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iacas

It's 2012

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A few little mini-thoughts that aren't big enough on their own to warrant separate posts.

I have a hard time understanding how it's 2012 and:

  • Many (perhaps most) instructors (let alone golfers) believe the ball starts in the direction of the path and ends up where the face is pointing.
  • Poor instructors - in general - still exist so widely, and still get business. If mechanics were like golf instructors, there would be massive industry reform.
  • People still think that you "turn the face down at impact" to hit a draw, or that hinge actions affect the ball because of what they do while the ball is on the face.
  • There are still so many club hos out there. I think that's how you spell hos. :)
  • We still have people who think the ball is "trapped" against the ground, people who still think draws have topspin, and people who still believe that greens must all break "towards" or "away" from something that's 20 miles or 2 miles or 40 yards away from where they're putting.

I think the biggest singular breakthroughs in golf in the past 50 years include:

  • Affordable high-speed cameras.
  • Jorgensen's "Physics of Golf."
  • FlightScope/Trackman and other launch monitors.
  • AimPoint.
  • Many would include TPI/AMM type data in here, but I don't think it quite crosses my threshold.
  • TGM would be included if this span was longer than 50 years, even though most of it is wrong or outdated or lacking, it changed the way a LOT of people thought about things, and has had ripple effects that affect a LOT of golfers and instructors.

This isn't instruction-related, but the best ten U.S. players of all time might not include Phil Mickelson. In no order: Tiger, Jack, Arnie, Ben, Bobby, Billy, Byron, Sam, Walter, Gene, and Tom. That's 11. Phil's probably definitely top 12, but which two of those people could he bump to crack the top 10? When you consider the strength of the fields these days, though, it becomes much easier to bump a few guys down and move Phil inside the top 10.

To the quality of instruction, I will say this: things are heading in the right direction. The Internet has played a moderate role in this. The better golfers are becoming more informed, and when a lesser golfer asks "who should I take lessons from?," the better golfer is more likely than ever to recommend a good instructor rather than a poor one. The poor instructors are slowly (too slowly) getting fewer lessons.

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The misunderstanding of the ball flight laws really amazes me. I understand that people might have been taught differently 10, 20, 30 years ago but over the years we gain new information and need to update our models with current information.

People used to think the world was flat. That model worked pretty well - for practical purposes when you navigate around town that model works fine. But when you try to explain things like sun rising/setting it doesn't work too well. The "old" ball flight laws worked in some cases but fell flat in other areas. The "new" laws work much better and apply to all situations. They've been proven using high-speed video, launch monitors, doppler radar. So now we have a much better model. And yet, knowledgeable, well respected people in golf refuse to believe it. It's like showing someone pictures of the earth from outer space and still argue that the world is flat. Simply amazing. Yes, Brandel Chamblee, I am talking about you!

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My instructor told me that whatever direction my club is moving in at impact is the direction my ball is going to start flight. Along with that he said that what ever direction my club face was in at impact is the direction my ball will basically end its flight. Does that seem right? Maybe this question is to obvious to be asked here but im still learning and want to learn right.

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Originally Posted by chris650

My instructor told me that whatever direction my club is moving in at impact is the direction my ball is going to start flight. Along with that he said that what ever direction my club face was in at impact is the direction my ball will basically end its flight. Does that seem right? Maybe this question is to obvious to be asked here but im still learning and want to learn right.

It's wrong, and I'd find a new instructor, because I think that understanding why the ball flies the way it does is fundamental to golf instruction. http://thesandtrap.com/b/playing_tips/ball_flight_laws.

And I don't want this thread to turn into a Ball Flight Laws discussion ( everyone is tired of those), so let's not let it. It had to make my list, but we don't have to talk about it.

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ed

Originally Posted by iacas

Poor instructors - in general - still exist so widely, and still get business. If mechanics were like golf instructors, there would be massive industry reform.

Sadly, with golf being what it is, poor (i.e. not knowing the correct BFLs etc.) instructors still manage to improve golfers. And more bizarrely, golfers still go back to the same poor instructors every week even when they are not improving! I have targeted many golfers at my local club that have been having lessons for years with the same old pro and steadily gotten worse, and they tell me, "I like Paco, I enjoy my lessons with Pedro, José a great guy!" Unbelievable.

