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The Virtue of Being a Stupid Monkey (and How it can Help Your Golf Game)


iacas
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4 hours ago, DownAndOut said:

Now you know where you are, and where you want to be, simply ask your potential instructor if they’ve dealt with someone in your situation before, and if they’d helped them achieve a similar goal to your own. If they have and they’re true to their word, go for it. If not, maybe consider looking elsewhere.

That's really not a great way to do it. Virtually every instructor will be able to cite someone in their past who has done that, even if they did it in spite of the instruction.

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
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1 hour ago, iacas said:

That's really not a great way to do it. Virtually every instructor will be able to cite someone in their past who has done that, even if they did it in spite of the instruction.

Very true . Maybe if one was a really thorough , one could ask for references to prove they did it consistently for a variety of people over many years. That is if you really had a very demanding goal where the cost risk of failure could be high if you chose the wrong instructor.

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Quick tip @DownAndOut. If you paste the quote as plain text, it will reduce the size of the quote and make it easier to read. This one is not bad, but other formats can make it hard to read, especially on cell phones and tablets.

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  • 1 year later...
On 6/1/2013 at 6:44 AM, iacas said:
PGA Tour players don't need to know the "why" - they simply want to know the what. "What do you want me to do, coach?" "What do I do when I'm hooking the ball, coach?" "What do I do to hit the ball lower, coach?"
 
We have members on this site who read everything they can get their hands on about the golf swing. They over-educate. They over-stimulate. They can list the 17 things wrong with their golf swings and give you the detailed reasoning behind them, often with an accompanying list of drills and feels for each of them.

I was reading back through this thread because i know that i need to work on this and really want to commit to this way of practicing, but have a tendency to get off track easily.  Trying to do too many things at once and judging my practice based on impact and results instead of am i changing the picture.  i was listening to an interview with Matt Every and he said this talking about the swing:

I've learned a ton, I almost think i've learned too much.  I wish i could forget a lot of stuff I know about the golf swing.  I feel like I'd be better, but I can't.

 

Matt          My Swing

 

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On 10/22/2016 at 7:22 AM, DownAndOut said:

The barometer for me when judging how good a golf instructor is very simple. It’s not how many qualifications they have, how many students they’ve taught, how many articles they’ve published in magazines or awards they’ve won. It’s not about how profitable their schools are, how well known they are in the golfing world or even how much they know about the golf swing. For me it’s how many adults have they taken from a high handicap, to single figures. That’s the acid test for golf instructors. If you’re working with someone who can take a 40-year-old beginner and help them break 80 in a few years, you’re on to a winner.

I think this hits home with a lot of us amateurs who start playing golf late in life.

The part I have to disagree is that the instructor doesn't need to be good at playing. What I feel is that the instructor really needs to be a good player and had to have worked hard to get to his advanced playing level. Further, that a good instructor for late age starters probably should also be someone who was a late age starter. Only someone who's been though the hell of being a late age starter can really teach late age starters better, because they understand their position a lot better. The main reason is he wouldn't make bad assumptions about the late starter's potential ability based upon the same criteria as other golfers such as young students.

The other thing about a good late age starter instructor is that he or she must be a very good listener. If a late starter says something that doesn't make sense to him, he shouldn't make assumptions that the person is deluded but rather inquire what the person means in more detail? Late age starters quite possibly know a little bit more about life than a potential instructor, and that should be taken into account when discussing goals and plans for improvement.

Also, late starters have way more potential than most people give them credit, and it's too bad that they are not taught in such a way that allows them to break 80 in a few years. Wherever you got this article, they're on to something big.

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2 hours ago, Lihu said:

The part I have to disagree is that the instructor doesn't need to be good at playing. What I feel is that the instructor really needs to be a good player and had to have worked hard to get to his advanced playing level. Further, that a good instructor for late age starters probably should also be someone who was a late age starter. Only someone who's been though the hell of being a late age starter can really teach late age starters better, because they understand their position a lot better. The main reason is he wouldn't make bad assumptions about the late starter's potential ability based upon the same criteria as other golfers such as young students.

