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coach magic

coach completely

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I have been a high school golf coach for 30 years.  Many posts here are partly correct, but they do not go far enough.  A solid coach has to know the game just like a football or basketball coach knows his game.  Learn everything about teaching the fundamentals that you can.

Teach your players how to hold the club, how to swing it in all possible situations.  How to handle sand, hilly lies, long putts, short putts, chips, pitches.

Team them the rules and course etiquette. Teach them the best strategic way to play each course, in relation to their own type of ability.  Make them realize that they must continue to compete, even on a bad day, because they are playing for the team, not just for themselves.

Being a good high school coach takes a lot of work.  i put in 25-30 hours a week, but it is worth it when you see the players improve, and the team get better.

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I guess it works a little different around here.

Our local high school has a pretty good tradition going as one of the better teams in the state each year and the coach doesn't really do much coaching other than managing the team and helping the younger players with things like course management and strategy, and getting them to the matches and keeping them in line.

If he actually coached the golf swing of the better players he would be run out of town. There are too many ways to swing a golf club and a lot of parents wouldn't be too thrilled if he started messing with the swings that either the dad or the local pro had been teaching them for years.

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can you be specific What posts are not "far enough" or only partly correct? And if youre a 10 why arent you applying your skills to your own game to break 80 now and then? 25-30 hours a week is a lot most golf coaches are just the history teacher who plays golf and drives the van. [quote name="coach magic" url="/t/66358/coach-completely#post_834488"]     I have been a high school golf coach for 30 years.  Many posts here are partly correct, but they do not go far enough.  A solid coach has to know the game just like a football or basketball coach knows his game.  Learn everything about teaching the fundamentals that you can.      Teach your players how to hold the club, how to swing it in all possible situations.  How to handle sand, hilly lies, long putts, short putts, chips, pitches.      Team them the rules and course etiquette. Teach them the best strategic way to play each course, in relation to their own type of ability.  Make them realize that they must continue to compete, even on a bad day, because they are playing for the team, not just for themselves.      Being a good high school coach takes a lot of work.  i put in 25-30 hours a week, but it is worth it when you see the players improve, and the team get better. [/quote]
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I have coached high school golf for a number of years and I do not teach my players the full swing.  I will on occasion help the newbies that don't see a teaching pro but for the most part I concentrate on course management, rules and on course conduct.  It is very difficult for my team to make a swing change in the limited amount of time that the high school athletic association sets aside for a golf season.

I coach other sports as well and I am a firm believer in the old sports cliche that players are made in the off season. In my state we are not allowed to coach team members out of season so for me to attempt to teach the full swing in 2-3 months would be a disservice to my players.

Coach Magic, I am happy that you are able to give that kind of time.  I coach part time in addition to my regular job.  Coaching is much more rewarding than HR.

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@jowlar  I am a full time coach( football, baseball, and golf) that wishes I had the paycheck of HR, lol. You are right about coaching swing changes. I have 19 kids and 8 of them haven't been playing long. They badically have 30 minutes of my time on the range then my on course lesson plan for the day, then I am off to baseball. If they are really interested, I will help them on the weekend.Course management is the way to go. If  you can get kids to visualize where they can miss and where they can't you are way ahead of the game.I give them trouble shots to handle. Sometimes it is just greenside bunker challenge on about 6 holes and downhill chips on 3 holes. They are all basically pull out the driver every hole but par 3's so I make them take it and the fairway woods out of the bag some days and play with irons and a hybrid.. Amazing , how much better and smarter they become when forced.

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As I have said on another thread on this very subject, unless you are a professional or someone who is otherwise qualified to teach the golf swing you have no reason to be out there teaching kids how to swing the golf club. Subscribing to Golf Magazine does not, in itself, qualify one to be a swing guru. I am sorry Coach Magic, but as a 10 handicap I cannot see how you have enough skill to teach students all aspects of the game of golf.

My father was a golf coach for 25 years. He carried a scratch handicap that entire time. Even though he was scratch, he would never teach the full swing. He gave some tips here and there on ball position, setup, etc. and would help them out with alignment issues and basic grip, but he never gave lessons like a golf pro, and he was an accomplished tournament golfer.  The only thing he taught extensively was course management.

I see it all the time at the course where I work. The coaches for the golf teams that practice there have never competed in a golf tournament in their lives, can't break 80 (or even 90) yet there they stand on the practice tee regurgitating what they read in the instruction section of the April issue of Golf Digest. Its a mess and I have witnessed them several times giving advice that is blatantly incorrect. I mean I swear the next time I hear one of those idiots tell a kid to keep his head down I am gonna hit them with a 7 iron. One actually told a kid on Wednesday to try and lock his chin into his chest. Really!?

Leave the instruction to the professionals.

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Originally Posted by coach magic

I have been a high school golf coach for 30 years.  Many posts here are partly correct, but they do not go far enough.       Teach your players how to hold the club, how to swing it in all possible situations.  How to handle sand, hilly lies, long putts, short putts, chips, pitches.

Team them the rules and course etiquette. Teach them the best strategic way to play each course, in relation to their own type of ability.

So basically teach them the complete game of golf in a few months? And, I'm not trying to be contentious, but I know a few kids on my son's team who could probably be teaching you.

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coach magic,

I hate to see you get beat up about your comment, especially since I sort of started it.

I have no way of knowing your situation or how good the players are at your school. Here the kids on the golf team all grew up on the course and have had formal training since they could swing a club. Most have already played in many amateur events and the seniors are on their way to Auburn or UAB or some other college. I'm sure you would have enough common sense to leave players of that level alone.

