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Should I tell the guy?!?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I was at my local range today and was working diligently on a new swing.  About half way through my 100 ball bucket, I overheard two guys talking rather loudly as they approached an open spot behind me.  As I transitioned from my 7 iron (hitting the ball rather cleanly and consistently with this iron) to my 3 iron (my former go to club off the tee, but now struggling since changing my swing) I overheard what seemed to be the instructor telling the pupil he was crushing the ball out to 250 yards!

 

I am 5'10, 230 pounds and athletically built in my early 30's, and not even I can hit the ball 250!  This other guy, was probably mid-40's, very overweight, and not athletic in build by any means.  

 

As I cleaned my clubs, they continued their banter as the pupil struggled with even striking the ball, while the "instructor" was essentially lying to the guy.

 

I am familiar with golf course etiquette, but what is the proper thing to do in this situation?  I feel bad for the guy, because I imagine he is paying for the time and instruction from the instructor.  However, walking up to him in the middle of a lesson would certainly make the instructor mad.  If I see the guy again, what should I do?  Should I encourage him to look for another instructor?  I am new to the area so I don't even know of a good instructor.  

 

(By the way, I am changing my swing off of some solid advice from a guy at a different range that is bordering on trying to enter the professional golf arena.  I didn't pay anyone for the tips on changing my swing, so I don't have a way of helping the guy out at present.)

post #2 of 22

Say hi to the guy and smile.  Welcome to TST

post #3 of 22

I know when I take lessons my instructor will tend to exaggerate the distance a little bit. Part of it is his joking personality, which I understand, and the other parts are that we hit range balls and he likes to be optimistic. You just have to remember that these guys make their money on giving people lessons and people want to leave a lesson confident in their abilities. Even if the guy isn't hitting it that far, it's likely that the confidence the instructor is giving him will help him in some way that may not be apparent to you.

post #4 of 22

The less attention you pay to most people on the range, the better your practice will be. My favorite people to ignore are the club pro giving some guy lessons, the range attendants making small talk and the various hackers getting ready for a weekly foursome who love to comment on each other's shots. Inevitably the times I'm there completely alone are the times I feel I strike the ball the best. The only use the other people serve is as a method of practicing focus. If I can block them out and concentrate on my shots, I can do so on the course as well with any sort of distractions.

 

The other guys who tend to be quiet are usually the best players. There are only about 3 or 4 other guys I've seen out of over 100 on my home range who I consider to be good ballstrikers, and none of them were there to make comments about anyone's game. That's not to say you can't be both talkative and serious about your game, but it seldom does anyone's game any good.

 

As far as how to deal with this guy, let him go about his business. His expectations from the game may be completely different from yours. I see this all the time when I hit a shot that I don't like, 99% of people will praise me for hitting it solid or far even though I know I didn't succeed in what I was trying to do. Or they'll consider any good shot by my standards to be a great shot. Or they could be completely patronizing and just say something encouraging even though I know I'm struggling. 

 

As an instructor you might work with collegiate players one day and an 80 year old 30 handicap the next. Or you might just have a student who reacts well to praise instead of negative comments or vice versa, or the instructor himself might favor encouragement. It's true a student will probably come back to have his ego stroked rather than get hit with a reality check, but that doesn't mean the lessons won't do him good. You can always play a vain player for money but I wouldn't suggest you go up to him unsolicited and tell him he actually sucks. If you wouldn't do it to a 7 year old kid just starting out with his dad, I wouldn't do it to him either.

 

Now, if the pair next to me were watching me and commenting on how far I was hitting it, I'd usually correct them because I have a very good sense of the layout on this range and how far a comparable shot might go with real balls. I have also corrected people on objective facts, such as how far it is to a particular flag and the yardage the shot might play on the course, because that stuff isn't debatable and can't really make someone angry at me. If it isn't helpful to bring it up, I'll say nothing.

 

Unless his instructor was Hank Haney, then I'd definitely say something.

post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTDoc View Post

I overheard what seemed to be the instructor telling the pupil he was crushing the ball out to 250 yards!

 

I am 5'10, 230 pounds and athletically built in my early 30's, and not even I can hit the ball 250!  This other guy, was probably mid-40's, very overweight, and not athletic in build by any means.  

