Linking Today’s Golf Forums to the Game’s Ugly Deterioration: Part Two
In continuing what I started in Part One, I have been ready for quite some time already to help straighten out the dreadful and embarrassing mess that has been created over time by the golf industry as a whole and severely threatens the entire game, largely referring here to golf swing and clubfitting technical knowledge that forms the innermost core of playing, administering, and also growing the game of golf. But the terms commonly imposed by golf forums on contributors have made this essentially impossible to do through that particular medium. I am certainly not proud to be associated with the game of golf right now, and given the disgust and embarrassment I feel regarding the behavior and performance of the golf industry overall I am not really sure why I have any concern left at all for the game.
But at least here I will be able to contribute original, more correct, and fully protectable content in answering specific forum inquiries made on other sites to help out poor golfers and others that have been subjected to some of the senselessness and ineptness especially contained on most golf forums (but including other golf media outlets as well). And I can do so unencumbered by thoughts of my hard, original work being essentially legally stolen, used, and even altered by clueless forum owners and/or workers neither capable of comprehending the material to begin with nor developing such material, as well as no compensation or credit given for original work I developed (as per some of the self-serving terms or rules commonly published).
Now I am not referring here to certain rules or terms that are more understandable in nature like fairly standard disclaimers to try to help protect an entity from certain legal issues. To illustrate, I am perpetually learning new things and elements about various subjects. Despite my best honest effort regarding items I wrote about years ago already, today I might feel differently and perhaps take a different approach about, or possibly realize that I was partly or wholly incorrect back then regarding any number of specific topics. And ten years from now I might be stating the same regarding what I write today. Such is life and learning. To that end, perhaps even I should consistently add some kind of disclaimer to my work as a legal precaution if you will, because it is always at least possible that I might be blamed for delaying or thwarting someone’s golfing, teaching, and/or clubfitting careers as examples due to something I stated at any time.
But I do make my very best effort to revise and/or correct any applicable element as soon as possible where my position might have changed from the past. This is certainly not the case for any golf forums I am currently aware of, where even standard disclaimers seem to take on a different context. While maybe necessarily providing the owners or management with certain legal protection, beyond this monumental errors continue to be allowed, published, and promoted by such sites, with apparently no capability of and/or concern for responsible correction, which continue to help steer the game of golf toward some of the worst places it has even been before and which might potentially never be recovered from. Where I might potentially be in error regarding the performances and/or motives of the ownership and/or management of any given forum (which might be at least partly determined by the forum’s rules or regulations), I can always investigate specific cases about specific forums if and when brought to my attention and provide an update(s) regarding what I find.
Rather than such fairly generalized disclaimers, which might also include that the work presented is not necessarily the views of the ownership and/or management, I am referring more here to the blatant, self-serving, contemptible, and dishonorable terms or rules specified by some forums as quoted in Part One that appear to be formulated and existent for no other legitimate reason other than for those otherwise unqualified to try to legally and effectively steal the original, hard work of others. One alternative reason for the development of any such terms or rules by any such forum might be a belief that pretty much everything there is to know about a particular subject is already known by the ownership, management, and/or sponsors of the forum site, with contributing posters, writers, and/or members adding nothing of any real merit in the minds of these people. In that case, the same characteristics noted above can certainly still apply along with an added characteristic of sheer stupidity of the ownership, management, and/or sponsors.
As noted previously though perhaps somewhat differently, the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals or entities capable of offering the best answers to questions on such forums are also the most likely to refrain from posting on any such forums having terms or rules like those quoted in Part One. And of those left, most (though not all) who respond to questions and/or write articles reveal common characteristics of being sorely underqualified regarding topics they allegedly understand in representing a very large percentage of the people involved in the golf industry right now. Some of these contributors are in influential positions, have notable reputations, and as a result have accumulated followers that at best can be called unknowledgeable groupies, unwittingly helping to push the game of golf into oblivion if it is not stopped capably and quickly.
