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Farangster

Textbook vs Unorthodox Golf Swing

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Some of the best golfers ever never took a lesson and were self taught.  So what is better for the amateur golfer- trying to get closer to that textbook swing or just don't worry about it and focus on 5 o'clock to 7 o'clock in your golf swing as Bubba Watson says or maybe just try to hit the ball solid and figure it out on your own?  Arnold Palmer said to swing YOUR swing not what you see on TV.  Sometimes when i go into the local golf store I will see them giving someone a lesson, comparing their swing to someone like Justin Rose or Sergio Garcia.  But we all have different limitations, strengths, weakness's............so does it make since for everyone to try and replicate a particular PGA pro with a textbook swing as closely as possible?  Isn't it better to build on what someone does well in the golf swing and work around their limitations to find the best swing for them individually?  Comparing my swing to Tiger Woods frame by frame seems like a destroyer of confidence to me.  Even in professional golf I see so many different swings out there, it does not seem like there is one best way to swing a golf club, just whatever works for you to make solid golf shots.  Would we have a Jim Furyk, Lee Travino, J.B. Holmes, Bubba Watson if they tried to change to a textbook swing when they were young?  would they be as great as they are now with their unorthodox swings?  With all the changes in technology I really think this attempt to get amateurs/beginners to replicate a particular pro's golf swing frame by frame is counterproductive and can be harmful to many but not all amateur/beginner golfers.  

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9 minutes ago, Farangster said:

Isn't it better to build on what someone does well in the golf swing and work around their limitations to find the best swing for them individually?  Comparing my swing to Tiger Woods frame by frame seems like a destroyer of confidence to me.  Even in professional golf I see so many different swings out there, it does not seem like there is one best way to swing a golf club, just whatever works for you to make solid golf shots.  

I tried to narrow your question down to the key point.

While it's true that there are a ton of different swings out there, there are a few things everyone does in common.   Those are the key things to focus on:  not whether your swing looks like Tiger's, or Phil's, or Furyk's, or Lee6's, or Lexi Thompson's, or whoever's swing, but rather are you keeping your head steady as appropriate, do you get your weight forward at impact, etc. 

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7 hours ago, Farangster said:

Some of the best golfers ever never took a lesson and were self taught.

Mostly because "instruction" wasn't really a big thing back in the days they were growing up. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't taken a lesson today (and Bubba doesn't count as he's taken plenty of lessons.).

7 hours ago, Farangster said:

So what is better for the amateur golfer- trying to get closer to that textbook swing or just don't worry about it and focus on 5 o'clock to 7 o'clock in your golf swing as Bubba Watson says or maybe just try to hit the ball solid and figure it out on your own?

Good instructors focus on impact, too. It's all that ultimately matters. When I fix a backswing, it's because it makes impact better.

There shouldn't be an either/or type situation here.

7 hours ago, Farangster said:

Arnold Palmer said to swing YOUR swing not what you see on TV.

Easy for Arnie to say given his swing was pretty good. Most people's swings have them shooting 90+.

7 hours ago, Farangster said:

so does it make since for everyone to try and replicate a particular PGA pro with a textbook swing as closely as possible?

You're likely mistaken here - the use of models is not to show the entire swing, but one piece of a swing that the student could do and should do "more of." "See how Justin Rose slides his hips forward continuously? Let's try to do that piece a bit better."

7 hours ago, Farangster said:

Isn't it better to build on what someone does well in the golf swing and work around their limitations to find the best swing for them individually?

What makes you think instructors don't do that exact thing?

7 hours ago, Farangster said:

With all the changes in technology I really think this attempt to get amateurs/beginners to replicate a particular pro's golf swing frame by frame is counterproductive and can be harmful to many but not all amateur/beginner golfers.  

I don't think you understand good instruction like you think you do.

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Lol, no doubt I will get attacks from many instructors.  I had a good instructor once that joined me for a round outside in the real world and not on the simulator, he had some good pointers and tips that helped me play better golf and improve my game on the course and was a part of my journey to break 80 a few years back......but it was not just one round with him that got me to that level, it was also a lot of self taught trial and error that helped me get there.  

