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questions for iacas about instruction

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

preface: the following was intended to be a private message for Iacas but I decided to post in a public forum so that others might benefit from whatever discussion may ensue:

 

 

Hey Erik, I was doing a search the other day on the site regarding golf instructors. I came across some old threads you started on the topic. In particular this one: http://thesandtrap.com/t/22339/instructor-dilemma-stack-and-tilt-style-guy

 

I was surprised to learn that you were 100% self taught at the time and had coached yourself down to a 1.8 handicap. I was also a little surprised that you were so skeptical of stack and tilt. Then I happened up on this thread that you started just a few months later where you seem completely sold on the s&t methodology. 

 

What was it that turned your skepticism around so quickly and caused you to embrace it? What is your present commitment to teaching S&T? Also, seeing as how you were self taught for the most part, would you recommend that someone like myself (less than 1 year experience) attempt to go the self taught route with S&T or take lessons?  I'm a little weary of the idea of forking over hundreds of dollars to an S&T instructor who may (or may not) only understand the method well enough to hurt someone (so-to-speak). 

 

Presently I've taken a few lessons from both a "certified" teaching pro as well as from a guy who seems more like a "home grown" pro, neither of them teach S&T. while they both have offered helpful instruction, I don't get the sense that they really understand "why" they are instructing me to do what they say. Presently, I'm a little less than ambitious about going back as I'm not confident I want to commit to their style of teaching.

 

I would appreciate any insight (or links to where this has already been discussed) you may have to offer. 

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 9

I'm sure Erik will add more... But figured I'd give you a quick response since I saw this thread.

 

Erik is the Medicus Director of Accreditation for the Purestrike Five Simple Keys (5SK).  This is a system which has roots in TGM, MORAD and SnT... And you can find the list of instructors here:

 

http://www.golfshopcentral.com/purestrike/instructors.aspx

 

You will see Erik is listed on that page.

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

What was it that turned your skepticism around so quickly and caused you to embrace it? What is your present commitment to teaching S&T?

 

S&T marked the first time the golf swing made sense to me scientifically, physically (physics, not "my body"), and geometrically. It served as a jumping off point from which I could further explore the scientific aspects of the golf swing.

 

Prior to that, all I'd observed was people sharing the "art" of the golf swing - well, that's what it looked like to me. Why did the teacher have a player try this particular move? What did he know that I didn't?

 

Turns out that a lot of those instructors didn't know something I didn't - they just didn't know much at all. They were repeating the same crap they'd said for the past xx years, often based on bad foundational knowledge.

 

S&T gave me the faith to quickly begin applying science, geometry, and physics to the golf swing, and I quickly discovered that the "art" that exists in golf instruction is in how you communicate that knowledge to the student so that they can improve (oftentimes this means not telling them ANY science, physics, and minimal to no geometry, just APPLYING it and telling them what they have to do to correct those things).

 

My present commitment? It's one of a nearly infinite ways of teaching a player to obtain the 5 Simple Keys®, for which I am Director of Instructor Development, beneath Dave Wedzik and Chuck Evans, and in a role that oversees and supports our 20+ and growing 5SK Directors of Instruction for various regions around the country and internationally.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

Also, seeing as how you were self taught for the most part, would you recommend that someone like myself (less than 1 year experience) attempt to go the self taught route with S&T or take lessons?

 

I recommend you find a 5SK instructor near you. http://www.golfshopcentral.com/purestrike/instructors.aspx

 

If there isn't one, I recommend you try evolvr: http://evolvr.com/ .

 

S&T, while serving as a good introduction to the basic geometry of a golf swing, is - in the end - a single swing. Not everyone is going to swing that way, and even if most people can improve their swings by incorporating one or two of S&T's basic principles, that doesn't mean they're going to be "an S&T golfer." Those around me know how very quickly I gathered all the S&T information I could before branching off into other relevant swing patterns. I hadn't even taught a lesson yet before we'd moved on to other things, "evolving" our understanding of the many ways to hit a golf ball effectively.

 

For the past several years, we've been operating under the umbrella of 5 Simple Keys®.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I'm a little weary of the idea of forking over hundreds of dollars to an S&T instructor who may (or may not) only understand the method well enough to hurt someone (so-to-speak).

 

I would be as well. Though I remain consistent in saying that the vast majority of golfers could improve their swings by incorporating one  or two of S&T's basic principles, and though most S&T instructors are well into the top half of golf instructors, it does not take much to become "official" in their current system and that's not even beginning to speak of those who SAY they teach S&T but really don't know exactly what it is.

 

(In other words, if you told me who was nearby, I could tell you if that person is a good instructor or not.)f

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

Presently I've taken a few lessons from both a "certified" teaching pro as well as from a guy who seems more like a "home grown" pro, neither of them teach S&T. while they both have offered helpful instruction, I don't get the sense that they really understand "why" they are instructing me to do what they say. Presently, I'm a little less than ambitious about going back as I'm not confident I want to commit to their style of teaching.

 

I would appreciate any insight (or links to where this has already been discussed) you may have to offer. 

