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Poor Instruction Is Very Common. Why?


Jack Watson
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4 hours ago, Slowcelica said:

I'd add to your list for a good lesson, unless the proper piece covers it, teaching the correct things. For example bad instruction would be keeping your trail knee bent in the backswing.

Yeah, I thought about that, and thought that "the right piece" covered it, but I can see how that can be wrong.

Let's say someone is fighting a slice. Maybe that's the actual right "piece" to fix at the time. But it would be wrong to fix it (maybe) by trying to roll the forearms over each other. It might be right to fix it by changing the path, etc. So those are two different things: the right diagnosis and the right fix.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
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I wish I knew how to find an instructor who could help me improve. I had two sessions with the local pro. First lesson she made several changes to my setup. I made the changes she suggested whether playing or practicing but it didn't help. After two weeks I took another session, assuming she would get into the dynamics of my swing - she reinforced the setup changes again. I'm still doing what she suggested, it's been 8 weeks and I am not hitting any better at all. Again, I'd happily pay an instructor to identify what I need to work on. And I'd be happy to do the work to improve, I'm just spinning my wheels...

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One story from just today I heard about a playing partners brother who decided to seek out a local pro.

He took several lessons from this guy and asked him a question during his last.  Apparently the pro told him that he would not share that information until further down the line.  Now,  the student is an engineer,  highly successful nice guy.  He said in his opinion the pro willfully held out on him.  He thinks that pros m.o.  Is getting repeat business by not revealing key points until they are purchased.  I was not there but I know what I am hearing is true.

Wth?  

Pro lost a student.

This happened a couple weeks back and the brother says nothing the pro tried to get him to do helped and on a golf trip recently he went back to what Tom Watson said on an instructional DVD and was able to salvage the trip after having a tough first day and a half.  Now the brother thinks instruction is a racket which is very sad.

Good teachers are hard to find in this game.  

The thing is doing it yourself isn't much of a better option.  Probably far worse because if you do that,  your errors will cause your improvement time frame to be stupid long.  I like to think I have reached a basic understanding of the swing and it's taken me an inordinate amount of time and without enlisting professional help I wouldn't be where I am now which is basically just somewhat above average.  My best improvement in knowledge and execution came from befriending one hell of a nice guy who also played some on tour and took me under his wing.  Doing it yourself in golf is really really unrealistic and tbh I wish I had never gotten sucked into it the way I did.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

He took several lessons from this guy and asked him a question during his last.  Apparently the pro told him that he would not share that information until further down the line.  Now,  the student is an engineer,  highly successful nice guy.  He said in his opinion the pro willfully held out on him.  He thinks that pros m.o.  Is getting repeat business by not revealing key points until they are purchased.  I was not there but I know what I am hearing is true.

Wth?

Sometimes, that's for the benefit of the student. If it's not something the student should worry about at the moment, then giving that information serves no point. It can only confuse, really.

In situations like that, though, I try to make it clear that the reason is as I stated above. That I am still looking out for them.

24 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

This happened a couple weeks back and the brother says nothing the pro tried to get him to do helped and on a golf trip recently he went back to what Tom Watson said on an instructional DVD and was able to salvage the trip after having a tough first day and a half.  Now the brother thinks instruction is a racket which is very sad.

Good teachers are hard to find in this game.

Bad teachers hurt the business of good instructors.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/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 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

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(edited)
7 minutes ago, iacas said:

Sometimes, that's for the benefit of the student. If it's not something the student should worry about at the moment, then giving that information serves no point. It can only confuse, really.

In situations like that, though, I try to make it clear that the reason is as I stated above. That I am still looking out for them.

I almost said something about that in my post!  I asked about that and if that were the reason it was not made clear.  Totally agree.

As an aside,  I am starting to think maybe it's true that many 'instructors' really do lack some understanding.  Before the thread my opinion was opposite that.

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4 hours ago, Midpack said:

Again, I'd happily pay an instructor to identify what I need to work on. And I'd be happy to do the work to improve, I'm just spinning my wheels...

