or Connect
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Should a great instructor also be a great golfer?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Should a great instructor also be a great golfer? - Page 2

Poll Results: Would you take lessons from an instructor that isn't a great golfer?

 
  • 65% (27)
    Yes
  • 34% (14)
    No
41 Total Votes  
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by nevets88 View Post
 

I wonder about this hypothetical/thought experiment...

 

Take two people, both very smart, academic/book smart and street/life/common sense/emotional intelligence smart. One is a 2.5 handicap, the other, not much of an athlete, but plays golf.

 

Both audit let's say 2,500 lessons given by a mix of say 5 different instructors who really know what they are doing. Both have read up in everything instruction wise - TGM, MORAD, SnT, 5SK, etc...

 

Having never instructed golf before, both give lessons to all sorts of players, let's say 500 lessons, under the tutelage of above instructors.

 

Conclusions?

 

I think the answer you are wanting is that all things being equal, the 2.5 HC would do better because he understood the knowledge enough to implement it. If all things are truly equal, you might be right, but the thing that would have to be equal would be the ability of the teacher to understand the STUDENTS' swing, to compare it to what they are trying to teach, and to communicate the differences to the students in such a way that they are able to implement the necessary changes. Even if the student is starting from scratch, the teacher must be able to communicate the desired actions, observe the student's attempts, and describe what is right or wrong in such a way that the student understands.

 

Natural athleticism is a gift; I don't think it can be taught. I think you can work out and become stronger and/or more flexible. I know you can improve hand/eye co-ordination- golf actually did that for me. I think you can improve your skills at anything, but not everyone will become Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, or even the least skilled player in the NBA or PGA. Teaching is also a gift, and some of the best athletes would make poor teachers. In golf, there are those like our  illustrious Erik who are both successful teachers and very good players.

 

Fred Couples is probably my favorite golfer to watch swing, and a natural if there ever was one, but his description of the swing is, " I take it back, and I hit it, and that is as good as it gets."

 

I do think a teacher who is between the ages of say 21 and 60, with no physical limitations, should be at least  a single digit, or I would doubt their understanding of the game.

post #20 of 63

No offense to any individual teachers out there, but

 

Those that can, do and those that can't teach.

 

The best teachers I have had in any given subject are those that retired from the field before they became teachers in it.

post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by vangator View Post

A good golfer may be a lousy teacher due to verbal skills etc. But I think a good teacher should be a good golfer (or at least should have been in the past, such as Harvey Pennick). If they are a good teacher, they should be able to translate that into a good game for themselves.

Many years ago I went to a golf instructor for lessons. He had his own show on local TV. I thought I would get him (the head honcho). I guess he had a staff of minions. I got a kid that was going to give the lessons. The first question I asked the kid was "what do you normally shoot?" He said, "about 85." I said "thanks, but no thanks." I consistently shot in the 70's. Why would I take the chance of getting lessons from someone I was better than? He may have helped me with some mechanics etc, but for my money I wanted an expert.

The kid who shot 85 would be better suited for cutting his teeth with a bunch of noobs.

Tiger Woods and others use Shawn Foley as their intructor. I always wondered how good he is. He looks more like a Biology teacher. :)

https://sp1.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608056005118723229&pid=15.1&P=0


Using that logic why would any pros have teachers/instructors?

post #22 of 63

I think it's helps for a teaching professional should be able to demonstrate some shots, draws, hooks, fades, slices, high, low, even if it's just half swings, shows a certain level of understanding. If I was paying someone for a lesson I personally couldn't care less about their handicap or playing experience. I've taken lessons from an instructor that has won on tour, from an instructor that plays once a year and from instructors with playing credentials everywhere in between. What prompted me to take lessons from these guys was their level of knowledge, ability to communicate and the changes they've been able to make with their students.

post #23 of 63

I don't know. I see the results of the CO PGA Tournaments and some of the guys rated top 5 by Golf Digest in the area don't break 80. I think teaching and playing are two different things. No doubt a certain level of proficiency is necessary to be able to understand and demonstrate but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the very best instructors in the area aren't scratch golfers on tough courses. Given all the threads here on how much disparity there is between PGA tour players and everyone else I'm not sure great can be used to describe anyone but them.

post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by seagullplayer View Post
 

No offense to any individual teachers out there, but

 

Those that can, do and those that can't teach.

 

The best teachers I have had in any given subject are those that retired from the field before they became teachers in it.

No offense to you personally, but

 

That cliche' is so cliche' it defines all cliche's.

 

By your own example, your best teachers were those who could, did, and then taught. Some folks are double gifted in that they can also communicate what made them successful to others.

