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Book Review- "Finishing School"

by Steve Gould and David J Wilkinson

September 16, 2016

Their first book The Golf Delusion published in 2005 appeared in the Sunday Times bestseller list, virtually unheard of for a golf instruction book, now their fourth joint effort looks to me as though it will be just as popular.

"Finishing School" you would wonder if you could write an instruction book explaining the key points in the final stages of the swing. There are clear illustrations and simple instructions explaining those key points. The book also shows and explains the grip, swing arc, backswing problems, downswing and release of the swing, and then "Back to the Finish"

I am sure it will be an essential aid for all golfers hoping to improve their game.

The book looks in detail on those "nano" seconds - "Before - at the point of - and after the strike". I wonder has anyone ever written about those fleeting "nano" moments. Well now Gould and Wilkinson have, and as you delve into the book the more you realise how important they are - get that moment wrong and it doesn't matter how good it had all been before. In those moments the slightest wrong move will wreck a swing.

It's not just a thought provoking subject, it's fundamental to the swing.

I would wager when you've read the book and studied the diagrams and photographs you will decide that what the authors write makes sense - big sense. Obviously you cannot take those fleeting moments in isolation but this is golfing gold! The Finish is golf's most neglected fundamental - Perhaps you didn't realise it was fundamental, well read this book and you will!

So why hasn't anyone covered this in such detail? I think you have to realise just how this basically simple and entirely sensible method of teaching evolved. In 1961 Leslie King a young club professional set about working out a simple teaching method. He travelled the country studying the best players and realised that despite their individual idiosyncrasies they more or less had certain common basics on which the golf swing had evolved. From this he created the Leslie King method of teaching, which Gould and Wilkinson still espouse

Back in the very early days of in 1997, our then editor Stan Ellison, a former editor of Golf World, had become an avid fan of the Leslie King method and wrote " For any real progress to be made in golf teaching a start must be made from a correct analysis of the basic swing movement. Having found the essential principle, it is essential then to devise and test a simple method of teaching these. The method must produce the desired result each and every time it is applied. One man who devoted his life in golf to finding a method of teaching the golf swing was Leslie King ."

At first thought the idea of a golf school in Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge, seems unlikely, but there it is, and has been since the late Leslie King founded the school in 1961. Not only is it still there but Steve Gould and D J Wilkinson who joined King during the seventies are the owners since1989, when Leslie King handed the school over to them.

They have developed, with great success their own school of teaching but the original "Leslie King" method is still the basis on which their own teaching has evolved. I know because I spent a day with them and they even managed to improve my golf!

Steve Gould and D.J.Wilkinson's new book is a "must have" for those of us who seek to improve performance and lower scores and handicaps. The photographs and illustrations show clearly the message the text is telling us

The book has a foreward by Juli Inkster who came to Leslie King after she had won her 2 nd US Amateur Championship. She became a lifelong devotee of his teaching and went on to win a further US Amateur, and then as a professional two US Opens and be elected to the Hall of Fame. She writes " I believe that "Finishing School" will prove to be a great help to all struggling golfers, who have never realised how crucial building a sound post-impact arc is to building a consistent, repeatable golf swing "

The roll call of professionals, amateurs and celebrities who have become devotees of the Gould - Wilkinson school in Knightsbridge is too long to detail here.

If you can visit the school and see first hand how this method of teaching works I would recommend you do, -without hesitation. In any event get yourself a copy of this fascinating and instructive book. Practise what it teaches - You will not be disappointed.

The book is to be published today in hardback at £25

Stuart Barber
15th September 2016

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