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known as the "Little Pro," Eddie Merrins has long been
revered as a golf guru. For nearly 40 years Eddie has lived and
breathed the game and the way of life of golf as Head Professional
at the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. At the Bel-Air Country
Club the locker nameplates read like an Oscar party guest list; Tom
Cruise, Dennis Quaid, James Woods, Richard Crenna, Jack Wagner and
James Garner, are just a few.
The Little Pro has instructed some of the biggest names in
entertainment, as well as some of the highest-level professional
golfers. Merrins has amassed almost 60 years of knowledge, from his
years as a junior, amateur and college golfer to his career as a
professional tour player, instructor, head professional and NCAA
Teaching means more to me than any tournament because I've helped
that person to help himself or herself," Merrins said. "Playing is
for personal satisfaction, but teaching is a labor of love."
While beginning his teaching career, Merrins also had the insight
that would lead him to develop his "swing the handle" philosophy
that became his most lasting contribution to golf instruction.
Asked to explain how exactly "swing the handle" works, Merrins told
a story about the 1978 British Open at St. Andrews. He was on the
practice tee with Tom Kite, and Jack Nicklaus approached. They
exchanged pleasantries and then Jack got right to the point. He
looked at me and said, 'You believe in swing the handle, don't you?
Explain it to me,'" Merrins remembered. "Out of the blue, a mental
image came to me. I said, 'Jack, you're a tennis player. Swing the
handle means the golf swing is just like a two-armed tennis
Merrins said Nicklaus took it all in with a completely neutral look
and went back to his bucket of balls,"and then, don't you know, he
won the tournament," Merrins said. "I'm not saying it had anything
to do with me, but you never know
Golf Talk Radio with Mike & Billy airs every Saturday from 8:05am to 10:00am PST California time in San Luis Obispo, California on ESPN 1280am and on ESPN 1230am in Bakersfield/Kern County. Listen to GTR LIVE over the internet from any where in the world at www.espnradio1280.com. Visit www.golftalkradio.com for more show info!