 

The premise is why be a flight instructor if you could be a fighter pilot, or to the point, why be a golf instructor if you could be a touring pro. I am sure Butch Harmon makes a lot more than a lot of touring pros, and for that matter a lot of teaching pros make more than a lot of touring pros and their work comes to them.

post #25 of 63
Thread Starter 

To be a pro or even scratch golfer requires a combination of both knowledge and athleticism.  Bubba Watson is a great pro, but is he capable of teaching me to swing a golf club given my age and fact that my flexibility and athleticism are not close to what he possesses?

 

Conversely I'm not sure I want to take lessons from a guy that has been top of his class in all the critical areas of biomechanics and proper golf swing techniques but can't break 100.

post #26 of 63

There are many great coaches/teachers in other sports that were not great players so I don't think it is necessary to be a great golfer to able to teach and recognize a good golf swing.  That being said most instructors probably are good players.  

 

I was once paired with a guy in a four ball tourney and thought me and my partner were in trouble based on my experience with him as a very good teacher.  To my surprise, the guy couldn't play dead in a bad cowboy movie but it didn't lessen the good instruction that he gave me.  

post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by jowlar View Post
 

There are many great coaches/teachers in other sports that were not great players so I don't think it is necessary to be a great golfer to able to teach and recognize a good golf swing.  That being said most instructors probably are good players.  

 

I was once paired with a guy in a four ball tourney and thought me and my partner were in trouble based on my experience with him as a very good teacher.  To my surprise, the guy couldn't play dead in a bad cowboy movie but it didn't lessen the good instruction that he gave me.  

 

Now that's one that I'm gonna steal!   :beer:

post #28 of 63
I think a good teacher should be a decent ball striker. A teacher should learn the golf swing hisself onto a high level.
post #29 of 63

Well, I answered yes, but from a purely intellectual perspective.  First off, given my current game, I would expect a teaching pro to be noticeably better than I am which would, of course make him/her "good" by my definition but pretty shoddy when compared to Tiger.  My current teacher never hit it big time on the tour, but played the mini-tours for years and made a living.  I get to play with him from time to time and he still plays like the pro he is. 

 

You can't expect Sean Foly and his peers to be better than the big name golfers they work with.

post #30 of 63

I doubt if any coach I've had since junior high school could beat me in the sport they were coaching.

 

Since I wasn't "great" at anything obviously they weren't either, but they knew the game and knew how to teach it.

 

So yes, I would take lessons from somebody that wasn't great. In fact some of the best coaches in history weren't great players. They had to actually learn the game instead of just playing it.

 

Plus they can relate to the struggles of the average player. 

post #31 of 63

Don't you need to shoot a certain score to get your teaching certificate as a PGA instructor?

 

My instructor said he's probably a 5 handicap now because he plays once a year.  A lot of golf instructors get golf burn out and are so busy during the golf season that they don't play much.  It's sad.  

post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkNballs View Post
 

Don't you need to shoot a certain score to get your teaching certificate as a PGA instructor?

 

Yes.

 

But you don't have to be in the PGA to be an instructor.

post #33 of 63
"Great golfer?" I would say no. "Decent golfer" would probably help though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post

I think it's helps for a teaching professional should be able to demonstrate some shots, draws, hooks, fades, slices, high, low, even if it's just half swings, shows a certain level of understanding. If I was paying someone for a lesson I personally couldn't care less about their handicap or playing experience. I've taken lessons from an instructor that has won on tour, from an instructor that plays once a year and from instructors with playing credentials everywhere in between. What prompted me to take lessons from these guys was their level of knowledge, ability to communicate and the changes they've been able to make with their students.

This.
post #34 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvmac View Post
 

I think it's helps for a teaching professional should be able to demonstrate some shots, draws, hooks, fades, slices, high, low, even if it's just half swings, shows a certain level of understanding. If I was paying someone for a lesson I personally couldn't care less about their handicap or playing experience. I've taken lessons from an instructor that has won on tour, from an instructor that plays once a year and from instructors with playing credentials everywhere in between. What prompted me to take lessons from these guys was their level of knowledge, ability to communicate and the changes they've been able to make with their students.

So if we say that's a benchmark for instructors, can Foley and Butch Harmon pass this test?

post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkNballs View Post
 

Don't you need to shoot a certain score to get your teaching certificate as a PGA instructor?

 

My instructor said he's probably a 5 handicap now because he plays once a year.  A lot of golf instructors get golf burn out and are so busy during the golf season that they don't play much.  It's sad.  


http://www.pgalinks.com/patinfo/pat.cfm

post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 


http://www.pgalinks.com/patinfo/pat.cfm

Thanks for the link.  

 

If I'm reading it right... You can shoot +15 for 36 holes.  That's definitely do-able!  ;)  

 

If you're not a PGA instructor... is there another cert. you need to teach?  Or does someone just advertise golf lessons on Craigslist or something?  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Instruction and Playing Tips
TheSandTrap.com › Golf Forum › The Practice Range › Instruction and Playing Tips › Should a great instructor also be a great golfer?