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luchnia

The Chaos of Learning Golf

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Here is something that comes to mind with many swings methods I see when it comes to the coaches, teachers, and most simply those trying to help other golfers, etc. BTW, I appreciate teachers, coaches, etc., so don't take offense.

There is something to be said about those that have hit thousands of golf balls with any swing method as well as what they learn through teaching and playing. At some point our bodies and minds will "get it." I don't teach golf, but when I teach and practice other things I learn more because I teach myself as well. I believe that is why different swing methods work because of what each person has learned to do. Ever notice how one says do this, do that, and yet that all disagree with each other?

I know when I go to my personal practice area and hit balls with understanding in mind, I simply play better because I hit better, no matter what swing I use whether it is a planned stage swing, single plane, easy swing, whatever you want to call it. From what I can tell there is no special secret(s) about the golf swing, but learning and doing in a certain manner or method if you prefer will produce outcome.

My point is, after watching tons of golf videos, the true constant that I have observed proven out over and over again is because it is still hitting tons of balls and constant practice that inevitably produces the results. Am I wrong or missing something here?

To me, a swing that is easy on my body and minimal tension will make for an overall better golf game and would be the best one to pursue, no matter all the secrets, tips, etc. You golfers have any thoughts?

Edited by luchnia

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55 minutes ago, luchnia said:

My point is, after watching tons of golf videos, the true constant that I have observed proven out over and over again is because it is still hitting tons of balls and constant practice that inevitably produces the results. Am I wrong or missing something here?

Yeah you're missing the fact that most people don't know how to practice properly, don't practice the right things for their swing, practice putting and short game more than full swing, and jump around from tip to tip or training aid to training aid trying to find the next best thing.

Hitting 25 balls at half speed with 10 rehearsal swings prior to every ball focusing on one specific swing thought that a coach has identified for you to work on is going to be much more effective than just wacking 75 balls down the range switching clubs every so often.

 

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53 minutes ago, klineka said:

Yeah you're missing the fact that most people don't know how to practice properly, don't practice the right things for their swing, practice putting and short game more than full swing, and jump around from tip to tip or training aid to training aid trying to find the next best thing.

Hitting 25 balls at half speed with 10 rehearsal swings prior to every ball focusing on one specific swing thought that a coach has identified for you to work on is going to be much more effective than just wacking 75 balls down the range switching clubs every so often.

 

Sorry, maybe I was not specific enough. I understand the importance of purpose driven practice and I agree that most don't know how to practice properly. I would even bet that most don't know what is wrong and most instructors have their opinion of what is wrong such as one will say keep the head still while another says no problem moving the head the body is shifting too much and yet another will say you need to shift your body, or your back-swing does this, or you are releasing incorrectly, and so on it goes.

I wonder what success means to most average golfers? Would that be a well struct shot or a shot that is accurate or a game that is well played or achieving a mid-90s, 80s, 70s, game consistently?  Is it the short game? The irons? The long drives? In my mind and at my stage in golf, success on the course is a well balanced game with minimal failures such as mis-hits. I think there is something to be said for consistency and accuracy promoting enjoyable play.

I remember one day this past year I had an interesting experience. I had decided to go to the range after work and simply hit some balls with no thoughts about what to fix (even if I could figure out what to fix). What was amazing was that I hit the highest percentage of nice consistent accurate shots that I have ever hit in the entire year on the course or on the range. The irony of this was that the very next day I played a course and somehow part of that (success feel) translated to the course. It was my best score on that course and within 5 strokes of my all time best score.

Here is the challenge for me. Even though that felt like something I might align with success, I simply could not repeat that success feeling. I could not incorporate that into a practice with purpose because I simply don't know what it was. What was it that "clicked" those two days?

Was it mental, physical, something in the swing, or what? Did my sub-conscience fix my swing? I don't think I am alone in this. Whatever it was worked and I believe that I was close to the "get it" part for me. Needless to state, I wish I could find that again because that was about 10 strokes better than I have played the last half-dozen games.

Edited by luchnia

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This topic pops up every now and then, and I assure you, no offense is taken… largely because I'm not even sure you've really said anything.

What are you saying? Can you distill it down to a sentence or two?

If you are saying that you think golfers improve working on their own… they do, but their progress will tend to be slower, reach a lower peak height, and be far more frustrating than working with a good instructor.

You also seem to think that everyone is a "method" teacher in that they teach ONE thing or one swing to everyone, which is also not really the truth for the majority of good instructors out there.