Check these guys out

http://evolvr.thegolfevolution.com/

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24 minutes ago, mvmac said:

The thing I don't get about evolver is the slowness of the feedback loop. If you give some advice, and the student doesn't execute it right between videos, that seems counter productive. With live it's instantaneous to say "not like that, like this".

 

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26 minutes ago, gregsandiego said:

The thing I don't get about evolver is the slowness of the feedback loop. If you give some advice, and the student doesn't execute it right between videos, that seems counter productive. With live it's instantaneous to say "not like that, like this".

Yes, it can be a little slower in that regard, but that's just the nature of non-live lessons.  And it's more than made up for in other areas.  Namely, the quality of the instruction and the price of said instruction.

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4 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

Yes, it can be a little slower in that regard, but that's just the nature of non-live lessons.  And it's more than made up for in other areas.  Namely, the quality of the instruction and the price of said instruction.

In addition, I can review my lesson a number of times and keep it on file. Sometimes I go back a ways and review old lessons to refresh my memory. With live instruction, you can't do that. Now certainly there is a benefit to live lessons. And frankly, if Stephan or Erik were close by, I would spend live time with them. But Evolvr works great for busy folks who are cost conscious and want excellent instruction.

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On 7/17/2017 at 6:27 PM, iacas said:

 

I disagree. Club fitting can lose a pro money if they're not really, really dedicated to it. A lot of equipment companies require you to carry enough stock on hand that you may never sell, they lease for a cost the carts to you sometimes, etc.

Most golfers aren't looking to get fit, and a golf instructor who is also a fitter risks being a "jack of all trades, master of none."

A better approach is to build a team of qualified people - a nutritionist, a fitness expert, a club fitter, etc. - and to be just smart enough to know when to reach out to them, and to let them be the experts in their fields while you focus on being the expert in yours.

I think you'd find that they change a bit less than you might imagine. Tempo and swing speed (for shafts) doesn't change much. Real change takes a long time… and people often buy new clubs after a few years, too. It's not like you get fit to your "current swing" and then need new clubs in eight months. Doesn't happen very often.

 

Fair enough points, here.   My thoughts were simply that there is so much money in golf, it sucks that good instructors (the people that potentially have the ability to make the game more enjoyable for everyone) are struggling to make a good living, sometimes.   Also, I would trust a good instructor to fit my clubs, and help me identify the right clubs for me, than I would everyone else.   It just seems that there should be a way they could use that knowledge and skill as a strong revenue stream.  

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10 hours ago, lastings said:

Fair enough points, here.   My thoughts were simply that there is so much money in golf, it sucks that good instructors (the people that potentially have the ability to make the game more enjoyable for everyone) are struggling to make a good living, sometimes.   Also, I would trust a good instructor to fit my clubs, and help me identify the right clubs for me, than I would everyone else.   It just seems that there should be a way they could use that knowledge and skill as a strong revenue stream.  

They can… but like I said, then my argument would be that they might not be the best instructor they could be. They'd be spending a good chunk of their time on the club fitting stuff. Jack of all, master of none… Yeah.

Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instructor Development, 5 Simple Keys®/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 • Penn-State Behrend Head Coach • • • • • • • • • • :aimpoint: :edel: :true_linkswear:

Check Out: New Topics | TST Blog | Golf Terms | Instructional Content | Analyzr | 5SK.com | LSW | Instructional Droplets

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On 7/18/2017 at 8:58 PM, Jack Watson said:

Doing it yourself in golf is really really unrealistic and tbh I wish I had never gotten sucked into it the way I did.

Yeah, I do think some people with enormous talent are able to watch videos and make excellent progress, but pretty tough for regular people. I was duped by a popular YouTube instructor. Watched a lot of his vids and got a chance to take a live lesson with him here in Florida. It  Was a complete waste of time and money.

