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Yet another wasted golf lesson - Page 4

post #55 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Unfortunately there's a lot of bad golf instructors out there.  $29 for an hour lesson reeks at worst case of a desperate act to make some quick cash from one time students, or best case a loss leader campaign that helps him sign up new suckers.

 

We run Groupons and Daily Deals at Golf Evolution.

 

We also convert a good chunk of those people (some people are happy to get a "deal" and only care about that) because the quality of our instruction is high. We're indoors so we aren't running into people all the time, we aren't "seen" all the time. It's "marketing," except the only "expense" we incur is doing a lesson for $20 instead of $80 to $100. And our Groupon lessons are supposed to be 45 minutes (yeah, good luck with that… and by that I mean if we ever stop at 45 minutes it was probably supposed to be a 20-minute checkup).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Not reading your e-mail or watching your swing video was probably a good indicator of how the rest of the lesson was going to go.

 

I'll explain more later, but I'd have skimmed his email. Maybe printed it. I wouldn't have looked at his videos unless I was bored.

 

Time is money, and for the $14 the instructor got ($29 is what he paid, but $14 goes to the instructor), he wasn't paying for the time spent reading the email. You can say "a few seconds" all you want but Dave said he "skimmed" it which is all you can do in a few seconds. To really read it, take notes or commit it to memory, watch the swing, take some notes on that, etc. is already "real time" - you don't need multiple students.

 

Golf instruction, by and large, is an hourly deal. You pay for the instructor's knowledge, personality, and TIME.

 

While a student is warming up I'll be asking him the questions. If I print his email I'll skim it then and ask the same kinds of questions. Most of the time student emails are full of irrelevant blah blah.

 

And believe me, I go above and beyond for students, but emails and swings (which I record when they're there, almost always from better camera angles and with better cameras capable of high-speed video, etc.) are often not only a waste of time, but they're counterproductive. They don't result in the best communication. They mislead, and if I pre-judge a student based on what they THINK about their golf swing, it may very well cloud me from seeing what I would see on my own. So I would often be doing students a DISfavor by reading their email and/or watching a video.

 

Do I respond to current students (i.e. those who have taken a lesson somewhat recently) via email, text, Facebook messages? YES, all the time. But if you took a lesson a year ago for me, or haven't yet taken a lesson, my answer is often ably boiled down to this: "come in and we'll have a look."

 

Ask Mike about a certain "K-R H" person.

 

BTW, we don't spend a lot of time answering emails sent in to us via evolvr. There's very little margin there, and time spent "off the books" answering email is wasted time. If every student sent one email that required five minutes of thought per month, we'd either need to close evolvr or raise the price to $49/month. In other words, it ain't gonna happen. We occasionally respond, but sometimes our response is "film it and submit it," so at least the student is "using" one of their "submissions" to get their questions answered. It's not "off the books."

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

I think it's great this site is run and moderated by top golf instructors so they can act as the standard for what we should be looking for in a local golf instructor. 

 

And yet I probably disagreed with a lot of what you think above. a1_smile.gif

 

I love email. But I avoid it like the plague when it comes to answering emails like the one described in the OP.

 

If Dave had come to one of our Groupon lessons, I'd have ignored the email too. However, my lesson with Dave would have been AWESOME, and probably lasted far longer than the 45 minutes or whatever the Groupon stated.

 

Long story short: I prefer talking to people rather than reading their emails, especially if I've not seen their swings (via my cameras from correct angles) lately.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I don't consider reading an email and spending 16 seconds looking at a swing video "prep work".

 

It is. And if he just watched your video for 16 seconds, what do you honestly expect him to get out of it in those 16 seconds? So again now you're asking for 5 minutes of free effort, and that's just to watch the videos with a little depth and study. Five more minutes to read and note or memorize parts of the email. Now you're 10 minutes in.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

The good ones have certain qualities in common, namely an evident excitement for teaching their craft, and an enthusiasm for students who demonstrate a similar passion to learn the craft. This guy demonstrated neither, and my disappointment was a compounding one based on previous experiences with PGA certified pros. 

 

I have the same excitement. It comes across in my lessons.

 

It doesn't come across in email, because it's really difficult to be excited about spending hours a week typing emails, especially when you might very well be talking about something that's completely irrelevant to what the student actually needs.

 

Email tends to be a waste of time, for all involved. Talking on the phone isn't far behind.

 

I give more "free" quick lessons to people, more "free" supervised practice sessions to existing students, than almost anyone else I know. They're in person. I can see and communicate and judge the response to what I have to say. There's less chance of being misunderstood, less chance of a student relating a feel that isn't remotely what they're actually doing, etc.

 

For students who travel but live an hour or two away, an email will work if it's very short and asks a simple question, otherwise they know to send a video. They know I'm doing them a favor, and I know I'm happy to do that because they'll be back for more instruction down the road.

 

FWIW this is all about the email. The lesson sucked, it sounds like. If I were you, I'd have not sent the email to begin with, but if I had sent the email, I'd have judged the quality based solely on the lesson.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnclayton1982 View Post

The guy paid him $29 and wants the pro to respond to emails, watch videos, and really get into his golf game? *rolls eyes*

 

Yup.