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Someone should create a website/mobile app that's the Angie's List of golf instructors. Verified (as much as possible) reviews from actual students of instructors. Perhaps photos and video, along with writeups about the instructor. So as to hold more accountability. You sort of have some semblance of this on YouTube. It's very hard for someone who is just starting out to figure out who is a good instructor. I've encountered more than a few people who take lessons from the top instructors of your state lists who say that a good portion of the instructors on these lists weren't that good.

Perhaps instruction is in the state that it is in because a majority of people don't really expect much out of it when they should.

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Why are you surprised by the amount of club hos? With all the marketing out there it's not a surprise that so many fall for it, especially when in general a lot of golfers kind of dumb and will believe anything (like the OBFLs or that something breaks towards something miles away). Plus, playing around with the latest and greatest can be fun!

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Shouldn't "ho" have a "w" in front?  No, that would be Whos and sounds like a Dr Seuss book.  We should ask Velvet Jones.

I think in any industry you will always have people instructing others who have a little knowledge and are dangerous.  I have met many "engineers" who I think should have their degree taken away and don't understand the basics.  Yet they are still employed.

We must keep our chins up and press on!  The truth will win out!

Many thanks for your help including Mike, James and Dave .

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I had to add one to my first post:

People still think that you "turn the face down at impact" to hit a draw, or that hinge actions affect the ball because of what they do while the ball is on the face.

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[LIST] [*] There are still so many club hos out there. I think that's how you spell hos. :) [/LIST]

Because technology has limited benefit (no club fixes fundamental swing problems), or because clubs perform similarly (everyone replicates and copies successful designs), or something else?

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Originally Posted by B-Con

Because technology has limited benefit (no club fixes fundamental swing problems), or because clubs perform similarly (everyone replicates and copies successful designs), or something else?

Both, to be honest. I don't think drivers have really done much to advance (well, the hosels have, but you could always just get a club that's fit for you as I think the hosels are a fitting tool) in the past five or six years. Yet a club ho will buy six drivers a YEAR, or spend $500 on a shaft and go shoot 80.

That's more the kind I meant.

But what do I know. My irons look like this:

http://thesandtrap.com/gallery/album/view/id/56038/user_id/1

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  • We still have people who think the ball is "trapped" against the ground, people who still think draws have topspin, and people who still believe that greens must all break "towards" or "away" from something that's 20 miles or 2 miles or 40 yards away from where they're putting."

---------

yeah but.  I normally play in SC Charleston area.  The break to the ocean (from 4 miles away is bogus).

BUT, recently played in the Appalachian foothills and was told time and again by the members that "these greens break away from the mountain".

--nonsense I said, the greens break how they read just like any other green.  I learned my lesson.  Finally.

--on more than one 6-12 foot putt where it was obvious to my eye that the ball would break down the slope away from the bunker,,it infact did not.  On one ocassion it was completely straight when I read a 4-5 ball break.  Just sayin'

Regarding trapping the ball, ball flight rules, hinge action, blah blah blah.  It is waaaaay too much for me to think about.  When I do get a lesson I ask the instructor to give me drills to work on and context as to why I'm working on them.  If he/she started to go into hinge action relative to ball flight blah blah balh- I would begin looking for another instructor.

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Originally Posted by lonewolf

Regarding trapping the ball, ball flight rules, hinge action, blah blah blah.  It is waaaaay too much for me to think about.  When I do get a lesson I ask the instructor to give me drills to work on and context as to why I'm working on them.  If he/she started to go into hinge action relative to ball flight blah blah balh- I would begin looking for another instructor.

Yes, you should because the instructor is incorrect, not because it's too complicated Like Erik said, hinge action doesn't effect curve.

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Originally Posted by lonewolf

BUT, recently played in the Appalachian foothills and was told time and again by the members that "these greens break away from the mountain".

--nonsense I said, the greens break how they read just like any other green.  I learned my lesson.  Finally.