 

 

 

Just curious - how do you know he wasn't hitting it 250 yards?  Your evidence seems to be that he was of a certain age and weight.  I see plenty of guys over 40 fat and skinny who can go 250.

post #6 of 22

let the guy feel good about himself. its not effecting you

post #7 of 22
Tell him about this forum. He'll be "that guy" who carries 320 with a 3 wood, ALWAYS hit it to 10 ft on 190 yd par threes with an easy 9 iron and never EVER misses a fairway.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

Tell him about this forum. He'll be "that guy" who carries 320 with a 3 wood, ALWAYS hit it to 10 ft on 190 yd par threes with an easy 9 iron and never EVER misses a fairway.

 

Exactly, he'll fit in nicely here.
post #9 of 22

I'm not sure you understand where distance comes from.  It has nothing to do with strength or size. 

 

I played with 2 of my usual buddies one day and the 4th of our foursome was a guy we work with and I didn't know he golfed.  Basically he doesn't but he did 30yrs ago in high school.  He.s got a belly, skinny arms and not very athletic.  He crushed his drives between 275 and 300 with one that was 317 with tailwind from elevated tee.  All were beautiful draws.  I was shocked.  His timing, hand speed and rotation was great.  Didn't look like a fast swing but it was.  He was doing this with an original Big Bertha.  

 

When it comes to driving distance never judge a book by its cover.

post #10 of 22

Maybe he wasn't paying the guy to help him with his golf swing but to help him with his incredibly low self esteem?

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the well thought out, and well rounded view points. After spending more time thinking about the parts that bothered me most, I think it was the lack of attention the "instructor" paid to the fundamentals of developing a consistent swing, e.g. consistent stance, strong and good grip, and consistency. He kept repeating, "swing up as you hit the ball, this will make it go farther." Either, he was robbing the guy of his money, or was a friend trying to help a friend, but was misguided. Golf is such an amazing sport, I hate to see people get wrong advice, as it might disuade them from continuing to play.
post #12 of 22
Let's think about this: you're having a conversation at a range with someone who is giving you help, quite possibly because you're paying him for a lesson, you've got limited time there, and some stranger you've never seen before, who very likely is not as knowledgable or experienced in the game of golf as your instructor, interrupts you, tells you that he's a better golfer than you and there's no way that that you can hit it as far as the instructor tells you that your balls are going because he himself cannot hit them that far. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The most polite thing you would do is say is "Uhhhmmmm ..... thanks, I guess' and turn your back on him. More likely, you'd glare and ask him if he didn't have somewhere else he needed to be. You'd think the guy is a total sticking-his-nose-where-it-doesn't-belong asshat. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So to redirect to your question, do you want to be an asshat? There, you've answered your own question. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm slightly smaller and more than a decade older than you and when I connect decently on my drives and they go straight, I hit them 260 - 270 easily and have a few each season that go 20 yards further than that. Last year I almost drove a short 275yd par-four with my 3W - it came up less than 10 yards short and this summer after a really helpful lesson that got my swing the best I've seen it in a decade, I put a new range ball into the woods at the end of the range, 10 yards behind the 265 yard marker, about head-high when it disappeared into the trees, so with a bit of roll that might have gone close to 300 yards. I have an athletic friend who is 5'8" and about 155lbs whose handicap might be in single digits and if it's not, it's close and not-infrequently I can put my 3W 10-20 yards past his his well-struck drives using his new $400 driver. So there's nothing outrageous for someone who looks fairly ordinary to be able to hit the ball 250 yards some of the time (high handicappers like me can routinely hit the ball 330 yards, but unfortunately, it's 230 yards out and 100 yards sliced to the right). Now 300 yard drives, well, that's a different story. I suspect that there are about double or triple the numbers of 300 yard drives reported on internet golf forums as are actually hit on a range or golf course. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Also, how were the range balls? If they were old and pretty beaten-up, maybe they were losing 10, 20 or more yards compared to how a regular new golf ball would fly. How do you know whether or not the instructor wasn't factoring this into his distances, in essence saying "that's a 250 yard drive [ leaving unsaid "with a regular, non-range ball"]"? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I guess the question I've got for you OP is if you are as strong, athletic, and well-versed in the fundamentals of the golf swing as you claim, why aren't you hitting the ball at least 250 yards?
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayG View Post

Tell him about this forum. He'll be "that guy" who carries 320 with a 3 wood, ALWAYS hit it to 10 ft on 190 yd par threes with an easy 9 iron and never EVER misses a fairway.
Funny, I kind of had the same thought running through my mind as I was reading the first post. a3_biggrin.gif).
post #14 of 22

Pay no attention to the man behind the green curtain...

