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Are you getting the most out of your lessons? - Page 2

post #19 of 48

I agree that most lessons end up being a waste of time.  Lessons are often just 30 minutes - barely time for a "tip" or a "fix". 

 

Everyone is to blame for this.  Amateurs for their expectations of improvement from 1 30 minute lesson, pro's for their willingness to go along with that and offer a tip or fix.  TV pundits for confusing everyone with their pet theories.  Pro's who write books and DVD's that promote themselves and contradict each other.  And finally amateurs again for not practicing enough, not practicing effectively and not having a consistent setup. 

 

And I agree with iacas, many pro's are useless.  Out of 7 pro's I have had lessons from over 8 years, 1 was only interested in selling me new clubs, 1 spent half of each lesson strapping me into all sorts of measurement gizmos and then confused the heck out of me with technicalities,  2 failed to find anything for me to work on "you have a nice looking swing, I can't see what the problem is", 1 was just using the video and trying to make me look like Ernie Els, 1 was able to come up with useful tips and fixes, and finally, 1 has made some fundamental improvement.  So, my score would be 5 out of 7 stink (70+%), 1 was good for a tip or fix and 1 is good for developing a decent swing.   

 

I think the important point here is to separate full swing ball striking improvement from everything else.  A single lesson is OK, for example, if you want to improve your chipping, or if you have suddenly got "the lefts" and need someone to spot something that has crept into your game. 

 

I agree with headgolffool that if you want to get the best score you can, most people would do better to avoid lessons on the full swing, and stick with what they have.  They would do better to use smarter course management and improve some basic short game techniques. 

 

If you want to improve ball striking, IMO, get ready for some serious effort and take the time to find a really good pro.  It took Nick Faldo two years to re-model his swing.  It has taken me 4 years (and counting) and I think I am just beginning to see some early signs of improvement now I have finally found a decent pro.   

 

We need some unbiased, not for profit, advice for amateurs on how to learn.  The advice needs to be far more specific than "consult your club pro", due to all of the above. 

 

Here is an idea:  if it has not already been done, why don't sandtrappers get together and write it? 

post #20 of 48

Think about it like this, a vast majority of who teaches golf lessons are taught the wrong ball flight laws.  So in turn, those teachers teach the wrong ball flight laws... wrong ball flight laws leads to misunderstandings in the swing and cause and effects...

post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

I agree that most lessons end up being a waste of time.  Lessons are often just 30 minutes - barely time for a "tip" or a "fix". 

 

Everyone is to blame for this.  Amateurs for their expectations of improvement from 1 30 minute lesson, pro's for their willingness to go along with that and offer a tip or fix.  TV pundits for confusing everyone with their pet theories.  Pro's who write books and DVD's that promote themselves and contradict each other.  And finally amateurs again for not practicing enough, not practicing effectively and not having a consistent setup. 

 

And I agree with iacas, many pro's are useless.  Out of 7 pro's I have had lessons from over 8 years, 1 was only interested in selling me new clubs, 1 spent half of each lesson strapping me into all sorts of measurement gizmos and then confused the heck out of me with technicalities,  2 failed to find anything for me to work on "you have a nice looking swing, I can't see what the problem is", 1 was just using the video and trying to make me look like Ernie Els, 1 was able to come up with useful tips and fixes, and finally, 1 has made some fundamental improvement.  So, my score would be 5 out of 7 stink (70+%), 1 was good for a tip or fix and 1 is good for developing a decent swing.   

 

I think the important point here is to separate full swing ball striking improvement from everything else.  A single lesson is OK, for example, if you want to improve your chipping, or if you have suddenly got "the lefts" and need someone to spot something that has crept into your game. 

 

I agree with headgolffool that if you want to get the best score you can, most people would do better to avoid lessons on the full swing, and stick with what they have.  They would do better to use smarter course management and improve some basic short game techniques. 

 

If you want to improve ball striking, IMO, get ready for some serious effort and take the time to find a really good pro.  It took Nick Faldo two years to re-model his swing.  It has taken me 4 years (and counting) and I think I am just beginning to see some early signs of improvement now I have finally found a decent pro.   