 

One other thing to consider: look at the "free" stuff Mike and I give away here. We help Drew out with his swing thread, or Shawn, or other people. Some pay for lessons (via evolvr or elsewhere), but there's a little "give and take." They are good members of the site, so we return the favor by helping them with their My Swing threads.

 

As a general rule I don't respond to My Swing threads from people who have 20 posts or fewer. I don't know who they are, and while I'm still VERY passionate about golf, I'm also passionate about my family, and enjoying a fine meal, or other things that I can do to spend my time.

 

I don't think someone like Drew - and he's free to disagree with me if he likes - will say that I'm EVER dismissive or that I don't go the extra step for him - but he's also never emailed me and demanded an answer. I'd probably respond, but again, ask Mike about K-R H… Drew seems to know that if he wants something done, he'll pay for it, and the rest - everything else we do for him - is a "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" type of thing. They're favors. Most of the time, because Drew's a known quantity and a good guy and "current" or "recent" student, we're happy to do things for him.

 

I love golf, but it's my job, too. One of my jobs, anyway. :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrasch View Post

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.

 

That's not quite the same. Sales isn't often a matter of selling a limited resource, and the limited resource is time. In most sales you can sell as much of the thing as you want. In golf instruction there are 8-10 hours a day or so for "sale" and it doesn't always work out that time is well spent looking at an email or a video.

 

I'll spend a lot of time with students, but again, it's IN PERSON, as email and/or videos are - again - not only often a waste of time but actually counter-productive. Existing students have more leeway as they are somewhat "proven" not to be wasting my time, but if I think it's counter-productive or something, they'll get a similar answer: "I don't want to say in email, so let's have a look at your swing and see what we see."

post #56 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Yup.

 

One other thing to consider: look at the "free" stuff Mike and I give away here. We help Drew out with his swing thread, or Shawn, or other people. Some pay for lessons (via evolvr or elsewhere), but there's a little "give and take." They are good members of the site, so we return the favor by helping them with their My Swing threads.

 

As a general rule I don't respond to My Swing threads from people who have 20 posts or fewer. I don't know who they are, and while I'm still VERY passionate about golf, I'm also passionate about my family, and enjoying a fine meal, or other things that I can do to spend my time.

 

I don't think someone like Drew - and he's free to disagree with me if he likes - will say that I'm EVER dismissive or that I don't go the extra step for him - but he's also never emailed me and demanded an answer. I'd probably respond, but again, ask Mike about K-R H… Drew seems to know that if he wants something done, he'll pay for it, and the rest - everything else we do for him - is a "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" type of thing. They're favors. Most of the time, because Drew's a known quantity and a good guy and "current" or "recent" student, we're happy to do things for him.

This is very accurate and one of the main reasons why I am so gung-ho about you guys as teachers and Evolvr.  I pay for 4 lessons a month, but thanks to this site and your willingness to help, I know that I have access all the time.  Even though I don't send emails to you guys with questions, and I never even use all of my monthly submissions, just the fact that I COULD get more out of it like that makes me feel like I have my own personal coach on retainer.

 

But I also recognize that I'm only really paying for the 4 lessons, so if I was expecting too much in the way of emails and free instruction here, I would feel like I'm taking advantage of you guys.

 

Now, I really want to hear about K R H ??? ;)

 

Oh, and I can also vouch for the fact that all of their lessons last longer than they say they're supposed to ... as can my wife. ;)  "Yes honey, I'll be home by 1pm, I promise" g2_eek.gif

post #57 of 70

Erick,

 

I'm amazed that someone with a website and is obviously tech savvy finds emails worthless and to time consuming to read.  My job lives by email and most people live the same way or their work requires it.  If you can't take 2 minutes to read a students email or respond then maybe you are in the wrong line of work.  As for the swing threads you started a website dedicated to the golf swing and you should be happy to respond to your users to drive more traffic to your site and your lesson packages.  I see other instructors on different forums spending countless hours responding to people because they are passionate about their jobs and their job is also their hobby. 
 

post #58 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Time is money, and for the $14 the instructor got ($29 is what he paid, but $14 goes to the instructor), he wasn't paying for the time spent reading the email. You can say "a few seconds" all you want but Dave said he "skimmed" it which is all you can do in a few seconds. To really read it, take notes or commit it to memory, watch the swing, take some notes on that, etc. is already "real time" - you don't need multiple students.

 

Golf instruction, by and large, is an hourly deal. You pay for the instructor's knowledge, personality, and TIME....

 

 

Well, this is ironic (lol)... seeing as how I got the idea of emailing the instructor from Erik.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/22339/instructor-dilemma-stack-and-tilt-style-guy (post 17)

 

I'll admit that the comparison is not exactly apples to apples, but still, for a guy who has emailed his instructors in the past, even talked to them on the phone before the first lesson,  you seem to be pretty against the idea now. 

 

Quote:
FWIW this is all about the email. The lesson sucked, it sounds like. If I were you, I'd have not sent the email to begin with, but if I had sent the email, I'd have judged the quality based solely on the lesson.