You want "chaos"? Teach yourself. You want a simplified, prioritized road map to how to get better at golf the fastest? Visit a good instructor and interact and engage with them. Learn together.

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Learning golf is definitely chaotic, there's no question about that, but I've had the pleasure of working with several good instructors over the years, and there's also no question that they quantum leap you forward. You could spend an entire year practicing five times a week trying to figure out something that the instructor will tell you in thirty seconds. That kind of time/chaos reduction is worth the $100 or whatever they charge.

You're always going to have to practice a lot to become good at this game, and you're going to get better at timing a bad swing the more you practice, but if you don't have correct information or you keep ingraining bad habits and just keep trying to make them work, you will never ever get to great or even good amateur golf, which I think a lot of us who start as adults hope to reach, especially those of us who join golf forums or who take their improvement seriously. A good instructor will give you an opportunity to reach whatever your potential is in this game, whether that's a zero or a five or a nine or whatever the case may be.

Edited by JetFan1983

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2 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

You all are making this way too hard! If you want to get better at golf you need to buy new equipment.

I saw a putter advertised on-line that will save you 4-7 shots per round. 

I saw a wedge also advertised online that would save 3-6 shots

I saw a fairway wood that saves 4-6 shots.

A driver that saves half a dozen

A hybrid that saves 3-4 shots plus 2 or 3 around the green. 

A range finder that saves 5 or 6

and finally a personal launch monitor that's likely to lower your handicap by 4.7 strokes on average. 

Just go out and buy all of that stuff and you'll lower your score by somewhere around 25 to 35 shots per round. … It's easy. 

if this doesn't work, i'm blaming you 😉

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Just now, chile said:

if this doesn't work, i'm blaming you 😉

Not a problem. I'm not worried. You can't post anything on the internet that isn't true. 

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14 minutes ago, ChetlovesMer said:

You all are making this way too hard! If you want to get better at golf you need to buy new equipment.

I saw a putter advertised on-line that will save you 4-7 shots per round. 

I saw a wedge also advertised online that would save 3-6 shots

I saw a fairway wood that saves 4-6 shots.

A driver that saves half a dozen

A hybrid that saves 3-4 shots plus 2 or 3 around the green. 

A range finder that saves 5 or 6

and finally a personal launch monitor that's likely to lower your handicap by 4.7 strokes on average. 

Just go out and buy all of that stuff and you'll lower your score by somewhere around 25 to 35 shots per round. … It's easy. 

Yep I see people all the time who "buy a game". It is funny how often they leave the course a few $$ poorer. I must have the "tour" edition clubs.

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4 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

You all are making this way too hard! If you want to get better at golf you need to buy new equipment.

I saw a putter advertised on-line that will save you 4-7 shots per round. 

I saw a wedge also advertised online that would save 3-6 shots

I saw a fairway wood that saves 4-6 shots.

A driver that saves half a dozen

A hybrid that saves 3-4 shots plus 2 or 3 around the green. 

A range finder that saves 5 or 6

and finally a personal launch monitor that's likely to lower your handicap by 4.7 strokes on average. 

Just go out and buy all of that stuff and you'll lower your score by somewhere around 25 to 35 shots per round. … It's easy. 

HAHA...I knew there must be a very simple secret that I had missed along the way! So when is your new "What you really need to buy to be great a golf" book coming out?

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On 12/13/2019 at 7:27 AM, luchnia said:

To me, a swing that is easy on my body and minimal tension will make for an overall better golf game and would be the best one to pursue,

This depends on your goals no? For example, I ‘studied’ Jim Venetos’ system for a few months. I felt it was easier on my body and ‘easier’ to perform than the conventional swing I am working on with my pro at my course and previously with my Evolvr instructor. But I also realized I was limiting myself as distance with my long irons was lacking. I’m not incapable of improving my conventional swing. And I know if I can achieve the 5 simple keys developed by @iacas and others I’ll have a higher ceiling for improvement.

Nobody hits more balls than me in a normal week considering I have a full time job. Golf is unique in that practicing can be done wrong and actually show zero improvement. If I spent 12-15hrs/week shooting free throws or 3 pointers I’d be a better shooter 100% guaranteed. But I can put that same effort into ball striking ( not putting) and go out and shoot my worst score in three months.

 

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

Still waiting on an answer to this @luchnia.

No, I haven't found s single sentence or two to explain it. If I do, I will post it for you, so you can respond.
 

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1 hour ago, luchnia said:

No, I haven't found s single sentence or two to explain it. If I do, I will post it for you, so you can respond.

