Sometimes, for no apparent reason, you fall in love with a photograph. There’s no rhyme and reason behind it, but they just make you smile. Such is the case with this picture I stumbled upon from the autumn of 1979, which sent me off to learn more about what I was looking at.
What you are witnessing is a part of the Golf Studio Program at the Golf Resort Hotel. This experience took place over the length of two hours and was designed to help golfers improve their swing and elevate their game long after they have returned home.
The first stage of the Golf Studio Program involved precisely what you see here, being videotaped while the guest practiced their swing and received instruction from one of the golf pros. Once the recording has been completed, the golfer and instructor return to the pro shop to watch their swing on the big screen, a five-foot television. After reviewing the film, the guest is educated on the precise size, weight, and length of clubs that they should be using to optimize their swing.
As the session wound down, each participant was presented with a tape cassette that not only included the specialized instructions received on the driving range, but also tips from the Golf Director, Phil Ritson, who had helped such big PGA names as Gary Player.
Now remember this was 1979 when I tell you this next part, the two hour Golf Studio Program, which included shoes and equipment if you hadn’t brought your own from home, cost $25 per guest. I doubt there is a golfer out there, particularly those that visit Walt Disney World, that wouldn’t jump at this type of one-on-one instruction and take home assistance for that price!
Golf was the major recreational activity when Walt Disney World opened and is still a key component to the out of park experiences. Technology may have come up in leaps and bounds since 1979, but there is no substitute for the personal care provided by the pros at the courses. Personally, I’d love to get my hand on one of these tapes to hear what types of tips were working for golfers in 1979. I imagine they could probably still help my game today!