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Instruction vs. Going it Alone


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  1. 1. How much instruction have you had?

    • None - I'm completely self-taught.
      29
    • Little - A few friends have helped and I've had a few lessons.
      39
    • Lots - I've taken a number of lessons from one or a variety of pros.
      18


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I've had a few lessons but settled on the teacher that made the most sense for me. A lot of what we do is basics (grip, set-up, and take-away stuff) since my swing is pretty solid if I start at the right place. Considering I've only been playing seriously for a year (picked up the game again at 28 after almost 10 full years of not TOUCHING a club) and I'm shaving strokes off the HC like a barber at basic training, I think my lessons with this instructor will be effective.

At some point, I do want to go to another teacher for more technical things, particularly to clean up my iron play a bit and learn to putt at a higher level. I'm figuring that I'll save that until I've ducked under a 5 HC though.
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Had a few lessons about 25 yrs ago, from there I practiced a terrible lot, I took a lesson now and then, but nothing seriously. After a layoff of about 15 years I took up golf again, started with 3 weeks at the range only, had some shots ending way left, had a few lessons and improved. Better than 25 years ago now, handicap still coming down, hope to reach 5 this year and 3 to zero next year.

Best lesson I took this year was on putting ...... I improved a LOT. But else for now it is just hitting lots of ball, analyse swing from ballflight (on my own), work on consistency and maybe I will take a lesson soon on working balls from left to right as I find this difficult at times.

So I am basicly in the selftought camp, but I take a few lessons now and then, but advise from others...... just smile and never listen, just going my own way or by the way a true professional tells me after I told them what I want to work at.
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Being 23 years old with a home to pay for and a family to support, I can't justify paying for lessons until I feel I am no longer improving on my own.

I'm sure I could benefit a ton from lessons, however I have reached a sub 7 handicap in a little over a year on my own. (I started golfing last May)

I don't feel as though my game has plateaued yet, however once I reach that point I will consider lessons.
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I got stuck at about 2 also but I just kept experimenting on my own and I improved to the point of being a plus hadicapper.For those who made that step, I am sure you can all appreciate that last 3 strokes and how much improvement you need to shave those last few when you are a 2. Anyways,don't know plus what but I use to beat a buddy that was a plus one routinely. Also, I took the PGA playing ability test and finished 7 shots clear of all the could be coaches. I just kept experimentating and experimenting and I am Chinese and I have friends that are coaching in China right now and I quaranteed you I have more insight on the swings than they do.

I mean I just never believe that the swing was that complicated. I draw my analogy more scientifically to stuff like whip and snap for energy.I believe in reciprocation. You know what comes up must come down. What goes inside must come outside. I try to implement those things into my swing I believe that the key to the golf swing are the joints and how they move and connect and I could show people exactly how if you stay connected and control one joint and swing in proper plane, you control the whole body and make them all swing close to the ideal plane. I mean I am sure I have flaws in my swing, but I could swing literally in 10 different planes and hit them all pretty straight and I could fade or draw the ball trying to reciprocate planes while controlling one joint. That alone tells me that there is something to the hypothesis that I have, and there is no way any coach could ever have taugh me that. They would had broken down my swing position by position. To me, positions are the result of doing things right. they are reaction to an action. I have always focus on the action . Conventional golf teaching I believe focus on the reaction,which are the positions and try to fix them piece by piece. I mean how many times do coaches tell people that they overswing,they don't maintain the flex in their knee,overturning the hip........ I am telling you they are just pointing out the problem. Simple solution is to change the plane of your shoulder turn and your joints will inevitably end up in different position NATURALLY.

For example, I could draw from watching how a shaft release to how the body release. I could imagine that the hip is the bending point of the shaft and the hands are the end of the shaft. in order to get proper energy transfer the and the snap, you have to get the bending point of the shaft past the point in which it originate. So on my down swing I get my hip past my hands' starting position and than pause the hip and that pretty much guaratee a release.That is just one way to release. I mean there are tons of different things I am still experimenting with release and swinging in differnt planes gives you differrent releases.................,I could tell you why the club releases because of natural rotation of the joints inside out and I could demonstrate to anyone how and why natural movement of the joints are the key to a swing....... I am drawing my ideas from the movement of shaft and whips and laws of physics and natural movement of the human joints rather than golf. Don't think I could ever do that if someone had taught me "golf."
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I took a few lessons (three or four) once a month, about two years ago when I started beating balls in the range. I consider myself self-taught, but those lessons were very important because the Pro put me on track, he helped me do what I was trying to do. I haven't take any more lessons since I started playing consistently, but I think its time for a few more.
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I caddied for my Dad when I was a youngster (He played off scratch and never gave me lessons) I got to watch great golfers play every weekend.
We had a beginners clinic which tought you the basics, grip stance etc.

Other then that I had one lesson, the dude wanted me to swing like Tiger I thought what an egg and never went back.
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I have a different perspective on getting lessons.

I know that I'll get from point A to point B faster by taking lessons. But I also know that there's point C, D, etc after point B. I'm a firm believer that golf swing will never get perfect and there's always room for improvement no matter whether you take lessons or not.

I have been playing golf for about 10 years on and off and my swing has been gradually improving every month by reading, researching and video taping. This self-teaching process is by far the most fun part in my golf. I have never regretted that I should have taken lessons earlier to get where I'm now.

But if I don't know how to improve on my swing, then I'll probably rely on lessons.
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I went it alone for a number of years. Then it hit me one summer that I just wan't ever going to get any better, no matter how much I played and practiced. I took a few lessons at the end of a season, then continued with several more the next year. It completely flipped my game around. If I still had the time and extra money, I would go back to my instructor a few times a year.

