LPGA Hall of Fame Instructor Kay McMahon Introduces Golf 8.5


Kay McMahon, LPGA and PGA Member and President of eduKaytion golf, posed a series of “against the grain” type questions before 110 members of the media as one of the headline speakers at the Tour Edge Multi-Manufacturers Media Day prior to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando last month.

What if golfers never had to think about posture in the golf swing?
What if you never had to worry about ball position?
What if you never had to wonder how far to stand from the ball?
What if you never had to know how much to bend your knees?
What if you never had to worry about your alignment?
What if posture was automatic?”

McMahon boldly stated that it’s time to get rid of all this “pre-shot fussing, diddling and thinking.” She passionately attested that golf instruction has gone down a dangerous path of becoming too technical and overcomplicated. Her solution is a program called Golf 8.5, which evolved from her 30 years as an LPGA T&CP Hall of Fame instructor. It’s designed to simplify the golf swing.

Golf 8.5 is comprised of four elements in the Pre-swing and 4.5 elements In-swing. According to McMahon, Golf 8.5 puts all the “stuff” that is written about, talked about, over analyzed, over taught and over exaggerated into a simple formula that makes all that “stuff” happen.

“Golf 8.5 distills and de-clutters the tips, drills and swing thoughts that comprise the 1001 Post-It notes implanted in golfer’s minds by many teaching professionals,” said McMahon. “I believe we continue to teach and promote golf in a way that is way too hard and difficult. How is that going to grow golfers and grow the game? I created Golf 8.5 to be simple, doable and fun.”

McMahon uses the acronym G-CAP for the first four steps in Golf 8.5 that establishes your set-up routine.

G stands for grip – you grip the club in the air with the leading edge of the club perpendicular to the ground.

C stands for setting the club on the ground – you step into your stance aiming the club head perpendicular to the target line just like the pros.

A stands for setting your feet from toe to toe – your foot line is then perpendicular to the leading edge of the club face.

P stands for posture- by doing the first three steps, your posture is automatic.

“The concept that posture is automatic turns a lot of my colleagues’ heads and completely breaks with conventional teaching,” acknowledges McMahon who is a frequent speaker and presenter at PGA Section and LPGA T&CP events. “In Golf 8.5, we never teach posture. By setting the club down as it is designed, the club automatically takes care of the distance from the ball, ball position and most importantly, posture.”

The remaining 4.5 In-Swing elements in Golf 8.5 are as follows: 1. The Takeaway; 2. Top of the Swing; 2.5 “The Elevator”; 3. Follow Through; 4. The Finish.

McMahon, who holds a degree in education, designed a teaching model for Golf 8.5 that occurs in chunks, position by position. A slow, repetitive motion is combined with a buddy system, feedback approach. Students learn to know their own swing; they learn to self-correct, not self-destruct. Golfers develop a successful, consistent swing that gives them the confidence to go play.

Gary Van Sickle, President of the Golf Writers Association of America, wrote in the “Morning Read” (Nov. 1, 2017), “Kay McMahon may be golf’s most important person … she has a Harvey Penick-like knack for keeping things simple and a nail-on-the-head mission statement: To simplify the way we teach the golf swing so we can grow golfers.”

McMahon was recently recognized as one of the LPGA’s Top 50 Best Teachers. She recently established her world headquarters at Metro West Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. To learn more about Golf 8.5 and upcoming workshops visit eduKaytiongolf.com or contact Kay at 518-669-1551.

Leonard Finkel

Leonard Finkel is the author of The Secrets to the Game of Golf & Life and former editor in chief of Golf Journeys Magazine. His work has been featured in almost 200 publications including Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Golf Illustrated, Golf Tips and Player Magazine. He has written more than a dozen cover stories for Golf Today Magazine. He has written extensively about golf and travel and added poker to his writing repertoire and also works as a marketing and public relations consultant. Prior to his career in golf, Finkel owned a chain of retail stores and a consulting and import company based in Asia. He attended the University of Utah.

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