 

 

fair enough, but you were a lot like me once upon a time (in terms of the email). fwiw, i judged the quality with the benefit of hindsight... the lesson sucked, so did his level of interest during the lesson, and his lack of attention to the email seemed to me indicative of his aproach to golf instruction, which was substantiated throughout the course of the lesson. Had he completely ignored the email, but demonstrated a passion for teaching his craft, there would be no thread. 

 

 

post #59 of 70

Being a new member and new to the sport as a whole, this has been a great thread to read.  My wife gave me three lessons for Christmas and chose the instructor based on a friend who knows me well and knows my personality and knows a lot of pros in the area.  I have a guy that is really good.  Passionate about his sport and my obvious interest.  I'm real happy that she had the chance to ask my buddy, cause this guy is perfect for me.  He loves what he does and I got a lot out of the first lesson and am really looking forward to what comes.

 

Being an avid email and text communicator, I'm gonna have to have that conversation with him.  Y'all have pointed out that I really need to ask.  Time is money when you're in the service industry and are self employed.  Doesn't matter the field.  I don't want to have him not be fairly compensated for what he does.  That is seriously not fair.

 

My conversations with him via email and text right now are around choosing clubs.  I can see that asking him to review the options I've found just might be asking a bit much  LOL  But hey, I'm such a great customer!!  B-)

 

Thanks folks.  I can see this place being valuable for my development.

post #60 of 70

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

While a student is warming up I'll be asking him the questions. If I print his email I'll skim it then and ask the same kinds of questions. Most of the time student emails are full of irrelevant blah blah.

 

lol lots of truth to that.  Here's the thing guys, we've gotten Evolvrs (don't worry if you're reading this it's not you), where a students talks about hitting a certain shot and the video clearly shows the ball taking off in another direction.  So if we "trusted" what the student said we could be giving some bad advice.  Students also critique their swings because of how it looks, not the functionality of the motion.  And don't think this is just limited to amateurs, I've seen the emails PGA Tour players send their instructors, they are just as scattered as any 10 handicap, maybe even worse lol

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by poser View Post

Erick,

 

I'm amazed that someone with a website and is obviously tech savvy finds emails worthless and to time consuming to read.  My job lives by email and most people live the same way or their work requires it.  If you can't take 2 minutes to read a students email or respond then maybe you are in the wrong line of work.  As for the swing threads you started a website dedicated to the golf swing and you should be happy to respond to your users to drive more traffic to your site and your lesson packages.  I see other instructors on different forums spending countless hours responding to people because they are passionate about their jobs and their job is also their hobby. 
 

 

Which is exactly what Erik and I do, spend countless hours helping golfers are sharing credible info.  Erik have given thousands of dollars of info for FREE, and that's probably only in the last 1-2 years.  Very few guys put in the time we do.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

Oh, and I can also vouch for the fact that all of their lessons last longer than they say they're supposed to ... as can my wife. ;)  "Yes honey, I'll be home by 1pm, I promise" g2_eek.gif

 

Yes most of our, Golf Evolution, lessons go over, we always make sure the student understands what they need to do.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

 

Now, I really want to hear about K R H ??? ;)

 

 

Remind me next time I see you, long story.  To get a better idea, check out what I write I'll write below

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

I don't think someone like Drew - and he's free to disagree with me if he likes - will say that I'm EVER dismissive or that I don't go the extra step for him - but he's also never emailed me and demanded an answer. I'd probably respond, but again, ask Mike about K-R H… Drew seems to know that if he wants something done, he'll pay for it, and the rest - everything else we do for him - is a "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine" type of thing. They're favors. Most of the time, because Drew's a known quantity and a good guy and "current" or "recent" student, we're happy to do things for him.

 

 

100% agree.  Guys like Drew have no problem answering followup or "check in" questions.  Especially since he's going to share the good info on the forum.  It's the guys that demand an answer or don't appreciate the information.  Tell them to work on something, then they send you a video of Butch Harmon asking if this is what they should work on or want an explanation why it's wrong.  Or asking exactly how they the proper backswing should feel etc.  Questions that really can't be answered..by anyone.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

One other thing to consider: look at the "free" stuff Mike and I give away here. We help Drew out with his swing thread, or Shawn, or other people. Some pay for lessons (via evolvr or elsewhere), but there's a little "give and take." They are good members of the site, so we return the favor by helping them with their My Swing threads.

 

 

Like you said Erik, it's a fun job, one of our various jobs ;-)  I get a lot of pleasure knowing I can give someone a few pointers and it changes the way they hit the ball, without ever meeting them in person.  Pretty cool.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

 

Well, this is ironic (lol)... seeing as how I got the idea of emailing the instructor from Erik.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/22339/instructor-dilemma-stack-and-tilt-style-guy (post 17)

 

 

Hi Dave, Erik wrote this below and I agree with it.  Yes he did call Dave Wedzik asking about what Dave teaches.  Phone call imo is quicker than reading an email and reviewing some swings.  That post Erik wrote is before he was an instructor, it's 4 years old.  Emails aren't as good as talking to the student in person, there is only so much the instructor can learn and only so much "free time" an instructor can spare.