 

I usually ignore most people on the range but the other day a young guy that looked like a college athlete was giving a lesson to a high school golfer that had some talent. It was not any of the pros that work there but I did eavesdrop after I heard the guy talk about the importance of the angle of the right wrist at impact. Then when he hit a wedge to the 100 marker with one hand and I was wishing he was working with me. Later he dropped some balls 60 yards from the pitching green and put them all within 15 feet. This guy knew his stuff and backed it up. 

post #15 of 22

One of my pet peeves on the driving range, (and other places) is there seems to be a direct correlation between a high handicapper and the frequency and amount of advice he/she dispenses. I am guilty of that sometimes myself, but only because I have found what works or does not work (For me). I would probably be better off keeping my mouth shut and reveling in my own successes. Human nature dictates that usually means the person is seeking confirmation.  As said earlier, the better players tend to remain silent unless they are in the business of instructing or coaching.

post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hacker James View Post

One of my pet peeves on the driving range, (and other places) is there seems to be a direct correlation between a high handicapper and the frequency and amount of advice he/she dispenses. I am guilty of that sometimes myself, but only because I have found what works or does not work (For me). I would probably be better off keeping my mouth shut and reveling in my own successes. Human nature dictates that usually means the person is seeking confirmation.  As said earlier, the better players tend to remain silent unless they are in the business of instructing or coaching.
Wait, you're right. I am playing a bit better now, and my mouth is less active while my body is more active. b2_tongue.gif).
post #17 of 22

My own personal feeling is when it comes to golf never give advice anywhere either on the range or the course unless you are asked. I will help anyone who asks but my mission in life is not to spread the gospel on how to swing a golf club or fix every 10-25 handicapper. Not many people like a "Swing Crusader" when it comes to soliciting advice to a stranger!

 

I had a guy I got paired with a couple weeks ago who asked me for advice. We finished the front nine and on the 10th tee he asks me if I think his swing is "too armsy". He said all his golfing buddies tell him that. I told him to be honest I wasn't paying that much attention to his swing on the front but I would watch him on the back. So on the 18th tee I tell him that it's not so much that he was too armsy but it was simply that he just didn't make a very good shoulder turn. He was turning about 65-70 degrees on his back swing and trying to whip his hands through. He looks dead at me and says "Well, my pro says I don't have to make a 90 degree turn"! He was older than me but in great shape and made no mention that he couldn't physically turn more, just that his pro told him he didn't have to.

I thought, well good luck with hitting the ball 20-30 yards shorter, gave him a "Oh OK" and a smile and walked to my ball. Point is even people that do ask for advice may not like what you say so you can imagine what a complete stranger is going to think if you just approach them off the cuff.

post #18 of 22
I've posted a lot about my league opponents but please indulge me with one more. I'm playing this guy who has to make 24 points and I have to make 22. My partner has to make 20 points and her opponent has to make 4 points. That's 4 double bogies for nine holes and he has his quota.

The guy admitted he doesn't really play much and wants to get better. The first four holes he doesn't come close to making even a triple bogie. When he tried pitching to the green he'd take a full back swing and then instinctively decelerated (knowing it would go over the green) and end up chunking the ball. His putts were the same way.

My partner and I were wondering why the better golfer wasn't helping him. So me being a retired PE teacher gave him some unsolicited advice and the guy was ecstatic. With the help of some fundamental skills the guy was doing better.

My partner and I beat both of them, the bad golfer got 2 points and thankfully my partner made her points. I couldn't get over the fact the other guy, who's super competitive and even competes in triathlons didn't help him.

Do you think the bad player was like a "reverse ringer". Lets say you have to make 24 points and have a bad round and make 19 points. The "reverse ringer" makes no points and beats you because he was 4 away from making his points and you were 5 points away. Was super "competitive guy" not wanting his partner to get better so he could stay at 4 points? Is that why he wasn't helping him? Bizarre!

Oh my point: people know when they're bad and I think most would welcome help or advise to take it to the next step.
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