare it to the swings of the greats.  It had been years since I’d seen my swing on video and the results were shocking!  I looked nothing like the legends!  I’d been aiming for Freddie and Jack and I was nowhere close. 

Lucas was convincing immediately, because he’d done it himself and he could prove it.  He showed me before and after swings of himself and of his students.  He showed me the improvement in his power numbers.  He laid out the key elements that the great swingers of all time have, and he talked about the way he’d taught himself and his other students to transform their swings.  The results of the before and after videos are undeniable!  We all hear stories about instructors helping their students take huge numbers of strokes off their handicaps or adding 30+ yards to their drives, but I’ve never seen actual proof of improvement. 

What excites me about the results I’ve been able to get so far?  Power definitely makes the game more fun – people notice when you can carry it 300 yards!  Really compressing the golf ball is a great feeling.  When I get it right I hit penetrating irons shots and my wedges shots actually spin on the green.

Playing golf is fun now.  Don’t get me wrong, I still hit terrible shots, and I still get frustrated, but now I’m really improving.  It’s not easy and it’s not linear but the progress is undeniable and it’s measurable – through things like Trackman and through video.

I might have quit if I hadn’t met Lucas – he’s done something amazing laying out a blueprint for how to transform your swing. 

Ryland Sumner

Baltimore, MD

January 2016

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