 

     Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Long story short: I prefer talking to people rather than reading their emails, especially if I've not seen their swings (via my cameras from correct angles) lately.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

 

I'll admit that the comparison is not exactly apples to apples, but still, for a guy who has emailed his instructors in the past, even talked to them on the phone before the first lesson,  you seem to be pretty against the idea now. 

 

 

Yes and you should understand that was 4 years ago, he's gained experience and knowledge being an instructor.  Erik knows what works and he's helped a bunch of golfers, amateurs and professionals.

post #61 of 70

Good to hear from the instructors side. Gives you a whole different perspective to the time, effort and value of them (emails) and what you are trying, and can, achieve. While I'm sure most agree Daves' lesson didn't sound too hot, I was erring toward the lack of interest on the email as being annoying as well.

Personally, and I know there are other very knowledgeable members that give great advice and comments, I haven't put up a swing thread because I know I don't contribute enough to warrant people spending too much of their time on me just yet. I'd prefer to get started with the evolvr lessons (still too busy, hopefully next month) and be able to at least feel I knew what I was talking about when giving my opinions. I already feel guilty enough with the information I've taken from this website and improvements I made.

post #62 of 70

Far too many instructors can come off as a car salesmen and are very shady. I won't even say that this is in my area, because I know it is true for all locations. Most everyone has seen that "instructor", regardless of the sport. The guy who really doesn't care about you at the end of the day, regardless of how hard (or obviously little) he tries to get to know you and interact with you.

The fact that Erik and Mike come out and say what is on their minds respectively and cut right to the chase with everyone on here is something that is very rare and far too often overlooked. If I ask a stupid question about something golf related, or try to help someone with incorrect information, I appreciate being called out on it. I've seen a lot of people take what Erik says in replies as being arrogant or mean, but I find it useful and direct... i.e.: Give me a Ribeye with the fat trimmed off the edges!

On a side note, I cannot wait to take a trip up to Erie this Summer or hopefully catch Erik when he is in my area. Beers are on me for sure, because god knows I've won many by reading and practicing his advice.

post #63 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

Hi Dave, Erik wrote this below and I agree with it.  Yes he did call Dave Wedzik asking about what Dave teaches.  Phone call imo is quicker than reading an email and reviewing some swings.  That post Erik wrote is before he was an instructor, it's 4 years old.  Emails aren't as good as talking to the student in person, there is only so much the instructor can learn and only so much "free time" an instructor can spare....

 

...Yes and you should understand that was 4 years ago, he's gained experience and knowledge being an instructor.  Erik knows what works and he's helped a bunch of golfers, amateurs and professionals.

 

I totally get that... and in my estimation, there's room for someone's opinion to change over time as they learn different things. I'm simply pointing out that i thought it was ironic he was criticizing an action that he set the example for, albeit 4 years ago. 

 

Its also further ironic to me that while Erik frowns upon the idea of pre-lesson correspondence (within the context of this thread) as an instructor, Dave Wedzik didn't, and it appears that he picked up one hell of a student and eventual colleague as a result. 

 

But don't get me wrong here... I'm not saying that all instructors SHOULD take the time to read and respond to every email... Erik doesn't prefer to commit much time before the initial lesson and he's free to do that, just as I'm free to have a preference that an email get acknowledged on the front end (especially when there's a "contact us" link with a promise to respond in a short amount of time on the website).

 

(regarding the bold above): He called and emailed before the lesson

post #64 of 70

The instructor had two paths he could choose for offering his services on Groupon.  The first was to fill an hour's worth of time for $29.  The other was to view it as a business development opportunity.  If he had chosen the latter, reviewing e-mails and watching the swing video would have been a worthwhile investment of his time.  He could have added, after the lesson, that he doesn't normally correspond with students via e-mail, or review videos, etc. - that's his decision on how to run his business.  Even if his decision was the first option he should have at least led off with explaining that he didn't read the e-mails or video, wanted to watch in person, etc. etc.  The world is too connected today to give a half-hearted effort just to score a few bucks. 

 

Back in my days of Public Accounting I sat through too many board meetings for organizations and ate way too much rubber chicken all in the name of BD.  But that was how we developed new clients and it was part of the job.  Of course that was before e-mail, the internet, video files or any of the other stuff we live through today.

post #65 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by poser View Post

I'm amazed that someone with a website and is obviously tech savvy finds emails worthless and to time consuming to read.

 

I email all the time. I text all the time. I post messages here (kind of like email) all the time. For working with a student in the way Dave's post, however, there are better methods of communication, and better uses of time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by poser View Post

If you can't take 2 minutes to read a students email or respond then maybe you are in the wrong line of work.

 

It's never two minutes. It would take 5-10 minutes or so just to review the swings, and another 5-10 to read and write down bits of the email that were important. I get the same information, more accurately, more quickly, and more personably, when the student arrives and begins hitting, and I get to sense their tone of voice, etc. too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by poser View Post

As for the swing threads you started a website dedicated to the golf swing and you should be happy to respond to your users to drive more traffic to your site and your lesson packages. I see other instructors on different forums spending countless hours responding to people because they are passionate about their jobs and their job is also their hobby. 

