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Simple teacher for a Modern game?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Being an avid golfer for 39 years, I learned with persimmon woods and blades and Hogans' Fundamentals. Fast forward to 2014 and the monumental leaps in club/ball technology, I would postulate that the modern game does not need the incremental tuning brought about by hours of video study, position breakdown, blah blah.

 

If a golfer hit a straight ball in the 70's it was by accident, not design. A balata ball preferred by a better player made side spin at a rate which produced a shot shape. WHY, would a Tour player or any player of aptitude in this day in age choose to break down the swing, get trapped in position analysis, when the ball and club design make it incredibly easy to just hit a straight ball.

 

Instruction is such a subjective thing. Most golfers are still trying to get command of their grip, forget the golf swing. I was afforded the opportunity to learn from Toski, Elliot, Runyan and Love Sr, to mention a few greats. They all had a different approach to the "process" of golf, but in the end it was easy to see that at some point the action of the ball was the biggest teacher of all. Their "job" was attempting the golfer him/herself to understand just exactly what was causing the reaction after impact. I have always taught and recommend that same approach to anyone who is willing to practice, and practice some more to become familiar with their swing.

 

I see the game as never being easier to learn and enjoy. As the clubs/ball have evolved to narrow the fairway, might a return to simple observation of the golf shot teach the Modern player better than 400 frames per second video?

 

Any thoughts Gentlemen/Ladies? 

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Being an avid golfer for 39 years, I learned with persimmon woods and blades and Hogans' Fundamentals. Fast forward to 2014 and the monumental leaps in club/ball technology, I would postulate that the modern game does not need the incremental tuning brought about by hours of video study, position breakdown, blah blah.

 

If a golfer hit a straight ball in the 70's it was by accident, not design. A balata ball preferred by a better player made side spin at a rate which produced a shot shape. WHY, would a Tour player or any player of aptitude in this day in age choose to break down the swing, get trapped in position analysis, when the ball and club design make it incredibly easy to just hit a straight ball.

 

Instruction is such a subjective thing. Most golfers are still trying to get command of their grip, forget the golf swing. I was afforded the opportunity to learn from Toski, Elliot, Runyan and Love Sr, to mention a few greats. They all had a different approach to the "process" of golf, but in the end it was easy to see that at some point the action of the ball was the biggest teacher of all. Their "job" was attempting the golfer him/herself to understand just exactly what was causing the reaction after impact. I have always taught and recommend that same approach to anyone who is willing to practice, and practice some more to become familiar with their swing.

 

I see the game as never being easier to learn and enjoy. As the clubs/ball have evolved to narrow the fairway, might a return to simple observation of the golf shot teach the Modern player better than 400 frames per second video?

 

Any thoughts Gentlemen/Ladies? 

 

 

If observation is worthwhile, why wouldn't it be equally worthwhile to be able to "observe" in the greatest detail possible?  :-\

 

I tend to agree that the game is easier to learn now than it was back in the day.....but that's largely because teaching technology has evolved, not in spite of it.  Humans are visual creatures.  Most understand and learn concepts better when they can see exactly what is happening in any given situation (such as a golf swing) and can be shown how that differs from the desired result. 

 

If I had had the technology and quality of golf instruction available to me 45 years ago that newer players have now, I can only wonder how much better than my current state of mediocrity I could have become at this silly game.

post #3 of 12

I've got much less time playing golf than you do and certainly not a handicap to be worthy of teaching anyone but even I understand that practicing and practicing some more a swing loaded with flaws will only engrain a flawed swing.

 

As a 3.5 golfer you may have forgotten what it's like to swing a club for the first time.  Go visit some local ranges and you'll find a dedicated group of regulars who spend hours on the range and hit balls daily yet do not see any real improvement.

 

As for these magic clubs and balls that you speak of, where can they be bought because the ones I own don't always seem to go straight.  Hogan told us the answers were in the dirt but that was after he'd spent years studying his golf swing.

 

I think your advice is okay for experienced golfers who already have a fundamentally solid swing but for someone like me, what I feel and what I actually do are two different things.  Without high speed video I'd most likely make adjustments based on feelings that are incorrect.

post #4 of 12

For me, the holy grail of swing "instruction" is to get to a point that I understand what I'm doing and what action causes what result. More so, what tendencies I might have and how to quickly fix (or compensate for) a major flaw that creeps in even during a round.  What is frustrating is hitting a really bad shot and having no idea what happened.