 

We need some unbiased, not for profit, advice for amateurs on how to learn.  The advice needs to be far more specific than "consult your club pro", due to all of the above. 

 

Here is an idea:  if it has not already been done, why don't sandtrappers get together and write it? 



There's more than enough good information out there to play good golf, even with the wrong ball flight laws. Seriously, if you're trying to hit a straight ball, the old 9-pattern "laws" will get the job done. Good athletes can also learn by imitation. Not too many kids learned to skate by taking lessons when I was a kid and a lot of them became pretty fine hockey players. Hockey players are generally better skaters nowadays due to instructional focus and better equipment, but beginners will still be awful and not have a clue how to stop. A lot of people want a quick fix with lessons and don't want to put in the necessary work to get a swing grooved. There's no magic bullet for that.

post #22 of 48

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gresh24 View Post

Well, "won't be great" and "flat out stink" are a far cry form each other....b3_huh.gif


I have high standards. I also grade closer to a binary system of "good" or "suck" versus a percentage scale or something like that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

I agree that most lessons end up being a waste of time.  Lessons are often just 30 minutes - barely time for a "tip" or a "fix".

 

I disagree with that. A good instructor can spot the flaw and know the fix inside of a few minutes. They explain it, give the student a few drills or feelings or sensations until the right one's found, and then move on. We've begun doing more 30-minute lessons because our motivated students don't need us there watching them practice (that's almost what it amounts to) after we've identified the priorities and given them the information and drills.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

I agree with headgolffool that if you want to get the best score you can, most people would do better to avoid lessons on the full swing, and stick with what they have. They would do better to use smarter course management and improve some basic short game techniques.

 

If you want to get the best score you can you'll improve every aspect of your game as much as it can be improved through lessons, serious work, AND good course management.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

If you want to improve ball striking, IMO, get ready for some serious effort and take the time to find a really good pro.  It took Nick Faldo two years to re-model his swing.  It has taken me 4 years (and counting) and I think I am just beginning to see some early signs of improvement now I have finally found a decent pro.

 

That's not true, and it's annoying that this myth persists. Golfers are scared off by thinking that their games will have to suffer and that they'll have to play like shit AND work really hard for two or three years just to get better. There's no need to "take two steps back before you take three steps forward." I've yet to find a good golf instructor who will tear down someone's swing in order to build it up again. It makes no sense to me at a recreational level (or almost any other situation). Work on the single top priority piece at any given moment. Most students begin hitting the ball better right away. The ones who don't right away get there quickly.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

We need some unbiased, not for profit, advice for amateurs on how to learn.

 

Good luck on writing something "not for profit." Even if you could produce something, it would just be another theory out there among the many. Good golf instructors spend hours a day thinking about, researching, etc. the golf swing. Ten handicappers don't.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sk golf View Post

Think about it like this, a vast majority of who teaches golf lessons are taught the wrong ball flight laws.  So in turn, those teachers teach the wrong ball flight laws... wrong ball flight laws leads to misunderstandings in the swing and cause and effects...


Right. Which is not to say you need to understand them in order to play good golf - Nick Faldo is the poster boy there - just that it's an impediment that your body must learn to disregard or overcome, and when it comes from an instructor, well, then good luck to you, because he's going to try to fix your duck hooks by making you swing more to the right. :-)

post #23 of 48

There is so much information out there today (TV, youtube, discussion boards) - if you have a video camera & study all the information you have, no reason you can't develop a decent swing.    IMO, it ultimately comes down to dedication and repitition - thats the only way to develop a swing.    Playing a half dozen times a year like the average golfer isn't gonna cut it.    I can see lessons being a valuable asset if you need to work on a particular problem - for me, green side chipping is killing me - unbelievable how much I practice it and just can't translate it to the course CONSISTENTLY (I know it's becomming a mental block).    

 

Second part is we need to determine our goals as a golfer.     For most of us, we'll never be a scratch golfer, may be middle aged with physical limitations (my aching back !!), but we all want to be the best (within reason) that we can be given the time & resources we can devote.    Sure, if you're a young guy & want to be scratch or better, a swing coach makes perfect sense.     Just seems like it's entirely possible to develop a very respectable game given the resources available today if you're dedicated to it - I know I have a long ways to go, but thats my take on it.     Problem is as others have said, most golfers who take lessons are looking for an easy fix, and lack dedication ...

post #24 of 48

OK, I take the points from sean_miller.  I was not thinking about advice to kids or about advice for people who are naturally talented.  I agree that they learn differently. 