 

I'm not sure what you're saying. Mike and I do this. We probably spend far more time helping golfers free than anyone else out there. We are passionate about our jobs, and this post of yours seems a little odd given the help we've given YOU and countless others.

 

At the end of the day time is limited, so if you're reacting to my comment about how I often don't contribute to My Swing threads in which the person has 20 posts or fewer, that's simply about prioritization. If I have something to say to Drew, or Shawn, or YOU, I'll do that before I respond to the guy with three posts, two of which are in his My Swing thread.

 

If you can invent a way for me to stay awake 24/7 without any side effects, I'd probably spend a lot of that extra time posting in more My Swing threads and helping people free and posting here, but as it is I need about six hours of sleep each night. :P

 

This site remains largely a labor of love, too. I'm not buying a Porsche any time soon…

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

Well, this is ironic (lol)... seeing as how I got the idea of emailing the instructor from Erik.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/22339/instructor-dilemma-stack-and-tilt-style-guy (post 17)

 

I'll admit that the comparison is not exactly apples to apples, but still, for a guy who has emailed his instructors in the past, even talked to them on the phone before the first lesson,  you seem to be pretty against the idea now. 

 

To be fair (to me), a few points:

  • My email was mostly about the general philosophy of the golf swing.
  • I'd already committed to a full lesson, and if Dave was good (he was, so much so that I became an instructor and work with him daily for 3+ years now), he'd win me over in that lesson. I knew that and he knew that.
  • I had been talking to him about a $1000 package or so, including for my wife.
  • I talked to him on the phone briefly as well.

 

Also, as a final point, note that my email also said this:

 

Please don't let this take up too much of your time. I'm committed to meeting you for one session at the very least and am still fairly certain (wife) and I will be committing to the plan laid out below. I'm sharing my mild concerns with you so that we can have an honest working relationship, and because I want to commit to this.

 

In other words, I told him I was committed, and I told him that I was just sharing that with him but he shouldn't spend much time at all on it. The fact that he responded was a bonus, but I didn't need or expect a reply.

 

I will talk to students at length about what I teach, how I teach, scheduling, costs, technology, etc. if they have questions. That's very different than what is being discussed here. Asking questions to see if the instructor is a good fit (especially if you don't expect a reply - I'd have been fine if he printed it and read it while I was warming up) is different than what you did. Do I blame you? Not at all. I'm a big fan of the "doesn't hurt to ask" principle. I just wouldn't expect a response, and I think the history bears that out - I flat out tell him that he doesn't need to email me back or spend any time on it. If he had written to say "we'll talk during your lesson" that would have been great.

 

And as I said, I talk - at length, "off the books" (no charge) - to many of my current or recent students. I talk at length to prospective students as well. But even with current/recent or prospective students, there come some topics where my answer boils down to "come in and we'll take a look" because they're asking questions that are either irrelevant or that I can't be certain are even correct (camera angles on videos, etc.).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

fwiw, i judged the quality with the benefit of hindsight... the lesson sucked, so did his level of interest during the lesson, and his lack of attention to the email seemed to me indicative of his aproach to golf instruction, which was substantiated throughout the course of the lesson. Had he completely ignored the email, but demonstrated a passion for teaching his craft, there would be no thread. 

 

Yes, you judged it in hindsight. If you had shown up, and he had printed the email and said "I didn't take a look at your video because I like to shoot my own," then asked you questions while you were warming up that you could answer to talk about your goals, etc., and then gave you a great lesson, you'd not care that he didn't get back to you via email.

 

Precisely.

 

BTW, if it was me, I'd have probably skimmed your email too (you said he did that), and replied to say "Let's talk when you come in, I'm looking forward to your lesson!".

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kball View Post

My conversations with him via email and text right now are around choosing clubs.  I can see that asking him to review the options I've found just might be asking a bit much  LOL  But hey, I'm such a great customer!!  B-)

 

I think that you sound like a reasonable guy. If he doesn't respond, or he says "let's talk during your next lesson," that you'll be okay with that.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I totally get that... and in my estimation, there's room for someone's opinion to change over time as they learn different things. I'm simply pointing out that i thought it was ironic he was criticizing an action that he set the example for, albeit 4 years ago.

 

I really didn't though. I shared with him my opinions, feelings, and thoughts. I wanted him to be able to overcome my objections, so that I could fully commit. I specifically said "don't spend time on this."

 

Basically, I gave him a cheat sheet. If he wanted to keep me as a student, he had to overcome some of these objections. He did great at that - he showed me how Hogan did many of the things he was asking me to do, etc. He didn't need to respond, and I said as much - he was smart, though, in using the cheat sheet I gave him. :)


Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

Its also further ironic to me that while Erik frowns upon the idea of pre-lesson correspondence (within the context of this thread) as an instructor, Dave Wedzik didn't, and it appears that he picked up one hell of a student and eventual colleague as a result. 

