Posted by William on November 6, 2016 in Count Yogi
Hi JH – Good to hear that everything has been smoothed out with the Yogi
people. I’ve been trying to replicate some of the mechanics and found the
driver particularly problematic because of the looseness of the backswing.
To grip a long club so loosely means that I also have to swing it more
vertically to ‘keep it light’ . Then its almost like I have to wait too
long for the club to drop , I turn my body too quickly and I end up with no
room, so then have to jerk it down quickly (while also posting up too early
on the lead leg or early extension) or the club will get jammed behind me.
Maybe my driver is too long for a Count Yogi facsimile type of swing. The
chipping is also very difficult to time with just the flippiness (if that’s
a word) of the wrists and I’m probably doing it incorrectly. But when I did
time my driver properly a few times, the ball went so high and long, it
didn’t feel as if I actually hit the ball . I think this swing action could
be something I could definitely use for my irons as an option to my other
actions (Shawn Clement WIG method , Leslie King/Jim Flick , Moe , Torso
Rotary body wing around a centre-rear swing anchor pivot). So much fun
trying out all these different actions and I’m sure its improving my hand
and eye coordination plus my spatial awareness of the clubhead. From a
biomechanics perspective , will you be contemplating making any videos to
check which golf actions are most suited to certain body types to minimise
injury in the long term? I’m sure that would interest quite a lot of people
out there (including me)?
+P SMITH Hi Keith,
I think I will have to do a video on some of the points you make here, the
looseness in the driver swing gets taken out by the the change of direction
process which is a bit complicated to explain here and needs to be
demonstrated on video, you really don’t need to to be deliberately vertical
in the backswing which I will show you how that works as well, I know what
you mean about when you do get it with the driver and how far vit goes with
absolutely no effort, that is the Yogi secret.
Your effort to work things out with the Count Yogi folks is admirable, but
in my estimation was UNnecessary, since I saw no cause for their irritation
In fact, by discussing the Count’s story, life and swing you were actually
encouraging your followers to seek Robbins and his team of Yogi guru’s for
additional information, books, gear, lessons, camps etc.
I took the time to visit the Count Yogi (Robbins) site and learned quite a
My bet is that your short Count Yogi series only PROMOTED more visits to
the Robbins site.
Robbins should be GRATEFUL that you even KNOW about Count Yogi and can
encourage folks to seek more info on him through the Robbins business.
Tim Robbins is being VERY short-sighted in his dealings with you.
I won’t ever visit his site again until he allows you to repost your
valuable videos on the Count and your theories on his swing.
+Chip Satterly Hi Chip,
To me I thought I was ‘promoting’ the whole Yogi thing…I think now the
guys a t Yogi golf know that and are comfortable that I am not a
competitor, Tim Nicholls has had in the past some people that have tried to
promote Yogi for their own advantage and presented the Yogi mechanics very
badly and created problems for the people they were promoting it to which
reflected back on the Yogi company .
Yogi Golf is now comfortable that I keep on with my JH ‘overview’ stuff on
Yogi so there will be snippets from time to time.
Great news JH!! Looking forward to more “overviews” you have an easy going
style of teaching and your take on Yogi driver swing was a home run!! Aloha
JH, I’ve sent a couple of further comments attached to your first Count
Yogi announcement. Don’t know if they are of interest, but I’d like any
thoughts you have about what makesYogi special that I might include in the
piece I am writing for Golf Quarterly. Also, whether you buy into the idea
that he banned either because he was too good, Jewish, Red Indian, or that
his teaching methods undermined/contradicted PGA conventional methods. Esto
+michael estorick I replied to your other comments below, absolutely no
question the US PGA thought Yogi would decimate its tournaments with a win
ratio that would have made their players look very ordinary by comparison,
as well Golf in those days was very much even in the US a very traditional
type game with very conservative type guys like Nelson/Snead/Hogan etc, the
most outrageous Golfer as far as the US PGA was concerned was Jimmy Demeret
and that was only because he dressed in a very dapper fashion.
