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I don't think a better technique makes you more consistent - Page 3

post #37 of 52

Is it fair to say that golf instructors can be roughly grouped into 2 broad camps?

 

One group believes that some movement patterns are inherently more consistent and repeatable than others.

 

The other basically believes that any set of movements is good enough if it moves the clubhead at reasonable speed, on a good path and angle of attack through the ball, and with a clubface that is either square to complementary to the path. And consistency then comes from repetition, routine, mental processes etc

 

I don't have an established view as to which camp, if either, is "right". As far as I can see, there are instructors with good reputations working with both philosophies. If anything, I think the latter approach might tie in with the OP - except that I didn't really see him adequately define "sound technique" when pushed.

 

What are faults and compensations? I have no problem where a swing trait is identified that tends to plough the clubhead into the ground, or creates a misaligned clubpath. For me, the situation is much murkier where people get to talking about faults and compensations that yield a basically square clubface and path at impact. And of course, tour pros are generally pretty good at doing just that. (Though if they hit the ball straight all the time, they wouldn't all have swing coaches...)

post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

Is it fair to say that golf instructors can be roughly grouped into 2 broad camps?

 

One group believes that some movement patterns are inherently more consistent and repeatable than others so long as they're individualized for that particular student.

 

The other basically believes that any set of movements is good enough if it moves the clubhead at reasonable speed, on a good path and angle of attack through the ball, and with a clubface that is either square to complementary to the path. And consistency then comes from repetition, routine, mental processes etc

 

Perhaps. I added a bold part though that I feel is important.

 

Another way of saying it would be this, perhaps:

  • Some instructors believe that you can always improve.
  • Some think "good enough" is in fact good enough and that the student should spend the rest of their life in maintenance mode.

 

That seems kind of the same to me.

 

And make no mistake about it - for many students, our goal is to get them to mode B - we realize people don't all have the time to get from a 3.2 to a 2.4 - but if they're an 8.7 and with a little work they can get to the 3.2, then we tend to operate out of the first box. After all, they're taking a lesson, and that's a good indication they'd like to do more than "maintenance."

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

What are faults and compensations? I have no problem where a swing trait is identified that tends to plough the clubhead into the ground, or creates a misaligned clubpath. For me, the situation is much murkier where people get to talking about faults and compensations that yield a basically square clubface and path at impact. And of course, tour pros are generally pretty good at doing just that. (Though if they hit the ball straight all the time, they wouldn't all have swing coaches...)

 

We taught a PGA pro the other day. He had compensations where he'd tend to hit a little pull-hook instead of a straight pull, and sometimes he'd catch the ball a half a groove heavy. He's scratch or a +1 or so, and now he should be a +2, because we cleaned up several little pieces. Instant improvement (quite literally - the first swing was much better).

 

He left happy. He could keep that stuff in mind and go into maintenance mode, or he can enjoy being a +1.5 or +2 and want to be a +2 to +2.5 - that's up to him. We're secure in the knowledge that he knows who can best help him in the future if he decides to go with option B, if you know what I mean... :)

post #39 of 52

What are the reasons someone wants to change their swing?  The only reasons I can think of are

 

1) Their current swing is causing pain or injury

2) They want to hit the ball farther

3) They want to hit a location (on the golf course) more consistently

4) They want to have more control of the ball (spin, etc)

 

There are probably other reasons, but I doubt anyone wants to change for the sake of "technique" alone.  Technique is a means to an end IMHO.

post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Believe whatever you want to believe though. It´s not my job to convince you  or anyone on here of anything. This is my last post on this forum.

 

... you said at the beginning this was a controversial post that you didn't expeect everyone to agree with. Why does people disagreeing warrant you leaving? 

post #41 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Perhaps. I added a bold part though that I feel is important.

 

Another way of saying it would be this, perhaps:

  • Some instructors believe that you can always improve.
  • Some think "good enough" is in fact good enough and that the student should spend the rest of their life in maintenance mode.

 

That seems kind of the same to me.

