Newsletter Archive

Newsletter No. 17

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The History and Evolution of Golf and the Professional:


Article By: Timothy ‘Yogi’ Nicholls


Shortly after the turn of the century, series of still motion photos or “moving pictures” became the rave.  Harry Frankenberg (AKA Count Yogi) was totally against this.  His comment back then was; “Motion pictures of the golf swings most certainly mislead one’s mind: The moves that you see in movies are subconscious body actions and everybody’s different, body actions are physically natural actions” (quoted from Count Yogi’s first book; Revolutionary Golf Made Easy” 1920 – 1947 ©).  Other theories and concepts that have confused and plagued people for years if not ruined their games are things like; left arm stiff, spine angles, hand, hip, foot and knee actions, weight shift, or concepts like hammering a nail, or call out positions of clock times like 9:00 o’clock, 12:00 etc.; which are ridiculous concepts that hold you back from being your best.


Let’s now get into the meat of the matter of how “The Count Yogi® Health & Golfing System ©,” now trademarked as “THE GOLF ART”™ began and came into its existence.  We’ll start with a brief discussion of the history of golf.  Now I do not in anyway claim to be an expert on the history of golf but I have studied and done enough research as it applies to the Yogi golfing method.  Let’s now let our minds travel back to the beginning of golf.  Most people today believe that the game was founded, started and invented solely in Scotland.  This is partly true.  Though the Scottish people took to their bosoms the game and enhanced and improved it to what we have today, history shows us it is truly a game of immemorial antiquity, originating back in some pre-historic period; according to some historians, one of them being an elderly historian that young Harry (Count Yogi) met years ago back in the 1930’s when he was in the British Isles performing and giving lessons to Prince Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor.  The old man told Yogi that he and some other authorities claimed that they had evidence that a form of the game today was played originally by the Romans in the early centuries under an entirely different name.


After the Romans left the British Isle the game became so popular that by the 15th century the legislature found it necessary to fulminate repeated statutes against it because it was impairing the military.  It wasn’t long until the King himself was playing golf at Leith and on other Links.  People paid little attention to the law and the game continued to grow the same as it is doing today.  In 1592 the Town Council of Edinburg, Scotland proclaimed against golf on Sabbath day to the Town of Leythe.  It was stated by members of the council and clergy that in time of sermons that many of the people were “Sene at Gowf.”  After awhile, arrangements were made for those attending services to play golf after the sermons.  Needless to say, more of the people attended services and even brought their clubs to church with them.


Golf in earlier days was the past time of the wealthy aristocrat only; however, today golf has been brought before the eyes of everyone.  Golf, if played correctly, keeps one physically fit, the mind well occupied, develops the optimistic feeling, --- which without --- our country could not prosper.  But greatest of all it originates interest and increases enjoyment.  Golf took people away from their other sports such as archery and ‘kolf’, the latter being like golf but played on the ice.  Golf was formerly called ‘Gowf’, Barnyard billiards, Ankle polo, and American Shinny.


Just before the turn of the 19th century, golf was beginning to really take off in America like it did in the British Isles where the game was still primarily played by the wealthy amateur elite.  There were already pros in Britain who played in tournaments but the prize money winnings was little to none since winning was more for honor and prestige for their golf club members and Society’s they worked for.  Their primary income came from caddying, greens keeping, and fixing and mending clubs for the members.  Occasionally a little extra was made hustling others.  But like in Europe the first pros in America were first the caddies.  They were usually poor tender youths with good athletic skills who would copy and imitate for themselves the best looking moves from the wealthy, intelligent, and ambitious men they caddied for.  That’s right; before there was organized instruction, people learned golf by imitating others who had graceful looking moves with consistent results.  By the early part of the 20th century a small group of these caddy/pros in America started an organization called the “Professional Golfers Association” (PGA).  Back in these early days the majority of the best players were the wealthy amateurs whose fathers were usually of high profession if not captains of industry and business.  They had the time and money to play often and refine their playing skills and judgment of correct club selection and geological conditions of ball lies.  The word “pro” back then was still not broadly accepted as a favorable term.  Yes, there were a few like Harry Vardon and so forth, but no matter how well they played the game or did their services they were still unwelcome in the inner and socially accepted circles.  They were still considered servants or the hired help.


There was one thing in common among all these caddies and I’m sure even the club members and their sons on both sides of the pond, and that was just like it still is to this very day, everyone had their favorite player with their style that they admired and copied.  Yes!  That’s right.  That is how the game began and grew.  People learned by copying and imitating others.  The game of golf being a game that takes time and money, or money to afford the time to play, very few pros back then were the best players.  Back in those early days of golf (Gowf) there were a very small handful of good pro players who did some personal mentoring.  The first one that comes to mind is the legendary Allan Robertson (1815 – 1859).  (Upper right photo Allan Robertson ca. 1850, Source: “University of St. Andrews”, Photo Archive).  He has been generally considered as the first professional golfer.  He also started off as a caddy and eventually moved his way up and worked as a greenkeeper, club maker and course designer, as well as playing tournament golf.  He came in second in the first Open Championship in 1860, and won the following year.


