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"Be the Star of Your Own Lesson" Article


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https://www.golfwrx.com/729152/ryan-be-the-star-of-your-golf-lesson/

I'm curious to see what some of y'all think of this article.

I may write more up later, but suffice to say: it's the worst thing I've read this year. 🤣

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  • iacas changed the title to "Be the Star of Your Own Lesson" Article
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Students should never have to dictate how a lesson goes. If that’s the case, the instructor failed. The three categories by Jim Mclean may be true for a large portion of instructors (I don’t know) but definitely not all. I see all 3 of those as failure. 

I’ve always said my success is not based on just how much I know, but how well I can connect with the students. I need to know the foundations and biomechanics, of course. But the job is to help the student be successful. I need to know how you think and learn. Heck, before the lesson, the instructor should be asking you questions to see which of the following or more work: video analysis, training aids, launch monitor, 4D aids (lime GEARs), or just tell me what to do. I don't expect a light bulb moment in every lesson, but I hope to be close in every one  

Short answer, if you have to be the star of the lesson in the way the article describes, I’m sorry. 

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There are so many statements in that article that aren't based on facts.

Quote

The more money you spend, the more the conversation veers into technical jargon, referencing “data” from devices like Trackman or FlightScope.

What proof does the author have to support this? Just his own opinion?

I know I'm just a sample size of one but right now in my online lessons with Evolvr I can get into as detailed/technical jargon as I want and I do often reference Mevo+ data and these are by far the cheapest lessons I've ever taken. 

 

I dont think this:

Quote

This process begins with ownership and setting expectations for your lessons. 

is bad advice, I do agree that it's important that the student communicates to the instructor what their goals are/what they are expecting to get out of the lesson/series of lessons. If the student practices once a month and plays twice a month it probably wouldn't make sense to do a complete swing overhaul. But if they're a 10 handicap wanting to get under 5 who is serious about improving and has the time and desire to practice properly then sure it might make more sense to work on swing changes that will take longer to implement.

 

Quote

While a higher handicap might aim to simply straighten shots, better players should tackle multiple skills in a session.

What is this statement based on? That's such a broad statement and good chances are the opposite is probably more true than his claim. A better player like myself is reaching the point where each change/next jump in skill level gets incrementally tougher, whereas a high handicap could learn how to grip the club, how to hit a basic pitch shot, and how to hit a knockdown shot all in the same lesson. I'm not saying that I know how to do every single thing in golf, but I feel like the skills I am learning/the changes I am making for the most part need a substantial amount of time per skill. I couldn't imagine going to an hour long in person lesson and asking my instructor to help me with 3 or 4 different skills in that hour. 

 

Quote

After the lesson, spend 5-10 minutes on the drill(s) that were prescribed. Without the instruction there, do you still notice changes? If not, red flags abound!

This is absurd. So bad. It doesn't even make sense. 

 

Quote

Once you’ve nailed the basics of arm structure and club face awareness, the rest isn’t really that hard.

If it's not that hard then you go play on the PGA Tour dude. Another absurd take.

 

Quote

Ask for simple answers that show clear results.

Another absurd one. Sometimes after a lesson it takes multiple practice sessions of me working on the same priority piece before I start to see any sliver of results. 

 

I was curious what else this author had written so I just read another article written by him titled "Buyer Beware: The Issue With Golf Coaching Programs" and it's pretty clear that he just rambles on with opinions that aren't based on facts/reality. That article might even be worse than the one in this topic.

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If an instructor cannot accurately assess the knowledge level of their student and tailor their instruction accordingly, then by definition they are not a good instructor. A good instructor also must be able to assess a student’s swing to identify both the current state and a realistic endpoint given the student’s time and commitment levels, using that to plan accordingly on what key pieces of the swing to correct/adjust and in what order to do so.
 

The entire article assumes that anybody who uses any kind of technology or terminology is automatically a bad instructor in that respect. The reality is that technology is a vital tool to help instructors determine what is actually happening in a student’s golf swing. More information may not always be necessary to create an instruction plan for a student, but it also never hurts and can be irreplaceable in many cases. A good instructor knows how to use the technology to guide their instruction instead of trying to blindly ”fix” numbers on the readout with cookie-cutter lessons that ignore the needs of the specific student.

The only thing that article seems even remotely correct about is that an instructor must understand cause and effect on ball flight to be good (a “system teacher” they call it) and that trend-followers and those who have a one-size-fits-all approach are not good instructors. It stops short of directly stating that just appearing on a ranked list does not mean they necessarily are good.
 