What about three sentences?

 Or do you just not know what you were trying to say? Sincere question.

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On 12/13/2019 at 7:27 AM, luchnia said:

My point is, after watching tons of golf videos, the true constant that I have observed proven out over and over again is because it is still hitting tons of balls and constant practice that inevitably produces the results. Am I wrong or missing something here?

There is definitely information overload if you watch tons of golf videos and move from video expert to expert. That is the problem and not the solution. The best approach is to work with one good instructor who focuses on the most important priority piece for you to fix. Then, using good practice techniques, work only on that one piece at a time. I am talking full swing work. After you fix that, move on to the next.

The internet gives us too much information and frankly we are not qualified to self analyze our swing. It took me a long time to find the right instructor(s) and even longer to develop the right practice habits. Just hitting tons of balls can actually hurt your progress IMO. Practicing correctly is on me, not the teacher.

That is how I found this site and my instructors. Now, I tune out all the other stuff and just focus on my priority piece.

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On 12/16/2019 at 12:31 PM, boogielicious said:

There is definitely information overload if you watch tons of golf videos and move from video expert to expert. That is the problem and not the solution. The best approach is to work with one good instructor who focuses on the most important priority piece for you to fix. Then, using good practice techniques, work only on that one piece at a time. I am talking full swing work. After you fix that, move on to the next.

The internet gives us too much information and frankly we are not qualified to self analyze our swing. It took me a long time to find the right instructor(s) and even longer to develop the right practice habits. Just hitting tons of balls can actually hurt your progress IMO. Practicing correctly is on me, not the teacher.

That is how I found this site and my instructors. Now, I tune out all the other stuff and just focus on my priority piece.

I can fully understand what you, and @iacas are saying. But how is a true beginner to differentiate a good instructor from a bad one? There are a lot of goofs out there with weird ideas. I've been playing 50+ years, and when I was getting started I had my Uncle, who was a PGA pro before WWII. and the instructional articles in Golf Digest. 

Yet, even at a tender age, I seemed to have developed a healthy level of skepticism. Some "tips" I'd read I'd discard immediately. They made no sense on their face. Others i'd try out, only to discard them when I found that they didn't work. I was able to keep my focus pretty narrow. I was able to confine things to what worked for me. 

And I think that's an important idea. I don't know of too many instructors trying to teach people how to swing like Bryson, or Bubba. Or Rahm or Dustin.  

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8 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

I can fully understand what you, and @iacas are saying. But how is a true beginner to differentiate a good instructor from a bad one? There are a lot of goofs out there with weird ideas. I've been playing 50+ years, and when I was getting started I had my Uncle, who was a PGA pro before WWII. and the instructional articles in Golf Digest. 

Yet, even at a tender age, I seemed to have developed a healthy level of skepticism. Some "tips" I'd read I'd discard immediately. They made no sense on their face. Others i'd try out, only to discard them when I found that they didn't work. I was able to keep my focus pretty narrow. I was able to confine things to what worked for me. 

And I think that's an important idea. I don't know of too many instructors trying to teach people how to swing like Bryson, or Bubba. Or Rahm or Dustin.  

Well put and you state what is most important in "I was able to confine things to what worked for me." But what if you had not been knowledgeable enough to do that? You would be like the thousands out there that cannot narrow it down to what works for them as most beginners simply won't know what the right things are. Your healthy level of skepticism may have saved you a lot of problems over the years. I know several golfers that are not so fortunate.

Your post brought to mind this story. This past summer a young guy saw me walking the course on the first hole and drove his cart over to ask me if I would like to play with him. I told him I was not a great golfer and usually shot around 100 on this particular course and he said no problem at all. So I folded my cart up and joined him.

As we were playing I realized that I could hold my own with him and may even pull out a win, which I did wind up winning by a good number of strokes. The young man had a very nice long drive yet struggled some to control it. He had several OOB hits that really hurt his game.

I asked him how he learned golf and mentioned the name of the instructor that taught him. I was familiar with the instructor's name and knew he was a constant 1rst place winner of tournaments at a nearby course.

I asked him if he minded sharing what type of things his instructor taught him and he said he basically told him to do what feels right and don't entertain all the swing thoughts and technique stuff you hear others teach. I think this young man fully believed what his instructor told him to do. Whether good or bad that was what he was told to do and what stuck with him.

This does not to imply instructors are bad, it is simply another example of how instructors are as different as night and day and the person being taught doesn't always know what will work for them.

 

Edited by luchnia

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