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Yet another wasted golf lesson - Page 3

post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

 

 

 

You disagree with Dave thinking he deserved more than the hour lesson, and that's fine.  But it sounds like he didn't even get the hour lesson, and that is not fine. :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

 

 So for an hour, I got to hear what adjustments I needed to make to hit the ball straighter, "ball lands where the face is pointed, path determines starting direction..." blah blah blah. Even the drills he offered were drills I have easily found with 10 seconds of google research. What really did him in (in my mind) was his advice to open my stance relative to the target, especially after I told him that my misses were usually slices. 

 

 

He paid for an hour of instruction and that is what he got, an hour of crappy instruction from the sounds of it but an hours worth non-the-less. I would suggest the OP invest a little more time in choosing who he goes to for instruction, as everyone on the Trap knows, there are far more crappy instructors than good instructors. 

 

Reminds me of an old George Carlin joke about a woman who buys a bowl of chili at Wendy's and finds a human finger in it and than sues Wendy's, Carlin shouts, "it costs a dollar, what did you expect to find in it, trout???"

post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

You might feel differently if you had 50 or more of them piling up from various clients and potential clients. I think that is johnnyclayton's point, it isn't just one.

 

Ernest, if I had 100 swing video's piling up from potential clients, I would definitely pull up each video at some point before the lesson with that individual and look at it.

 

As far as the acompanying emails, I wouldn't write a book in response. It would go like this:

 

Hey Ernest,

 

Thanks for the vid. I'll check it out and we'll discuss where we need to go during the lesson.

 

See ya next week!

 

Virt

post #39 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

Reminds me of an old George Carlin joke about a woman who buys a bowl of chili at Wendy's and finds a human finger in it and than sues Wendy's, Carlin shouts, "it costs a dollar, what did you expect to find in it, trout???"

 

i heard where a guy goes to a hooker who charges $10 for a turn, he ends up getting crabs - he goes back to her to complain and she says, "what did you expect for $10, lobster?"

post #40 of 70
Quote:
Ernest, if I had 100 swing video's piling up from potential clients, I would definitely pull up each video at some point before the lesson with that individual and look at it.

 

I admire your dedication and love your attitude.  I just think it'll be different in four years or so.  By that time, you'll have looked at hundreds of videos for people who never call you again, don't show up, bounce checks to you, reverse charges after lessons etc... etc... (not specifically videos, but going the extra mile on your own time for someone you have no prior relationship with).

 

Maybe I'm wrong, who knows.  But I used to have much the same attitude until I learned, the hard way, that giving away time is the easiest way to go broke.  You also will learn very quickly that sending replies like that, the client basically hears:

 

"Please send me as many emails as you want!!!"

 

it very rarely stops at one if you reply nicely and pay attention to it.  Just my experience.

 

Its the cycle of business.  When a professional first starts out (and golf pros, accountants, architects, lawyers... its all professional service businesses) they need work and so they work really, really hard to do anything to please their clients.  Eventually, they learn to have a core group of well-paying client and ignore everyone else until they prove themselves.  You give them the hour, absolutely, but thats it.  

post #41 of 70

Well, I've been teaching and clubfitting full time since 1994 and I just haven't had many guys send me videos in advance. Occasionally I get a real obsessive guy that wants to chat a lot between lessons but nothing crazy. Maybe if I was overwelmed by everyone doing it, I'd feel differently.

post #42 of 70

I am with you. I want my students to get the most out of there lessons!

post #43 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

 

He paid for an hour of instruction and that is what he got, an hour of crappy instruction from the sounds of it but an hours worth non-the-less. I would suggest the OP invest a little more time in choosing who he goes to for instruction, as everyone on the Trap knows, there are far more crappy instructors than good instructors. 

 

Reminds me of an old George Carlin joke about a woman who buys a bowl of chili at Wendy's and finds a human finger in it and than sues Wendy's, Carlin shouts, "it costs a dollar, what did you expect to find in it, trout???"

