What makes a good golf video? -- Club pros guiding you to a hole-in-one

There are more than 23 million golfers in the United States, and that sporting life is not one hole-in-one after another. Into the woods. Into the water. Drives that fall just a litttllle short.

Everyone who has picked up a club seems open to instruction. Pros often fill this role, but they’re not around if you decide to work on your chip shot after the Carson monologue. That’s where golf videos come in. More than 100 are available, including tapes with advice from Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, and Jan Stephenson.

To find out what sort of reception golf videos are getting, we visited with staff members at the Bear Lakes Country Club in West Palm Beach, Fla. Instruction is a big part of their jobs, and some consider videos an extension of their crowded lesson tee. We asked: What would you like to learn from a golf video — and why?

Larry Kraig, First Assistant
”I could use more help on the mental side. If I hit a bad shot, I think about it too much instead of letting go and going on to the next one.”

Kammy Maxfeldt, Teaching Pro
”The visual presentation of the swing. I feel more people need to look at swings instead of trying to be more mechanical. They need to get it more by feel. The mechanical can come if they have slow-motion and stop-action on their VCR units.”

Rick Jensen, Director of Golf
”Golf videos are like foreign-language tapes. They sound good. They look good. But it’s impossible to put them into practical use.”

Tim Gage, Assistant Pro
”If I get a golf video, it’s on the short game, where I can pick up tips from guys like (Lee) Trevino and (Greg) Norman, a finesse shot to see what they do out of trouble spots.”

Kevin Murphy, Head Pro
”I would like to learn the secrets of golf from such great players as Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Bobby Jones. They are either dead or unavailable for private lessons.”

Kris Lang, Amateur and Assistant Tournament Director
”A lot of fundamentals as long as it’s really simple. I’d like to learn course management and certain ways to play certain holes.”