Furthermore, many of these individuals boldly comment due to confidence they might feel after gaining a certification(s) for teaching a golf swing or performing clubfitting from various instructional entities for example, unaware that the curriculums of most if not all of these entities and/or programs (some of national or even worldwide repute) are so flawed that they have been steadily dragging the golf industry as a whole backward for generations now. The longer-term outlook for the game of golf would be much brighter if virtually all of these certifications were boldly marked as being invalid and prohibiting the holders of such certificates from practicing the trades listed on the certificates unless and until the holders are taught the trades far more correctly. All in all, it is certainly not a pretty picture of where the golf industry is at the present time and where it appears to be headed. And while golf forums did not actually start this mess that actually began before the Internet was even generally available, such forums with the way they are structured and run today certainly further propagate and add new dimensions to this ongoing mess.
To partly sum up a few of the items covered to this point, anybody that puts any value whatsoever upon his or her work would be a complete fool to contribute to any forum site that has terms or rules like those quoted in Part One (and I was such a fool for a time). This would include as just one example those that have already retired comfortably and simply want to give others some benefit of their experience, which in general I think is admirable to the highest degree but not recommended under these particular conditions. Such golf forum sites regularly have some of the worst information available anywhere (predominantly referring to swing and/or clubfitting instruction/advice) along with very poor reputations (deservedly so), at least partly and not surprisingly due to such terms or rules of use. Fortunately, certain of these irreverent forum sites developed around such terms or rules have already (and thankfully) gone defunct, with every reason to believe that more will soon follow unless appropriate and very sincere changes are implemented. One concern is how long (if at all) it will be before any needed changes take place and whether it might be too late for the game of golf as traditionally known today, as certain segments of the golf industry will continue to spiral downward toward extinction as long as these forum sites are around and operating the way they have been.
As I fairly quickly started to feel extremely uncomfortable when posting on such forum sites, that uneasiness was not strictly due to the explicit terms or rules quoted in Part One. Other parts of the terms or rules of use of such golf forums (which sometimes seem longer than any of my article postings depending upon the particular forum site or website), were also quite influential toward my severe uneasiness. This was true even for various other forum sites where terms or rules might have allowed contributors to retain control of their work (unlike the sites listed in Part One). These terms included (and still include) but were not limited to issues of not being allowed to state where one’s own posting work originated from unless being a paying sponsor (with some sponsors being the worst of the worst as far as having accurate knowledge regarding certain golf topics), no signatures or promoting of one’s other work allowed no matter how relevant (unless being a paying sponsor or advertiser again), and, well, you should get the general idea, with exact terms or rules that could be quite different from these depending upon the specific forum site. It did not take me too long to learn my lesson(s) and at least I can look at myself in the mirror a little better since ceasing contributing directly to such sites.
I still pretty regularly peruse such forum sites these days for the following two reasons. The first is to scan for any copyright infringement by anyone of any part of my past or present work where due credit is not given. And while I have come across a few minor instances, they have not risen to a level at this point where I have felt any action should be pursued. This is pretty much expected to be a perpetual endeavor. The second reason is largely for humorous entertainment purposes (in the case of swing and/or clubfitting advice [taking it seriously will ultimately cause more golfers to abandon the game rather than stay with it based upon the present knowledge of these areas by the golf industry in general]). Admittedly, however, I also scan for news-type items regarding the industry as a whole that I might not come across through other outlets and might be relevant and/or interesting from a business standpoint and might potentially be put to use in running and growing the WaggleWeight® Company.
Now with these things said, the forum sites largely discussed in Part One are not the only golf forums out there, with some being not as irreverent and having a little more respect for the work and contributions of others than the forums discussed to this point. As one example here, I quote below a section of the terms or rules from Tom Wishon Golf at Wishongolf.com as they were stated on a somewhat recent visit of mine to that particular website, which also has a golf forum associated with it but whose terms or rules are not quite as disrespectful and self-indulgent as those of the forums previously discussed.
