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Golfers are More Confused than Ever

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iacas

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Golfers are more confused than ever for two reasons.

  1. Never before has there been so much information available to the average golfer.
  2. The "bad instructors" have as much of a platform as the "good instructors."

The two kind of go hand in hand. A golfer will hear "stay behind the ball and roll your hands over to hit a draw" from one guy while he hears about how he's got to get his weight forward and follow through more like Zach Johnson from some other guy.

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16 minutes ago, Patch said:

Confusion is why I read as much as I could about the golf swing, and then came up with my own swing decisions. 

You should get competent instruction instead of trying to figure things out yourself.

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No. Not really. It took me some time. I read this, and that. I kept this, and threw out that. I saw what worked, and what didn't. I kept my own book of swing notes.

What I did is not that much different than what I think alot of swing gurus do. I read, studied, and learned. Biggest difference is I did it for myself, and not so much for others. I never had any plans to market what I had figured out.

I basically built my own swing over 2 year period back in the 1970s. I have played some pretty decent golf doing it my way the past 45+/- years. Sure there have been some ups and downs during my golf journey, but I was always able get mself back on track. Now old age is catching up with me, and my swing. Probably might read that senior golfer swing book that is lying around here some where. 

I tried the lesson route for a while with a combo teaching pro/club fitter. That helped the process. But, for the most part, I am self taught. Also, by doing my own thing, it was easer for me to retain what worked for me. 

Obviously for some, golf lessons are the way to go to speed up the process. This assuming those lessons are from a qualified teaching pro. 

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Those of us who learn on our own have only one person to blame for our crappy game. I kind of prefer that.

Back on topic... I agree, golf instruction can be very confusing - too confusing. It must be every bit as challenging for an instructor to find a way to make each student understand.

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The only problem I have with some instructors is their way is the only way! Sorry, but I have eyes, I watch golf on TV, and know that isn't so. These guys always seem to want to do a complete tear down and rebuild. I'm 64, and have been playing for 50 years, so I'm not going to be into that. Take what I have, work with it, and help me improve.

I am also self taught for the most part, except for a few tips from an Uncle who was a country club pro before WWII. I got to be pretty good. This was longer ago than I care to remember, and I don't think I can approach that level again, but I think I can improve. I just want someone I can check in with from time to time to keep me on the straight and narrow.

But then I'm reminded of the old joke about the sign outside the pro shop...

"Series of 10 lessons - $500.00

 Single lesson - $1000.00

 If you want a miracle, you're going to have to pay for it!"

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The one thing that always confuses me are the teaching pro's themselves. At my 3 local courses they offer lessons with 3 different pros all at different PGA levels.

Do you go for the guy at the bottom who charges £18 per hour or the top guy who charges £35. Will the young pro's be any good or will they just be preaching from the guy the learnt from?

Its quite a dilemma as no one really wants to say "hey, you may be a brilliant golfer.....but...."

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I enjoy good instruction and coaching. That is what brought me to this site in the first place and eventually getting a lesson from Erik and Dave. I was unhappy with the local Pros for the reasons poster above have noted. Evolvr has been good for me, but if I was closer to Erie or where Stephan teaches, I would get more hands on lessons. 

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18 hours ago, Patch said:

Confusion is why I read as much as I could about the golf swing, and then came up with my own swing decisions. 

I read as little as I can, outside of this site.  I'm amazed at how much instruction is available, and astounded by players who'll talk about using a Joe Smith swing but leaning toward a Jane Doe swing, as if each instructor's swing thoughts were independent from every other instructor's.  For most of us, who aren't completely knowledgeable about the true details of a golf swing, its really difficult to tell good advice from bad.  When I was learning, we had a few books (ink and paper books), and one or two monthly golf magazines.  We didn't have video, so we never really knew if we were doing what we wanted to be doing. Now we have dozens, if not hundreds, of "golf instructors" showing up on websites and Youtube, most of them hawking this or that method or device or home video with all of their "secrets."  Its no wonder that we're confused!

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2 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I read as little as I can, outside of this site.  I'm amazed at how much instruction is available, and astounded by players who'll talk about using a Joe Smith swing but leaning toward a Jane Doe swing, as if each instructor's swing thoughts were independent from every other instructor's.  For most of us, who aren't completely knowledgeable about the true details of a golf swing, its really difficult to tell good advice from bad.  When I was learning, we had a few books (ink and paper books), and one or two monthly golf magazines.  We didn't have video, so we never really knew if we were doing what we wanted to be doing. Now we have dozens, if not hundreds, of "golf instructors" showing up on websites and Youtube, most of them hawking this or that method or device or home video with all of their "secrets."  Its no wonder that we're confused!

I'm very guilty of trying to read whatever I have time to, but have been much more selective, the instruction I watch, they basically come from similar backgrounds, just a different way of going about it. 

It's not just pros. For example there is a guy on YouTube who is interviewing instructors, jumping from pro to pro and trying a different drill every video. It's just scattershot and while he means well, he's probably confusing a lot of people, his swing especially.

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I used to watch Golf lessons on YouTube for hours. To be honest I wanted to find was a shortcut that would that would save me the discomfort of changing my swing flaws. As of my last lesson on Tuesday I'm swearing off YouTube and just going to humble myself and do what I'm told.      