He was the teaching mentor of “Young Tom Morris”, son of the legendary “Old Tom”(Lower right photo of Old Tom Morris with Young Tom Morris ca. 1870-75, Source: “University of St. Andrews”, Photo Archive).


There was no organized set teaching back then but there were still different theories and styles among players just like it still is today until later years when the PGA adopted among its members strictly enforced teaching rules, which in recent years have been lifted.  As the years passed by, the tide of opinion did slowly turn towards the pros to what we see and have today.  Today we see most of these same amateur youths of the business men and club members of yesteryear leave college and join the PGA.  Count Yogi, “The Great Frankenberg” had very much too due with healing and bridging the old negative opinion gap between the amateur elite and the PGA, though he never received enough credit for it.


Eventually as time had passed and after gaining some reasonable momentum and credibility, the PGA began to write into its By-Laws, rules and conditions like the ‘Caucasian Only’ clause which finally has been lifted.  But the one rule I would most like to focus on was the fixed, organized teaching rule.  It was decided that no matter what your stature or how you played, every member would be strictly held to one, and only one way of teaching.  This ruling in its early existence was very strictly enforced.  Today you may think this rule to be odd and ridiculous, but in all fairness it made sense back then.  You couldn’t expect an organization, a union of that time and considered the ‘un- desirable’ to survive, hold together, and continue to grow if you did not have some uniformity and solidarity, especially before there was any large prize money with worldwide television coverage and corporate sponsorships.


The early rules were put in place to hold themselves together and look worthy and proper to the wealthy and big business.  Though it caused suffering for some, in the long run it was an intelligent move because it worked in accomplishing its purpose.  But today we see this teaching rule overlooked and ignored.  It could be for a multitude of reasons.  My opinion is that like I have just previously mentioned, it accomplished the uniformity need way back when the organization was first getting started so the rule serves no logical purpose today.  In today’s golfing era you only have a handful of players in the world that can make the professional cut, which only a minority of them makes a reasonable living.  That leaves thousands of members to fend for themselves either working as club pros with a variety of other duties and positions, or driving range pros.  But it has always been the extra bread and butter for the pro to be able to teach the way he or she wants, to set themselves apart.  With the ban lifted, this is now possible.  If the ban were still enforced today, many teaching pros and maybe even your favorite guru’s would be starving to death trying to make a living, all teaching the same way.  The sad thing is that today they’re all teaching the same thing with their own little twist to it.  That is why it is time for golf-playing stagnation to end.  “It’s time for Yogi Golf ™!”  It is also my feeling that the teaching rule lifted did allow the club manufacturing community to move deeper and more directly into the teaching arena.


After all, they are now not only some of the main corporate sponsors, but have made tremendous engineering and technological advancements in golf equipment.  Yet, golf handicaps are not going down.  In fact, they are going up!  “It is not only the improvement of the arrow, it is of the Archer!”  So today we have come full circle.  History is repeating itself.  We find ourselves back where golf was nearly 100 years ago with one difference.  And that difference is, instead of just a few wondering and struggling with their games, now the whole world and millions are.


Here is a reasonable question; “Is there only one way to swing a golf club?” The answer to that question is absolutely No!  The next question is; “Is there one proper, best, more superior athletic way to swing a golf club for most people?”  The answer to that question is absolutely YES!  I will explain why; in every sport from the beginning of time whether starting from the ancient Olympic Games in Greece to the modern era, whether it be archery, the discus throw, the javelin, running, boxing, baseball, football, basket ball, hockey, high board or platform diving, martial arts and countless others.  Mankind through time, trial and error has always figured out and settled into the most scientific, efficient, and most proper ways to do things.  We know this because when these techniques are applied, they prove to have and posses the most effective ways and results, on the most consistent basis, for the longest period of time, without unnecessary injuries, depending on the sport.  Another deciding factor is once these techniques are consciously practiced and learned, they are able to go into and automatically operate in the sub-conscience mind where physical movement ultimately belongs.  Yet, to this very day in the sport and game of golf, it is not so.  We are all still bombarded with theory after theory, guru after guru, opinion after opinion, and system after system, which in fact if you ever look up the definition of ‘system’ and give fair examination, none of these other methods or instructors live up to or resemble that title at all.  They are just merely theories and opinions, that’s all.  There have been many great players over the years with some of them having graceful swings and some with awkward swings but all very skillful.  Some of them was experiencing longer careers while others who were great for a flash in time and then suddenly faded away into obscurity.  There has been only one man in the history of the game, which for a playing lifetime of over 70 years, from the age of 6 years old to 83 was never off his game.  Harry Frankenberg, AKA Count Yogi® never had a lesson, tried, struggled, or had to over concentrated and be plagued with various theories.  He shot every golf record that ‘HE’ thought was important.  He spent his entire lifetime trying to help others out of the golfing ‘Babylon’ and into the light of injury free pleasure, class, style, relaxation and enjoyment of the game despite his unwarranted persecutions and inflicted discriminations.  He played his whole life mentally with what he called his “Infallible, Physical and Mental Routine”; his simple yet powerfully affective set system and precise art form.  So we can all have and enjoy what he had, let’s find out how it all came about!