 Yep - that seems fair to me. Though somewhat in defence of the 2nd group, the good ones are often keen to take the opportunity of "maintenance mode" to talk about wider or more nebulous issues that nevertheless also relate to scoring.

 

How often would you say it happens that you find a handicap golfer who CAN demonstrably deliver the club squarely, but who is hurting from a lack of consistency? That seems to me the case where the differences between the 2 schools would come out. Surely the "good enough" school needs to find a prevalent error in either path, face or AoA to have something to work with (though often enough, I'm sure that won't be hard).

 

 

 

Quote:

We taught a PGA pro the other day. He had compensations where he'd tend to hit a little pull-hook instead of a straight pull, and sometimes he'd catch the ball a half a groove heavy. He's scratch or a +1 or so, and now he should be a +2, because we cleaned up several little pieces. Instant improvement (quite literally - the first swing was much better).

 

He left happy. He could keep that stuff in mind and go into maintenance mode, or he can enjoy being a +1.5 or +2 and want to be a +2 to +2.5 - that's up to him. We're secure in the knowledge that he knows who can best help him in the future if he decides to go with option B, if you know what I mean... :)

Nice. Though that's the other difficulty IMO with the sort of debate the OP raised. Progress being the sum of incremental improvements. I mean, a stroke or two per round is a big jump at scratch, isn't it? But presumably you're talking about a change that "just" improves the probability of keeping 2 or 3 shots a round out of greenside trouble, or putting 2 or 3 shots that bit closer to the hole to make birdie a better possibility. But then fortunes are won and lost on tour through smaller gains than that.

post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Perhaps. I added a bold part though that I feel is important.

 

Another way of saying it would be this, perhaps:

  • Some instructors believe that you can always improve.
  • Some think "good enough" is in fact good enough and that the student should spend the rest of their life in maintenance mode.

 

That seems kind of the same to me.

 

And make no mistake about it - for many students, our goal is to get them to mode B - we realize people don't all have the time to get from a 3.2 to a 2.4 - but if they're an 8.7 and with a little work they can get to the 3.2, then we tend to operate out of the first box. After all, they're taking a lesson, and that's a good indication they'd like to do more than "maintenance."

Right.  Count me as one of the mode "A" guys.  I played golf for several years without a lesson and if I was happy with the occasional 79 or 78, usually hanging around 85, then there would have been no need for a lesson.  But I don't want that.  I want to be as good as I can be.  I'm not going to set a goal of 5, or 3.2, or scratch, (or tour pro g2_eek.gif), or anything like that, but I simply want to keep improving.

 

Flailing away at the range with my "home-made" swing with no direction and nothing to work on isn't, in my humble opinion, improving.

post #43 of 52

Aye - but just to be clear (though I'm not sure what the OP thinks), I believe there's a world of difference between the "good enough" style of teaching and hitting it badly at the range 5 or 6 hundred reps per week hoping to dig something (consistent) out of the dirt.

post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

Aye - but just to be clear (though I'm not sure what the OP thinks), I believe there's a world of difference between the "good enough" style of teaching and hitting it badly at the range 5 or 6 hundred reps per week hoping to dig something (consistent) out of the dirt.

Certainly ... the bold, though, is kind of my impression of the OP's original position. :)

post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

How often would you say it happens that you find a handicap golfer who CAN demonstrably deliver the club squarely, but who is hurting from a lack of consistency?

 

I think you'd be surprised.

 

A friend of ours was working with Tom Kite last year. Said he kept hitting the ball fat. Now, "fat" at that level is the half a groove variety, but still. Tom had no problems with his path, his clubface angle, etc. He just kept dumping the wedge and hitting the ball fat. Tom needed to work on Keys #2 and #3. :)

 

A PGA Tour player often "squares" (for their desired ball flight, I'm taking that to mean) the face and path when they hit a bunch of balls, but if they are doing it by magic (relying on more timing than is ideal or necessary), they'll struggle after a break of more than a few days. Some struggle after taking a day or two off.

