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That depends. If it's in a different area of their game, almost always. i.e. if the person wanted to work on their short game, but they were topping their driver, I might just go along with the s

This is an AMA type of thread, and you can ask me anything. I'd imagine most of the questions will be about golf, but, really, ask me anything. Some basic rules…

Yes, we train some, and are looking to do more, or at least introduce more PGM type students (or "current non-instructors considering such") to 5SK®/LSW®. The downside is that a lot

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17 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

How often do you get to play golf-and what do you try to do when you are out there?

Not anywhere near as often as I'd like, but at the same time, more than a lot of people in the golf industry. And then at the same time less, but that's more because of where I live. :-)

Sometimes I'm practicing. Sometimes I'm playing with @NatalieB or giving a playing lesson, in which case I'm really just out in a nice place occasionally whacking a ball but really I'm giving a lot more attention to the student or my kid (though with my kid I'm trying very hard to still "play golf" when I'm out with her, lately).

Sometimes @david_wedzik and I will get a few holes in. Sometimes we'll gamble. I've won the last several bets (each with partners) and the majority of our putting competitions lately. ;-)

I almost never get to just go play golf with friends. Partly that's due to how long it takes to play golf.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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23 hours ago, Lloyd Martinez said:

If you had a time machine and could go back in time, what (if anything) would you do different?

I generally don't like to look back. I do like to look forward, because the things I do now can change the future, but they cannot really do much to change the past.

Plus, I'm generally happy with where I am. I love my family, I love my work, and I love the people in my life. So, I wouldn't necessarily want to change anything, because changing some thing in the past would change some thing in the future.

So… yeah, I'm going to stick with that.

Do I wish I'd done some things differently? Of course. But that's part of learning to mature, learning to live, learning to love and partner and work.

Of course, if I could have won the first PowerBall by going back in time and knowing the numbers… of course I'd go back in time to do that. :-)

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On page 3 I read your comments why you drifted away from S&T. Thanks. It is very difficult for me to comprehened how fierce the USA golfmarket is. Not sure if I discribe that correctly. I am a fan but people should evolve and adjust. I do not know why S&T didn't adjust when other / better info was at hand. I certainly like your open comments.

 

2 questions if I may.

 

time is limited, so I play whenever I can. So I probably have a few swingfaults, hahaha. Should I balance it a little and take a few lessons and practise it? I try to go to the range every week and use 2 drills.

 

second question is about Leadbetter. I do not like much of the info. But could you give some more info why his info is so bad and ruïnes golfers, like Wie? Into so much about bashing, but he has a huge platform with Golfdigest and throwing his a swing to us.

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11 hours ago, taxgolf said:

2 questions if I may.

You're only supposed to get one, so I'll answer two but they'll be quicker answers.

11 hours ago, taxgolf said:

time is limited, so I play whenever I can. So I probably have a few swingfaults, hahaha. Should I balance it a little and take a few lessons and practise it? I try to go to the range every week and use 2 drills.

Playing frequently is fine… but if you're never practicing, that's not good.

You should find at least 10-15 minutes several times per week to practice. Even swinging slow-motion in a mirror can help. Swing in your living room. Do things while brushing your teeth.

Quality trumps quantity.

11 hours ago, taxgolf said:

second question is about Leadbetter. I do not like much of the info. But could you give some more info why his info is so bad and ruïnes golfers, like Wie? Into so much about bashing, but he has a huge platform with Golfdigest and throwing his a swing to us.

Tough to answer specifically, but… I think some folks like Leadbetter get into bad habits and age-old stuff that isn't right. I think they forget that golf is meant to be played, and that they don't often stop and re-assess what they're doing with their students frequently enough.

I asked a guy who I like quite a bit on the PGA Tour (an instructor, though more short game/putting) and he couldn't name 10 people he'd send PGA Tour players to. It's a fairly sad state of affairs.

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Is there a different approach to teaching someone who does not have as high of expectations - such as an older student learning golf late in life - as there would be to one who has the potential to become very good? 

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2 hours ago, JonMA1 said:

Is there a different approach to teaching someone who does not have as high of expectations - such as an older student learning golf late in life - as there would be to one who has the potential to become very good? 

Yes and no, but the latter not for the reasons that you might think. In fact, really, the answer is yes, but the answer to a similar but different question is no.

Yes, in that every student benefits most from learning what the priority piece is and fixing that. Through and through, that's the answer to giving the best golf lessons possible, to any level of player.

The answer to the other question is more subtle, though. The other question is "does every lesson ever get their priority piece right away?"

That answer is no. If you're making poor contact and slicing the ball, let's assume for the sake of this answer that improving contact is the best lesson they could get… but the student plays once a week, never practices, and hates hates hates his slice. Now, oftentimes we can kind of do both, but still we might focus for that particular student into helping eliminate his slice a bit earlier. He might not come back for another lesson (though we hope he does, and they often do if you can fix their problem(s)), but he'll be happier if you can fix his slice than if you get him hitting an only slightly smaller slice more often with better contact.

And for some better players, many of whom are a bit gun shy about making changes, because in their minds "my swing got me to a 3 handicap, so I don't want to change too much…" sometimes you make smaller changes at first so you can gain their trust a bit more. If they have a horrible swing and are only able to play to a 3 handicap because the play golf 30 hours a week and can get up and down from a trash can… they might have some big things to work on, but if you throw some big change at them in the first lesson, they might not come back so that you can get them where they want to go.