So having someone that was the consummate ‘showman’ come on the tour was
more than the PGA could comprehend, the Tour was like any other type
organisation of the day back then, it was a conservative era of thinking
generally in all sports and Yogi was certainly not from that mould.
I personally believe the main reason was that Yogi didn’t come up through
the considered normal rungs of Golf and that the PGA just saw him as
someone that could end up being bigger than the game so to speak, which
with hindsight was what they actually needed when we now know how good Yogi
really was and how much interest he would have generated worldwide for Golf
PS. His records…. we can never really know … I just like to think he
was that good that he did shoot those amazing scores with those old
+michael estorick Hi Michael,
‘What made Yogi so Special’….IMO…his clearly incredible longevity of
swing mechanics repeatability…for him to be able to still hit the ball
with with the same level of accuracy and consistency at 80 years old , it
was rumoured that he could still hit it 300 yards at that age, the old
movies of him at that age certainly bear out his xerox look swing style and
If all the scores of incredible numbers are true then he again clearly had
a swing that was so superior to anyone else by miles, then or now.
The difficult thing for me is the lack of corroborating evidence from
people of credibility within the Golf World back when he was supposed to
have done all the amazing stuff he did, you would think that members of
those courses that he supposedly shot those mind bending scores would have
seen him do it or knew people that did.
One would think that any of those scores would have been such news back
then that lots of people would have known about it, but sadly we don’t see
any evidence of that , I can understand to a large degree why any reference
to his feats would never be coming from official PGA people or Tour members
, they simply would never want to promote someone who just didn’t fit the
PGA mould of personality and that had done things that none of the PGA
players ever could .
As I have said I do know someone that spent a week with Yogi getting
lessons and he is a guy not in any way prone to exaggeration and he
categorically said Yogi hit the ball with unbelievable power and precision
with clubs that were essentially antiques, and his putting was as he
described it ‘Mystical’ ..in that would ask you to nominate a hole to putt
at that had any type of break and he just knocked them all in for days.
The amazing thing for my friend was that Yogi never took a practice swing
or warm up swing, first shot every day dead cold with any club he hit the
shot perfectly, every time, my friend kept repeating..”He just hit it
perfectly ‘Every Shot’..’ so because I know my friend just doesn’t
embellish things ever Yogi must have been truly an amazing swinger of the
So again ..’ What Makes Yogi So special’… all suggested evidence points
to him never having an off day with his swing, he had the same level of
swing repeatability and precision until he physically couldn’t swing a club
anymore when his health finally failed etc, I don’t know of any one in
history that had the ‘same’ swing capability their entire life, Moe Norman
to a degree was similar but his swing shape changed as he got older, Yogi
still swung with the same level of motion at 80 that he did at 30, so
something in his brain controlled his body reactions so implicitly that the
body could never fail to carry out the mental commands , so indelibly
ingrained were they, and that my friend is why I’I’ think Yogi was so
Do you have a personal email address I can write to you at? Mine is
I have heard from Tim Nicholls and would like to discuss it with you
With all this hitting up and Yogi stuff I am beginning to think there is
nothing wrong with flipping the club with your hands as long as its flipped
at the right time. I’m curious how Yogi dealt with it when he had to play a
low shot. Working with this I am hitting it enormously high but it is
+Thomas Slagle Hi Thomas, I guess for Yogi the low shot was just a matter
of not hitting up ‘as much’ as he did normally, the extra height you are
getting could be that in hitting up as a thought process you are tilting
back to much with your spine at impact, remember its the hands/arms that
need to go ‘up’ only , do that only with the motion of the hands/arms ,
don’t stay back to much with your upper body.
At the end of the day you only need the club in line with the lead wrist at
impact …after that it doesn’t matter, so you can flip the club head as
much as you like after impact, I have done that my whole golfing life and I
attribute that to my straight hitting.