--on more than one 6-12 foot putt where it was obvious to my eye that the ball would break down the slope away from the bunker,,it infact did not.  On one ocassion it was completely straight when I read a 4-5 ball break.  Just sayin'

That kind of misses the point I was making, which I realize, was subtle.

Most greens built on the side of a mountain might very well break away from the peak of the mountain because it's cheapest to just go with the overall grade of the land, but in no way is it some sort of over-riding principle that governs all putts everywhere, especially when you're not literally ON the mountain like the courses that host the Bob Hope, Augusta National (and Rae's Creek), etc.

Putts break towards downhill. That's all there is to it. :-)

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Originally Posted by mvmac

Yes, you should because the instructor is incorrect, not because it's too complicated   Like Erik said, hinge action doesn't effect curve.

I think you are missing my point.

the whole conversation is too complicated to me.  Too much other stuff in my mind right now (work, family, etc.)  If I start to hear about hinge-action; spin rate; blah blah blah it's over for me.

Again, I want some drill and some context as to WHY I'm doing those drills - in laymen's terms.

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How can we tell if our instructor is teaching us poorly? How will we know if we've actually found a good teacher?

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Originally Posted by iacas

A few little mini-thoughts that aren't big enough on their own to warrant separate posts.

I have a hard time understanding how it's 2012 and:

Many (perhaps most) instructors (let alone golfers) believe the ball starts in the direction of the path and ends up where the face is pointing.

Poor instructors - in general - still exist so widely, and still get business. If mechanics were like golf instructors, there would be massive industry reform.

People still think that you "turn the face down at impact" to hit a draw, or that hinge actions affect the ball because of what they do while the ball is on the face.

There are still so many club hos out there. I think that's how you spell hos. :)

We still have people who think the ball is "trapped" against the ground, people who still think draws have topspin, and people who still believe that greens must all break "towards" or "away" from something that's 20 miles or 2 miles or 40 yards away from where they're putting.

I think the biggest singular breakthroughs in golf in the past 50 years include:

Affordable high-speed cameras.

Jorgensen's "Physics of Golf."

FlightScope/Trackman and other launch monitors.

AimPoint.

Many would include TPI/AMM type data in here, but I don't think it quite crosses my threshold.

TGM would be included if this span was longer than 50 years, even though most of it is wrong or outdated or lacking, it changed the way a LOT of people thought about things, and has had ripple effects that affect a LOT of golfers and instructors.

This isn't instruction-related, but the best ten U.S. players of all time might not include Phil Mickelson. In no order: Tiger, Jack, Arnie, Ben, Bobby, Billy, Byron, Sam, Walter, Gene, and Tom. That's 11. Phil's probably definitely top 12, but which two of those people could he bump to crack the top 10? When you consider the strength of the fields these days, though, it becomes much easier to bump a few guys down and move Phil inside the top 10.

To the quality of instruction, I will say this: things are heading in the right direction. The Internet has played a moderate role in this. The better golfers are becoming more informed, and when a lesser golfer asks "who should I take lessons from?," the better golfer is more likely than ever to recommend a good instructor rather than a poor one. The poor instructors are slowly (too slowly) getting fewer lessons.

I'm not surprised at all that people still believe these things and that golf instruction is terrible.  Why would people believe anything different when they here these things everytime they turn on the TV and watch the golf channel or a golf tournament.  Fix the commentary on golf tournaments and get better instructors on the golf channel - things would change very quickly!!!!

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Originally Posted by iacas

That kind of misses the point I was making, which I realize, was subtle.

Most greens built on the side of a mountain might very well break away from the peak of the mountain because it's cheapest to just go with the overall grade of the land, but in no way is it some sort of over-riding principle that governs all putts everywhere, especially when you're not literally ON the mountain like the courses that host the Bob Hope, Augusta National (and Rae's Creek), etc.

Putts break towards downhill. That's all there is to it. :-)

Fair enough.

But when playing in terrain one is not accustomed to "downhill" is not as easily defined.

Go play a southern coastal bermuda green course (Kiawah) one day and then a mountainous Bent grass greens course the next day.  Downhill isn't as easy as one thinks.  Local knowledge DOES come into account.

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