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I don't think a better technique makes you more consistent

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

Provided you can already compress the ball properly, hit it far enough and have a predictable shot pattern any technical change you make after that won´t make you more consistent and is a purely cosmetic change.


If a better technique made you more consistent then you wouldn´t have to practice and you´d immediately become a more consistent player as long as you "hit the right position(s)", right?


Well everyone that has ever made a swing change knows that it doesn´t work that way.

 

In my relatively controversial opionion I think consistency is simply a product of practice and hand eye coordination. If you have a total beginner for example with a shitty swing he´ll hit a ton of tops, duffs, shanks etc..., but have him hit 50000 balls and he´ll be much more consistent and hit less tops, duffs etc... while basically swinging the same way.

 

If someone makes a swing change and gets better afterwards it´s because he practiced more and not because his technique improved. Technique simply enables someone to have a chance to hit the ball solid, but it doesn´t make you more consistent.

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 52

I think good technique doesn't MAKE you consistent, but it removes a host of small barriers to consistency. (Swing Flaws) 

 

It is true that a player may become proficient with poor-er technique.  

 

However, if you begin by learning a technique that generally works to avoid tops, fats, shanks, etc, from the beginning, the inconsistencies in a swing that could have caused the types of shots we have discussed are reduced or eliminated.

 

Those swing flaws (factors that cause these missed shots to appear, we would agree, without warning) themselves being more likely to occur because of a poorer technique in general cause the golfer to be what is called inconsistent. 

 

post #3 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Provided you can already compress the ball properly, hit it far enough and have a predictable shot pattern any technical change you make after that won´t make you more consistent and is a purely cosmetic change.


If a better technique made you more consistent then you wouldn´t have to practice and you´d immediately become a more consistent player as long as you "hit the right position(s)", right?


Well everyone that has ever made a swing change knows that it doesn´t work that way.

 

In my relatively controversial opionion I think consistency is simply a product of practice and hand eye coordination. If you have a total beginner for example with a shitty swing he´ll hit a ton of tops, duffs, shanks etc..., but have him hit 50000 balls and he´ll be much more consistent and hit less tops, duffs etc... while basically swinging the same way.

 

If someone makes a swing change and gets better afterwards it´s because he practiced more and not because his technique improved. Technique simply enables someone to have a chance to hit the ball solid, but it doesn´t make you more consistent.

 

Thoughts?

Disagree 100%.  I move my head too much during my swing.  A little forward on the backswing, a little back and off-the-wall on the downswing.  I can frequently make good contact and hit really nice shots, but not as much as I'd like.  If I can improve this part of my swing, and limit that head movement, guess what?  I'm going to be more consistent.  (That is just one of a myriad of issues I have, but it's an example) :)

 

Now, there are certainly people who manage swing flaws in their game really well, and maybe those people would not become more consistent by removing said flaws, but by and large, I think most people would.

post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 

You kinda contradicted yourself in the first sentence.

 

Why is it that when you make a swing change that is supposed to eliminate barriers to consistency you start to get worse first and even less consistent?

 

Shouldn´t you immediately start to become more consistent with a better technique?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sofingaw View Post

I think good technique doesn't MAKE you consistent, but it removes a host of small barriers to consistency. (Swing Flaws) 

 

It is true that a player may become proficient with poor-er technique.  

 

However, if you begin by learning a technique that generally works to avoid tops, fats, shanks, etc, from the beginning, the inconsistencies in a swing that could have caused the types of shots we have discussed are reduced or eliminated.

 

Those swing flaws (factors that cause these missed shots to appear, we would agree, without warning) themselves being more likely to occur because of a poorer technique in general cause the golfer to be what is called inconsistent. 

 

post #5 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Why is it that when you make a swing change that is supposed to eliminate barriers to consistency you start to get worse first and even less consistent?

Because it takes time and practice to figure out the new move.  It's hard (for most people) to get things right away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Shouldn´t you immediately start to become more consistent with a better technique?

Yes.  Once you have ironed out the swing change, that's when you have a better technique.

post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Shouldn´t you immediately start to become more consistent with a better technique?

 

Many people do. Many of our students do.

 

Good players sometimes have to take a step backwards before they can take two steps forward.