I used to think (hope) the phrase "working with your swing" meant the instructor develops a workable swing based on what was comfortable for me, which would be a quick fix indeed... That's not at all what it means. It means he looks at your swing and applies a customized set of tweaks for you that will hopefully set you a path to the promised land. The fundamentals for all golfers are exactly the same - there's no avoiding the embarrassment and discomfort of learning the right way.

A lot of YouTube videos are just promises of a quick fix IMO.

   

Edited by Kalnoky

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12 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

The only problem I have with some instructors is their way is the only way! Sorry, but I have eyes, I watch golf on TV, and know that isn't so. These guys always seem to want to do a complete tear down and rebuild. I'm 64, and have been playing for 50 years, so I'm not going to be into that. Take what I have, work with it, and help me improve.

Yes, we have a word for those kinds of instructors: bad.

Nobody has to "rebuild" their golf swing from the ground up. Well, there may be one guy I know of, but he literally can't even chip a ball six feet with his current state… next summer if he's still playing I'm going to convert him to lefty or something. :-)

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1 hour ago, Kalnoky said:

I used to watch Golf lessons on YouTube for hours. To be honest I wanted to find was a shortcut that would that would save me the discomfort of changing my swing flaws. As of my last lesson on Tuesday I'm swearing off YouTube and just going to humble myself and do what I'm told.      

I used to think (hope) the phrase "working with your swing" meant the instructor develops a workable swing based on what was comfortable for me, which would be a quick fix indeed... That's not at all what it means. It means he looks at your swing and applies a customized set of tweaks for you that will hopefully set you a path to the promised land. The fundamentals for all golfers are exactly the same - there's no avoiding the embarrassment and discomfort of learning the right way.

A lot of YouTube videos are just promises of a quick fix IMO.

   

You Tube can be useful to some. In my case I use a specific chipping method. I am pretty sure I adopted this method before You Tube may have existed. You Tube now shows this method, and every once in a while, I will watch, just as a refresher. 

Right now I watch some of the "senior swing" videos looking for a useful tidbit. Nothing new so far.

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7 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

I read as little as I can, outside of this site.

This is where I'm at - for the most part.

I don't know for a fact that Erik and Mike are right, but it is the path I've tried to stay on.

That's not to say it isn't confusing at times. Over the few years I've been here, there's been more than one occasion where I'll stumble onto something while practicing, immediately remember a topic or post and think...  so that's what they were talking about.

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I think my best advice with this - you need to find a coach you trust and believe in.

This may take time, I have jumped from coach to coach and now I am completely settled with someone who I think knows and cares about my game.

There are lots of coaches out there that couldn't give two hoots if you improve, as long as you keep coming back, they will be happy.

So analyse it after a few lessons to see if your game is going in the right direction. I mean all these coaches know how to swing a golf club but not all of them know how to convey it to their pupils. I suppose this is the key to being a good coach.

Also once you get a coach, don't start you tubing as well. You need to stick to one person's philosophy otherwise you'll be more confused than ever.

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Bad instructors- I've had one.   He gave me too much at once.  Different advice on every swing.   Change your stance, change your grip, change you posture, hit it harder.  It was a complete disaster and a waste of money. 

My current guy gives me one thing at a time.  The lessons are much more expensive, but they are so much better. 

In my opinion, self-instruction is a waste of time.  I tried that, and I just jumped from one thing to another.   Maybe it's this, maybe it's that, and on and on.   Sometimes smart people can be too smart for their own good.  You can confuse yourself with too much information.   And you start thinking you know something about how to swing a club, but you really don't.  

Johnny Miller says this was Ben Hogan's big secret!  I used to eat up that stuff.   But it's pointless. 

Anyway, I agree.   Golfers are probably more confused than ever.   I know I was.   Until I humbled myself and got someone who could tell me the truth, and give me that one thing at a time to work on.  

The only advice I have is that if and when you do select an instructor, by all means tell him that you want just one thing at a time.  Tell him that you don't want him overwhelming you with too much information.   There has to be two-way communication.

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Couldn't agree more with this. you should only be working on one maybe two things at a time max.

Self-diagnosis is pretty dangerous and can leave you more confused and frustrated than ever. 

Have one coach who you trust and one blog/site you can gain inspiration from. 

That's all you need.

Dean 

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On 11/11/2016 at 1:03 PM, iacas said:

Yes, we have a word for those kinds of instructors: bad.

Nobody has to "rebuild" their golf swing from the ground up. Well, there may be one guy I know of, but he literally can't even chip a ball six feet with his current state… next summer if he's still playing I'm going to convert him to lefty or something. :-)

Stop talking about me! :-P

It's not confusing. Just keep your head down and don't look up. 

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You know what would be really helpful? If there were mirrors at the range. Sometimes the golf lesson is good - but there is this tendency to gradually slip back into what's comfortable. It happens in a real insidious way. I think I'm practicing what I learned in my lesson, but really I'm just back practicing the wrong thing again.

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30 minutes ago, Kalnoky said:

You know what would be really helpful? If there were mirrors at the range. Sometimes the golf lesson is good - but there is this tendency to gradually slip back into what's comfortable. It happens in a real insidious way. I think I'm practicing what I learned in my lesson, but really I'm just back practicing the wrong thing again.

BYOM.

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6 minutes ago, CarlSpackler said:

Now THAT is awesome! Where have you been all of my life portable mirror?

We have a couple downtown. They're handy.

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