 

Certifications are a dime a dozen. And yes, I say that as Director of Instructor Development for 5SK, but you can't pay to become a 5SK Director. We have to choose you or you have to be nominated. So we're trying to eliminate this sort of "pay me $2500 and you can be certified!" mentality.

 

It doesn't surprise me that you aren't sure that they understand the "why." It's no secret that I think about 90% of golf instructors flat out suck. Most just seem to repeat the same old crap they've always said, because they've always said it and the guy they learned from said it, and he said it because he'd always said it and the guy he learned from said it. There's no study. There's no actual reasoning. It's just done because that's the way it's always been done.

 

I'd encourage you to read over the 5 Simple Keys® threads (here's one and another with videos). Check out the Facebook group. Give Evolvr a try. I think you'll find that we can not only explain the "why" but the "how" and a lot more. We don't always choose to - quite honestly, it can confuse some students to know why sometimes - but we do know why and I guarantee you won't ever get the feeling you seem to have with your current instructors.

post #4 of 9

Executive summary: S&T is great, and was my introduction to the science that exists in the golf swing, but it's one swing pattern while 5SK allows for a variety of swings while accomplishing the five things the game's best players do to play the best golf.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

... I quickly discovered that the "art" that exists in golf instruction is in how you communicate that knowledge to the student so that they can improve... 

good stuff!


Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

S&T, while serving as a good introduction to the basic geometry of a golf swing, is - in the end - a single swing. Not everyone is going to swing that way, and even if most people can improve their swings by incorporating one or two of S&T's basic principles, that doesn't mean they're going to be "an S&T golfer."

I was hoping to hear you say something along those lines. It seems counter-scientific to ever get "locked" into a single swing. 


Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

(In other words, if you told me who was nearby, I could tell you if that person is a good instructor or not.)

 

I appreciate that, and may take you up on it. But I think I like the idea of the instruction you speak of, one that is not so strongly typed as the S&T

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

you can't pay to become a 5SK Director. We have to choose you or you have to be nominated. So we're trying to eliminate this sort of "pay me $2500 and you can be certified!" mentality.

 

That is probably the most encouraging thing I could have heard in promotion of 5SK and I'm 99% convinced I'll go that route because of it (assuming its in the vicinity). Does evolvr operate by the same/similar principle?

 


Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 It's no secret that I think about 90% of golf instructors flat out suck. Most just seem to repeat the same old crap they've always said, because they've always said it and the guy they learned from said it, and he said it because he'd always said it and the guy he learned from said it...

ha-larious!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I'd encourage you to read over the 5 Simple Keys® threads (here's one and another with videos). Check out the Facebook group. Give Evolvr a try. I think you'll find that we can not only explain the "why" but the "how" and a lot more. We don't always choose to - quite honestly, it can confuse some students to know why sometimes - but we do know why and I guarantee you won't ever get the feeling you seem to have with your current instructors.

I definitely will. I really appreciate you taking the time to break everything down for me. I'm looking forward to learning thats ahead...

Again, many thanks!

post #6 of 9

hey Erik - did you have any preconceived notions or biases against S&T before you really looked into it?  if so, why do you think you had them?

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

That is probably the most encouraging thing I could have heard in promotion of 5SK and I'm 99% convinced I'll go that route because of it (assuming its in the vicinity). Does evolvr operate by the same/similar principle?

 

Evolvr instructors are Dave and myself (rarely for both of us), Mike (mvmac), James Hirshfield, Brian McGrew, and Stephan Kostelecky, all of whom have posted here, and all of whom are 5SK Instructors. They teach the principles of 5SK via evolvr, yes.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

hey Erik - did you have any preconceived notions or biases against S&T before you really looked into it?  if so, why do you think you had them?

 

 

No, not really. In fact, if you look at one of the first times I ever mentioned S&T you'll see that the majority of my reluctance to put faith in the swing was due to the horribly exaggerated positions they used in their 2007 Golf Digest article to demonstrate the "modern" golf swing and thereby to "sell" the S&T swing. I felt at the time that if you had to so grossly exaggerate and basically lie to me about what the "modern" golf swing taught that they selling snake oil or something. A good product stands on its own, and measures up truthfully, and I didn't see much truth-telling in their depiction of the "modern" golf swing in that article.

 

Even the most rudimentary study of the S&T swing teaches you that a lot of people have misconceptions (namely, that the left tilt is not towards the target), and so I never felt I had any misconceptions about the swing per se, just areas I hadn't looked into yet.
 

I will note that Jeff Mann, for example, spent years telling others why S&T was bad and why his swing model was good while not even understanding that basic fact - that the left tilt rotates with the shoulders and is, at the top of the backswing a tilt towards the golf ball - but that's not the dumbest thing he ever did, so...

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

hey Erik - did you have any preconceived notions or biases against S&T before you really looked into it?  if so, why do you think you had them?

If he did it was the absolutely terrible marketing name they came up for it. At least now it is S&T 2.0

:)
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mchepp View Post

If he did it was the absolutely terrible marketing name they came up for it. At least now it is S&T 2.0

 

Yeah, a 2.0 in which nothing at all changed. :P

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