Originally Posted by iacas
Except that there is plenty of "misleading" information built into the PGA training program, and you're tested on some of that misleading information. I'll agree that the amount is often misstated, though, if you'll agree that it probably should have been clarified by now.
There are essentially two sides to teaching - the knowledge and the art side. The art side includes knowing when and how to dispense with knowledge, and the way in which you do so. The conversational side of teaching, the "HOW" to teaching. The knowledge side is the "what" side.
Though I agree (and applaud) your characterization of it as a shibboleth, it's more than just a passphrase into some sort of club - it's kind of fundamental to instruction. It demonstrates that an instructor is willing to learn, in the case of an older instructor, and demonstrates that a younger one has a good first step. Most instructors throw enough stuff out there that one of them may stick, and I have my doubts as to whether this "roll the forearms" trick will suffice - it tends to send the path more left, and is a "quick fix" type of instruction more often than not.
So while I agree in some ways that the ball flight laws are a bit of a shibboleth, I certainly understand where everyone who mentioned it was coming from, and I have serious doubts about someone who would literally argue about a fact - any fact, but certainly especially one related to his profession - with someone. The entire purpose of the swing is to create a certain ball flight that hits the ball pretty far and finishes at a certain point. Controlling the ball flight is fundamental to playing the game, and understanding ball flight thus becomes, IMO, fundamental to teaching the game.
I agree with much of what you're saying. I would hate to come across as sounding as if a professional body, its constituent members, and its training program, shouldn't be concerned with factual accuracy.
And I completely agree that fixing ballflight should be fundamental to teaching.
I don't want to put words in your mouth, but if there's a difference between us here, I imagine that it might be that you are so comfortable with the facts of impact that you can't envisage teaching ballflight any other way. Whereas, whilst it's a bit off-topic, I can envisage some ways golf could be taught effectively, even without being able to articulate the physics of impact. To give one example that seems relevant, a low-capper and one of the better ballstrikers at my club had what he describes as the lesson that made the most lasting benefits he's ever experienced - and it could be fairly characterised as a variation of the "roll the forearms" lesson, albeit with a touch of "running forehand" to counter the tendency to get the path going left.
My bigger gripe is just the tendency that I've seen in these sorts of discussion (in fairness, largely on other forums) to throw this teacher or that teacher under a bus based on their ability or otherwise to recite correctly the latest trendy facts or theory. I think the internet tends to facilitate the spread of the theory, divorced from the teaching practice, and suddenly everyone's an expert EXCEPT the frontline teacher. I'm not just picking on ballflight physics here - I've seen the same phenomenon with TGM, sports psychology, physiology, even the neuro-science of putting...[though if I had to guess, I'd say that what makes the ballflight laws debate different is the marketing $ supporting the sale of very expensive launch monitors.]
To cut a long story short, I hope I'm not seen as defending crappy teachers here. All I'm saying is that they should be judged by their results.