 

I disagree with your first post too. A "better technique" by definition is almost something that makes you "more consistent" (it could help you hit the ball farther, and I suppose that's not "more consistent.")

post #7 of 52

If I only had one word to describe how my game has improved since taking lessons (evolvr), I would say: CONSISTENCY. I could always hit a good shot, but now I hit them much more frequently.  I have achieved this by making changes to the length of my backswing, getting the proper weight shift, improving (though still working on) the position of my right elbow, etc.  Those techniques have lead directly to greater consistency.  

post #8 of 52
It sounds like you're saying "if you change your technique but don't practice it so you consistently apply the new technique you don't become more consistent"


Duh...... consistency requires muscle memory. Otherwise all you'd have to do is think about every positive swing thought. You have to teach your muscle memory the changes.
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Provided you can already compress the ball properly, hit it far enough and have a predictable shot pattern any technical change you make after that won´t make you more consistent and is a purely cosmetic change.

 

And what percentage of the golfing population does all those things?  Very, very, very.....very few do 

post #10 of 52
Thread Starter 

I have never seen anyone become more consistent after a golf lesson in my life unless he had an obvious move that didn´t enable him to hit the ball properly (reverse pivot, scooping etc...). Do you teach a lot of high handicappers or beginners? What you notice in advanced golfers is that after an immediate technique change their better shots might get better (more distance, tighter shot cone etc) but their worst shots also get worse. He´s gonna hit tops for example that he never hit before. He´s not going to be immediately more consistent though. Even you put up a clip of yourself shanking a ball while working on technique.

 

If technique made you more consistent then why do you get worse if you don´t practice for a long time? Your technique didn´t change, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Many people do. Many of our students do.

 

Good players sometimes have to take a step backwards before they can take two steps forward.

 

I disagree with your first post too. A "better technique" by definition is almost something that makes you "more consistent" (it could help you hit the ball farther, and I suppose that's not "more consistent.")

 

 

Quote:
And what percentage of the golfing population does all those things?  Very, very, very.....very few do

I wouldn´t say very, very, few. Most high single digit players can can compress the ball properly and somewhat have an idea what their ball is gonna do when they hit it well.

post #11 of 52

Repeatability and low maintainance are the big things for mid to high handicappers. Guys that don't have hours to practice need a technique that is easy. 

 

Longballger, I'm going to have to think a bit more about your posts. Very interesting.

post #12 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

I have never seen anyone become more consistent after a golf lesson in my life unless he had an obvious move that didn´t enable him to hit the ball properly (reverse pivot, scooping etc...). 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Provided you can already compress the ball properly, hit it far enough and have a predictable shot pattern any technical change you make after that won´t make you more consistent and is a purely cosmetic change.

 

 

A golfer with no swing flaws, compresses the ball and has a predictable shot pattern. Throw in a scrambling % above 60 and less than 30 putts per round, and we've created a really great player. You're probably right that this fictional golfer does not need to work on his technique. Mvmac talks in another thread about how he would handle Bubba Watson or Rickie Fowler if they came to him for a lesson. He said that he would not work on mechanics, but simply club face control and show them videos of themselves while swinging well.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

In my relatively controversial opionion I think consistency is simply a product of practice and hand eye coordination. If you have a total beginner for example with a shitty swing he´ll hit a ton of tops, duffs, shanks etc..., but have him hit 50000 balls and he´ll be much more consistent and hit less tops, duffs etc... while basically swinging the same way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Shouldn´t you immediately start to become more consistent with a better technique?

 

 

 

You're not comparing apples to apples. You are saying one guy hits 50000 balls, and the other does not practice at all.

 

Give me one guy hitting 50000 on his own and one hitting 50000 with the help of a capable instructor. I will take the guy with the instructor and bet you any amount of money that is significant to you.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post
What you notice in advanced golfers is that after an immediate technique change their better shots might get better (more distance, tighter shot cone etc) but their worst shots also get worse. He´s gonna hit tops for example that he never hit before. He´s not going to be immediately more consistent though. Even you put up a clip of yourself shanking a ball while working on technique.

 

 

I would argue that this is an essential part of learning. You reach and stretch yourself beyond your current capabilities to increase skill. Think about what is happening when you lift weights. You are causing trauma to the muscle. That night you may not be half as strong as you were before you lifted, but the muscle repairs itself, grows and comes back stronger.

 

 

Q: Why is targeted, mistake-focused practice so effective?
A: Because the best way to build a good circuit is to fire it, attend to mistakes, then fire it again, over and over. Struggle is not an option: it's a biological requirement. 

post #13 of 52
Jhwarren has it right, I think. I think it's fairly disingenuous to compare a golfer with a bad swing who
Hits 50000 balls to one who has hit only enough balls to have learned a good technique. (Though you did not explicitly state that the good technique golfer had not hit 50000, it's clear that in your example he/she did not.)

