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Have you seen the new tv show “Humans”? It deals with human-like robots and the issues that would come with such a future. That’s not a new theme – the movie “2001” and sci-fi writing have wrestled with the dangers of super-intelligent robots.

I’d like to have a robot – to help me with chores, but not to run my life. And, I don’t want to be like a robot. So, why do people try to swing a golf club like a robot?

What matters in the golf swing is impact … and there are many ways to get to a correct impact. A robot golf swing might have a correct way to get to impact – but it’s not the only way. For many people, the way a robot swings will not get them to a correct impact. Think about that. Too many people think that a “proper” set-up and backswing will automatically get them to a correct impact position.

There are fundamentals to the golf swing … and the main fundamental is correct impact. The next fundamental is the position that can get you consistently to the correct impact position – that position is the halfway point of the downswing. Those are by far the most important parts of the golf swing.

Jim Furyk loops the club to get into the correct downswing position so he can get to correct impact. Would a robot make that move? Would Furyk be a better player if he tried to swing like a robot? I bet he couldn’t get the club into the correct position on the downswing. If so, he couldn’t consistently get to correct impact.

We have too many “models” that miss the point. Some business models emphasize “proper” margins in all departments at the demise of the success of the overall operation.

This “robotization” of America disturbs me. I’m glad these shows are bringing up these issues (even the new show “Mr. Robot”). Isn’t America about individuality – “The land of the free and the home of the brave”?

Take ownership of your golf swing. Work on impact with your chipping … then develop a swing that can consistently get you back to correct impact. Unless you’d rather have all of the joy a robot gets from golf.

-Tom Abts


The big word in sales nowadays is connection. I love it. In my youth, I went through a lot of sales training and sales seminars – they were not about connection. They were about manipulation.

If you want to break a connection with someone – make them feel manipulated.

Ignoring isn’t good either. Ironically, people connecting on cell phones are often ignoring the people they’re with. How messed up is that?

There has been a lot of emphasis on the connection in the golf swing. Jimmy Ballard was probably the first teacher to emphasize connection. Ballard also emphasized, “firing the right side” – which I love. The old Jack Nicklaus idea of pulling the club down with the left side doesn’t work for most people. If you’re swinging right-handed, you’re probably better off firing the right side, rather than pulling down with the left.

Here’s the test – would you deliver a more powerful blow by back-handing someone with your left hand, or punching them with your right hand?

Most people’s golf swings becomes disconnected because they don’t fire the right side – they hang back and slap at the ball.

So, this is our year for connection. Let’s connect with the people in our life … and keep our swing connected by firing the right side.

-Tom Abts


I’m a big believer in Common Sense. People like to say that Common Sense isn’t so common anymore, and they may be right.

What I think is taking its place is Conventional Wisdom. They are very different cats. Here’s my analogy: If someone was building a house on a cliff – Common Sense would say that they’re crazy. But, Conventional Wisdom would say “Everyone else is, so it must be ok”. Pretty different ways of looking at things.

This is an article that I’ve wanted to write for many years – but it’s difficult to put it into words.

Ironically, I think Common Sense is like that – it’s hard to put into words. It’s gut instinct – you just know it.

Conventional Wisdom is much easier to quantify. CW can be the result of a survey. Your gut might tell you it’s wrong – but the numbers in a survey make it seem scientific. But if a majority of the people in the survey say that the sky is green – that still doesn’t make it correct.

A democracy is a pretty good form of government. As Winston Churchill said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” People want a say in things and I respect that. But that shouldn’t be a license to micro-manage every aspect of life. We elect representatives because we don’t have the time or expertise to make those decisions.

Businesses are too reliant on surveys. A good businessman knows what the customer wants – he’s ahead of the customer. A good politician does the right thing – not run around and read the polls to keep getting elected.

Democracy is a pretty good thing. But mob rule is not a good thing. That’s why we have the Bill of Rights – to protect the individual from the mob.

Unfortunately, Conventional Wisdom can be mob rule. Let’s bring back Common Sense.

-Tom Abts

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