I've seen high school teams from other places where it was obvious that the golf team was just anybody left over that couldn't make the baseball team and wanted something to do. In those cases anybody at the course that had ever played before could probably give them some tips that would help.

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Not all good golfers are good coaches (in fact some have rather nasty dispositions and no patience whatsoever) and not all good coaches are good golfers. My dad was a great coach but never a really good golfer. I think I would have liked playing for coach magic when I was in high school.

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I wasn't trying to pile on and hope it didn't come off that way.  Just trying to offer a plausible alternative to 25-30 hours per week for high school golf teams.

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Originally Posted by dak4n6

Quote:

Originally Posted by coach magic

I have been a high school golf coach for 30 years.  Many posts here are partly correct, but they do not go far enough.       Teach your players how to hold the club, how to swing it in all possible situations.  How to handle sand, hilly lies, long putts, short putts, chips, pitches.

Team them the rules and course etiquette. Teach them the best strategic way to play each course, in relation to their own type of ability.

So basically teach them the complete game of golf in a few months? And, I'm not trying to be contentious, but I know a few kids on my son's team who could probably be teaching you.


Unnecessary post. Very little gained by it.

I've seen the teams out on the course and the coaches do a great thing by being there - props to OP for being a coach. I still remember my high school coaches and am thankful for them taking the time for us.  From the kids I see out there who play high school golf, few of them have direction, any concept of etiquette or golf course management.

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Originally Posted by thanw

Not all good golfers are good coaches (in fact some have rather nasty dispositions and no patience whatsoever) and not all good coaches are good golfers. My dad was a great coach but never a really good golfer. I think I would have liked playing for coach magic when I was in high school.

That's for sure. If we made a list of the best players in history (in any sport) and then another list of the best coaches in history there would be very few times the same guy would show up on both lists.

I overheard a conversation at the course one day between two better than scratch golfers about the new golf pro at a local country club. One asked the other who the new pro was. When the other one told him he said "He's not even that good a player. I wouldn't go to him. He can't even beat me".

I just shook my head and walked off. Does he think Haney, Harmon and Foley can beat the guys they coach?

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Originally Posted by Rick Martin

Quote:

Originally Posted by dak4n6

Quote:

Originally Posted by coach magic

I have been a high school golf coach for 30 years.  Many posts here are partly correct, but they do not go far enough.       Teach your players how to hold the club, how to swing it in all possible situations.  How to handle sand, hilly lies, long putts, short putts, chips, pitches.

Team them the rules and course etiquette. Teach them the best strategic way to play each course, in relation to their own type of ability.

So basically teach them the complete game of golf in a few months? And, I'm not trying to be contentious, but I know a few kids on my son's team who could probably be teaching you.

Unnecessary post. Very little gained by it.

I've seen the teams out on the course and the coaches do a great thing by being there - props to OP for being a coach. I still remember my high school coaches and am thankful for them taking the time for us.  From the kids I see out there who play high school golf, few of them have direction, any concept of etiquette or golf course management.

I was really not trying to be contentious (maybe a bit sarcastic). He said that most posts here fall short on completeness, and that coaches should teach "how to swing in all possible situations", and well as rules, etiquette, and strategy. And I still maintain that is waaaay too much for a 2 - 3 mo season. IMO a good HS coach should mainly give support and motivation, and maybe some VERY fundamental instruction for newbs

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Originally Posted by Rick Martin

Unnecessary post. Very little gained by it.

I've seen the teams out on the course and the coaches do a great thing by being there - props to OP for being a coach. I still remember my high school coaches and am thankful for them taking the time for us.  From the kids I see out there who play high school golf, few of them have direction, any concept of etiquette or golf course management.

I don't know about where you live but here on Long Island, teachers get paid to coach so it's not the selfless gesture you might think.

As for a coach teaching the golf swing, it depends on the student, some new to the sport need this basic level of instruction but it could be counter-productive for coaches to tinker with experienced students swings if they aren't qualified to be golf instructors.

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Originally Posted by newtogolf

I don't know about where you live but here on Long Island, teachers get paid to coach so it's not the selfless gesture you might think.

As for a coach teaching the golf swing, it depends on the student, some new to the sport need this basic level of instruction but it could be counter-productive for coaches to tinker with experienced students swings if they aren't qualified to be golf instructors.

In this area other than the head football coach and (at some schools) the head basketball coach the teachers that volunteer would be making a lot more money working for minimum wage at the local burger joint. The ones I know certainly aren't doing it for the money.

When they need to hire a football coach they take applications and form search commitees to find the best possible candidate. For golf or tennis they walk down the hall and ask teachers if they've ever played before, and if they have a license to drive a school bus, and the first one that says yes gets the job.

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The kids who show up in the fall with great equipment, summertime lessons, clinics, and a squinty suntanned face that comes from being a slave to the practice facilities and course aren't the ones who need a coaches special instruction much. Others who aren't as fortunate I would like to think that a coach in a wheelchair who has never walked could point them in the right general direction if s/he had a fundamental knowledge of the game.

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I think this thread all boils down to what you are looking for out of a high school golf coach. Mine wasn't a golf instructor so he didn't try to be. His job was to find us places to play, get us organized and on the busses, set the lineup, and offer encouragement. If he tried to do anything more, we probably wouldn't have been as good as we were some years.
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I think this thread all boils down to what you are looking for out of a high school golf coach. Mine wasn't a golf instructor so he didn't try to be. His job was to find us places to play, get us organized and on the busses, set the lineup, and offer encouragement. If he tried to do anything more, we probably wouldn't have been as good as we were some years.

Good point. In my high school team, I and 2 other players had never played golf before... so 3/5 players on the team had never played. We had to be taught. But on a team with golfers who have played a lot, coach shouldn't teach swing and such

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