“You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, sexually-orientated or any other material that may violate any laws be it of your country, the country where “Wishon Golf Technology” is hosted or International Law. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned, with notification of your Internet Service Provider if deemed required by us. The IP address of all posts are recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that “Wishon Golf Technology” have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time should we see fit. As a user you agree to any information you have entered to being stored in a database. While this information will not be disclosed to any third party without your consent, neither “Wishon Golf Technology” nor phpBB shall be held responsible for any hacking attempt that may lead to the data being compromised.”
First let me make it quite clear here that in specific areas (most notably golf club fitting theory and practice) I am not a supporter of Wishon’s work overall. Now there are many, many others to also share the blame for the generally horrible performance record, very poor reputation, and current discombobulated mess that is known as the clubfitting trade. This includes but is hardly limited to Ralph Maltby, whom I respect quite well overall but who has unfortunately continued or developed several incorrect clubfitting theories and practices through the years, and the PGA of America. To the best of my knowledge, the PGA still uses at least some of Maltby’s clubfitting materials to supposedly help train the professional golfers of tomorrow in this critical area of the game of golf that needs to be taught properly in order for the game to survive and grow. This is just one of the many clubfitting farces still taking place in which many different people can share the blame.
But on a strictly individual basis, Tom Wishon with his clubfitting materials as a whole might be more responsible than any other individual for creating what are now essentially scattered, underperforming, and sometimes feuding factions throughout the clubfitting trade and helping to lead this trade overall notably backward in certain respects over the last several decades (noting that early in his career Wishon might have been personally tutored to some extent by Maltby). In addition to being logically deficient regarding multiple of his clubfitting theories and practices individually, his general approach or outline regarding clubfitting can be unnecessarily complex and puzzling. Now I confess that I have not personally seen his more recent works regarding clubfitting and some of the following might have changed some, but I have numerous of his earlier efforts and editions (figuratively at the bottom) in my relatively large pile of clubfitting materials that I still reference on occasion, where he approaches clubfitting somewhat as follows.
His listing of upwards of twenty golf club specifications (many of them superfluous in nature unless one were for instance an actual clubhead designer), then a breaking down of each club specification into five different shotmaking factors, and then an analysis of whether each shotmaking factor, for each specification, has a minor, medium, or major effect (principally upon ball travel results), is not exactly what I would call an efficient clubfitting program. Among other things, any golf club specification can broadly fall within a minor, medium, or major effect depending upon how far its value is off from (perhaps theoretically) a perfect fit for a golfer. Certain terms like feel, and more specifically critical derivatives of that very broad term, are very poorly defined or not defined at all, thus severely limiting any effectiveness of the material. And similarly, clubfitting directly to one’s base golf swing (clubfitting’s most important foundational process) is barely covered if covered at all, basically enacting the fallacious concept or premise that a good ball travel result automatically equates to a good swing performance.
Wishon’s theory of fitting golf grip size based upon one’s “comfort” is about as bad as it gets for one of the most important golf club specifications there is, and by itself tends to render the overall body of his work much less effective even if other individual theories might be formulated okay. And his involvement in helping to revive the MOI (Moment of Inertia, but better construed as Moment of Insanity in this case) golf club specification (yet again) maybe ten to fifteen years ago would seem to reveal some apparent and serious deficiencies regarding his understandings of effective golf swing performance and/or clubfitting on very fundamental levels. With the fair number of gullible golfing and/or clubfitting groupies that have followed his work and advice and bought into Moment of Insanity golf club matching, it might take the industry another decade or more to fully recover from this clubfitting farce as well and get on a decent path. Hopefully it eventually will with the help of some truly qualified leadership. I note here that these deficiencies in Wishon’s work were not observed from just one single piece or volume of material but from various materials he has produced through the years, and where to date I have no information that he has offered any corrections or reforms in them.
Now for all I know the man might potentially be greatest clubhead designer that ever lived (I have never personally seen any of his designs to date), as both he and Maltby have their own lines of clubheads for sale. I have seen excerpts in the past where both individuals indicated that clubhead design (in which I have never had a specific interest) was their biggest passion of all that they try to work on. And it is reasonable to assume that producing materials comprising golf club design/making, repair/alteration, and/or fitting to the best of their abilities (which both have done) might possibly help the sales and/or reputations of their respective lines (because that is what I might try under similar circumstances). But having said that, and just like there can be enormous differences in skills required to fit a golf club directly to one’s swing compared with fitting according to one’s golf ball travel results, there can also be enormous differences in skills required toward knowing clubhead design well compared with knowing clubfitting well. And in many respects the two fields are truly not even close to being related to each other, so one can really be an expert at one and really stink at the other.