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On 7/18/2017 at 10:16 PM, gregsandiego said:

The thing I don't get about evolver is the slowness of the feedback loop. If you give some advice, and the student doesn't execute it right between videos, that seems counter productive. With live it's instantaneous to say "not like that, like this".

It's $49 a month for 4 uploads from instructors that know their stuff, I think the delay is a fair compromise.

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On ‎7‎/‎18‎/‎2017 at 11:16 PM, gregsandiego said:

The thing I don't get about evolver is the slowness of the feedback loop. If you give some advice, and the student doesn't execute it right between videos, that seems counter productive. With live it's instantaneous to say "not like that, like this".

 

If you commit to filming your swing while you practice, that makes it a lot better. For example, when I'm looking for a new feel to match what I should be working on, I will video the swing resulting from the feel to find the right one. And then I'll film a couple of times a range session to see that looks okay. It just requires a bit more commitment.

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10 hours ago, mvmac said:

It's $49 a month for 4 uploads from instructors that know their stuff, I think the delay is a fair compromise.

For me, in periods where I practice regularly, the delay is a benefit.  Sometimes it means I am forced to take it easier for a few days, which is important.  Other times it moves more focus to the short game and putting and lets those aspects get their combined third of my practice time.

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I've notiuced, as someone with a strong background in physics, that poor instructors just don't understand the physics of the game (and yes, there is a lot involved, weather they see it or not). Hell, the first instructor I tried when I started to take the game seriously didn't even understand Gear Effect. It didn't take me long to move on. A good coach is going to alter your swing so you are hitting the center of the clubface, while keeping the face perpendicular to your line. A bad instructor is going to to try to teach you what he thinks is the perfect swing, with no actual education behind it. 

 

I've done a lot of my own physics experiments with my swing (and am lucky enough to be able to afford top tier equipment, like my own GC2+HMT & Trackman), and one thing i've learned is that the ball only does what you make it do. The bad shots are because you don't have the physics of the game down. There is no perfect swing (except maybe Iron Byron). The best pga players often have strange, unorthadox swings. 

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35 minutes ago, Apoc81 said:

I've notiuced, as someone with a strong background in physics, that poor instructors just don't understand the physics of the game (and yes, there is a lot involved, weather they see it or not). Hell, the first instructor I tried when I started to take the game seriously didn't even understand Gear Effect. It didn't take me long to move on. A good coach is going to alter your swing so you are hitting the center of the clubface, while keeping the face perpendicular to your line. A bad instructor is going to to try to teach you what he thinks is the perfect swing, with no actual education behind it. 

 

I've done a lot of my own physics experiments with my swing (and am lucky enough to be able to afford top tier equipment, like my own GC2+HMT & Trackman), and one thing i've learned is that the ball only does what you make it do. The bad shots are because you don't have the physics of the game down. There is no perfect swing (except maybe Iron Byron). The best pga players often have strange, unorthadox swings. 

I'm sure you understand the physics better than most but I so what. Golf really isn't a physics problem we can solve on paper.

1st order physics: hit he ball with a fast and straight club face in the sweet spot. 

Next problem - how can we do that repeatedly?

 

I use old Taylor Made clubs from eBay and golf shops.

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11 hours ago, gregsandiego said:

I'm sure you understand the physics better than most but I so what. Golf really isn't a physics problem we can solve on paper.

1st order physics: hit he ball with a fast and straight club face in the sweet spot. 

Next problem - how can we do that repeatedly?

 

Physics isn't just demonstrated on paper. It also isn't "hit he ball with a fast and straight club face in the sweet spot."  The body and it's movements follow the laws of physics as well. The clubface, impact, follow through, you can test all of it and create a very repeating swing.  There's obviously geometry in there as well, but if you are in good physical shape, you should have no trouble creating a repeating swing through muscle memory (and video), as long as you understand each component of it. I'm no pro, I would never try to give lessons, but that doesn't change the fact that the swing is simple, and if you understand it, you could most certainly teach yourself. 

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  • iacas changed the title to Poor Instruction Is Very Common. Why?
Note: This thread is 1933 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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