 

I was following the core idea of the thread which was how unrealistic and inefffective adult golf learning is. 

 

I was not thinking  we needed more "how to swing" information. I actually think we have too much of that. 

 

I was thinking in a different direction altogether:  how to learn, perhaps including things like how to avoid some of the many pitfalls that make adult golf learning so unsuccessful. 

 

Has this been done already?  Is this something that might help with the general topic of low productivity from lessons?

post #25 of 48
I've been taking evolr lessons for over a year. I've realized that it takes practice to become a better golf student. School work and other athletic (more brute force/pure speed--football/track&field) movements were more natural for me, but due to the inherent nature of the golf swing and precision/repeat-ability required for consistent good golf shots, I really needed to focus on comprehension more than usual.

You need more than dedication and good information to substantially improve. You need to really listen. With golf feel isn't real, and you can fool yourself even watching slow motion video. With lessons, a good piece of advice would be to over exaggerate. It's probably rare that you would immediately take a sound piece of advice and over apply it. Even if you were to over do it, it would be quicker to tone it back a touch, than to slowly incrementally increase it.
post #26 of 48

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by inthehole View Post

There is so much information out there today (TV, youtube, discussion boards) - if you have a video camera & study all the information you have, no reason you can't develop a decent swing.    IMO, it ultimately comes down to dedication and repitition - thats the only way to develop a swing.

 

It all comes down to two things in terms of this approach.

 

1) You need to devote perhaps hundreds of hours of time to researching the golf swing, throwing away the crap and keeping the good stuff.

2) You have to be able to properly apply your knowledge in the right order or priority to your golf swing.

 

 

I think you underestimate how much time it takes to become competent at even self instruction. I tried it - and enjoyed it - for years, but I didn't know diddly squat even when I was a 1.8.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lipout View Post

Has this been done already?


Yep. a1_smile.gif

 

If you're asking about the general psychology of it all, well, good luck. There's plenty of research in that field, but very little of it is directly written about golf.

post #27 of 48

Erik,

 

If one can "get" the physics of the golf swing. Does one  really need lessons if he can video himself? Personally I have made more progress by practicing and spotting things in video than taking lessons. (this is not to say I didn't have alot of very nice skilled people helping me along the way, I did). That being said. Don't you think that the social aspect of a teacher, student relationship in and of itself contributes to improvement?  I think I would be alot better if I could have what I am working on cemented by someone I respect.

 

Thoughts?

post #28 of 48

I think this is exactly what separates who is improving their golf game and who is not. I haven't really taken many lessons, but I've at least watched hours worth of swings on the PGA tour studying their positions, misses, etc. A lot of what I've learned came from trial and error.
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

It all comes down to two things in terms of this approach.

 

1) You need to devote perhaps hundreds of hours of time to researching the golf swing, throwing away the crap and keeping the good stuff.

2) You have to be able to properly apply your knowledge in the right order or priority to your golf swing.

 

post #29 of 48

Its certainly not un heard of to teach your self the golf swing. Many of the great swings of the past were homemade swings. But i would say they still had a blue print. They watched other golfers to get that visual than worked on getting there feel for it. Its easier today with video cameras, i think our imagination and visualization is worse than it use to be in the past, most likely do to multimedia.. If a person is dedicated there's no problem with them fixing there own swing. Just as long as they know what there looking for.

post #30 of 48

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MbolicGolf View Post

If one can "get" the physics of the golf swing. Does one  really need lessons if he can video himself?

Don't you think that the social aspect of a teacher, student relationship in and of itself contributes to improvement?

 

a) There's more to it than that. But like I said, people can get pretty good (I got to 1.8, others will get much lower), but it's a trade-off. Do they want to spend hundreds of hours or is it worth their time and frustration to pay $x to get the answers and skip all of the time. Some people enjoy the time. Others just want to play better golf. And still other people enjoy spending the time but start to go down the wrong path and need a good instructor to set them straight.