 

I don't frown on the idea of pre-lesson correspondence - it matters what KIND of correspondence it is. If it's information I can gain:

  • more accurately
  • more quickly
  • more personably

in person then that's how I choose to gain that information. Email is great, but it's cold, not necessarily accurate (student feels, video angles, etc.), and takes a longer time than most conversations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

But don't get me wrong here... I'm not saying that all instructors SHOULD take the time to read and respond to every email... Erik doesn't prefer to commit much time before the initial lesson and he's free to do that, just as I'm free to have a preference that an email get acknowledged on the front end (especially when there's a "contact us" link with a promise to respond in a short amount of time on the website).

 

So nobody gets me wrong, again - it depends on the KIND of information. I spend a LOT of time talking to people before a lesson. I just don't tend to want to hear what they think is wrong with their golf swing. I'm - my eyes, my high-speed cameras, my FlightScope, my SwingCatalyst - a lot better at that than students are. :D

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthduffer View Post

The instructor had two paths he could choose for offering his services on Groupon.  The first was to fill an hour's worth of time for $29.  The other was to view it as a business development opportunity.  If he had chosen the latter, reviewing e-mails and watching the swing video would have been a worthwhile investment of his time.

 

No, not necessarily. He could have simply given a great lesson. Dave even says that he judged the lack of a response to the email in hindsight (though if they say they'll respond, I'd have at least responded with "Thanks for the email - we'll talk at your lesson. I'm looking forward to it" or something).

 


 

Look, if I'm somehow giving the impression that I don't talk to students unless they're paying me, some of you clearly don't appreciate the time and effort even posting here takes. My "I wouldn't have read the email or looked at the video" answer is specific to this example - a student who had committed to a lesson and who sent me stuff that I can't guarantee is accurate (video), etc. I prefer to have THAT kind of conversation in person.

 

I'd have responded - very briefly - to say just that.

 

If a student has questions about my philosophy, my style, costs, scheduling, all sorts of things, I'll answer that phone call or that email all the time. That's just the way you do business, and I like what I do.

 

But answering that email or spending 15 minutes reading it, jotting down notes, and reviewing the swing videos wouldn't be a good use of time - for that specific example, because again the video isn't likely to be accurate or helpful, and the rest of the info you can get more personably, quickly, and accurately in person.

post #66 of 70

That happened to me and I felt like I was a burden to the instructor and it was a waste of time.  So I taught myself passed my PAT the first time and became a PGA apprentice.

Teach yourself using video and with all the information on the web you can do it and you will feel better about your game. Work hard.

post #67 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Digger View Post

That happened to me and I felt like I was a burden to the instructor and it was a waste of time.  So I taught myself passed my PAT the first time and became a PGA apprentice.
Teach yourself using video and with all the information on the web you can do it and you will feel better about your game. Work hard.

That may work for a VERY select few. Sounds like the hard way to me but kudos if it worked for you.
post #68 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
... it's never two minutes. It would take 5-10 minutes or so just to review the swings, and another 5-10 to read and write down bits of the email that were important. I get the same information, more accurately, more quickly, and more personably, when the student arrives and begins hitting, and I get to sense their tone of voice, etc. too.

 

so as regards my situation, the main piece of information that's missing, that some are incorrectly drawing conclusions on, is what I wrote in the email, and what my expectations were with the email. I wrote nothing of what I think my swing problems are. I gave him a quick breakdown of my relevant background, a quick breakdown of my goals - in terms of what I want to do with the game in the next few years - and 2 videos, 8 seconds each (hence the 16 seconds) - one down the line, and one face on. 

 

Now mind you, in my OP, I was ranting a little... more so out of frustration with not just my experience with him, but my combined experience with previous instructors as well. So perhaps it came off that how he treated my email was more significant than it actually was. But in my defense, I wasn't the one in this thread who isolated that portion of the OP and blew it out of proportion, the lawyer did that. (johnny-something-1982) 

 

Regardless, had the man given even the simplest of responses... such as Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post
...BTW, if it was me, I'd have probably skimmed your email too (you said he did that), and replied to say "Let's talk when you come in, I'm looking forward to your lesson!".

 that would have more than sufficed. However, the fact that he didn't, simply further illustrates (IMO) that he's a coach going thru the motions, and nothing more. Bottom line for me is, realizing that was a disappointment... I was really hoping to encounter an enthusiastic coach and was let down... and as I said in the OP, perhaps i'm to blame here. That's all the relevancy there is with regard to emailing the guy. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
I really didn't though. I shared with him my opinions, feelings, and thoughts. I wanted him to be able to overcome my objections, so that I could fully commit. I specifically said "don't spend time on this."

 

So I'm confused, is your issue with using email as a means of communication prior to a first lesson, or the content of the email? I was under the assumption that you disapprove of using email (regardless of content) as a means of communication prior to a first lesson, which is the assumption my response was given under. But it sounds like you have a category for content that is reasonable to email an instructor about, and content that is not. Either way, thats your opinion, its not exactly an unwritten law as is evidenced by other instructors posting in this thread that seem to agree with me. And to reiterate: the content and purpose of my email to him was very basic stuff, so he knew more of who he was dealing with when I arrived. (Not all to different than your email to David was IMO). 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 don't frown on the idea of pre-lesson correspondence - it matters what KIND of correspondence it is. If it's information I can gain:

  • more accurately
  • more quickly
  • more personably

in person then that's how I choose to gain that information. Email is great, but it's cold, not necessarily accurate (student feels, video angles, etc.), and takes a longer time than most conversations.