Am I ever going to be great? No, but I also only get to play a couple times a month if I'm lucky. I am pretty happy with what I can do. Not having the playing time is limiting me greatly, but at the same time, thanks to the lessons I don't ever lose much inbetween. I know how I am supposed to swing and I usually know what I am doing wrong and how to correct it when I don't.
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I was self taught for almost 20 years, but also keep in mind that I wasn't to series about golf the majority of that time, and had long breaks (months/years) in between playing thanks to the Army.

I have taught/helped numerous friends who wanted to learn how to golf over the past 5 years, but after 3 or 4 of them started getting better than me, I started to really focus on improving my own game. It seemed as if I was a better teacher then a player.

I decided to take a series of 5 lessons at the end of last year, and was pretty skeptical about paying that much money for lessons, but after some research and advice from folks here, I opened my mind and went with it.

I used the winter months to practice what my instructor changed and taught me, and in the beginning of the season really questioned if the lessons were worth it, but once I joined my current course and established a consistent practice routine, it was very clear that the lessons were well worth the price.

I have went from a mid 20's handicap down to a 13.9 in less than 4 months. I know the lessons directly contributed to this, but I don't think I would have had these results if I did not dedicate more time to practicing as well.
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I've only been playing for a little over a year, and I've been self taught up to this point.

I'm really hesitant to get instruction because I feel like if I don't go consistently (which isn't free, mind you), I may just end up worse than I started because I wasn't there to keep getting molded into what they started. I've got the name of a good S&T; instructor, I just need to either convince my wife it's a good investment or get a substantial raise to justify it.

I think I've done a pretty good job of developing my own swing by practicing as often as I'm physically able in the house or on the range and reading up and watching videos...but I'm sure there's nothing quite like having direct 1:1 time with a good instructor.

Was hoping to get by on my own personal determination and dedication, but it sounds like I'm fighting a battle more easily won by just getting proper instruction, eh?

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There are two types of golf instruction.
The first kind is what most of us go through when we visit a pro for lessons; you hit a few balls while the pro stands behind and watches or films your swing. He then shows you what you're doing wrong and how out of position you are at various stages of the swing. He'll then give you a few drills to practice to get you into the right positions. You come away from your lessons having learnt that your hands are in position x, when they should be in position y, etc etc.

The second form of instruction is where you're taught, from a pro in person, or books, or videos the important concepts in golf.
The ball flight laws, power accumulators, pressure points - concepts that you can take away and use each and every time you hit the ball.
Pros at driving ranges don't teach you those things, because they either don't understand the concepts themselves- or they know that once you do understand those concepts, their job is made redundant.
You don't need someone to look at your swing and tell you what's wrong with it if you can watch your ball's trajectory, or feel those pressure points during the downswing.

So instruct yourself and go it alone.

I find it ridiculous that touring professionals have swing coaches. They have the best swings in the world- and yet they seemingly don't know how they do it- or what to do about it when it goes wrong.
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Its generally finances, since golf lesson are very expensive and an extravagent expenditure. I have paid for my son's golf lessons but only had 5 in my 24 years playing golf. Erick is right you can learn to play golf faster and lower your handicap with the right professional lessons.
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I think most people who say they're "self taught" at the very least received some type of mentoring along the line from a friend of family member or they read instructional books or magazines to learn about power moves, specialty shots, and course management? Going alone without any guidance of any kind whatwoever is more like "fumbling along without a clue".
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I think most people who say they're "self taught" at the very least received some type of mentoring along the line from a friend of family member or they read instructional books or magazines to learn about power moves, specialty shots, and course management? Going alone without any guidance of any kind whatwoever is more like "fumbling along without a clue".

Agreed, it's hard to say self taught really. I learnt about swing planes etc and adapted mine because of it as well as tips from gf's dad...so I am mostly self taught with a side of guidance.....mostly guessing though

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Well Ive had one lesson from a respected pro in my area. While he was good at what he did, he only taught the traditional swing method. While I respect the traditional swing with the weight shifting back, I have found it is not for me because I have been putting my weight forward for too long and am not consistant the other way. My point is if you are going to get a swing coach get one that teaches what you are most like now, ex. weight forward vs weight shift back then forward.
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The second form of instruction is where you're taught, from a pro in person, or books, or videos the important concepts in golf. The ball flight laws, power accumulators, pressure points - concepts that you can take away and use each and every time you hit the ball. Pros at driving ranges don't teach you those things, because they either don't understand the concepts themselves- or they know that once you do understand those concepts, their job is made redundant.

You've never come to take a lesson from Dave Wedzik or myself. We talk about those things all the time. We quiz people to make sure they understand their particular flaws - when they see this shot popping up what are they doing? They're ________ (varies by student) so that they can fix it on the course or go and practice it themselves. The LAST thing we want is to keep giving someone the same lesson.

And duh - but even Tiger Woods has room to improve (and I don't mean now, cuz that's even more obvious, I mean even as he's playing great golf). Students who improve develop an addiction to improvement. If you can get a guy from a 10 to a 6 he's going to want to become a 4, and then a 2, and then scratch...
I find it ridiculous that touring professionals have swing coaches. They have the best swings in the world- and yet they seemingly don't know how they do it- or what to do about it when it goes wrong.

I hope this doesn't come off as rude, but I find it ridiculous that a 20 index is telling everyone else how teaching pros operate and how to get better at golf by teaching themselves...

I don't mean to say a 20 can't have an opinion... just that it's bound to be limited in its viewpoint.
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Self taught for 20 years. Really improved the first 15 years especially once I recognized how important the short game was. But after committing my efforts to the short game twelve or so years ago, I plateud at a 7 HI.

What online video instruction have you been using?

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