A few little mini-thoughts that aren't big enough on their own to warrant separate posts.
I have a hard time understanding how it's 2012 and:
- Many (perhaps most) instructors (let alone golfers) believe the ball starts in the direction of the path and ends up where the face is pointing.
- Poor instructors - in general - still exist so widely, and still get business. If mechanics were like golf instructors, there would be massive industry reform.
- People still think that you "turn the face down at impact" to hit a draw, or that hinge actions affect the ball because of what they do while the ball is on the face.
- There are still so many club hos out there. I think that's how you spell hos. :)
- We still have people who think the ball is "trapped" against the ground, people who still think draws have topspin, and people who still believe that greens must all break "towards" or "away" from something that's 20 miles or 2 miles or 40 yards away from where they're putting.
I think the biggest singular breakthroughs in golf in the past 50 years include:
- Affordable high-speed cameras.
- Jorgensen's "Physics of Golf."
- FlightScope/Trackman and other launch monitors.
- Many would include TPI/AMM type data in here, but I don't think it quite crosses my threshold.
- TGM would be included if this span was longer than 50 years, even though most of it is wrong or outdated or lacking, it changed the way a LOT of people thought about things, and has had ripple effects that affect a LOT of golfers and instructors.
This isn't instruction-related, but the best ten U.S. players of all time might not include Phil Mickelson. In no order: Tiger, Jack, Arnie, Ben, Bobby, Billy, Byron, Sam, Walter, Gene, and Tom. That's 11. Phil's probably definitely top 12, but which two of those people could he bump to crack the top 10? When you consider the strength of the fields these days, though, it becomes much easier to bump a few guys down and move Phil inside the top 10.
To the quality of instruction, I will say this: things are heading in the right direction. The Internet has played a moderate role in this. The better golfers are becoming more informed, and when a lesser golfer asks "who should I take lessons from?," the better golfer is more likely than ever to recommend a good instructor rather than a poor one. The poor instructors are slowly (too slowly) getting fewer lessons.