 

b) I think that plays a role. We foster that, too, at Golf Evolution. We'll play in scrambles, stop by and chat, video tape guys when we're not doing anything for ten minutes, answer questions when they pop up outside of lessons, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPMPIRE View Post

I think this is exactly what separates who is improving their golf game and who is not. I haven't really taken many lessons, but I've at least watched hours worth of swings on the PGA tour studying their positions, misses, etc. A lot of what I've learned came from trial and error.


Apologies if you take this the wrong way, but you're listed as a 12.2. Suppose this year you become a 9.3 on your own. With good instruction you might get to a 4.8. Is that difference worth the money and time savings to you? I don't know - it's for you to answer (also, of course, the numbers are made up).

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by uttexas View Post

I've been taking evolr lessons for over a year. I've realized that it takes practice to become a better golf student. School work and other athletic (more brute force/pure speed--football/track&field) movements were more natural for me, but due to the inherent nature of the golf swing and precision/repeat-ability required for consistent good golf shots, I really needed to focus on comprehension more than usual.
You need more than dedication and good information to substantially improve. You need to really listen. With golf feel isn't real, and you can fool yourself even watching slow motion video. With lessons, a good piece of advice would be to over exaggerate. It's probably rare that you would immediately take a sound piece of advice and over apply it. Even if you were to over do it, it would be quicker to tone it back a touch, than to slowly incrementally increase it.


Good points brought up here.  Yes a majority of instructors don't understand the ball flight laws/D-plane and don't connect the dots in terms of sequencing.  But the student really has to put in the work to change what feels "normal".  It's should feel different, that means your doing it right.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MbolicGolf View Post

If one can "get" the physics of the golf swing. Does one  really need lessons if he can video himself?

 

 

Yes because how do you know what the priority piece is?  I'm still learning and getting better at it.  I would say I had a pretty good handle on how the swing worked and why/how the ball flew the way it did but put me in front of a student 2 years ago and I would see 5 things wrong and no idea how to fix it.  That's what really separates the great instructors from the good one, ability to spot the piece that will help the student the most .  But success or fail really comes down to the student as long as the student is getting good advice.

 

Heck, I find the HARDEST thing to do is try and teach yourself.  You might want to make something look better but that might not be the priority piece at that time.

 

 

post #32 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 


I am. 95% of golf pros flat out stink.

 

 

 

For those who are unaware, and correct me if I'm wrong HGF, but you basically tell people to hit 135-yard shots, or 150-yard shots, or something like that, and then two-putt. Doing so has people shooting 85 because they, ostensibly, never get into trouble and so on. Then when they get to the green they're simply asked to two-putt, or occasionally make a putt. Yawn.

 

The problem with that way of thinking is that they're never going to improve if they never practice or work on their driver, their 4-iron, their hybrid, etc. Yay, they hit their 7-iron up the fairway and around the course. They shoot 85. Yawn.

 

The second problem? Most guys shooting 95 can't consistently hit a club - even a 7I - 135 yards and up the middle. They'll fat them. Thin them. Shank 'em. Slice 'em. Pull 'em. You name it. The odds of that happening may decrease because you're swinging the same club so often you can get in a bit of a groove, but over 18 holes you're gonna see some skanky shots.

 

The third problem? It's boring. You'll lose skins games every time because you'll NEVER get the low score on a hole. You'll be called names.

 

Better to learn golf from a good instructor (as tough as they are to find) and learn to play golf. Hitting the ball 150 straight will only get you so far.




I think you missed the point of my post.  I believe in good golf instruction, but I don't see most golfers making the commitment it takes to get better through lessons alone.  If that was the case why aren't golfers improving? Also, I stated that I hear mixed messages from golfers about wanting to shoot better scores.  If they aren't willing to make the commitment and take the time it takes to improve their swing, I am just suggesting another option to improving that can done quickly and easily.  If you don't think good course management skills are important at all golf levels that's your prerogative.  Golfers I have worked with using this method actually got more confident and over time started hitting the ball longer, shot better scores and are a lot less frustrated with the game.  Most golfers usually play within their own handicap level and will win skins out scoring their buddies that are all over the yard.