 

So, instead of focusing on developing the perfect Adam Scott golf swing that might be outside my physical capabilities, I would rather take what I have and adjust to a level of acceptability.  I think modern equipment, game improvement options and even some instruction (instructors) have helped me greatly in this regard. 

 

I've heard pros say that a surprisingly small percentage of their shots are "perfect."  I hope I can reach a realization that it's OK if I miss a fairway or green.  I don't play golf everyday.  I just want to correct the bad misses.  I think simpler is better, but on the other hand, seeing my swing on video the first time really opened my eyes to what I was actually doing as opposed to what I felt or somebody's bad advice.

post #5 of 12

I can't say that I agree for the most part. I thought I had a good swing until I started to record and analyze.

post #6 of 12

@David in FL and @newtogolf have said it all IMO

 

 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Understanding that instruction has a place in the game, I was posting in part to the real need for high speed video, GolfTech stats, i.e. I totally agree that pounding balls at a range is not productive if the golfer has no clue. However, since the average swing takes place in less than 4 seconds let's say, is it counterproductive to break it down in to 450 positions? Even though I have a lower Handicap, experience has proven that a majority of people respond better to insight at real speed. The lack of motion in most Amateurs' swing emphasizes the "Paralysis through Analysis". Stopping a golfers swing to identify the right arm as it relates to the path is a bit much, as a keen eye could tell you that after the ball is struck.

 

Enjoyed the posts! 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Understanding that instruction has a place in the game, I was posting in part to the real need for high speed video, GolfTech stats, i.e. I totally agree that pounding balls at a range is not productive if the golfer has no clue. However, since the average swing takes place in less than 4 seconds let's say, is it counterproductive to break it down in to 450 positions? Even though I have a lower Handicap, experience has proven that a majority of people respond better to insight at real speed. The lack of motion in most Amateurs' swing emphasizes the "Paralysis through Analysis". Stopping a golfers swing to identify the right arm as it relates to the path is a bit much, as a keen eye could tell you that after the ball is struck.

 

Enjoyed the posts! 

 

That didn't answer my question.......especially as it relates to the use of high-speed video.

 

If observation is worthwhile, why wouldn't it be equally worthwhile to be able to "observe" in the greatest detail possible? 

 

Do you really believe that you can capture and retain every nuance of a swing that happens in less than 2 seconds by watching?  That you can capture and retain the subtle differences in multiple swings from the same individual throughout the course of a lesson?

 

Finally, do you really believe that you can explain to that person exactly what it is that they're doing so that they absolutely understand it, and retain that understanding for future reference?

 

I'm sorry, but I just don't see it......

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Understanding that instruction has a place in the game, I was posting in part to the real need for high speed video, GolfTech stats, i.e. I totally agree that pounding balls at a range is not productive if the golfer has no clue. However, since the average swing takes place in less than 4 seconds let's say, is it counterproductive to break it down in to 450 positions? Even though I have a lower Handicap, experience has proven that a majority of people respond better to insight at real speed. The lack of motion in most Amateurs' swing emphasizes the "Paralysis through Analysis". Stopping a golfers swing to identify the right arm as it relates to the path is a bit much, as a keen eye could tell you that after the ball is struck.

 

Enjoyed the posts! 

 

I don't get what you are saying/proposing...

 

If a teacher is only showing you a freeze frame and telling you what your problem is, then yes, video analysis is not very useful. Typically, they show you what is wrong, give you exercises/drills to correct it, and then you can record yourself and see if the picture is changing. Relying on the bare eye may just mean that the golfer is still doing X but compensating to correct by doing Y. I actually had a PGA Pro tell me there wasn't anything wrong with my swing by watching me and not charge for the lesson. That was the worst lesson I've ever had. It certainly didn't hurt my wallet, but it didn't help me to improve.

post #10 of 12
I'm a strong advocate of using high speed video for analyzing and understanding the golf swing..

I went to a pro who didn't use video and he gave me the best info he could and in the end told me my swing didn't need change!

I recorded my swing and signed up with evolvr and they starry by changing my grip.. And everything else about my swing..

My point is that video is a tool that should be utilized! I can calculate overhead and other costs of manufacturing for my company on excel (which is an awesome tool) or I can just configure SAP and let it do all the work for me.. If you aren't using all the tools in the shed you might get to where you want to go, but you just might not get there fast enough!
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

WHY, would a Tour player or any player of aptitude in this day in age choose to break down the swing, get trapped in position analysis, when the ball and club design make it incredibly easy to just hit a straight ball.