 

lol, you've nailed it... you've managed to summarize the gist and purpose of my OP here (other than to piss and moan a little). If someone reads my OP without hyper-cynical eyes, it becomes evident that I realize "you get what you pay for" at the end of the day... but that reality does nothing to soothe the problem with the big picture here (for me... or "subjectivley")... namely instructors who demonstrate a lack of enthusiasm for their instruction and a general lack of knowledge base.

 

And yes, the search will continue for an instructor who's both knowledgeable (at least understands the laws of ball flight) and is one that I can click with. Unfortunately for guys like me, these instructors don't exactly carry a sign on them that says "i'm a crappy instructor". So I don't know how "investing a little more time" will make a huge difference unless what you mean by that is just spend more time in the trial and error arena.

post #44 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EverythingGolf View Post

I am with you. I want my students to get the most out of there lessons!

i hear ya... some people however, want to get the most out of their wallets... we won't mention any names...

[!!!COUGH!!!] johnnyclayton1982 [!!!COUGH!!!]

post #45 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

 

lol, you've nailed it... you've managed to summarize the gist and purpose of my OP here (other than to piss and moan a little). If someone reads my OP without hyper-cynical eyes, it becomes evident that I realize "you get what you pay for" at the end of the day... but that reality does nothing to soothe the problem with the big picture here (for me... or "subjectivley")... namely instructors who demonstrate a lack of enthusiasm for their instruction and a general lack of knowledge base.

 

And yes, the search will continue for an instructor who's both knowledgeable (at least understands the laws of ball flight) and is one that I can click with. Unfortunately for guys like me, these instructors don't exactly carry a sign on them that says "i'm a crappy instructor". So I don't know how "investing a little more time" will make a huge difference unless what you mean by that is just spend more time in the trial and error arena.

By spending more time I mean asking around about the instructor. Talk to some of his other students to find out if he knows the right ball flight laws, maybe see if you can observe some of one of his lessons. Talk to people you know or meet who are taking lessons and inquire about their instructor. Get recommendations from people.

 

At the end of the day the ultimate litmus test will be taking that intitial lesson but you can probably eliminate a lot of chafe this way. Beats blindly choosing someone on a groupon deal.

 

Also, you have a camera and the internet so ->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->-> http://evolvr.thegolfevolution.com/ is a good option. The lessons are really short +/- 10 minutes but the impact they have on your game is pretty impressive as they focus on the ONE THING you can address and improve RIGHT NOW. IMHO this way more effective than spending an hour with a questionable instructor and walking away with a laundry list of all your swing issues and having no idea where to start or how to prioritise.

 

In fact, I find the lessons so impressive that I keep 'em a secret from the people I play with! Won't even tell my brother in laws! LOL.

 

YMMV.

post #46 of 70

John I am in sales and deal with customers all the time that ask me questions about the product go through the motions and "waste" my time by never moving forward with me. This is part of business while you don't make money on the time you spent with the customers that dont by from you, you make money on the ones that do and it all evens out.

 

I think in this scenario there is a happy medium as I said before I dont think the instructor had to watch the videos but atleast reading the e-mail to know where the OP was in their game would show he cared and would give him the ability to give a good lesson and sell him self for future lessons. I feel by him offering this deal on groupon he wasted his own time by not landing the op for future lessons.

post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnclayton1982 View Post

 

I admire your dedication and love your attitude.  I just think it'll be different in four years or so.  By that time, you'll have looked at hundreds of videos for people who never call you again, don't show up, bounce checks to you, reverse charges after lessons etc... etc... (not specifically videos, but going the extra mile on your own time for someone you have no prior relationship with).

 

Maybe I'm wrong, who knows.  But I used to have much the same attitude until I learned, the hard way, that giving away time is the easiest way to go broke.  You also will learn very quickly that sending replies like that, the client basically hears:

 

"Please send me as many emails as you want!!!"

 

it very rarely stops at one if you reply nicely and pay attention to it.  Just my experience.

 

Its the cycle of business.  When a professional first starts out (and golf pros, accountants, architects, lawyers... its all professional service businesses) they need work and so they work really, really hard to do anything to please their clients.  Eventually, they learn to have a core group of well-paying client and ignore everyone else until they prove themselves.  You give them the hour, absolutely, but thats it.  

