One of the great feel good stories of the PGA Tour surfaced last week, with Brendon Todd claiming victory in the inaugural Bermuda Championship played at Port Royal GC on the island of Bermuda.

Why was it so special?

Because Brendon Todd had been through the ringer with his golf game. Over three years of missed cuts and poor golf would have broken most people. 40 missed cuts from 44 events throughout 2016-2017-2018. A loss of status on any tour. And a game that showed no signs of recovery.

This is a story about determination, perserverance, hard work and self belief.

I have a vested interest in this story myself. I am Brendon Todd's swing coach. So to see the way he pured shot after shot during last Sunday's final round , carving out a 9 under par 62 to eclipse the field was a special moment.

Not just for what he did- but for where I knew he had come from.

July 2018 - I receive a message from Brendon Todd. 

He informed me he heard about my videos through one of his college buddies while they were out hitting balls at the University of Georgia course one afternoon. Todd went to school there and lives there. 

Curiosity made him check out my website. He saw I had an ebook - I had published in early 2018 named -The Great Ballstrikers- and purchased it. Whilst on holiday that week with his family he read the book and it registered something inside him with it's words and philosophy. He set up a three hour lesson a few weeks later.

Who would have known what was to come?

Our first meeting was at Holly Tree CC in Simpsonville SC- on the lesson tee where I base my instruction from. No frills. No hoopla. Just a man ready to go to work on something I told him if it reasonated in his mind.

That was important. Many people just aimlessly follow and listen and go along with any thoughts they are told. That can be true of PGA players or the weekend golfer. Amateurs listen to any advice more often than not- even from their friend Bill- who they play regularly with. Ideally you must have faith or understanding in the solution.

Brendon had to explain what he was going through. It was a shot that went 40-50 yards right of target- particularly with the long irons and fairway woods. A killer shot to any momentum a round may have because that far off line is bound to bring high numbers into play.

He called it the "swing yips" in that he had no idea where or what his clubface was doing and felt like every swing was a compensation in an attempt to get a solid strike and a straight flight.

Worse yet is that shot didn't happen all the time- just occasionally but more frequently as time marched on- and that meant he played in fear because he knew that big miss was going to happen during a round- he just didn't know when it would happen. 

The first step was to watch him hit some balls and explain to him...Why that shot was appearing? He had to understand the reason first and foremost so he could accept the solution I was going to offer.

To him and to previous coaches his swing still looked good. He could hit a lot of good shots, but the bad ones were catastrophic to his score and his confidence and shot preparation. 

Coaching is tough. You only know what you know and often you just fall back into a constant idea- one that may have worked well for someone else- as a solution to a problem. Unfortunately golf is not a one size fits all scenario. What works great for Paul may be poison for Peter.

Seeing his miss was a big right shot, Brendon had been told and had worked on closing the clubface on the backswing and then closing it on the downswing and then feveroushly focus on just rotating the body to square the club up near impact. Makes sense doesn't it.... if the ball is going right, point the face farther left... wrong and I told him so.

The closed clubface feel and trying to rotate his body early just shifted his upper body forward and open. He lost spine tilt. He lost the right side pressure that was going to help drive him through the ball.

He couldn't release the club onto impact. To avoid hitting it left- which he also sometimes did- he would then steepen the shoulders into the strike again, never release the club and hold the face way open as his hands would push forward due to the shoulders steepening. Sometimes he could save this with a compensation of excessive hand action but the swing was slowing down also.

He had basically become a closed to open player and that didn't suit his feel.

Here is the way we went about solving his problem.

Step One: I gave him permission to feel the clubface open. In fact I had him first hit shots with his forearms rotated so far open he probably felt he would hit the ball farther right. That wasn't the case however.

He was now allowed to release the club again- creating speed and squaring the face up. And as his arms unwound his body also starting moving- but it wasn't the engine of the action. It was a by product of a better fuller release.

Step Two: We worked vigorously on his footwork and ground pressures. He basically had none. His feet were dangling there trying to keep him in balance against all the odds of his closed clubface and upper body work. So we worked with the board between the feet. Feeling much more excessive inward and down pressure in his feet and legs.

We needed this better ground force in there. As his release was now going to be faster and stronger there had to be a stronger connection downstairs that would then provide the resistance for his body to overtake that strong release. He needed to get stronger past the ball also to correspond to the faster into the ball work.

StepThree: I showed him how to train and work that pivot to keep moving. The ying to the yang. Stronger beyond the ball to match the stronger into the ball. Pressure and force his body wasn't used to- but the drills enabled him to work these areas and change his "golf muscles"to deal with this.

As a result his swing got faster- he was faster through so he could be faster back and down. He gained more clubhead speed. We have seen an increase in driving distance. We have seen an incredible ability to work his irons both ways and get to flags he had no chance of challenging previously.

The change from his 2016 swing to a swing from the middle of 2019 is rather drastic if you pay attention to the footwork and the overall speed of the swing.

The right foot is now being dragged out of it's pressure by the stronger release and pivot rather than dangling there and sliding - void of pressure- at the end to try and maintain balance.

The speed is evident when you see both swings start at the same time and the newer version of his swing is finsihed long before Brendon is into his throughswing of the 2016 version.

We added a transition awareness at a later date to help avoid any steepeness that may try and creep in. Building the swing in increments. Adding what needed to be added based on how the previous work had built and was functioning.

The scores and shots started to get better. Brendon qualified for a few PGA events and managed to sneak into a few opposite field events through his past winner status.

He started to make some cuts. This was huge as it allowed him to keep playing each week rather than trunk slam it and head off with another missed cut under his belt.

Overall he made 8 of 11 cuts during the 2019 season and had 4 top 25 finishes. Not earth shattering results but enough to gain impotus and enough to get him inside the top 200 on the final Fed Ex cup list and gain entry into the Korn Ferry finals.

In the finals he dominated. Having a top 10 in the first playoff event and a runner up finish in the second event in Ohio. 

Brendon Todd once again had a PGA Tour card and somewhere to play and somewhat of a schedule he could plan.

Brendon and myself have probably only worked together in person six times in that 16 month period. He knows the work. He has the drills. He can feel and build it all. I am just the eyes and the tweak man if something doesn't quite feel in synch for him.

We actually spent a half day together about five days before he headed off to Bermuda where we talked about pressures at address. A feeling of what the feet should feel to harness the address and react throughout the motion. What the hand pressure should be to control the club that is moving at speed. What tension the arms should feel so they can move fast and uninhibited.

One week later Brendon Todd came second in greens in regulation for the tournament- shot rounds of 68-63-67-62 for a 24 under par score and is now again a PGA Tour winner. He played more like Ben Hogan than a man who couldn't hit the course for three seasons.

The culmination of a great plan and lots of hard work on his behalf.

We had lunch together in April down in Georgia after one of our sessions and he looked me squarely in the eye and said "You know I am going to win again"... I replied "I know you will"

I had no doubt. Neither does anyone else now....