 

 

I know you don't frown upon pre-lesson correspondence which is why I qualified that statement with "(within the context of this thread)" - we essentially agree here. 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post
So nobody gets me wrong, again - it depends on the KIND of information. I spend a LOT of time talking to people before a lesson. I just don't tend to want to hear what they think is wrong with their golf swing. I'm - my eyes, my high-speed cameras, my FlightScope, my SwingCatalyst - a lot better at that than students are. :D

 

again, we agree here as well... my email had nothing of the sort other than two video links.

Now, come to think about it, I wasn't explicit about it in the email cuz it didn't matter... (and for the life of me, I wish I had a record of the message I sent him), but all I really intended for him to do with my swing videos was at best take a look, at worst nothing. No need to analyze at this stage, but I included it because I thought it would be helpful to him to have an idea of my skill level (or lack thereof) which can be easily ascertained within the 16 seconds it takes to watch them. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

Look, if I'm somehow giving the impression that I don't talk to students unless they're paying me, some of you clearly don't appreciate the time and effort even posting here takes. My "I wouldn't have read the email or looked at the video" answer is specific to this example - a student who had committed to a lesson and who sent me stuff that I can't guarantee is accurate (video), etc. I prefer to have THAT kind of conversation in person.

 

I'd have responded - very briefly - to say just that.

 

If a student has questions about my philosophy, my style, costs, scheduling, all sorts of things, I'll answer that phone call or that email all the time. That's just the way you do business, and I like what I do.

 

But answering that email or spending 15 minutes reading it, jotting down notes, and reviewing the swing videos wouldn't be a good use of time - for that specific example, because again the video isn't likely to be accurate or helpful, and the rest of the info you can get more personably, quickly, and accurately in person.

 

I hope none of my comments have given off this impression. If so, my apologies. For the record, I don't get the sense that you're that kind of guy. 

 

I've stated very plainly, I thought it was ironic, plain and simple, no passive aggression, no low blows or insinuation built in there... i thought it was ironic that the very guy who I got the idea to email an instructor in the first place was responding with criticism to it. Anything after that was a response to your response. I wasn't offended, hope you weren't either. 

post #69 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

that would have more than sufficed. However, the fact that he didn't, simply further illustrates (IMO) that he's a coach going thru the motions, and nothing more. Bottom line for me is, realizing that was a disappointment... I was really hoping to encounter an enthusiastic coach and was let down... and as I said in the OP, perhaps i'm to blame here. That's all the relevancy there is with regard to emailing the guy. 

 

I agree. I always respond to emails (unless they're of the type that don't need a response, like someone sending me an email that says "sounds great!" or "the second one please."), I just don't always spend a lot of time on the responses if I'm going to get better and/or more personable and/or quicker information later.

 

So we are on the same page with that.

 

The instructor likely stinks. A student who sends me an email like you sent him is great because even if I'm doing the lesson free (or for $14), there are good signs that you want to improve at golf and are willing to spend some good time and energy (and yes, a hundred bucks or more) on further lessons and improvements and so on.

 

So I'd have responded quickly, but then noted when we talked all of your goals, etc. You'd have gotten a great lesson and likely I'd have done well enough that you'd want to come back for more. You wouldn't feel like I was "going through the motions."

 

The guy failed miserably. And worse (for him) yet, he was paid only $14 for the hour to fail miserably.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

So I'm confused, is your issue with using email as a means of communication prior to a first lesson, or the content of the email? I was under the assumption that you disapprove of using email (regardless of content) as a means of communication prior to a first lesson, which is the assumption my response was given under. But it sounds like you have a category for content that is reasonable to email an instructor about, and content that is not. Either way, thats your opinion, its not exactly an unwritten law as is evidenced by other instructors posting in this thread that seem to agree with me. And to reiterate: the content and purpose of my email to him was very basic stuff, so he knew more of who he was dealing with when I arrived. (Not all to different than your email to David was IMO).

 

It depends entirely on the content. To boil it down (beyond what's reasonable, but bear with me): if you're already signed up for a lesson, then there's less "sales pitch" stuff or "background info" or "feeling out" that's necessary than if you're still shopping around.

 

You were signed up for a lesson. I'd have sent a quick response, realized that I could better, more personably, and more quickly gotten the information out of you about your goals, etc. in person at your lesson, and left it at that.

 

Someone who hasn't yet set up a lesson, they tend to have a bit more latitude to ask some questions, though obviously those conversations reach a point too where they are basically (nicely) told "come in and we'll have a look." :)

 

It's like this: say you call your lawyer to schedule a meeting. You might ask a few questions to see if the meeting is worthwhile, but once you schedule the meeting, the conversation is mostly about "what documents do I need to bring with me?" and that's about it. The lawyer is not going to keep answering questions - that's why you have the meeting scheduled.

 

My email to Dave was a bit different. Yes, I'd already committed to the lesson. Yes, he could have skimmed the email quickly, written back "we'll talk at your lesson, looking forward to it," and then asked me questions that drew the same information out that I'd shared in the email.

