The Kendall Academy is all abuzz about a student of instructor Tom Tantapanish. The student is a 13-year-old boy named Henry Finch. He started taking lessons with Tom in the late summer. What is amazing and baffling to the Academy, is his ability to hit these gargantuan drives with a very unorthodox swing, a swing no one in the Academy has seen the likes of. The best way to describe it is a strange combination of Jim Furyk and Moe Norman, not very aesthetic, but very powerful considering that Henry is a small, 115 lbs., 13 year old. He is left-handed and at the top of his swing both arms appear to be fully extended and from there things just explode.
Dave Kendall, director of the Academy, thinks that there are certain aspects of Henry’s swing that will revolutionize the way we think about the golf swing sort of the same way the Fosberg Flop changed high jumping. To give you an idea of what the kid can do, Michael Tooroian, a Miles club-fitter, put Henry on a launch monitor to check his numbers. At this point Henry is not real consistent, but when he hits one, he gets ball speeds of close to 200 MPH. That translates into club-head speeds in the 130s and drives well over 300 yards.
Henry’s parents are astonished at Henry’s golf abilities. He is a rather bookish Greenhills student and it took a little coercion into getting him to take golf lessons. He does come from an athletic family. His father is Dr. Sidney Finch with the UM Hospital and a former minor league pitcher for the Mets. His mother is the former Roslyn Ruiz, a distance runner.