Now I might for example enjoy looking through materials offered by either one of these individuals that pertain solely to clubhead design elements in depth. But both Wishon and Maltby, along with a handful of others of some notoriety that also think they know clubfitting well, are unfortunately quite underqualified (even in extremely foundational areas) with respect to having correct and deep understandings of clubfitting principles and practices. While I might have previously noted that I much prefer Maltby’s overall less cluttered approach, nevertheless these clubfitting materials that technically remain quite inaccurate and/or incomplete as a general whole have saturated the industry over time and, unfortunately, largely become publicly accepted. Thus, now it might take the clubfitting trade (and perhaps other segments of the golf industry) decades more if not longer to sufficiently recover from and correct some of the very poor clubfitting theories and practices that have been preached in the past and have severely damaged the industry as a whole.
But back to Wishon more specifically and in knowing about much of his flawed work for a very long time already, on multiple occasions in the past I have suggested a partnership of sorts with him to combine his extensive work in certain areas with mine in other areas (an offer that is no longer open at this point), never receiving any replies from him. Yet when I thought he might have potentially been infringing on some of my own original copyrighted work (even if unintentional), I got an almost immediate and rather rude reply from him expressing outrage that I would ever even consider contacting him regarding such a matter. With his explanation being acceptable to me, I note here that to date I have not found any evidence (at least not obvious enough to warrant pursuing any further action) that he has integrated any of my original work within his own continuing work (including but not limited to forum responses of his own).
Beyond that, I will note that I have posted on his (Wishon’s) forum site in the past, only to have my input quickly deleted because I asserted he was wrong about something, and whoever was moderating the postings on his forum could not allow that. So with actions like that, presumed to take place rather regularly, and even without some of the abusive terms or rules that try to be imposed by other forums, this particular forum can be very tainted and bad also. Not surprisingly, it does not have a particularly good reputation for golf swing and/or clubfitting information and advice either, though for a reason(s) that is not quite the same as for some other forums. Indeed, contributing posters to Wishon’s own forum have dropped to virtually nothing (rightly so) and I rarely find reason to visit there anymore. And what kind of ironically ties all of this together is that now Wishon oftentimes attempts to post (more often than on his own forum it now seems) on the more popular and more visited (at least for now) Worrisome Reasonless Xenogolf golf forum site (not the actual name of the website, but rather the first letters of the words of the expression used are intended to help point to the name of the [Internet] forum site as explained back in Part One).
So now we have the abusive terms or rules of the Worrisome Reasonless Xenogolf site as quoted in Part One, which by itself likely keeps knowledgeable and quality contributors away. Then, with Tom Wishon having little if any noticeable forum success on his own company website, he (along with many other so-called clubfitting and/or swing experts), has fairly recently taken to posting his advice on the Worrisome Reasonless Xenogolf site. The result has broadly been a continuing proliferation of some of the most embarrassing and defective instructional content imaginable regarding the game of golf that has among other things firmly secured the reputation of the clubfitting trade in particular as being the most laughable in all of sports at the present time. With gullible golfers being absolutely everywhere (which can include clubfitters, swing instructors, golf company ownership or management, journalists, and far more), these golf groupies of sorts quite commonly and cluelessly just repeat or imitate what is stated by someone they consider to be an expert but is equally clueless. With this, perhaps you might hopefully start to realize how bad these forums presently are overall on multiple levels, especially when it comes to trying to keep, attract, and/or better educate those with less experience today but who wish to be involved with the game tomorrow. Being continually subjected to the substantial number of nonsensical and glaring defects regularly associated with such forum sites is probably a contributing factor in the rather severe downturn in the number of people getting into and/or staying with the game in recent times.
