In the swing of things
Alternative golf instructor touts golf swing that resembles baseball swing

By Josh Perttunen - Enterprise Staff

August 14, 2014

  John D. Scott demonstrates a golf swing that resembles a baseball swing, which he says is easy to learn, less strenuous on the body and allows people of all abilities to dive into the game.
Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

TOWN OF OCONOMOWOC - Believe it or not, but the man firmly entrenched in the batter’s stance at Wisconsin Indoor Golf, W359-N5740 Brown St. in the Town of Oconomowoc, is actually there to help people refine their golf game.

If you can swing a bat, says alternative golf instructor John D. Scott, you can pick up a hybrid golf club and use roughly the same motion to hit a golf ball with accuracy. 

Scott notes that the reasons a person may choose this style of swing, or other non-traditional approaches, are varied. Straying from the traditional golf swing can allow people to get into the game more quickly, to put less strain on their body and to rediscover the game after hiatuses due to injury or other reasons.

The Enterprise sat down with Scott to discuss the alternative techniques, focusing on the baseball swing that can knock balls out of the park.

ENTERPRISE: What is your history with the game?

SCOTT: I’ve been a golfer since 1963. I started when I was 12 years old and was on the golf team in high school. I actually left baseball for golf. Then I joined the Navy and didn’t play as often, or at all.

ENTERPRISE: What drew you back to the game?

SCOTT: I came back to golf when all of the technological advances started. There was curiosity about what all of the new technology could do. I am a baby boomer and physically limited, owing to spinal issues, so I can’t do all of the twisting and turning that the traditional swing requires.

I’ve tried seven different swing styles since then. There is one for everyone.

ENTERPRISE: How did you discover the baseball-style swing?

SCOTT: Former professional baseball player Sean Smith, who is the director of the STiKS Academy & Sports Training in Oconomowoc, shared the technique with me. I had been wondering, ‘What if a baseball player didn’t really have to change his or her swing to hit a golf ball?’

 Scott demonstrates the more traditional golf swing, which he says can put strain on the body
of a baby boomer such as himself.
Josh Perttunen/Enterprise Staff

With the right tool, the baseball form does click in and a baseball player can slug the ball and play the game.

You have time to think about where the ball is and really focus in on it since there’s no pitcher.

ENTERPRISE: Does your knowledge of alternative swings help people get into the game of golf more quickly?

SCOTT: Some instructors will take a look at your swing and ask, ‘Where did you learn to put your fingers like that?’ They’ll try to change your approach to the way they want you to swing. In the world of alternative golf, that doesn’t matter.

You first learn the core, then learn more. Using the core of the body to swing teaches all of the vital motions needed to hit a golf ball. It is easier to add components to a swing than to remove remove components from a swing.

ENTERPRISE: How is your golf game?

SCOTT: I’m 63 years old and I can drive the ball 240 to 260 yards using the baseball swing. This technique takes minimal time to learn and allows non-golfers to learn the game quickly, and those with physical disabilities to play the game.

A grandparent can play the game with their grandchild, proudly volunteering to drive the ball onto the green and letting the kid play it in from there. This allows for that camaraderie on the golf course.