 

I also stated that it's not as glamorous for some that get more pleasure from hitting an occasional long drive or a great approach shot and as other post have stated they get more satisfaction from this.  Personally I still believe low score wins.

 

Lastly I did state in another post that if you can hit the ball 135-150 yards consistently you can shoot in the 80's as I have many friends that do and I certainly wasn't trying to spam this forum by having a link to my site in my signature. It's the first time I have joined forums and did not know this was unacceptable.  Won't happen again

post #33 of 48



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

 

 

 

b) I think that plays a role. We foster that, too, at Golf Evolution. We'll play in scrambles, stop by and chat, video tape guys when we're not doing anything for ten minutes, answer questions when they pop up outside of lessons, etc.

 


 

 

do you think there's a greater need for a teacher if the purpose of learning the game is different? For example someone who wants to compete, or someone who wants a long sunday walk by himself to be less frustrating?

 

By the way, I am just kind of thinking "out on to the forum" not trying to challenge the usefulness of teachers or instruction. I wish I could find a coach that fit me.

post #34 of 48

No offense taken. It's actually been 12.2 for a while now mostly because I haven't been posting too many rounds in the last 2 years. I only say what I said is because I only have time and money for self-instruction. Would I pay for instruction to get my handicap down at a faster rate? Of course I would! I even have a preferred instructor in the area. But for various financial reasons (including the birth of my second son 2 weeks ago a1_smile.gif), I can't pay for it right now. I've taken a couple of lessons where I live, but at their lower rate compared to my preferred instructor, you do get what you pay for.

 

I'm all for taking lessons, but I wouldn't solely rely on it 100%. Doing my own thing can get me more understanding of the golf swing and when I do decide to take lessons, I can at least relate to any instruction that's taught to me. Just makes my time during a lesson more efficient.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post


Apologies if you take this the wrong way, but you're listed as a 12.2. Suppose this year you become a 9.3 on your own. With good instruction you might get to a 4.8. Is that difference worth the money and time savings to you? I don't know - it's for you to answer (also, of course, the numbers are made up).



 

post #35 of 48

I'd love to be able to stop by Golf Evolution and chat.  Bit of a drive for me though.  I've got my eye on one local guy who might be able to provide the analytical approach I'm interested in but I simply haven't taken that plunge yet.  Past experience doesn't provide me with much encouragement...

post #36 of 48

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadGolfool View Post

If that was the case why aren't golfers improving?

 

Three reasons.

 

1) 14% of golfers take lessons. So good luck to the 86%.

2) Of the 14% who take lessons, an obscenely large chunk of them are taking lessons from schmucks.

3) Of those who are left, some of them don't practice. They attend a lesson, think they've "got it," and don't put in any effort after the lesson. They play better for awhile and then go right back to their old habits.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadGolfool View Post

I am just suggesting another option to improving that can done quickly and easily. If you don't think good course management skills are important at all golf levels that's your prerogative.

 

Lastly I did state in another post that if you can hit the ball 135-150 yards consistently you can shoot in the 80's.

 

 

The bold part I never said. I just think that hitting the ball 135-150 consistently (something a guy shooting 95 isn't guaranteed to do very "consistently") isn't really playing golf, and you're going to be limited to shooting scores in the 90s or, on good days, the upper to mid 80s. If that's your goal, great. But I think it's a bit of hooey to call hitting nothing longer than an 8-iron "course management" and an even bigger bit of hooey to call that "improving" at golf.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MbolicGolf View Post

do you think there's a greater need for a teacher if the purpose of learning the game is different? For example someone who wants to compete, or someone who wants a long sunday walk by himself to be less frustrating?

 

It depends. Why is the second guy frustrated? In my experience guessing at why you suck (not you, the general "you") is more frustrating than having a good instructor tell you and help you fix it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Broom View Post

I'd love to be able to stop by Golf Evolution and chat.  Bit of a drive for me though.  I've got my eye on one local guy who might be able to provide the analytical approach I'm interested in but I simply haven't taken that plunge yet.  Past experience doesn't provide me with much encouragement...

 

Perhaps in the near future there will be a 5 Simple Keys endorsed instructor in your area.

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