 

I completely understand this point of view. Just so long as:

 

1) You tell your clients up front that your hourly charge does not include email correspondence or video review.

2) You spend their hour strictly on working with them (not answering cell phone calls and BS'ing with others on the range).

3) You'd better be really good at what you do. Not just an understanding of the game, but how to communicate that knowledge on an individual basis.

 

I can't imagine you'd be very successful with this attitude unless you are very good at what you do. I mean if you suck as a teacher and you are unwilling to "go the extra mile" how much repeat business or word-of-mouth business will you generate?

 

When I was taking lessons, I was probably guilty of corresponding too much via email. But I also told my instructor to let me know if I was taking advantage. As a student, I wanted him to know that I take what he is teaching seriously enough to ask questions. And that I had a passion for learning the game of golf. That's what I look for when I'm teaching my profession (obviously not golf) to someone. If they don't give a rat's ass, why bother? If someone is taking advantage of my generosity, I will let them know.

 

Unfortunately there are teachers out there with your attitude who do not meet the other criteria. They have a one-way-fits-all attitude. Just like any other profession or industry, there are ones who really don't care. It's 100% about the money - no passion or pride in what they do. It's not wrong, it's just the way it is.

 

This is golf. It's not life or death and it is up to us to get better on our own. It's not someone else's fault if we don't get it. But just remember that for us it isn't just the money we waste if we receive poor instruction, it's the wasted effort we put forth because we trusted a pro. So that's why so many of us are hesitant when we hear or read the advice "go see a PGA pro".

post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnclayton1982 View Post

Bingo.

I'm not sure its reasonable to expect him to do prep work outside the lesson and so forth for $29.  If you had shown up and he'd handed you a $100 invoice for four hours of prep work, you'd be on here complaining about that.

I absolutely disagree. That $29 Groupon deal is simply a loss-leader to get you in the door. It's his one opportunity to show you what he can do in the hope of developing a long-term relationship. He blew it.
post #49 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post


I absolutely disagree. That $29 Groupon deal is simply a loss-leader to get you in the door. It's his one opportunity to show you what he can do in the hope of developing a long-term relationship. He blew it.

Exactly my thoughts as well.  You don't offer 75% discounts unless you're desperate to attract new customers.  The Groupon ad worked, he blew the opportunity to prove to Divot Dave he was worth paying close to full price for. 

 

That in itself is a problem with loss-leader promotions for professional service / instruction people.  Once they de-value their time that much it causes their customers to be suspect of their abilities and makes it almost impossible for the instructor to gain their confidence or get back to their full rate going forward.   

post #50 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Exactly my thoughts as well.  You don't offer 75% discounts unless you're desperate to attract new customers.  The Groupon ad worked, he blew the opportunity to prove to Divot Dave he was worth paying close to full price for. 

 

That in itself is a problem with loss-leader promotions for professional service / instruction people.  Once they de-value their time that much it causes their customers to be suspect of their abilities and makes it almost impossible for the instructor to gain their confidence or get back to their full rate going forward.   

 

I agree.  That really puts the onus on the professional to go above and beyond to show the value proposition for their service.

post #51 of 70
A very interesting discussion between you teaching pro's, it isn't a simple matter for sure. But really, if someone is offering a good deal you have to assume that some of their customers are interested in repeat business, lasting weeks, months or even years. A fair bit of money is at stake in some cases. So there's a strong case for looking at that bit of video - surely 5 min would be enough to get a pretty good idea of the major issues - and then impressing the hell out of your prospect from the get-go. Just good business sense.

I take my money to someone who shows early that they can really make a difference. Like a good doctor, they listen carefully to what I say, study my individual case and then come up with something that I can have confidence in. I'm working pretty hard to improve at this absurdly demanding game, I'm looking for someone who sees that and responds to it. Just sending a video in the first place, before the first lesson, is evidence of seriousness of purpose, no? My most recent pro proved his worth in the first lesson - I'll be going back to that guy for sure. Whereas my first ever instructor, as I now realize, was a bit of a burned-out case who used a rigid system that may have suited him but was far from well tailored to individual clients. Never again.

