Even for someone who prides himself of being able to string a few words together, there's simply no way I can convey what it means to hear Mike Malaska talk about golf.
The former Weber State golfer, now a prestigiously awarded, internationally known instructor, truly is a dual threat. First, he knows everything there is to know about the game of golf; secondly, he's so charismatic it doesn't matter how much he knows.
See, the truth is nobody can know all there is to know about the game of golf, but Malaska is so dynamic, when he's working a room like he did last month at the Ogden Golf and Country Club, there's no reason to doubt a word he says.
Amazingly -- thankfully -- his knowledge of the golf swing, the mental game and what it takes to combine the two is surpassed only by his ability to share that information in an entertaining way.
In September, Malaska, a member of Weber State's class of '76, received the school's Distinguished Alumnus Award. The man is impossibly busy, but for such an honor he made sure to clear time on his schedule to return to Ogden shortly before Weber State's homecoming festivities.
While he was in town to receive his award, Malaska stopped by the OGCC for a luncheon to help benefit the WSU men's and women's golf programs. The folks from Weber State invited me to listen in and I'm glad they did because hearing Malaska share a few insights on the game was a real treat.
"I'm still hearing people talk about it," said Jeff Smith, Weber State's director of golf.
As a sports columnist I've learned it's never a good idea to presume to know what everyone in the arena is thinking. In this case, I'll go out on a limb and assume there wasn't a soul in the room who went home disappointed.
I base that assumption on the fact I looked around and noticed lots of heads nodding their approval at Malaska's various golf philosophies. Shoot, for a while there it looked like a dang bobble-head doll factory.
Since I'm neither a teacher nor a professional public speaker, I can only imagine the confidence that comes from knowing the room is blissfully quiet and all eyes are focused on you.
That afternoon, Malaksa had them in both awe and stitches. Awe because so much of what he said seemed to strike a chord inside each golfer; and stitches because he's a funny guy who tells funny stories.
For example, he discussed golf's great technology push, which I know from personal experience can be a tad expensive to those of us who fall victim to the notion (more like a fishhook, really) that the latest equipment will magically improve your swing.
"Go!" he yelled at the fancy new $400 driver, lying there by itself on the floor. "Go!"
Nothing happened. The club stayed put.
He continued to coach the inanimate object.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" he asked, feigning exasperation.
We all knew exactly what was wrong. The club, no matter how expensive, is only as good as the person swinging it.
The swing's the thing.
It was a great object lesson.
Look, nothing Malaska had to say came cased in new-age polymer. It wasn't particularly groundbreaking; there were no new never-before-revealed secrets to the game.
The new secrets are the old secrets repackaged and spiced up with catchy new words, he said.
But make no mistake, Malaska knows the secrets. The new ones and the old. He knows how to apply them to the mechanics of the golf swing, which is why he's one of the best in the business.
Perhaps the best part of the day for me personally was watching Malaska walk out of the OGCC's front doors, stop and glance around the beautiful course. He took a deep breath and smiled, taking it all in.
He won the 1974 Utah Open there as a 19-year-old kid.
I'm glad he came back.
A lot of people are.
Contact Standard-Examiner sports columnist Jim Burton at 801-625-4265, email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jmb247.