I’ve been reading the free pdf that the Count Yogi website posted on their
website (ie. a free peak inside Yogi’s book). It actually provides quite a
bit of info . High hands at address, pivot on lead leg (aka Ben Hogan), no
active wrist break at the top (just let the inertial weight of the club set
the wrists), dominant rear arm used for downswing (ie. actually swinging
up), let head move up in the through swing. In putting he is using his
dominant rear hand/arm, while in the short game he says he ‘lets go’ of the
handle with his left hand post impact while allowing his right hand to
handle the club. Obviously , you can’t see him let go of the club but I
think he just relaxes his left hand grip to zero pressure and allows the
butt of the club to just move around in his fingers in the follow-through.
I couldn’t understand why he got so much flippy action post impact for the
short game but now I realise how he did it.
+P SMITH Hi Keith,
I haven’t seen any of that info on Tim’s site, will have a look today, I
see all the stuff you mention in his swing, never heard of the the left
hand relaxing deliberately through the ball but I can understand the
thinking process because I do it myself, and have always done it, which is
why I never have the look of retained lag in my swing, I have never wanted
it, I have always wanted the club head moving as ‘wide’ as it can on the
downswing, not ‘narrow’.
So that info whilst new officially only reinforces what I ‘thought’
happened with/in his swing, which is really great.
I’ve just reviewed your Yogi clips and Tim Nicholl’s obstructions to you
spreading “your gospel”. Yogi died in 1991 and according to Tim, he had
been with him for 15 years. That would take his relationship back to the
bus accident where Yogi was nearly killed. In 1980, I began working with
Yogi on a comeback that lasted until 1985. Five years with Yogi is like a
hundred. I produced hours of video and uploaded the “Hollywood Golf lesson
and Makeover” of the Count getting his long hair cut. As you can obviously
assume, Nicholls had it removed for “Trademark Infringement” because I had
ended it with a link to HIS website at countyogigolf. As I own the
material, I removed the take and uploaded again. Then, I began getting
threatening cease and desist letters from Tim…not a lawyer. The battle
spilled onto many forums where I was suddenly banned for giving my say
about Yogi. Finally, I decided Tim wasn’t worth the energy. I simply issued
a challenge to him that I’d beat him on any course, any time. Silence. For
him to claim he had such a long time tutelage under the Count, I must doubt
it heartily. If he did, it was in the short six years before his death when
he was ill. You can find thousands of photos and many videos of Yogi, but
not one standing and smiling behind Tim Nicholls. If any of you run into
him, tell him my challenge still stands for any amount. One last
item…Nicholls insists Yogi was born in 1905. Birth records show 1915 and
tournament results show participating in the Chicago Junior Golf Tournament
in 1934..which aligns with the a 1915 birth. You can go spend a ton of cash
with Nicholls.[be sure to watch his swing on Youtube] or stick with good
old John here. I’ll keep John posted of when I upload a new Yogi video from
my raw footage. Excellent work your doing, John. Give Tim my worst.
+Dave Rao Hi dave,
Wow, I feel like I am conversing with ‘Royalty’ here, someone who actually
spent real time with Yogi, that time and those memories must have been and
continue to be amazing for you no doubt.
Dave the only background I was given by anyone other than Tim was from a
fellow Australian who went to the US and tracked Yogi down and had lessons
from him, I think that was around 1975 ish, he said Yogi was mesmerising in
his ability to do things with the Golf ball, and the guy was as straight
laced as they come, never embellished anything, in fact he said he was
super cynical of Yogi’s ability before he saw him because he felt no one
could actually hit the ball the way he was reportedly capable of doing, but
he did and did it every time.
I am only doing the occasional Yogi video as I remember things about him or
have a new theory on what he did to swing in the incredible fashion he did,
clearly I have zero ability to replicate any of Yogi’s swing looks or
mechanics and my video’s are only such as to pay homage to the memory of
the great man.
I would love to talk with you in depth about your time with Yogi, you must
have incredible stories to tell, if you feel disposed to have an email chat
my email address is email@example.com……I have seen the ‘Hair Cutting’
video, and you were the person that produced it..WOW…that’s just
Thanks so much for posting here today, you have made my day..big time.
best Regards JH