But of course there are jerks (customers, I mean) who will try to take advantage of a pro, that has to be true. But you know what they say about babies and bath water ......
Edited by Chas - 5/12/13 at 5:23pm
post #52 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I suppose I'm the one to blame here: I was on groupon and saw a one-hour lesson on there for 29.00. The instructor was the head pro at a course I've been interested in playing so I figured "why not". I went there yesterday. Long story short, it turned out to be another half interested, cliche laden session where the instructor demonstrated nothing more than a mis-informed knowledge base. 

 

2 days prior to showing up, I sent him an email... giving him my athletic background, my short term/long term goals for golf, a little bit of recent medical background, and links to my swing videos posted on youtube. I was really hoping he would in turn match the enthusiasm for instruction, ask questions, or at least extend the dialogue going into the lesson. Nope, didn't even respond. No sooner than I had arrived did he reveal he barely even skimmed over my email and didn't look at one swing video.

 

At that point, I was really turned off but proceeded with the "lesson" anyway. It was basically an analysis of my swing in which he observed my ball flight to determine my swing issues. So for an hour, I got to hear what adjustments I needed to make to hit the ball straighter, "ball lands where the face is pointed, path determines starting direction..." blah blah blah. Even the drills he offered were drills I have easily found with 10 seconds of google research. What really did him in (in my mind) was his advice to open my stance relative to the target, especially after I told him that my misses were usually slices. 

 

I dunno, perhaps he was having a bad day (I actually asked him if he was tired because he seemed like he was somewhere else mentally) but I left feeling really disappointed that all he (among the other two "pros" i've taken lessons from) had to offer equates to nothing more than golf jargon without any serious analysis. And perhaps I should have adjusted my expectations... after all, it was a groupon lesson, for cheap.. I'm guessing he was using the groupon offer as bait, but he really failed to set the hook.

Price doesn't mean anything. I know someone who took a one-hour $500 lesson from a Top-100 pro in Scottsdale and he said it was the most pointless waste of time and money in his life. He got the video, and the massage afterward, blah, blah, but said the pro had as much interest in him as he did in watching paint dry. I got a series of 5 lessons on Groupon from an instructor who was charging $150, but gave it to me for $120 cash if I went off of Groupon and just paid him immediately after a brief interview. He just happened to be light on students at the time and was going to Utah in two months, so he wanted some extra cash. The guy's great, and now I'm on to getting 20 lessons with him for a higher price in the fall/winter. I think others here have given you good strategies for finding a good instructor, but money doesn't always equal quality.

post #53 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest Jones View Post

 

Also, you have a camera and the internet so ->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->-> http://evolvr.thegolfevolution.com/ is a good option. The lessons are really short +/- 10 minutes but the impact they have on your game is pretty impressive as they focus on the ONE THING you can address and improve RIGHT NOW. IMHO this way more effective than spending an hour with a questionable instructor and walking away with a laundry list of all your swing issues and having no idea where to start or how to prioritise.

 

In fact, I find the lessons so impressive that I keep 'em a secret from the people I play with! Won't even tell my brother in laws! LOL.

 

Appreciate that and happy what we try to do gets through to the student.  Going to improve much faster if you focus on one priority piece rather than us tell you the ten things you do wrong.  Even though the lessons are around 5 minutes, you have the option to send multiple swings a month.  Also might be surprised how much "extra" time our instructors spend, answering student emails/questions, reviewing other instructor's videos, talking about student swings with me.

post #54 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

Appreciate that and happy what we try to do gets through to the student.  Going to improve much faster if you focus on one priority piece rather than us tell you the ten things you do wrong.  Even though the lessons are around 5 minutes, you have the option to send multiple swings a month.  Also might be surprised how much "extra" time our instructors spend, answering student emails/questions, reviewing other instructor's videos, talking about student swings with me.

Mike, I'm going to PM you later from work with some questions. Not about my swing (Stephan is great) but about follow-up email questions and etiquette. I want to get the most out of my lessons and sometimes need some clarification and validation but at $40/month I don't want to be "that guy". a1_smile.gif
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