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Can Online Golf Lessons Help your Game?

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 

Wanted to share another Dana Dahlquist blog where he gives his opinion about online golf lessons.

http://danadahlquistgolf.wordpress.com/2012/11/15/internet-lessons-2012-and-beyond/ 

 

Quote:
I think now is a great time for all areas for the teacher. As the student you can do a Golf School, private lesson and even an internet lesson and get similar results.
It all depends what your market can provide, yet one is not better than the other it all depends on the student.

 

Quote:

 

Personally I think there is huge value in doing internet lessons for several reasons.

1. New fresh ideas at lower costs
2. Long term overview on your students development

 

Obviously online lessons are something I'm in favor of, being the manager of Evolr and giving Sand Trap members advice on the Member Swings Forum. The number of online golf instruction programs online has grown tremendously in recent years.  Golf is a global game and golfers want quality instruction.  Thanks to Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, golfers from around the world are introduced to many different concepts from a variety of instructors. There are quite a few instructors that have made a name for themselves from their Youtube videos. 

 

Getting to Dana's first point about new fresh ideas, golf instruction as a whole sucks.  Not to get into too much detail because we already talk about it enough on this site but most instructors don't teach the correct ball flight laws and don't understand the way the body works to pivot on an inclined plane.  Online instructors can start to differentiate themselves from their competition and golfers reap the rewards. Golfers looking for "the truth" will find themselves on this site or watching Youtube videos from intelligent instructors that you may not find on the top 100 list.  The level on free information, not to pat myself or Erik on the back, is quite remarkable. And it's CORRECT information!  This information wasn't available to the public five or ten years ago and to get it, if it was available, you had to spend thousands of dollars to go to golf schools.  Now we just give it away b2_tongue.gif    But does having a lot of knowledge mean you can turn yourself into a tour player?  Unfortunately no.  There isn't one universal answer for everyone on how it will feel to make a solid back swing but having some level of knowledge will keep you away from instructors that talk about turning the shoulders level and/or over the right foot. 

 

Regarding Dana's second point about student development. I'm proud to be part of Evolvr because I believe in the way we (James Hirshfield, Brian McGrew, Stephan Kostelecky and myself) help golfers.  When a student uploads a video the goal of the instructor is to identify that one priority piece.  That one thing that will get the golfer to start hitting it better right away.  It could be a piece on the downswing, back swing or even the address position.  Sometimes getting to work on that priority piece can reduce mistakes in other parts of the swing.  It's all about stripping away the compensations, making things the most simple.  Yes an educated instructor or student can identify all the checkpoints and see the 10 things that are wrong with the golfer in I've had Evolvr students tell him that they've had online lessons from other instructors and had no idea where to start.  The lesson was 20 minutes of the instructor comparing their swing to Tiger Woods from 2000 and listing off the errors they were making.  With Evolvr we try to keep the videos to a max of 5 minutes The beauty is that students get to upload multiple times a month.  So if they have any questions or want to check in, they have the freedom to do so.  

 

There are obviously certain disadvantages to golf lessons online.  The student doesn't have the instructor there for immediate feedback.  An Evolvr student was here in San Diego on vacation and wanted a lesson.  It was great to finally show him in person what we've been talking about and manually adjust some pieces when he would make a mistake. 

 

As a whole I think online lessons can be a positive experience and very useful.  Good information at a cost effective price.  The toughest part for most (unless you read this thread) is finding a quality online instructor.  I send my son's swings to Dana every few months.  Father/son relationships can be tricky so it's great to get a third party's opinion.  Keeps everyone happy a2_wink.gif  My son has worked with Dana in person (he's an hour and a half drive) so he has some first hand knowledge of my son's learning style and tendencies.

 

Enough from me, what do you guys think?

 

 

 

post #2 of 50

It helped me a lot.  Not only do you get instruction and advice on your swing, but you understand what to look for in your swing when you film it.  It also has helped me correct issues during a round.  When I see what the ball did, I know what I need to correct for the next swing.  Don't forget to add the short game to the instruction that can be done on-line.