The other thing about a good late age starter instructor is that he or she must be a very good listener. If a late starter says something that doesn't make sense to him, he shouldn't make assumptions that the person is deluded but rather inquire what the person means in more detail? Late age starters quite possibly know a little bit more about life than a potential instructor, and that should be taken into account when discussing goals and plans for improvement.

Also, late starters have way more potential than most people give them credit, and it's too bad that they are not taught in such a way that allows them to break 80 in a few years. Wherever you got this article, they're on to something big.

I get what you're saying, and I think a good coach should probably be a good player, but it's way, way, way down on the list of important things, and I think you're dramatically over-stating the benefits of finding a "late age starter instructor" on top of all that, @Lihu.

Everyone's feels are different and a late-age-starter instructor is going to have different feels and experiences than someone else even though they both may have started late. They're going to have different athletic backgrounds, etc. too. It's almost completely irrelevant.

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:

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

I get what you're saying, and I think a good coach should probably be a good player, but it's way, way, way down on the list of important things, and I think you're dramatically over-stating the benefits of finding a "late age starter instructor" on top of all that, @Lihu.

A good instructor would be good no matter what, but short of having a good starting point many factors could influence who you choose. One of them could be situational similarity? I guess if you start there you could also end up with a terrible instructor who's both old and grumpy and thinks entirely different from you anyway. . .

 

3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Everyone's feels are different and a late-age-starter instructor is going to have different feels and experiences than someone else even though they both may have started late. They're going to have different athletic backgrounds, etc. too. It's almost completely irrelevant.

That's kind of true too. Becoming an instructor, much less a good one, is a pretty difficult task no matter what.

We students end up being pretty demanding, but at the same time, I would expect that a good coach can bring out the best in every golfer with a reasonable amount of time? There's probably a chemistry thing along with the ability of the student to learn from a particular instructor?

It sounds pretty hard to be an instructor, and I see the difficulty a lot of my fellow range hitters have as well. I've seen them for years, and it seems like the exception are the people who improve.

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"I'm hitting the woods just great, but I'm having a terrible time getting out of them." ~Harry Toscano

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6 minutes ago, Lihu said:

A good instructor would be good no matter what, but short of having a good starting point many factors could influence who you choose. One of them could be situational similarity? I guess if you start there you could also end up with a terrible instructor who's both old and grumpy and thinks entirely different from you anyway. . .

They're not in the same situation as you, and the situation they were in was likely years and years ago if they've built themselves into not only a competent player but a competent instructor on top of that.

Instructors aren't stupid monkeys. Not in the way I've defined it here.

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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:

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  • 4 months later...
On 6/2/2013 at 4:45 AM, 0ldblu3 said:

Explains how you can be on the range and find that zone where you aren't thinking...just setting up and hitting any shot you want. Go out on the course and start over thinking everything and lose that easy feeling.

 

 

 

 

Zoolander clip...Dance, monkey, dance!

This is where you and I are, or were, different. Back when I could actually play this game, on the range was where I did my thinking. When I went out to play golf, I went out to play golf, not golf swing! That's where my mind went quiet. Not totally, I would still pace off my yardage. This was 40+ years ago so there were no range finders or GPS.

More important was how the shot looked or "felt". The yardage says 6 iron but it feels like a 5. Or vice versa. I was not aware of conscious thought, it was more like something "organic" to the game.

Whatever, the way some Tour players and their caddies yack about shots today would absolutely paralyze me.

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2 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

This is where you and I are, or were, different.

"were" is better. The post is from 2013 and the member has not visited since 2016.

Every post has a date on it @Buckeyebowman.

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:

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Not that your going to give this to me... But I've been doing the same stupid A4 to A5 drill for two and a half months now... It seems to be working and I don't want to know why.

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8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Not that your going to give this to me... But I've been doing the same stupid A4 to A5 drill for two and a half months now... It seems to be working and I don't want to know why.

It'd help to have a Member Swing topic showing you doing this for a period of time.

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:

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4 hours ago, iacas said:

It'd help to have a Member Swing topic showing you doing this for a period of time.

Point taken.

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Ball: 2021 :srixon: Z-Star XV

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Putter: Meridian Charleston with my daughters names (Alina and Zoey) on the rear bumpers.

