Ed Coleman a Charmed Life
Ed Coleman was a PGA golf professional and taught at Rancho Park Golf Course in West Los Angeles for over 50 years. By his calculations, he taught over 100,000 golf lessons. That could be a PGA record for most golf lessons given in a lifetime. Ed passed away in October of this year at between 92 and 95. He was very secretive about many aspects of his life and age was one of them.
I became friends with Ed in my junior year at USC. After a successful sophomore year on the golf team, my golf game disappeared the next year. I was introduced to Ed and he helped piece my game back together. But he was more than a golf coach; he became a friend and life mentor. Many lessons learned on the lesson tee, golf course, or over lunch have shaped my life, my attitudes, and worldview. Over the past ten years, I would visit with him about once a year at his favorite lunch spot at Farmers Market in LA. I would just show up and his expression was always the same, he was happy to see me, but not surprised, as if he was expecting me.
His teaching philosophy was shaped under direct tutelage from the great Ernest Jones in New York City in the early 1950’s. Ernst Jones was a proponent of “Swing the Clubhead” and taught many national champions in the 1930’s and 40’s. My teaching philosophy and understanding of the golf swing is 100% attributed to what I learned from Ed Coleman about “Swing the Clubhead”. Before I began taking lessons from Ed, I learned by watching the best players in southern California and emulating their style. One of my best friend’s dad was a past California State Amateur champion. He would take Kemp and me to Long Beach State College every evening and hit balls. I would try to copy his swing, but more so the sound that he made. Other than some basic understanding of fundamentals, I had not a clue to what made up the workings of a good golf swing.
My goal was always to play tournament golf and I reached that goal in 1975 when I competed on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately I didn’t play up to the caliber that was needed and money and other obligations derailed my continuing in 1976. When I turned my attention to being a golf professional, I soon realized that I had a talent for teaching and conveying my understanding of the golf swing to my students. I give Ed Coleman the credit for leading me in the right direction.
Ed was a tennis player first; a sprinter with just short of Olympic speed; survived the landing during the Normandy Invasion on D-Day; a PGA golf professional; tap dancer; and a mentor and teacher of thousands. A Hollywood producer (a student) did a documentary a few years ago about Ed and titled it a Charmed Life. In looking back of his 90 plus years, I would say it was the right title.
If you would like to read a more in-depth article of Ed and his life, the Southern California Golf Association in their monthly magazine had a very nice article of his life. Click on http://plusfore.scga.org/dec2015#&pageSet=6&page=0 . I think you will enjoy the read.