 

It is helpful to spend face to face time occasionally, which I did with Erik, James and Dave before I did Evolvr.  I got the know them and liked the approach, which helped me choose Evolvr.  Video instruction is really helpful and less expensive and you can film whenever you have time.  

 

Sadly, Erik and Dave are in Erie, PA and Mike is in San Diego, which makes face to face a bit of a challenge.

post #3 of 50

So far I have really enjoyed working with James and I gave already seen good improvement since I signed up last month.  I really wish I could get at least 1-2 personal lessons from James so I could truly comprehend everything he is saying and get a bit of real time feed back.  But regardless, I do enjoy being able to get online lessons, particularly for the price Evolvr offers.  And I know I am getting correct instruction!
 

post #4 of 50
I have found that online lessons for the most part work. I think Evolvr is really good because you guys are so tech savvy, that is not a commonality amongst teaching professionals. Most are not very tech savvy and this can mean it takes a great deal of time to get feedback from the respective pro. The software for Evolvr is second to none. Easy to upload, easy to find the coaches video. Just really easy.

I also find that the amount of work the teacher puts into it can vary greatly as well. Some guys really take their time create a really good video with thoughtful ideas, and some reply with an email consisting of about 3 sentences. This requires us the student to pay to learn who is good and who is not.

I hope that this thread gets more thoughts on the idea. I would like it if more pros would do online lessons and it became a standard for the industry. So there even more selection.
post #5 of 50

Evovlr is an awesome program.  I am grateful that I found it via this site.  But agree with Mike (mvmac) that mixing in hands on instruction can be very beneficial.  It allows you to pick up on pieces that you are having issues grasping from the online part.  

 

I really think there is room for improvement though with regard to interaction... Now with Skype and Google Hangouts, using a VoIP camera and talking to your coach would be something I'd be interested in as an uplifted service.  $39.99 for Evolvr... $49.99 for Evolvr+ which adds a 15 minute online Skype call to discuss topics online.  That would be very helpful and I'd sign up for it.

post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post
 $39.99 for Evolvr... $49.99 for Evolvr+ which adds a 15 minute online Skype call to discuss topics online.  

 

 

Really good idea.

post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchepp View Post

Really good idea.

 

Until the first person runs into scheduling issues and can't get with an instructor in a timely fashion. Remember we have students from around the globe, too (different time zones) and students who work odd hours. A lot of analyses are done late at night, etc.

 

Evolvr students are more than welcome to set up a time to talk to their instructor and can PayPal them $10 directly, but we don't encourage that because oftentimes the students ask for and expect information that's beyond the scope of what they need to focus on at that moment. Part of the reason evolvr works so well is that we as instructors can limit the information to better help the student. Trust me, the student who asks a lot of questions and likes all the answers is great for the ego sometimes, but it's bad for the student in the end.

 

If something we've ever said in a lesson is unclear, we do follow up, and not for a charge, but that almost never happens either.

post #8 of 50

One of the best things about online lessons is it forces the student to use his or her camera on their own time to record.  From their they can associate feels with what is really going on.

post #9 of 50

Hi guys

I just want to say that online lesson, in my case Evolvr academy, is great but I would suggest the following to new users:

  1. Follow the instructions you receive and not to try to change more than the lesson tells you. They give you the advice about the most important thing.
  2. Have absolute confidence on the teacher otherwise you will waste time, I mean, if they say you have your back as a S but you think looks like great since the Arnold Parmel back's way is not cool in your opinion you are lost....
  3. Dont read too much The sand trap swing thoughs forumsa2_wink.gif since you are going to think that your swing have too many defaults and then when you are playing is difficult to play naturally.

My own experience is great, I started with Evolvr on december on 2010 an apart from the improving I have learnt about golf swing more than I could have ever imagined. My handicap has not gone down dramatically but my golf shot quality has improved a lot.