Beyond that it’s absolute hogwash, nothing more than a misguided nostalgia trip to “the good old days” when you ground it out of the dirt hitting a hundred balls an hour while the instructor watched. Good golfers absolutely do not need to work on multiple items in the same session unless each of them will not affect the other. The most effective progress is made when you make a change, commit it to muscle memory, and then build on that as your new beginning. Without actually committing changes to muscle memory you’ll be left perpetually chasing a feeling and reverting to old (bad) habits again and again when the going gets rough. 

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The author seems to be jumping to conclusions without any supporting data. The 100% charlatan comment shows this. It feels like he may have had a bad experience with a pricey teacher more than once.

I wouldn’t go to a guitar teacher with this attitude. I wouldn’t expect to be able to immediately be able to fluidly play scales and modes, do SRV blues riffs and shred like Eddie right away. Getting better at golf or guitar takes times and requires smart practice. A good teacher will tell you this and a good student needs to know this. And technology is a tool for teaching. He seems to shun that which is idiotic.

Scott

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I read the article and honestly I am not sure what starring in ones own lesson means. 

I would not want to be the star of my show. It seems that the author assumes the student knows the script.

It's simple really. If you get a good instructor, ask questions and certainly understand what and why, and you will be fine. But if you can't trust them lest they force down their 'method' down your throat then why are you there? Starring in your own lesson is a great way to waste time and money. You might as well stay home and continue your DIY. 

And if you get a charlatan, then chances are that you are screwed regardless who the 'star of the lesson' would be. It would be blind leading the blind. 

The author also has a simplistic take on how hard a proper golf swing is. There are some absurd statements.

4 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

It feels like he may have had a bad experience with a pricey teacher more than once.

Yah, or that he didn't let the lesson take, him insisting on being the star and all.

Vishal S.

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What a horrible article. Who the hell has this guy taken lessons from?! He's probably one of those guys that thinks he can figure it out on his own.

Other have made good points in response to the article, just want to point out that there were "star" instructors before magazine lists.

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The article reads like the ramblings of someone who has taken lessons (some probably really expensive, too) in the past and has not gotten the results he wanted. Whether that’s his fault or his instructors’ can’t be determined based on the information.

The whole “don’t let an instructor overhaul your swing” rhetoric seems only to pander to the anti-instruction crowd. I’ve taken plenty of lessons over the years from different people and not one has ever tried to overhaul my entire swing.

I just reread the article and it doesn’t really elaborate on what “be the star of your lesson” even means. The whole thing is rubbish.

Bill

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I don’t have much to add to what others have stated but I certainly agree. Absolute nonsense. Sounds like the typical ideology of, ‘ I’m not here for your ( expert) opinion, I’m here to tell you what I need because I’ve done my research’ asinine-ity. Wouldn’t doubt if this guy comes out with a program soon charging $500/hr called, ‘Stop the insanity and learn golf the easy way.’ Total garbage.

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To be incredibly informative here, it was stupid.  The guy should be fired.

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28 minutes ago, klineka said:

and these are by far the cheapest lessons I've ever taken.

Let's try to use the words "least expensive" instead of "cheapest" please. 😄 

28 minutes ago, klineka said:

I was curious what else this author had written so I just read another article written by him titled "Buyer Beware: The Issue With Golf Coaching Programs" and it's pretty clear that he just rambles on with opinions that aren't based on facts/reality. That article might even be worse than the one in this topic.

Yeah, that one might be even worse, you're right.

17 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

The entire article assumes that anybody who uses any kind of technology or terminology is automatically a bad instructor in that respect. The reality is that technology is a vital tool to help instructors determine what is actually happening in a student’s golf swing

I taught a student recently who swung 3° up and 12° right with his 6I. We saw this on the GCQuad, and I called his attention to those two numbers.

I showed him why he was getting those numbers, and what things we might try to do to change them. This was actually me showing how extremely I could change the numbers (I hit this ball):

For the next 30 minutes, he hit shots and saw how the two numbers were related.

The student knew the technology and I focused him on just the two numbers. He used the numbers to relate to what feels produced what results.

He enjoyed the use of "data" and got real results pretty quickly. (I should just "start" putting quotes around random "words" like he "did" with the word data.)

17 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

Good golfers absolutely do not need to work on multiple items in the same session unless each of them will not affect the other.

That was one of the most puzzling statements in the "article."

10 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

I read the article and honestly I am not sure what starring in ones own lesson means.

I think a student should play a prominent role in saying what they hope to achieve, talking about whether they understand everything, etc. The article would have been decent if he had talked about that. Instead, we got this… which I don't even know what he's trying to say.

10 minutes ago, GolfLug said:

The author also has a simplistic take on how hard a proper golf swing is.

Yeah. I'm curious what his handicap is. Should be a +5 or so, no?

26 minutes ago, mvmac said:

Other have made good points in response to the article, just want to point out that there were "star" instructors before magazine lists.

Definitely.