 

Because the club and ball don't guarantee that the ball will go straight. Because a 1% improvement can mean the difference winning a major and finishing T3, or keeping your card and losing it. Because the average golfer isn't as capable as the Tour player (you never clarify if you're talking about only Tour players, or every golfer).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Instruction is such a subjective thing.

 

I disagree on some levels. There's a certain order, a process, that is common to all great instructors. After all, the ball, the club, our bodies, etc. all obey the same principles of anatomy, physics, geometry, etc.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Most golfers are still trying to get command of their grip, forget the golf swing.

 

Where are the magical clubs to help them hit the ball straight? You probably don't need high-speed cameras to fix a grip… though it's helped on occasion, that's for sure. I also disagree that most people are trying to "get command of their grip."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

They all had a different approach to the "process" of golf, but in the end it was easy to see that at some point the action of the ball was the biggest teacher of all.

 

And what causes the "action" of the ball? The clubhead. What causes the clubhead to do what it does? The person holding onto the grip. How can we see better what the person holding on to the grip is doing to cause the ball to do its "action"? High-speed video.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Their "job" was attempting the golfer him/herself to understand just exactly what was causing the reaction after impact.

 

And in all cases, the answer is "something the golfer did before impact."

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

If observation is worthwhile, why wouldn't it be equally worthwhile to be able to "observe" in the greatest detail possible?  :-\

 

Seriously.

 

High-speed cameras give you super powers. They're quite literally capable of giving you "super-human" vision.

 

Plus, they make an awfully great way to document things for students. They can refer to them, feel good about themselves because of the changes they were able to make, etc.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

I tend to agree that the game is easier to learn now than it was back in the day.....but that's largely because teaching technology has evolved, not in spite of it.

 

I agree.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Understanding that instruction has a place in the game, I was posting in part to the real need for high speed video, GolfTech stats,

 

I use high-speed video in virtually every lesson ever.

 

Sometimes it's not even "for me" - sometimes it's for the student. But there's almost always a "real need."

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

However, since the average swing takes place in less than 4 seconds let's say, is it counterproductive to break it down in to 450 positions?

 

False premise. Just because you can see 500 frames doesn't mean you are worrying about more than one or two of those frames.

 

Positions are checkpoints. They can indicate a problem. They can demonstrate change (improvement). Only lousy teachers teach "positions" as in "you must be exactly here, then exactly here, etc." to all students.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Even though I have a lower Handicap, experience has proven that a majority of people respond better to insight at real speed.

 

Unless I'm misunderstanding you, I completely disagree. Virtually nobody can make changes at real speeds.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

The lack of motion in most Amateurs' swing emphasizes the "Paralysis through Analysis".

 

I don't even know what that means. What lack of motion? The problem for them is that the motions they do make are lousy.

 

Plus, only about 14% of amateur golfers have ever taken a lesson. Kind of flies in the face of your use of the word "most."

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Stopping a golfers swing to identify the right arm as it relates to the path is a bit much, as a keen eye could tell you that after the ball is struck. 

 

Nah, wrong. A guy is hitting the ball with too much of a cut. What's the fix?

 

Could be anything of a few hundred things. Might even be just the grip. Could be almost literally any other part of the body, too.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronzo60 View Post
 

Understanding that instruction has a place in the game, I was posting in part to the real need for high speed video, GolfTech stats, i.e. I totally agree that pounding balls at a range is not productive if the golfer has no clue. However, since the average swing takes place in less than 4 seconds let's say, is it counterproductive to break it down in to 450 positions? Even though I have a lower Handicap, experience has proven that a majority of people respond better to insight at real speed. The lack of motion in most Amateurs' swing emphasizes the "Paralysis through Analysis". Stopping a golfers swing to identify the right arm as it relates to the path is a bit much, as a keen eye could tell you that after the ball is struck.

 

Enjoyed the posts! 

You 225% lost any chance of convincing me when you were forced to resort to ridiculous hyperbole to make a very dubious point. 450 positions? Really? I've never had an instructor ask me to look at more than 1 (2 in very rare cases) positions at any given time, which positions depend on what I'm trying to change, what my priority piece is. High-speed video doesn't complicate things, it simplifies them and removes a lot of the mystery.

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