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  • 2 months later...
On 6/1/2013 at 6:44 AM, iacas said:

More golfers practicing on their own would improve much more quickly if they could focus on a single "what" and ignore the why. Be stupid. Be a monkey. Your golf game will be better off for it.

Recently bought LSW. Still reading it, but I'm using the practice section on making my practice plan for what I want to improve most.. What keeps going through my mind is "Small Successes". And on the course, it is my only swing thought now. It allows focus without tension or fear and helps me to achieve a greater measure of success, so I enjoy each shot and the game more. Sounds silly, but that's my experience. Best to all, -Marv.

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  • 7 months later...

When I first started out in my craft, as a singer, I was fortunate to have had teachers who taught in a way of just do this followed often by question on how it felt, as much of singing is internal.  Later on, when I fairly much mastered my craft, I had a new teacher, one of the best ever, who often said "stop trying to over think, you need to just be a stupid tenor, so you don't get bound by what you have learned to be a voice teacher."

Such it is with my golf now that I am getting better.  I have taken on LSW, 5SK and a lot from my coach. And, I limit it to that. Just this past week he noticed something I was doing that was causing me to tighten up and top using a club this never happened to before.  So after telling me to stop overthinking he explained what I need to do and just swing the way I know to do.  

We cannot adjust make significant adjustment while the club is I motion.  He keeps at me to swing with the knowledge I do very well and I need to recapture that knowledge in the full sequence.  He still will take the time to make sure to indicate what caused my shot to do what it did.  We do look at adjustment.  His goal is as much to practice so I believe in myself.

I do start with physical warmups to connect with my body.  I follow up with solid work with my Orange Whip@ and what I need to connect with to uptown speed and a solid plane.  Then I go through a warm up with my clubs and it is only here where I concentrate on specific spots.  Then I work on putting it together so I get out of my own way.  After each shot that was a bit off, I spend time doing a quick what happened, and go back to the swing as a whole.

My practice, despite details often found in my practice posts, is indeed both specific and working towards the whole, much as I did when I mastered my craft as a singer.  I leave it up to my coach to get specific.  IF THAT MAKES ME A STUPID MONKEY, SO BE IT.  I leave it up to @iacas and others to decide!

Edited by DrMJG

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I try to concentrate on the 'what' to do rather then the 'why' is something happening, I guess I try to be the stupid monkey. I've taken lessons from a number of different pros and some want to talk about why something is happening rather then what to do to stop it, not good. I found what helped me the most this year is your lesson under Swing Thoughts "How to Hit a Driver." There I just listened to the 'what' to do, no chance to ask 'why.' This got rid of my fade/slice, now I have a slight pull to work on but I'm much better. Can't wait till spring to see if I can lower my Index.

I know I have one issue. I think about what I have learned during my set up. But if I let a thought come into my head during my backswing I'm screwed! Things like is the ball teed to high, is it correct in my stance, the 'L's' in my arms at the top of my backswing, and on and on.... If I think about anything but keeping my head still and eye on the ball forget it, I'll screw it up. I guess I really need to be the stupid monkey during my swing.

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  • 1 year later...

Necroposting.... This was absolutely brilliant. 

Problem: the fats. Cause: not clearing the hips and getting the weight forward. Solution: go to the range, buy a jumbo bucket, drop alignment sticks down, set up normally and place the ball 4" forward of normal - club still center of stance. My coach was in between lessons and I asked a quick question about the drill and he gave it the thumbs up.

It took a few shots to get used to it. Thins, pulls, hooks.... but then after about 15 shots things clicked. And I just kept it up for the next 3 hrs. Going through each ball, checking takeaway position, practice swing, lining up the shot, stepping in, squaring shoulders, and making the shot. The ball flight was better, straighter, and went further. I even hit pitch shots better and could control distance. Amazing. Working on one thing for three hours. - the ball 4" in front of the club - weight forward. The same drill for three hours. I'll test the results on the course on Monday. If I have the fats again. I'll go back to the range and do the drill again and I'll keep working on it until the motion is a habit. 

So this must be what stupid monkey practice is like. I'll have to do this for a while before I earn the badge.

Julia

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