15 minutes ago, billchao said:

The whole “don’t let an instructor overhaul your swing” rhetoric seems only to pander to the anti-instruction crowd. I’ve taken plenty of lessons over the years from different people and not one has ever tried to overhaul my entire swing.

Yeah, I don't think the "rebuild from the ground up" thing is as prevalent as some people make it out to be.

Just now, woodzie264 said:

To be incredibly informative here, it was stupid.  The guy should be fired.

I don't know that he is paid.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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Once you’ve nailed the basics of arm structure and club face awareness, the rest isn’t really that hard.

What? :doh:

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Me heading the other direction after the instructor tells me the golf swing is just arm structure and club face awareness.

tigerwoods_bigdog_square.jpg

Edited by JetFan1983
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Constantine

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Okay, I may be a bit late to the party here, but I read the article and almost immediately I didn't like it.

The very first thing that jumped out at me was this quote:  "The more money you spend, the more the conversation veers into technical jargon, referencing “data” from devices like Trackman or FlightScope."

Why is data in quotation marks? Is the author implying that the "data" given from Trackman or Flightscope isn't truly data, or that it is in some way faked? Or is he saying that data isn't that important? My way of thinking is if you want to improve something you have to measure it. Otherwise how do you know if you are improving? I've had great lessons just working on stuff with a camera and and the instructor. I've also had lessons with full GEARs stuff and pretty much everything in between. I don't see how a productive lesson could happen without at least some "data" being shared. 

This paragraph seems fine to me: 

Golfers need to be the star of their own golf lessons. This process begins with ownership and setting expectations for your lessons. While a higher handicap might aim to simply straighten shots, better players should tackle multiple skills in a session. Either way, you must show up early, warm up, and express your expectations clearly. Demand precise feedback on your technique, as well as at least a couple of drills to practice.

Although I'm not sure what qualifies as a "better player", or even what qualifies as a "skill". But I've had what I would consider very successful lessons where I've been given basically one thing to work on and then perhaps something in my set up to also work on. I've also had good lessons where I think I was given as many as three things to work on. Any more than that and I'm sure my brain would explode. Unless they mean one thing in your setup, one thing in your backswing, one thing for chipping, one thing for putting etc... 

Then there's this sentence: "Too many instructors want to be the stars and overhaul your swing."

At a couple of points in my golfing life my entire swing really did need to be overhauled. But that can't be done in one lesson. At least not with me as the pupil. I don't think that's because the instructor wants to "be the star". I think it's because my swing stunk out loud. 

"The problem is that golf magazines and instructors have created a culture of fear and control"   Huh? ... I have no idea what he is talking about here. 

I'm not buying this sentence at all: "Sadly, 99 percent of instructors fall into the method or non-system categories, and 100 percent of these are charlatans." I've had 4 different instructors in my 30 odd years playing golf and 3 of them really helped me. Either I'm incredibly lucky or their 99 percent stat is way off.  

 

 

My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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So much bad about the article.  No point in repeating much of what was said above but I have to just cover 1:

On 1/1/2024 at 8:20 PM, klineka said:
Quote

Once you’ve nailed the basics of arm structure and club face awareness, the rest isn’t really that hard.

If it's not that hard then you go play on the PGA Tour dude. Another absurd take.

 

If it was really that easy and all we needed to learn was a couple of "Basics" then Golf would be so easy as to be boring. 

Stuart M.
 

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Unless they mean one thing in your setup, one thing in your backswing, one thing for chipping, one thing for putting etc... 

I think he means truly different skills. Like "high draws with your 3W" and then "low spinners around the green" or something. Not just sub-parts of a full swing (i.e. setup and one thing in the backswing).

I have given you three sub-pieces… but you're with me for 2+ hours, too, and one of the sub-pieces is a static thing.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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Being as generous as I can possibly be, I *think* what he's trying to say is that you have to be clear with the instructor what your goals are, how much time and effort you will be able to put into making a change and your time horizon. I think he says it really badly and maybe that's just me reading into it what I think it should say and he's just hopeless. I do think it's important for a coach and player to be on the same page about how much work/time you have available and what you want. If you go to a coach and say "I play once a month and have no time to put into it, but I'm playing with my boss next week and don't want to be totally awful - anything you can do to help?" and he starts talking about a full overhaul, then yeah - run away. But if you're clear and the coach is listening then you'll probably get a pretty good lesson from any of those people.

The hard part comes when you've got someone who's charging $5k for a session - it's not likely you're going to be seeing them regularly (unless you have very deep pockets). But that's why I probably wouldn't be going to see one of those ones. I don't think coach/player can work if you aren't seeing them with some regularity.

BTW Erik - that 6 iron looks pretty standard to me!

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This is me at my next GEARS lesson.

IMG_1029.gif

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Scott

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