Your question of why good technique does not 'immediately' translate into consistency hits the root of the problem.

You want to argue that good technique is not required, given that a golfer has enough practice time and gives enough effort toward making compensations for their swing flaws.

In that respect I agree. Some (undetermined, massively large) amount of time and energy later, and any swing repeated enough and full of the correct compensations will become consistent.

The issue is then, efficiency. By your example it will take '50000' balls to get there. (An arbitrary number, surely. But let's go with it.)

Golfer A starts out, hits 50k balls and simply 'feels' their way to a consistent shot.

Golfer B is taught how to do a few key things in the golf swing that get them to a consistent impact position.

How many balls did Golfer B hit?

No idea. Probably less than golfer A, though. Probably a lot less.

You express puzzlement at why proper technique does not immediately produce consistency. I argue that if executed properly, it does.

Also, I argue that Golfer B will become consistent faster than Golfer A. Much faster. Just because its not immediate doesn't make it slower.
post #14 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Provided you can already compress the ball properly, hit it far enough and have a predictable shot pattern any technical change you make after that won´t make you more consistent and is a purely cosmetic change.


If a better technique made you more consistent then you wouldn´t have to practice and you´d immediately become a more consistent player as long as you "hit the right position(s)", right?


Well everyone that has ever made a swing change knows that it doesn´t work that way.

 

In my relatively controversial opionion I think consistency is simply a product of practice and hand eye coordination. If you have a total beginner for example with a shitty swing he´ll hit a ton of tops, duffs, shanks etc..., but have him hit 50000 balls and he´ll be much more consistent and hit less tops, duffs etc... while basically swinging the same way.

 

If someone makes a swing change and gets better afterwards it´s because he practiced more and not because his technique improved. Technique simply enables someone to have a chance to hit the ball solid, but it doesn´t make you more consistent.

 

Thoughts?

 

I completely agree with this.  Well... assuming ALL of the variables are in place, particularly the part about "hit it far enough and have a predictable shot pattern" meaning pretty far and pretty darn accurate.  That's why every now and then a great 'self taught' golfer turns up on the tour.  It's great, gives the golf commentators something to whisper among themselves about on Sunday afternoons.  However, the reason they whisper is because it is so darn rare. 

 

But the questions are, how far is "far enough" and just how "predictable" is that shot pattern. People work on technique, as stated above, to help eliminate variables and make it easier to hit very similar shots consistently since not all predictable shot patterns are also acceptable to the individual in question.  For example, I am currently hitting my 7 iron between 140 and 155 yards.  Whether that is "far enough" is open to debate, but for me it's okay. But I work on technique because I'd like to tighten it up to, say 150 to 155 more consistently.  Similarly, my shot pattern is pretty predictable.  I'm usually within about 35 yards of the flag stick (left or right, but usually right just now).  Predictable can suck though, and I'd like to tighten that up a LOT, so I'll be heading back to the range today to work on technique...

 

 Good troll though, made me post. c2_beer.gif

post #15 of 52
To clarify, I agree that good technique is not required, per your example.

I also will not waste any of my time with such foolishness, when I can skip ahead with good instruction to hitting predictable shots before 50000 balls, and hundreds of hours of frustration.
post #16 of 52
Thread Starter 

I never said a golfer with "no swing flaws". I could make a list of almost every swing fault there is and then show you a player competing at the highest level that has this certain "fault".

 

I´m also not saying that golf instruction is worthless provided your instructor knows what he´s doing. If the guy that hits 50000 balls works with a good instructor IMO he´ll improve faster than the guy that just goes at it alone. However if you have an instructor that constantly tries to force his student into certain positions and nitpicks the tiniest "flaws", having his student repeat slow motion drills to no no end just to make it look pretty on camera while justifying this by saying "It´ll make you more consistent" I´d pick the guy that hits 50000 balls on his own, provided he is constantly experimenting and making adjustments and watches his ball flight. (I guess this is what you were trying to say with your last sentence which I basically agree with?!) That´s the reason why kids learn so fast. It´s because they are being left alone and experiment by making mistakes and figuring out what works for them.There is a reason why the best ball strikers in history have all been self taught.

 

However if you go to any driving range you´ll see people hit terrible shots, doing their same shitty move over and over again while expecting different results.