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26 minutes ago, Farangster said:

Lol, no doubt I will get attacks from many instructors. 

No one is attacking you. Don't jump on the victim train just yet.

26 minutes ago, Farangster said:

but it was not just one round with him that got me to that level, it was also a lot of self taught trial and error that helped me get there.  

Good for you, but there is a high percentage of people who will never break 80 consistently with out good instruction.

I feel like you just have an axe to grind.

11 hours ago, Farangster said:

Comparing my swing to Tiger Woods frame by frame seems like a destroyer of confidence to me. 

I disagree... I think it builds confidence. There are times I look at my swing and see a Pro doing the same thing after I worked hard at it. I feel like your perspective is 180 degrees and an easy realignment will help you out.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Farangster said:

Lol, no doubt I will get attacks from many instructors.

Nobody "attacked" you. @iacas simply responded to points you made.

If you're so thin-skinned that someone disagreeing with you and making counterpoints feels like an attack, maybe the internet isn't the right place for you.

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15 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

No one is attacking you. Don't jump on the victim train just yet.

Good for you, but there is a high percentage of people who will never break 80 consistently with out good instruction.

I feel like you just have an axe to grind.

I disagree... I think it builds confidence. There are times I look at my swing and see a Pro doing the same thing after I worked hard at it. I feel like your perspective is 180 degrees and an easy realignment will help you out.

 

 

No axe to grind, I never said indoor lessons will help many golfers just not all.  Yes comparing your golf swing to Tiger's etc will help some golfers but may hurt others.  there are great instructors and there are poor ones out there like anything else.  Even some great instructors may not be great for all golfers, depending on chemistry, etc.  I am sure there are many great golfers out there that would not be where they are today if they did not have instruction from a good teacher.  However, as I said before there are folks out there that may be similar to, but not as talented, as Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, etc. with homemade swings that may never meet their greatness if they try to adhere to some golf swing principles.  Also, psychologically it has been substantiated that self instruction, generally speaking, sticks with someone better then outside instruction, which is similar to my experiences with this particular game and I imagine there must be many others out there that have had the same experience- as I do not think I am special.........unfortunately.

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9 minutes ago, Farangster said:

However, as I said before there are folks out there that may be similar to, but not as talented, as Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, etc. with homemade swings that may never meet their greatness if they try to adhere to some golf swing principles.

You don't know that.

9 minutes ago, Farangster said:

Also, psychologically it has been substantiated that self instruction, generally speaking, sticks with someone better then outside instruction,

Prove this statement please, or at least back it up with some studies.

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5 hours ago, saevel25 said:

You don't know that.

Prove this statement please, or at least back it up with some studies.

On top of this: it's kind of delusional to think your own brand of instruction is going to be better than from someone who has spent a large portion of their life learning the golf swing and instructing others to improve their own.

While I largely instruct myself, I'm not so stupid as to believe my theories on the golf swing are anywhere near the level of somebody like @mvmac.

I do believe that the two can work harmoniously though to perhaps eek even more out of what you are taught. For example: taking a 2 hour lesson from a teaching pro that focuses on a few deficiencies in your swing including being given drills to practice to ingrain certain motor patterns and then filming your swing to see how you are progressing and if what you are doing is lining up with what your instructor has said.

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15 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

On top of this: it's kind of delusional to think your own brand of instruction is going to be better than from someone who has spent a large portion of their life learning the golf swing and instructing others to improve their own. 

While I largely instruct myself, I'm not so stupid as to believe my theories on the golf swing are anywhere near the level of somebody like @mvmac.

 I don't think anyone here is doing that.

16 minutes ago, Grizvok said:

For example: taking a 2 hour lesson from a teaching pro that focuses on a few deficiencies in your swing including being given drills to practice to ingrain certain motor patterns and then filming your swing to see how you are progressing and if what you are doing is lining up with what your instructor has said.

A bit difficult to read, but I agree.

There is a whole thread here about it.