There might very well be personal characteristics and/or particular areas of knowledge that Tom Wishon has, that he is comprehensively correct about, and that I might admire and respect well. But when it comes to the specific subject of golf club fitting, a subject that he and others purport that he is an expert about, this is a highly specialized subject that I also happen to know a little something about by way of a combination of extensive and intense first-hand playing experience (well beyond that of just golfing) and nature of formal education. I sadly rate Wishon’s work overall in the specific area of clubfitting to be very flawed and poor in uncounted manners. Partial proof of this is in the horrendous overall performance record, reputation, and scattered, oftentimes feuding factions that the clubfitting trade has become since Tom Wishon began developing the information he has regarding the subject. This is not pure coincidence. And this is hardly restricted to the smaller independent clubfitting trade, as even the largest commercial clubfitting entities commonly have at least part of their clubfitting programs based upon some of Wishon’s (sometimes essentially interchangeable with Maltby’s) clubfitting theories and practices. I do not expect anyone to simply accept my word regarding these truths, but I do expect golfers and others in the industry to open their eyes and minds and try to see what is right in front of their noses if they want the golf industry to recover and grow from this point.
To supplement the above, some contributors literally post five thousand, ten thousand, or even more times on such forums, with no trustworthy connection whatsoever between the number of posts a contributor makes and his or her expertise regarding any given topic. In fact, many contributors (though not all) that post so many times can be among the least knowledgeable regarding the topic addressed, where such contributors might be forum sponsors or moderators as examples and answering or commenting for a reason(s) other than being qualified to do so. Anyway, there are countless other golf forums around also, some with terms, rules, and/or policies not nearly as contemptible as the sites specified here and some with virtually no terms or rules at all to for instance potentially invade the intellectual property rights of others. And while I would otherwise not hesitate to contribute to such forums, these sites present other possible issues. One of them is if a forum site disappears (they seem to come and go fairly often these days) and I do not meticulously keep copies of what I post (which could contain spontaneous words, expressions, and/or ideas that could potentially blossom into something extremely valuable), then that might easily be lost forever if and when the site disappears.
So all things considered, this would seem like an excellent time to begin this particular offshoot section of Waggle Weight Wisdom™. Here I can more freely provide specific answers and explanations comprising original and correct material regarding inquiries found around forums (though not necessarily limited to forums as noted below). And I will be able to do so unencumbered by the terms or rules that try to be imposed by various abusive or contemptuous forums (terms or rules that can grant the intellectual property rights of my work to others as though it is essentially their very own and they actually composed it), or other unfavorable circumstances surrounding my work. And as a result I will be able to help so many poor golfers (and clubfitters and others) so much better here than I could anywhere else at the present time, where elsewhere I have always been very hesitant, cautious, and concerned for various reasons (and rightly so) regarding contributing any original work (or even any past work that might be restated in a unique new way and whose intellectual property rights should be fully protected). It will be better for the hard work of the WaggleWeight® Company, better for golfers, and thus better for the golf industry as a whole, where being subjected to the nonsense that has proliferated (particularly about a golf swing and/or clubfitting) and substantially hurt the progress and reputation of the game will become a thing of the past.
As a new way of doing things to be sure, the exact format of this section is unknown right now and might evolve and change as it develops, perhaps substantially. So this particular entry itself may also have to be amended and/or one or more supplementary entries made along the way. For instance, other terms or rules commonly associated with second-class forum types like those whose partial terms have been quoted here (which can noticeably hurt the very forums that try to impose such rules along with the game of golf in general) might include but not be limited to prohibiting the posting of a link to one’s own work if contained on a different site no matter how relevant or supplementally helpful it might be toward an inquiry (though someone else can generally post a link to the work [if aware of it]). In similar fashion, the posting of such links even through private e-mailing between forum members might also be prohibited. The penalty could be having one’s account cancelled. While that would not be a big deal, remaining a member (which I currently am on a few such forums) might possibly be turned into some benefit, and time will tell whether I might be able to best format and/or operate this Waggle Weight Wisdom™ Forum Responses section in order to achieve all desired goals.