Harry Frankenberg (later changed to Count Yogi) came from humble beginnings but was blessed with an Albert Einstein IQ of intelligence along with a Babe Ruth / Jim Thorpe type of athletic ability.  Around the year 1914 Count Yogi started golf at the age of six.  His father owned a home and a small farm near a golf course/country club (which in those days was owned only by five or six men).  He would stand along the fence and wait for players to pass by, and then he would swing a stick for them.  They would clap and cheer for him.  What they did not realize is that this poor, young boy genius was copying their best looking, best result moves.  Yogi told me years later that when he watched other players, he noticed immediately that most of the time when they had a good if not a great shot; they all had a certain look about them.  That look was the way they physically moved and the way they finished with that move.  Yet he also noticed and observed that none of them did it all the time or very often for that matter.  So he made it his goal to copy, refine, perfect and consistently repeat that swing movement every time he swung a golf club.  He later adjusted and perfected the move for short shots and putting.  It wasn’t long before Yogi noticed that even the best players including him at the age of 8 were plagued with some degree of inconsistency.  Being the genius and perfectionist that he was, the very thought and experience of this drove him crazy.  So he decided to do something about it.


It was mentioned earlier about how today’s young and older golfers have their favorite players, so it was the same in Count Yogi’s earlier era.  Young Harry’s (Yogi’s) favorite golfer when he was a young boy caddying was Charles E. “Chick” Evans, Jr. (July 18, 1890 – November 6, 1979).  (Photo Left, Source: Published in “Golf Illustrated & Outdoor America”, Vol III, No. 6, September 1915).  His hay day was from the World War I era through the 1920’s and early 30’s.  He was a leading amateur golfer of the 1910s and 1920s.  Evans was the first amateur to win the ‘U.S. Open’ and ‘U.S Amateur’ in one year, a feat he achieved in 1916.  Evans went on to win the ‘U.S. Amateur’ in 1920, while finishing runner-up three times.  Selected to the ‘Walker Cup’ team in 1922, 1924, and 1928, Evans competed in a record 50 consecutive ‘U.S. Amateurs’ in his long career.  All this was achieved with only seven hickory-shafted clubs (Count Yogi shot most of his world record scores and golfing feats also with a limited amount of hickory- shafted clubs, and in later year’s designs using only the odd or even number ones).  In addition to his golf career, Evans is known for sponsoring a college scholarship for qualified caddies.  In 1960, he was voted the ‘Bob Jones Award’, the highest honor given by the ‘United States Golf Association’ in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.  Chick was considered for many years to be one of the best players for the longest period of time in golfing history.  Most competitive golfers back then, like Bobby Jones and others, retired early in their late 30’s, and early 40’s.  Chick played competitive tournaments well into his 50’s, which was un-common and unheard of for those days.  Young Harry picked him as his favorite because he noticed something distinctly different about Chick Evans from other players; that difference was the way he moved and used his body.  Young Harry knew instantly that Chick had developed the near perfect swing.  How did he know this?  By watching Chick Evan’s continue to hit long and accurate shots with good balance, posture, and without suffering any physical injuries.  He did have his share of off days but would bounce back fairly quickly without having to practice as much compared to others.  He eventually became CEO for a large company believed to be his fathers, which didn’t afford him that amount of practice time anymore.


When young Harry first met his idol, he was playing in a local junior tournament in the Chicago area.  Chick was amazed at his talent and artistry, especially for how young he was.  The young and very confident Harry told him he was his idol and favorite golfer, and had copied and had improved on his swing.  Chick Evans, first briefly stunned by the comment then smiled and said, “That’s the spirit kid, keep up the good work!”  Little did Chick know that he and this young boy would become life long friends, and in later years would be helped by Yogi to fix and keep his game alive and going.  The mystery of solving the playing and scoring inconsistencies in golf (that haunted even the greatest players of that era like Chick Evans and Bobby Jones, to name a few) drove Yogi to obsession to solve the problem.



