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ChetlovesMer

When Is It Time to Switch Swing Coaches... If Ever?

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Over my golf life I have seen a handful of different swing coaches/instructors. I would say that 3 of them have been really good and helped me make measurable improvement.

My current guy has taken me further than I’ve ever been. When I started working with him I was a mess. It was so bad I had even stopped keeping a handicap there for a while and I was literally scrambling to keep my scores under 100. I actually shot a 117 for a tournament round. I’ve been working with him for 3 years now and, although, I still haven’t shot a round under par, I’ve come really close a couple of times. And I finished in 10th place in my tournament this year.

The best part is when I stand on any tee-box I believe I CAN make par or better on the hole. In the past I would stand on a tee-box and just try to figure out how not to have a “blow-up-hole”. In addition, I now look at par 5’s as opportunities to score. I still have bad days, but in short, I feel great about my game. So obviously I have a lot of loyalty for “my guy”.

Having said that, I feel like I’m getting a little stale. I’ve cheated on my swing coach a couple of times now. One guy was no help at all, and actually messed up my game. The other guy, I kinda like and he seemed to communicate in a way that I could quickly understand and get benefits from. I also like the way he talks about getting me to scratch. He wants to put together a plan to get to scratch. I’m looking at turning 50 next year and nobody’s ever said “let’s put together a plan to get you to scratch”.

So, with the off-season coming up, I want to have a plan for improvement. I’m trying to decide do I stick with “my guy”, or do I give the new guy a chance? Or, is it dumb to have more than one instructor/swing coach? 

I'm especially interested in @iacas's thoughts. Is it dumb to have more than one swing coach? Do any of his students see other coaches? Do any of them go see a different coach for a while and then come back to him? 

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On 9/20/2019 at 10:13 AM, ChetlovesMer said:

Having said that, I feel like I’m getting a little stale. I’ve cheated on my swing coach a couple of times now. One guy was no help at all, and actually messed up my game. The other guy, I kinda like and he seemed to communicate in a way that I could quickly understand and get benefits from. I also like the way he talks about getting me to scratch. He wants to put together a plan to get to scratch. I’m looking at turning 50 next year and nobody’s ever said “let’s put together a plan to get you to scratch”.

So, with the off-season coming up, I want to have a plan for improvement. I’m trying to decide do I stick with “my guy”, or do I give the new guy a chance? Or, is it dumb to have more than one instructor/swing coach?

My recommendation, simply: talk to the guy who got you where you are right now and say that you've enjoyed your work with him, and want to hear what his plan to get you to scratch might be.

He likely has a plan if he's any good at all. He just may not have talked about it, for fear of you jumping ahead, etc.

If pressed and if I've been working with someone for awhile, I'll talk with them about where they can get to, but for new players (new to the coach), it always feels to me to be a bit of a sales tactic. It feels "scummy" to tell a 14 handicapper you've met twice that you have a plan to get them to scratch… Not so if they're a 5 you've been working with for awhile.

Know what I mean?

At any rate, why not talk with the original guy about what the other guy is telling you? It might be a situation where he has a very real idea what the new guy wants to do, and is going there eventually, or even that he has reasons why he doesn't want to do that?

On 9/20/2019 at 10:13 AM, ChetlovesMer said:

I'm especially interested in @iacas's thoughts. Is it dumb to have more than one swing coach? Do any of his students see other coaches? Do any of them go see a different coach for a while and then come back to him? 

I don't knowingly work with people — except those who are at CHQ in the summer and who go back to FL or whatever in the winter — work with more than just me. I'm sure some do.

I don't have a problem with it - we're just not in an area where a lot of people are all that good. 🙂

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I had the same swing guru for several years. Actually several decades. If not for his passing away, I'd probably still be seeing to this day. 

I kept seeing the same guy because I continued to see improvement in my game. That, and we were always on the same page. An added plus was that he was a highly qualified club fitter, and builder. 

Although I never broke par, I equaled par several times, even on par 70 tracks. 

Seeing improvement in one's game is the key to having a good swing instructor. That said, at some point, the golfer has to take charge of their own game to score better. It's my belief that a swing instructor can only do so much. After that instruction point is reached, the student has to improve on their own, based on previous, ingrained instruction. 

While working on their own, the golfer still sees the instructor for continued evaluation, to make sure they are still swinging correctly per previous instruction.  

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Currently searching for a good teacher.   My former teacher always used video, recorded the session starting with the swing problem and ended with the fix.   The lesson was emailed to me along with notes to keep in my notebook.   This year he sent out emails saying he was too busy with First Tee to teach any more 😪

I went to another local pro with good online reviews and wasn't convinced that he was the one for me.  He took a picture of my setup and made a slight adjustment but that was all I left with other than confusion. 

It's a hour drive to Carl's in Bloomfield Hills, MI and one hour to Miles of Golf in Ann Arbor.   Both places offer good instruction with Trackman and video.   Locally, that isn't offered.  

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3 hours ago, dennyjones said:

Currently searching for a good teacher.   My former teacher always used video, recorded the session starting with the swing problem and ended with the fix.   The lesson was emailed to me along with notes to keep in my notebook.   This year he sent out emails saying he was too busy with First Tee to teach any more 😪

I went to another local pro with good online reviews and wasn't convinced that he was the one for me.  He took a picture of my setup and made a slight adjustment but that was all I left with other than confusion. 

It's a hour drive to Carl's in Bloomfield Hills, MI and one hour to Miles of Golf in Ann Arbor.   Both places offer good instruction with Trackman and video.   Locally, that isn't offered.  

Golf instruction + Trackman = Golf Ecstasy 🙂 

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