Brandel Chamblee

Brandel Chamblee under fire for “b****-slapped by reality” comment

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Brandel Chamblee is under fire for comments made in a Golfweek interview regarding training offered by golf coaches.

Here’s the comment in it’s entirety via Golfweek:

GW: Miller Barber found something that worked – hitting balls and playing over an extended period of time – but in this day and age if he had a Trackman in front of him wouldn’t he have moved away from a swing that was perfectly good?

BC: He probably would have been a lesser player. I mean it’s absolutely a fact that Trackman helps you dial in your golf club equipment. It’s an absolute fact, no question about it. It’s good for that. It’s not obvious that it’s good for the game. It’s not obvious that it makes you a better player. Does it help you dial in your equipment? Your yardages? Yes, it’s more convenient than laying golf bags out there 50 and 75 yards and hitting those targets.

But it’s not obvious that Trackman makes you a better player in terms of your golf swing. Miller Barber had he had instruction perhaps earlier somebody would have said to him, ‘Look, you got to set your wrist earlier on the back swing.’ Why? ‘I don’t know, because I think it looks better.’ But now today Miller Barber would go, ‘Well, hold on a second, why would you want me to set my wrist earlier own the back swing? Because right here on YouTube I can see that Ben Hogan didn’t do that and I see that Jack Nicklaus didn’t do that and Tiger Woods didn’t do that and I can see that Greg Norman didn’t do that. So why do you want me to set my wrists earlier on the back swing?’ Because nobody did that.

The teachers are being exposed for their idiocy, but I stood on the range with a prominent teacher who had acolytes all around him who then went out and those acolytes talk with acolytes and then they completely spread this flawed philosophy through all of teaching and all teachers stuck to that ideal and all teachers taught flawed philosophies and these philosophies finally got bitch-slapped by reality. YouTube, there it is, you’re wrong, they’re right.

These comments were so harsh that the PGA of America President Suzy Whaley and CEO Seth Waugh decided to issue a statement in a letter to the Editor of Golfweek.

In good conscience we cannot allow Brandel Chamblee’s comment in a Golfweek Q&A on March 25 that golf instruction has been “bitch-slapped by reality” be allowed to stand without comment. It is offensive, sexist and disgraceful. Using such crude and hateful language is abhorrent in any context and in this case a direct contradiction to the countless programs and initiatives those in the industry provide to ensure everyone feels welcome in golf.

Chamblee is certainly entitled to his own opinion, but it is unfair to paint all instructors with the same ugly brush. Making the case that crowdsourcing golf instruction on social media and through YouTube videos is inherently more valuable than being coached by a PGA Professional is both farcical and disrespectful. We can’t speak for all instructors, but at the PGA of America we are proud of our members who choose to coach. They help millions enjoy the game more, play it at a higher level, and most importantly, play the game for as long as possible with the best experience possible.

The path required to earn PGA membership is extremely rigorous with an academic curriculum and testing based on scientific research and practical, hands-on experience over a period of four or more years. There are also demanding continuing education requirements, which include, among other subjects, best practices for using technology in coaching. But what truly sets PGA Professionals apart, in addition to this training and expertise, is the way they use their craft to help improve people’s lives by welcoming them into the game, by helping them to improve and to enjoy the game no matter where they happen to be on their golf journey.

The dedicated men and women of the PGA will continue to ensure the vitality of the game. Our coaches are crucial to the game’s success and longevity, and we are incredibly proud of the work they do to benefit all those who join us on the course.


Seth Waugh
PGA of America CEO

Suzy Whaley
PGA of America President

Chamblee is allowed to have an opinion, and we all know he has plenty of those. He’s also not entirely wrong. As we’ve seen, there are several golfers who do not have “conventional” swings and therefore teaching everyone the same things seems pointless.

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