He also noticed because of the inconsistent problem in golf that most golfers were or became awkward especially as they got older and even the graceful fluent ones that moved athletically correct would also eventually lose their graceful swings and games because they also would start experimenting with all the taught barrage of swing theories and tinkering with and changing their swings.  Now there is also a thing called ‘superior skill and judgment’.  This is when someone improves through intense amounts of frequently long and grueling practice sessions.  They can eventually get so good that they can make their swings, and wrong movements of awkwardness seem right to the gullible or uninformed, but they must practice many hours to maintain that skill.  And eventually with time, and despite how much practice, their swings also fade away.


(Photo Left of Chick Evans & Count Yogi; Source: Published in “Revolutionary Golf Made Easy”©, 1941.)  After learning Chick’s swing, Yogi began to perfect and refine its qualities to the point where it was finally perfected.  Yes!  He had discovered and perfected the ultimate swing for all people whether they were young or old, tall or short, stocky or slim, male or female.  Young Harry even went back to Chick and shared his findings and improvements with him and he was amazed and ecstatic on what the young genius had done.  But there was one more hurdle, one more obstacle to conquer, and that was maintaining peak and consistent performance.  The Count Yogi ® physical swing movement or any other types of swings for that matter are learned by the left side of the brain, the conscience-logical side through two ways.  One is Count Yogi’s way through private mentoring and perfect conscience- competent practice with repetitive imitating of both ‘Internal’ and ‘External’ learning.  The second way is through personal “conscience-competence” of ‘solely ‘Internal’ learning which is the way most people on the planet teach and learn things and which takes multiple years to get good at and can be lost or tainted quickly and easily via gullibility.


Through years of countless successful testing, we now know that Yogi’s way is the most pure and ultimate way of learning and enjoying golf for a lifetime!!


It has truly earned the right to be called “a competent and precise application” to learning.  The hurdle and obstacle to conquer is when one learns a competent physical movement through consciousness, they must find a way to get or put that competent and correct physical movement and its understanding and knowledge into the “Unconscious” part of the mind where you are doing the physical movement in automatic mode, and keeping it there.  It is likened to tying your shoe or necktie, driving your car, riding a bike, pressing a button on a TV remote and so forth.  Once you learn the proper and superior physical movement of a sport, that movement must get moved from a “Conscious” state of mind into an “Unconscious” state of mind and then operated and maintained forever in the zone at will using Count Yogi’s perfected “MENTAL ART TECHNIQUE”.  Then and only then is one liberated from inconsistency and frustration.  How do you know if the physical movement you are using is proper; and how do you get it in, and to stay in the unconscious mind (in the groove and zone) while swinging?  In the year of 1916, Yogi finally discovered the answer to this problem.  He developed, “The Golf Art” ™.  He always gave credit that it was “Creator” given to him.


I know this statement will be hard for some to accept but truth must be told.  Back in the 1970’s Richard ‘Dick’ Fosbury revolutionized competitive high jumping with his backwards style and technique called: “The Fosbury Flop”.  It nearly overnight made the most commonly used and accepted ways of high jumping in competitions; the “Western Roll” and the “Scissor” jumps outdated and obsolete.  Or another example of how Platelet and Stem Cell Therapies are outdating many forms and types of surgeries, so is the same of Count Yogi’s “The Golf Art” ™ which has made traditional golf instruction outdated also.



Note: THE KNOWLEDGE IS NOT BASED ON ANY EASTERN PHILOSOPHICAL MYSTICISM BUT REAL SUPERIOR AND QUANTIFIABLE, PROVEN SCIENCE OF BOTH MIND AND BODY!!!  Count Yogi a.k.a. Harry M. Frankenberg obtained the first title name of “The Count” from Herbert Yates of Republic Pictures and Howard Hughes, which Yogi became good friends with both of them and wrote golf columns for a while for Hughes RKO Studio’s picture and radio paper.  The title name “Count” was given as a moniker of golf royalty and respect and the name “Yogi” came from the famous singer and song writer Hoagie Carmichael who was a yoga practitioner and said that Yogi’s swing was in his opinion a form of yoga because there was very similar strength and balance obtained through and within the stretching of the swing movement.


A Count Yogi Poem written many years ago;  “Golf is the game!  It’s a five mile trip,---Enjoyed by glorious fellowship.  It takes you over hill and dale, where bird and blossoms seldom fail.  Here is where the bird will sing; where one enjoys the breath of spring,---While played on grass that’s fresh and green, one visions brushes, trees, and streams.  Oh!  Who could ever ask for more, than just this game,---That’s played by four?


P.S.  We are always looking for current or inspiring to-be men and women who desire to have a very successful professional tour playing career using “The Golf Art”™.


Respectfully yours,


Timothy ‘Yogi’ Nicholls




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