This still doesn´t refute my point though. Would Jim Furyk be a more consistent player if he had a more conventional swing? If you "corrected" his setup to make it more conventional would he immediately hit the ball more consistently? I don´t think so.

 

Would he be a more consistent player after converting to a conventional swing 5 years down the stretch? I don´t think so either.

 

Did Tiger become more consistent under Foley?
 

Originally Posted by Jhwarren View Post

 

A golfer with no swing flaws, compresses the ball and has a predictable shot pattern. Throw in a scrambling % above 60 and less than 30 putts per round, and we've created a really great player. You're probably right that this fictional golfer does not need to work on his technique. Mvmac talks in another thread about how he would handle Bubba Watson or Rickie Fowler if they came to him for a lesson. He said that he would not work on mechanics, but simply club face control and show them videos of themselves while swinging well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You're not comparing apples to apples. You are saying one guy hits 50000 balls, and the other does not practice at all.

 

Give me one guy hitting 50000 on his own and one hitting 50000 with the help of a capable instructor. I will take the guy with the instructor and bet you any amount of money that is significant to you.

 

 

I would argue that this is an essential part of learning. You reach and stretch yourself beyond your current capabilities to increase skill. Think about what is happening when you lift weights. You are causing trauma to the muscle. That night you may not be half as strong as you were before you lifted, but the muscle repairs itself, grows and comes back stronger.

 

 

Q: Why is targeted, mistake-focused practice so effective?
A: Because the best way to build a good circuit is to fire it, attend to mistakes, then fire it again, over and over. Struggle is not an option: it's a biological requirement. 

post #17 of 52

The thing is with amateurs, there less likely to see gains because they want a quick fix. Pro's need to have the upmost consistency, so they will work on it over and over again so they can gain the slightest edge over the competition. For them its probably harder to break old habits, than it is for an amateur, because we just don't have the hours of hitting golf balls to develop the neural pathways for swing memory. So for a pro, they might see a downturn because they having conflicting pathways, there mind wants to do something, there memory doesn't want to. So they set up for a shot, and it goes somewere the old swing wanted. 

post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

I never said a golfer with "no swing flaws". I could make a list of almost every swing fault there is and then show you a player competing at the highest level that has this certain "fault".

 

I´m also not saying that golf instruction is worthless provided your instructor knows what he´s doing. If the guy that hits 50000 balls works with a good instructor IMO he´ll improve faster than the guy that just goes at it alone. However if you have an instructor that constantly tries to force his student into certain positions and nitpicks the tiniest "flaws", having his student repeat slow motion drills to no no end just to make it look pretty on camera while justifying this by saying "It´ll make you more consistent" I´d pick the guy that hits 50000 balls on his own, provided he is constantly experimenting and making adjustments and watches his ball flight. (I guess this is what you were trying to say with your last sentence which I basically agree with?!) That´s the reason why kids learn so fast. It´s because they are being left alone and experiment by making mistakes and figuring out what works for them.There is a reason why the best ball strikers in history have all been self taught.

 

However if you go to any driving range you´ll see people hit terrible shots, doing their same shitty move over and over again while expecting different results.


This still doesn´t refute my point though. Would Jim Furyk be a more consistent player if he had a more conventional swing? If you "corrected" his setup to make it more conventional would he immediately hit the ball more consistently? I don´t think so.

 

Would he be a more consistent player after converting to a conventional swing 5 years down the stretch? I don´t think so either.

 

Did Tiger become more consistent under Foley?
 

 

Perhaps I misread or misunderstood your point.

 

With regards to original thought posed: "I don't think better technique makes you more consistent"

                 I completely agree. Repetition makes you more more consistent. Now, is it consistently good or consistently bad? What's the benefit of consistency if it doesn't  

                 lead to lower scores? I think we need to move the discussion away from simply being consistent to being consistently good.

 

The part about Jim Furyk is a good point. It was the basis for my last comment and Bubba and Rickie that you referenced. Furyk is a world-class player. His technique and consistency are excellent. Would he benefit from changes to a more "conventional" swing? I agree with you, no. But I do think you are mistaken if you think that he is self-taught and that he did not have some instruction along the way. His father is/was a Golf Professional.

 

I guess I took your point to be: 1. The best way to get better is to trail and error your way through many thousands of golf balls.

                                             2. Technique is not important because is does not yield immediate results

                                             3. Once a player achieves good technique, practice should no longer be required because, as you put it, "Your technique didn't change."

 

By the way, good post. You raise some interesting things to think about and it has led to a good discussion. I look forward to continuing it.

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