Regards

post #10 of 50

I live in Wisconsin and have taken a couple live lessons with pga pros here earlier in the year.  It just did not work for me, and I cannot drive to Erie. :)  I felt more pressure with the pro standing over my shoulder to get what he was saying right away as well, and to me it made it tougher to learn.  Also I found that there is a lot that a pro can miss while looking at a swing in real time.  I know some pros use ipad's and cameras to get a better look at the swing and that is great.  I have been working with James from evolvr for 2 1/2 months now.  James right away was able to find a flaw in my grip right away that others missed.  It was so simple, but it was causing major problems in my swing.  Even as a fairly low handicap before I started, I have had just a terrible iron swing, but have somehow been able to find the fairway and rely on a decent short game around the green.  I know that pretty much, for me to get better I have to start making some iron shots.  What I love about evolvr or on-line lessons in general, is that you are able to look at what you are doing and are being taught and then you are able to go out and do it at your own pace with no time restrictions.   The videos really help, because for me I am able to see exactly what I am doing wrong, and that helps me understand what I need to change.  I am more visual when it comes to learning anyway.  They keep it to one simple thought per lesson, and that helps as well.  I feel like I have progressed fairly well in two months, so I am excited to see where this can go in a years time.  I know that James showed my progress to Dave and Erik as well and mentioned that they felt I was progressing well.  I think the key is to keep an open mind to what they say and when you get stuck on something, because you will, keep with it and ask questions or if there are other drills for it.  You may need to spend multiple lessons on one thing, but at $39 for for lessons you cannot beat it.  You may not solve something completely right away, but keep making little improvements towards that goal.  I know I have a long way to go with it, but if you learn best by visually understanding what you are doing wrong and what you need to do right, then it is definitely for you.

post #11 of 50

Last winter I signed up with evolvr and had immediate success but ran out of time to truely work on the things that I needed to and stopped evolvr after a couple months.  I thought the information was great for the money and came away from each video lesson with an understanding of what I needed to do.  My problems were, and still are, over reasearching all the little pieces I see wrong in my swing and wanting to fix them all at the same time.  I also could see the value in having a Pro watch me swing so I sought out some one locally for that.  After some research I found a guy here locally that new the ball flight laws, the alignments, and that i needed to work on just 1 thing at a time.  Eventhough he has helped a lot, i cant afford to see him all that often so I am on my way back to Evolvr here soon so work on prioriting my flaws.

post #12 of 50

You're damn right they can. Mike and Erik are awesome. If you don't believe me then start a My Swing thread and keep your fingers crossed that one of them responds. It will help your cause if you are a veteran member... newbs are far more likely to get overlooked by them. Just the way it goes, sorry.

post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

You're damn right they can. Mike and Erik are awesome. If you don't believe me then start a My Swing thread and keep your fingers crossed that one of them responds. It will help your cause if you are a veteran member... newbs are far more likely to get overlooked by them. Just the way it goes, sorry.

 

Sorry for the double post here. New members do get free assistance though, there is no question.

 

I remember having a conversation with Erik about a year ago about evolvr. I said evolvr looks great, but isn't nearly as good as an in-person lesson with a good instructor. He agreed. I'm actually starting to think Erik was wrong. Evolvr can be better because the instruction is so good. They really do find your biggest problem and educate you on it and how to fix it. Sometimes a good instructor can overlook the primary problem (no one's perfect, but this has happened to me before and online lessons from Mike and Erik have come to my rescue).

 

Yes, they aren't standing next to you watching you hit balls, nor are they there for you when you hit a snag during a range session, but knowing exactly what the problem is -- for me, anyway -- is extremely important. It alleviates so many of my frustrations and concerns when I have a clear picture in my head on where the issue lies. I'm not jumping off in another direction in an attempt to fix something that isn't there. I'm sticking with something despite whatever struggles I am encountering, knowing that despite bad contact -- for whatever the reason -- I am on the right track. 

post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

Sorry for the double post here. New members do get free assistance though, there is no question.

 

I remember having a conversation with Erik about a year ago about evolvr. I said evolvr looks great, but isn't nearly as good as an in-person lesson with a good instructor. He agreed. I'm actually starting to think Erik was wrong. Evolvr can be better because the instruction is so good. They really do find your biggest problem and educate you on it and how to fix it. Sometimes a good instructor can overlook the primary problem (no one's perfect, but this has happened to me before and online lessons from Mike and Erik have come to my rescue).