Also, other things like physical limitations, whether they have a big tournament coming up in two weeks, etc. all make a difference. We ask our students "why are you here today? What shot is causing you trouble?" fairly often. We don't always agree with their answers (the guy who slices but only hits one of five balls solidly might not get a slice lesson first, but we'll explain why, and that we'll fix his slice pretty quickly anyway, just not maybe day 1), but we always listen.

The beauty of 5 Simple Keys®, which we still use as the foundation for all of our full swing instruction, of course, and in which we're still training instructors, is that all five keys are measurable, yes, verifiable, yes, but most importantly achievable by all. Everyone can get better at each of the keys, so if you're 72 and looking to stop hooking the ball, we can help with that, because you can do a bit better job of the relevant keys.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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2 hours ago, Jakester23 said:

What is your favorite club or clubs (maybe irons) you've owned? And you can't say the Edel putter ;-).

That's a good question.

I don't know that I've had a favorite club (or set). I like a lot for what they have to offer. I really liked my TaylorMade RAC MB TPs, and have an unhit set of "smoke" versions.

I've tended to love my wedges (Edel now). And my original Ray Cook putter was really good to me.

They're just tools, though, at the end of the day. They've all hit good shots, and bad ones. Today I couldn't hit much solid, but I still hit a few great drivers, and a pair of good 6-irons… while mis-hitting a 5-iron or a 3-iron or a 9-iron.

So… I don't know that I have anything I'd call my "favorite." They're just tools. Do carpenters have a favorite hammer? Maybe… but then you'd be talking about the weight profile, the size of the head, the grip… things like that. Things that are basically the same from golf club to golf club (or can be made to be the same).

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23 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's a good question.

I don't know that I've had a favorite club (or set). I like a lot for what they have to offer. I really liked my TaylorMade RAC MB TPs, and have an unhit set of "smoke" versions.

I've tended to love my wedges (Edel now). And my original Ray Cook putter was really good to me.

They're just tools, though, at the end of the day. They've all hit good shots, and bad ones. Today I couldn't hit much solid, but I still hit a few great drivers, and a pair of good 6-irons… while mis-hitting a 5-iron or a 3-iron or a 9-iron.

So… I don't know that I have anything I'd call my "favorite." They're just tools. Do carpenters have a favorite hammer? Maybe… but then you'd be talking about the weight profile, the size of the head, the grip… things like that. Things that are basically the same from golf club to golf club (or can be made to be the same).

Being in construction I definitely agree with your point of view on size, grip,ect... I guess I figured you had a preference even if it was only based on looks. Thanks for the reply.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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1 hour ago, jsgolfer said:

There have been several threads about your first eagle, birdie, hole-in-one, do you remember the details of the first lesson you gave to someone?  

That's a good question.

Like many instructors I "broke in" by watching someone more experienced (@david_wedzik), but to his credit (and mine) I was never shy about jumping in to offer thoughts on how a student of his might feel something, or picture something, etc.

Then I progressed quickly to helping out in golf schools, where I'd often be left to help people without direct supervision.

Still, that's not quite "the first lesson" per se, but… I don't know what the first lesson I ever gave was. No clue. I do know that I tended to share too much information early on, and I quickly sought to quash that, because it benefits nobody, so I'm going to guess that I probably gave the student a very good piece of something to work on (it's not difficult if you have a good framework), but probably said too much or gave too many details about that piece and/or how it tied in to everything else.

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Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to read through all the questions, so I apologize if this has been touched on already. How would you or have you ever had to tell a student that they are at the limit of their ability? As in, that they won't be able to improve anymore for some reason. For example, a student tries and tries to get better, but no matter how well they follow all their instructions they never are able improve.

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4 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to read through all the questions, so I apologize if this has been touched on already. How would you or have you ever had to tell a student that they are at the limit of their ability? As in, that they won't be able to improve anymore for some reason. For example, a student tries and tries to get better, but no matter how well they follow all their instructions they never are able improve.

That's never happened, so I've never had to.

We have told golfers that, for example, perhaps the best they could ever hope for given their time and ability and possibly age or physical limitations, they might have a ceiling (or floor?) of a six handicap or so, etc.

But when we say that they're an 18 or a 21 or something, and they'll often say "I'd be thrilled to break 80 now and then, so that's just fine!"

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Whats the best way to practice on the course?  Lets say I go play alone so I can't enter my score. What should I do to get the most out of my practice round? 

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4 hours ago, Jakester23 said:

Whats the best way to practice on the course?  Lets say I go play alone so I can't enter my score. What should I do to get the most out of my practice round? 

Depends on what you're practicing.

Sometimes I just take an 8-iron out and work on my "piece" at the moment. Other times I'll hit second shots when I don't hit one great. Or I'll try different feelings, or lay sticks down to check alignment, or hit more pitch shots around the greens, etc.

There's really no one answer here. If you're working on your driver, hit three drivers and then just beat it toward the green and pick up… Whatever you're working on, work more on that thing.

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One of the more difficult shots for me is in a wet fairway.   It seems like I'm never getting my weight forward enough and hitting behind the ball.    I try to stand taller but I still either hit it thin or fat.

Suggestions?

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