 

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Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Bubba Watson... I'm not sure there is a a "textbook swing". There are certain commonalities among the greats. If someone can develop those commonalities on their own, great. I would contend that an instructor can get someone there much faster.

Edited by CarlSpackler

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I read something from the American Psychological association referencing several studies a few years ago about the benefits of self instruction over external input, cannot find it online sorry.

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1 hour ago, Farangster said:

However, as I said before there are folks out there that may be similar to, but not as talented, as Bubba Watson, J.B. Holmes, etc. with homemade swings that may never meet their greatness if they try to adhere to some golf swing principles.

Good instructors don't change swings because they look different, they address functionality. Everyone has their own idiosyncrasies. No good instructor would change Jim Furyk's swing because it looks unorthodox because he's a world-class ballstriker and has been pretty much his entire life.

People who hit the ball well and play good golf aren't getting their swings changed just to fit a model and if they are they're getting bad advice.

1 hour ago, Farangster said:

Also, psychologically it has been substantiated that self instruction, generally speaking, sticks with someone better then outside instruction, which is similar to my experiences with this particular game and I imagine there must be many others out there that have had the same experience- as I do not think I am special.........unfortunately.

Self instruction is only useful if it's good. Most people don't know what they should be working on. Someone can play high level golf without instructors or coaches but it's likely they're just naturally gifted. Most people who go that route suck at this game.

I'm pretty knowledgeable on swing theory for the average amateur and I struggled with something for a long time that took @iacas 10 minutes to fix.

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I don't think it matters what type of swing a golfer has. The important part of the golf swing is a correct impact position with the ball. An impact position between the club face, and the balll, that sends the ball to the golfer's chosen landing area. 

Obviously the better the swing the better one's accuracy (impact position) "might" be. That said, I have seen some pretty ugly swings deliver great golf shots, and vice versa. 

Early on I took lessons from an instructor who worked with what I had. It went well for me. He also taught me how to diagnose my own swing when things would go south. These days I am self sustaining in my golf swing. 

I also know a couple of scratch (+/-) golfers who are self taught. Their talent level was that high. 

As I posted earlier, in a similar thread,. It's tough to duplicate another golfer's great swing. They may look/feel similar, but there a lot of little differences going on in those two swings. 

Best to swing with what you got, as long as the impact position is acceptable. 

Edited by Patch

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32 minutes ago, Farangster said:

I read something from the American Psychological association referencing several studies a few years ago about the benefits of self instruction over external input, cannot find it online sorry.

And if they’re learning the wrong things… it’s BAD that they’ll be ingraining them “better” than they would with an instructor.

Here’s another thing you’re missing. Working with an instructor doesn’t mean a golfer never works on his own. My best students know how important that time is, and they ask good questions, and I make sure to give them good parameters for their self work.

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33 minutes ago, Farangster said:

benefits of self instruction over external input, cannot find it online sorry.

It’s not just ‘instruction’ as say learning to play guitar. It’s guidance that’s being given. The instructor tries to help one achieve an efficient position or movement by observing how their student moves, their flexibility, their strength, etc. ‘How can get this student to take the club more outside on the backswing’ for example.

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I love this topic. It shows up every few months or so. There's always a guy (usually it's a guy) that believes it's better to learn golf without instruction. I remember way back in the 90's having this discussion with one of the guys in my regular foursome. He mocked the other 3 of us for needing instruction to learn how to golf. (read that last sentence in your best mocking voice.) Sure enough, when we all started playing better than him, guess who signed up for instruction?

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2 hours ago, Farangster said:

I read something from the American Psychological association referencing several studies a few years ago about the benefits of self instruction over external input, cannot find it online sorry.

As a teacher (not of golf), students who are getting correct information do learn better from self and from peers than from an authority figure.  This is why I (again, I'm not teaching golf) give problem sets that I won't collect, and that I encourage them to try on their own and to discuss with classmates, although the TAs and I are happy to discuss these problems with students too.

I would bet that the vast vast majority of "self taught" golfers aren't getting correct information. 

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