Terms or rules can very greatly among forum sites, with some having virtually no terms while others have rules that might very well be judged illegal at some point due to their abusive nature. And with this, the format of replying to inquiries here might very well be notably different depending on exactly where an inquiry originates. Responses here will not necessarily be limited to inquiries from online golf forums that could really use some sound, accurate, and original replies (for a refreshing change). Replies may also emanate from a paper magazine article that catches my attention, something I observe in person or on television, or I might even consider replying to inquiries received via direct e-mail (a personal question or being pointed to a specific inquiry seen elsewhere for instance) as a few of many other possibilities. In the last example, I certainly cannot guarantee that all or even any such inquiries will be included here or personally answered depending upon the circumstances existing at the time of any such request(s).
It can be distinctly noted here that many of essentially the same questions are asked about the same topics quite frequently and repeatedly by golfers, clubfitters, and many others. This largely occurs because the answers to these questions have never really made any decent and logical sense, they still do not make any sense as answered today by so-called qualified people, and so these golfers, clubfitters, and many others will continue to ask essentially these same questions until they finally get an answer that makes some sense (and rightly so). To that end, especially when it comes to some of the most notoriously misunderstood theories and practices that continue to make parts of the golf industry look like an embarrassing laughingstock to anyone who knows better, and to try to help reverse some of this very degraded (but previously well-deserved) reputation, some replies might be rather repetitive in nature (quite intentionally at times) when selecting and responding to inquiries made. But sometimes I can even surprise myself and further my continuing education with differing manners or approaches I sometimes find even when discussing the same basic subject repeatedly.
I have previously noted that I fully plan on and anticipate continuing the main Waggle Weight Wisdom™ body of work, for which there is much left to do, but that it has been on hold for a while now due to struggles getting the waggle weight golf club specification products and services successfully developed. My attention needs to be more strongly focused on that part of the WaggleWeight® Company right now and nothing has changed in this regard. Continuing delays in the development of what in principle is really rather simple have been partially due to the facts that the system has been a little ahead of its time so to speak and technology, as far as it seems to have come, has not quite caught up with the technical requirements of the project. This is unfortunate for everyone affected, including but not limited to my own family, business, and the golf industry on the whole (which seems more determined than ever these days to continue on its current path of self-destruction) while its patent protection period slips away (fortunately there is a next, protectable project). But the effort toward getting the critical waggle weight specification successfully developed shall continue.
In that regard, this particular posting is an out-of-place anomaly, but motivated by and necessarily attended to at this specific time due to the following. The vast majority of this entry had already existed and was waiting for final amending since the posting of Part One, but temporarily set aside due to the circumstances noted above. However, it has extremely recently come to my attention that Tom Wishon, apparently semi-retiring, is about to turn over at least part of his business interests to another entity mere days from now. This shall purportedly include the complete elimination of his golf forum as it has existed to this point, which is referenced considerably within this particular entry. Thus, and even at the expense of further delaying other very critical WaggleWeight® Company business, this specific entry needed to be finalized and published before Wishon’s forum is eliminated or otherwise abandoned (even if by only one single day), or certain parts of the entry would have been technically invalid before even publishing it. I simply could not let that happen given the effort I put into it. I am in fact extremely thankful for this motivational factor that arose to finally get this particular entry published, as originally it was supposed to be done quite soon after the publishing of Part One.
Anyway, there is a great sense of relief that this entry is now finally published, and I can turn some of my attention to the uncounted finished or partially finished responses I have written to forum inquiries of others, which have accumulated and are largely cluttering up some of my workspace due to not being able to publicly contribute them prominently for the reasons explained. When circumstances permit, I will now be able to at least devote some smaller segments of time (compared with the time spent in composing the primary Waggle Weight Wisdom™ body of work) and publish such responses here. This will help straighten out the many poor gullible golfers, clubfitters, and others that have sadly been so misled and misguided over time by others (even if unintentional) in ways that continue to threaten the very existence of the game unless corrected as soon as possible.