Brandel Chamblee is one of the most interesting guys on television. That’s because he doesn’t give us the typical cliche-ridden stuff you hear from most of the other analysts. He’s not afraid to give a fresh take on the situation, regardless of whether it might ruffle a few features.
Don’t believe it? Check the record on his criticism of Tiger Woods. Chamblee said that Tiger was cavalier with the rules and criticized his swing changes. And when the Woods camp pushed back, Chamblee held firm.
Chamblee’s latest example of swimming against the current is his new book, “The Anatomy of Greatness: Lessons from the Best Golf Swings in History.” In it he takes a few jabs at the modern methods of teaching the game and encourages students to find their golf compass by drawing on the game’s greatest players.
Chamblee shows the fundamentals that have historically worked for players like Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus — and, yes, Tiger Woods. He finds examples from the best and helps the reader piece together a classically designed golf swing.
He starts by looking at the tree of golf instructors, which begins with Alex Morrison. He taught Henry Picard, who won the 1938 Masters and 26 PGA Tour events. Picard helped Ben Hogan, who didn’t win an event until he sought advice from Picard. Morrison also taught Jack Grout, who taught Jack Nicklaus. The other tree of instructors belong to Byron Nelson, who taught the likes of Ken Venturi and Tom Watson. Chamblee equates learning from the game’s greatest players is akin to sending a child to Harvard. You have a chance to learn from the best.
Chamblee starts his instruction with the grip and works his way through the swing — from setup and posture, to triggering the swing, the move away from the ball, completing the backswing, the transition, and impact and finish.
His text is excellent and easy to understand. But the photographs, which Chamblee meticulously selected for the book, tell the real tale. There are photographs of how Bobby Jones gripped the club. When Chamblee writes about starting the swing by kicking the right knee, there’s a picture of Gary Player or Mickey Wright or Hogan (from different decades).
Chamblee writes: “When asked about this book, I have always said that it was an instructional book, but it was I who was doing the instructing, but rather the greatest players of all time.”
“The Anatomy of Greatness” belongs on your bookshelf. Better yet, it belongs in your golf bag to be used as a reference when you go to the range and hit balls.