 

But… Dave wasn't as busy then, so he read it then, and replied. Also, it helped me to write it, to clarify my line of thought, and at no point did I expect or require a response. You yourself said you only really required one in hindsight, as it pointed to a bigger problem. My students never get the pointer to a bigger problem because their lessons are great. :)

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I know you don't frown upon pre-lesson correspondence which is why I qualified that statement with "(within the context of this thread)" - we essentially agree here. 

 

I believe we do, yes. I'm not even necessarily responding to you, just using your situation as a sort of example.

 

I'm a whole lot friendlier (and less expensive) than a lawyer, and I'll talk to a LOT of people about the golf swing, THEIR golf swing, etc. But at the end of the day, lawyers bill for their time. They do favors and round down occasionally or take a 5-minute call and don't bill for it for existing clients, and for new clients they'll often answer some questions before the person comes in, but golf instructors and lawyers are in a very similar game in terms of the age old "time is money" model.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

Now, come to think about it, I wasn't explicit about it in the email cuz it didn't matter... (and for the life of me, I wish I had a record of the message I sent him), but all I really intended for him to do with my swing videos was at best take a look, at worst nothing. No need to analyze at this stage, but I included it because I thought it would be helpful to him to have an idea of my skill level (or lack thereof) which can be easily ascertained within the 16 seconds it takes to watch them.

 

You're stil under-estimating the time it takes. He could watch for 16 seconds (you're still not including the time it takes to click, let them load, click play, etc.) and learn nothing, or he could watch them four times (still looking at 2 minutes) and learn something he'd be able to see with his own eyes when you showed up and took your first two swings (where he could also see the ball flight, distance, etc.), or he could spend 10 minutes and actually start to pay attention.

 

Know what I mean? I think his response was appropriate: do nothing, see what your swing looked like when you came in.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by divot dave View Post

I've stated very plainly, I thought it was ironic, plain and simple, no passive aggression, no low blows or insinuation built in there... i thought it was ironic that the very guy who I got the idea to email an instructor in the first place was responding with criticism to it. Anything after that was a response to your response. I wasn't offended, hope you weren't either. 

 

I'm not offended. Just don't want people to get the wrong impression. I talk (email, phone, text, in person) - A LOT - to potential students, current students, recent students, etc.

 

I choose not to email them when there are:

  • more personable
  • faster
  • more accurate

ways to "converse" with them. Sometimes that's "give me a call." For students that know how to film, sometimes it's "send me a video." Often it's "let's meet up and check it out."

 

And, like everyone, I don't have an infinite amount of time, so sometimes on here I have to ignore "My Swing" threads by guys with ten posts in favor of responding to things, quite simply, that interest me more, that are from "better" members, etc.

post #70 of 70

I started taking lessons from a local pro this year. The guy I went to came recommended by a few good players who I trust, plus he has some publicity material that indicates that he has a genuine interest in and commitment to teaching. In other words, I did some due diligence.

 

I then signed up for a series of 4 half hour lessons. I wasn't completely locked in - as I could have switched to another pro at the facility if things hadn't worked out. However, I made a point of telling the teacher at the first lesson that I was signed up for at least 4 lessons, and that I was happy to look for long-term improvement not just a quick band-aid.

 

I expected the first lesson to be largely taken up with initial assessments (each way!). That cuts into a 30 min lesson, but I accept that it's part of the process. I didn't try to short-circuit that process with a phone call or emails. I think that sort of assessment works much better in a live teaching environment rather than written correspondence. Heavens, I thought everyone by now would have a closet full of cautionary tales of how emails get misinterpreted. It's just not always a great medium for the exchange of useful information. And, in the time that it would have taken him to receive one email, with one video, and form any sort of tentative thoughts - I would have hit half a dozen shots in front of him and he would have some idea of my typical ball-flight and tendencies. Of course, I'm paying for his time while he does this - but that's what I'd expect from any professional.

 

What I think is interesting is this. Once I'm paying for his time - I want my instructor to be watching me swing, and teaching me. If the meter is running and he asks me whether I want him to spend some of his time, and my money, typing up his advice to email to me - I would certainly say no. Watch me hit balls, tell me what you think, and show me what to do. Much faster, more efficient, better value. I'd consider myself a hypocrite if I expected my teacher to spend time doing anything at his own expense that I wouldn't consider a good use of the time that I pay for.

 

I should also say - my instructor has a pretty full lesson book and appears to teach solidly 6 days a week from morning through to 8 or 9pm. So absolutely, I'm aware that if I want a chat or clarification or whatever, this needs to come at SOMEBODY'S expense.

 

I'm also very conscious from my own line of work that what seems like a really simple question sometimes demands a longer answer or explanation - to be any good at any rate. I use email a lot for professional correspondence - and in my experience, the meaningful email that only takes 2 mins to write is a rare beast indeed (and I'm a fast typist). If you read with any attention, and respond with any care, and the issue isn't a simple "yes" or "no" - then you're almost always into non-trivial amounts of time. The only questions are whether the advice is any good, and who pays for it.

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