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Audrey Crowley

Audrey Crowley a cute little eight year old girl from Grafton, Wisconsin and was referred to me by Joe Stadler, who is the executive director for the Wisconsin PGA early this spring. Audrey’s dad, Steve, was also referred to me through a friend I met, Ray Watkins, who works for the U.S. Olympics ski team. Ray volunteered to help me with a golf school I conducted for the United States Marine Corps at Trappers Turn in the Wisconsin Dells for the Semper Fi fund. The school included wounded warriors from all across the country.  Ray met Audrey on the ski slopes. Audrey is a very accomplished skier, who uses a special prosthetic right arm and was featured on ABC’s News America’s Strong, hosted by David Muir. When I first talked to Audrey’s dad on the telephone he mentioned that he had two little girls that he liked to bring to me for lessons and for a club fitting. When I met Audrey early one spring morning, we discussed how we might approach learning the game of golf with one and a half arms. This would take a few months of visits and patience on Audrey’s behalf. We first attempted to swing left handed using a special prosthetic right arm with a holding fixture. We then tried swinging with both arms right handed with no prosthetic. As we worked through the pre-swing fundamentals, I would video tape her swinging both left and right handed. We tried swinging right handed with just the left arm only and then swinging right handed with the prosthetic right arm. We then decided that she was uncomfortable with the prosthetic arm and then finally after several months we developed a left handed swing using both arms with one of my junior sized Bob Burn’s torso straps. The strap wraps around the torso and the arms slip through the loops which help keep the arms connected so that a person can make a consistent repeating swing. The Torso Straps we produce come in six different sizes. The strap prevents the golfer from having a “flying elbow” or a “chicken wing”, it encourages the golfer to make a level on plane swing, without the body lifting up and down. In her case the strap also creates an elasticity tension to help her hold onto the club and ultimately helps her keep the club more square through impact.  At first, we just tried strapping one arm, the left to help keep her arm connected to her body so it would fold and stay on plane. After making special left handed clubs, we decided that connecting both arms with the strap could help her to develop a more rotational swing. A misconception that many golfers have is that the club travels straight back and straight through instead on an arc around your body. In the early stages, Audrey had a tendency to push, fade, or slice the ball to the left. Eventually, adjusting the lie and loft of her clubs and bending the clubs to have a draw bias correction, we were able to help her hit the ball straighter. I’ve most recently built Audrey a No Bananas Titanium Driver that has an offset hosel and five degree closed face. Audrey now enjoys playing with her sister, who I also taught and made a custom set for. If Audrey continues to practice, I can assure you that she will be good enough to play on the high school team when she gets a little older. There is no stopping this girl, when she wants to do something she will accomplish it. The only definition she has of a handicap is the USGA’s scoring system. I guarantee you this is the closest thing to catching an angel “flying low.” I love working with this little girl and hope to continue our work in progress.

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