The Carmen Ronzonni Effect

With apologies to William Devane, who I like very much, 35 years ago there was a non Academy award winning movie called “Bad News Bears in Breaking Training.”

Like most sequels, it had some entertainment value, but didn’t live up to the original.

In that movie there was a character named Carmen Ronzonni, the pitcher.

He could imitate the wind up and pitching motions of several pitchers like Luis Tiant and Catfish Hunter. He also almost got all of their asses kicked when he was nearly beaning the hitters on the other team in the head, during a pickup game.

When the coach (Devane) said to just “Throw it here,” he whizzed a strike at will.

The point. Don’t copy the swings of tour players and run from any instructor who puts you side by side with a tour player and starts pointing out the differences in your swings and all the positions they hit that you should hit.

Using a tour player as an example of something they are trying to get you to do is one thing.

The only time I do it is to show people who have slow backswings they are slow, when Ernie Els makes contact before their backswing is done.

Showing how a good player doesn’t move their head toward the target to start the downswing, etc.

Let me reiterate my original point. Don’t copy Hogan. You can’t get to those impact positions. You are also unlikely to get where he was at the top, or mid downswing as well. It’s not anatomically possible for nearly everyone.

Since you don’t have 10 years of 8-10 hours a day of practice, you also are unlikely to have the time, as that’s how long he took to perfect that move.

Soap Box broken. Thank you for listening.




  1. Lawrence

    “Let me reiterate my original point. Don’t copy Hogan” What if your a knuckle dragger? lol

  2. Neil

    I was one of those guys that we compared to Els…and it blew my tiny little brain. 🙂

  3. peter saika

    Thanks for that. Had a big discussion about that at work today with a co worker with a four handicap. He is a big fan of copying swings….after much discussion he amended his stand to include , “pros that swing similarily to oneself.”

    On a separate note. Your casting drill where you try to drive your trail hand through. What a great lesson. I have been working on it for a couple of weeks now and it has really helped straighten out my shot as well as change the feel of how fast/hard I think I am swinging. I feel much easier and relaxed with substantially more on line distance.


  4. Mike M.

    A Carmen Ronzonni reference. Reason #2,487 Monte is the best golf instructor in America. I’d bet my house, Jeep, wife, and soul that Hank Haney’s response to the words “Carmen Ronzonni” would be “who is that?” The makers of In Breaking Training tried their best, but they didn’t have Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal to work with. A coach who guzzled beer in the dugout, a girl pitcher, and a 12-year old mini-Fonz chain smoking on a dirt bike and hustling air hockey games was always going to be an impossible act to follow.


Leave a Reply

Share This