 

Yes, they aren't standing next to you watching you hit balls, nor are they there for you when you hit a snag during a range session, but knowing exactly what the problem is -- for me, anyway -- is extremely important. It alleviates so many of my frustrations and concerns when I have a clear picture in my head on where the issue lies. I'm not jumping off in another direction in an attempt to fix something that isn't there. I'm sticking with something despite whatever struggles I am encountering, knowing that despite bad contact -- for whatever the reason -- I am on the right track. 

 

I suppose the advantage is too that you can download and keep your videos forever...

 

But to be fair, JF, I was comparing in-person lessons with us to video lessons with us. :) Heck, if you catch me in a grumpy mood, I'd probably tell you that not taking lessons of any kind is probably better than taking lessons from a good chunk of the golf instructors out there... a2_wink.gif

 

Anyway, we feel we've gotten really good at giving lessons online. You can improve your swing and scores with a five- or ten-minute video that speaks JUST to you. Easily. In many ways the simple and direct nature makes it better than an in-person lesson.

post #15 of 50
I certainly can attest to the fact that the evolvr instructors will not rush you on to the next thing if you are not ready for it. Your priority piece will bethe only thing they will talk about until it is no longer the priority piece. They can be quite stubborn. a2_wink.gif
post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

Sorry for the double post here. New members do get free assistance though, there is no question.

 

I remember having a conversation with Erik about a year ago about evolvr. I said evolvr looks great, but isn't nearly as good as an in-person lesson with a good instructor. He agreed. I'm actually starting to think Erik was wrong. Evolvr can be better because the instruction is so good. They really do find your biggest problem and educate you on it and how to fix it. Sometimes a good instructor can overlook the primary problem (no one's perfect, but this has happened to me before and online lessons from Mike and Erik have come to my rescue).

 

Yes, they aren't standing next to you watching you hit balls, nor are they there for you when you hit a snag during a range session, but knowing exactly what the problem is -- for me, anyway -- is extremely important. It alleviates so many of my frustrations and concerns when I have a clear picture in my head on where the issue lies. I'm not jumping off in another direction in an attempt to fix something that isn't there. I'm sticking with something despite whatever struggles I am encountering, knowing that despite bad contact -- for whatever the reason -- I am on the right track. 

 

I suppose the advantage is too that you can download and keep your videos forever...

 

But to be fair, JF, I was comparing in-person lessons with us to video lessons with us. :) Heck, if you catch me in a grumpy mood, I'd probably tell you that not taking lessons of any kind is probably better than taking lessons from a good chunk of the golf instructors out there... a2_wink.gif

 

Anyway, we feel we've gotten really good at giving lessons online. You can improve your swing and scores with a five- or ten-minute video that speaks JUST to you. Easily. In many ways the simple and direct nature makes it better than an in-person lesson.

 

Yea, this is true. You guys launched it in 2009 (or 2010). I'm not sure how many lessons you've given, but I assume that all the evolvr instructors share ideas and send each other clips of their students just to make sure they nailed the priority piece. Also, you guys work with some of the smartest people in golf on a daily basis pretty much. In addition to being really good at what you do, you have the allies and resources to continue learning and improving as instructors. I'm sure that it's been a long time since you guys have seen a swing issue that has stumped you, since there seem to be a finite number of swing flaws out there, and the same ones tend to pop up in most students. Over time, you guys have gotten extremely good at fixing people thru the internet. It's really been unbelievable to watch, as I have been an active member of this site since the fall of 2008, and have seen this evolution take place. 

 

Often times I'll just read the My Swing Thread section just to find the threads you and Mike and have responded to, so I can build my own mental catalogue of the common problems people encounter -- not because I'm an instructor, but because I do find all this stuff fascinating. 

post #17 of 50

I've never tried online lessons but after reading this thread I might do so.  I used to get lessons by a pro here in so cal, but I haven't played in a couple years so maybe I'll give this a shot.

post #18 of 50

A little off the subject of online lessons, but I needed to post this. Saw the cover of the January 2013 issue of Golf magazine today. Don't know if online lessons work, but take a look at these actual front-cover tips:

 

Fix your slice with your elbows

 

Thumb you way to 10 more yards 

 

Use your feet to hit more greens

 

Now that there is a proposed ban on anchored putters, I think the USGA will be looking into the above next.....

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