 

Now, again, that's the PGA Tour level - their version of "struggling" is an order of magnitude greater than the guy who simply has a wider cone but still sees shots leaving that cone.

 

Again, if they're there for a lesson, they feel they are lacking consistency of some kind or another, right?

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

Nice. Though that's the other difficulty IMO with the sort of debate the OP raised. Progress being the sum of incremental improvements. I mean, a stroke or two per round is a big jump at scratch, isn't it? But presumably you're talking about a change that "just" improves the probability of keeping 2 or 3 shots a round out of greenside trouble, or putting 2 or 3 shots that bit closer to the hole to make birdie a better possibility. But then fortunes are won and lost on tour through smaller gains than that.

 

Indeed, they are. Particularly at the PGA Tour, where 0.15 shots per round can matter.

post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Certainly ... the bold, though, is kind of my impression of the OP's original position. :)

Gdaddy, I'm pretty sure he didn't want that alternative.

post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by birlyshirly View Post

What are faults and compensations? I have no problem where a swing trait is identified that tends to plough the clubhead into the ground, or creates a misaligned clubpath. For me, the situation is much murkier where people get to talking about faults and compensations that yield a basically square clubface and path at impact. And of course, tour pros are generally pretty good at doing just that. (Though if they hit the ball straight all the time, they wouldn't all have swing coaches...)

 

They probably would still have swing coaches.  Not to work on anything mechanically, but someone to keep things "good enough".  People say that the golfers from the old school days didn't have coaches and that's not exactly a true statement.  They would help each other and ask each other questions.  Guys like Hogan and Nelson were mentors to younger players.  Pro golfers then had a much better knowledge of the swing/ball flight than guys do now.  Now golfers are afraid to get "technical" and just want someone to say it looks good and give them high fives.  Which is fine, I'm not advocating those guys need major swing overhauls but this seems to be a pattern with the last few generations.  Not really taking responsibility for themselves (I sound like an old man lol).  Even though they can hit the ball very well and shoot low scores, they're still just regular guys and share similar traits to the average golfer.  They can get nervous in front of other players, worry about how the swing may look, get worried if a change feels "weird", etc.

post #48 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongballGer View Post

Did Tiger become more consistent under Foley?
 

 

His driver stats last year compared to his last 6+ years on tour is an example of how he has become more consistent

post #49 of 52

flaws are flaws - they can be somehow compensated by grooving, but it always come back and bite you in the rear.

 

once you have good technique, golf is like riding a bicycle.... you will never forget it simply due to lack of practice.

post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dozu View Post

flaws are flaws - they can be somehow compensated by grooving, but it always come back and bite you in the rear.

 

once you have good technique, golf is like riding a bicycle.... you will never forget it simply due to lack of practice.

 

I would agree with your first statement. I would totally disagree with your second.

 

Once you have it, that's when you transition into "maintenance mode" as mention above. Here's a quote that I agree with. The article attributes it to Andre Segovia, a professional classical guitarist, but I have heard it elsewhere as well.

 

"If I miss one day of practice, I notice. If I miss two days, my manager notices. If I miss three days, the world notices."

post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by dozu View Post

flaws are flaws - they can be somehow compensated by grooving, but it always come back and bite you in the rear.

 

once you have good technique, golf is like riding a bicycle.... you will never forget it simply due to lack of practice.

 

I would have to also disagree with the 2nd statement. The problem is, its very hard to maintain that technique. I've seen people who played single digits, play twice there handicap, they had good technique, but something got lost. That might have been from one thing or another, but practice will keep the golf game sharp, or starts to get dull

post #52 of 52

if you ride a bike for the first time after a year, it gets wobbly for the first few minutes.

 

that's golf... there is always refinement, but you quickly gets into smooth ride if the technique is correct - the solid fundamentals - good set up, balance, grip, swing path, kinetic chain, body/arm unity.

 

short of good fundamentals, then the golfer is at the mercy of massive amount of practice to maintain a short period of playing grooved but flawed ways.

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