Jump to content
IGNORED

Poor Instruction Is Very Common. Why?


Jack Watson
 Share

Note: This thread is 1498 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!

Recommended Posts

The golf swing is an athletic move that comes from your core muscles. It's almost like boxing. I would never have figured it out on my own. I don't doubt that some guys can figure it out by studying the physics. But I think the best way to teach it is as an athletic move. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • Moderator
3 hours ago, Apoc81 said:

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. 

There is a huge difference between understanding the golf swing and being able to teach yourself. If we take a look at the thousands (maybe millions) of golfers that have tried to teach themselves....the track record isn't very good ;-)

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

12 minutes ago, mvmac said:

There is a huge difference between understanding the golf swing and being able to teach yourself. If we take a look at the thousands (maybe millions) of golfers that have tried to teach themselves....the track record isn't very good ;-)

Absolutely. I understand what I need to do in order to hit a solid, accurate shot. There are many, many ways that can be accomplished and none of them are easy regardless of one's 'understanding' of the (a) golf swing. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I think most people of average coordination could get a low eighties score on say a benign course at less than 6400 yards with good help to ensure they are working on the right things and were motivated.

I think breaking into the seventies is maybe a bit beyond average coordination combined with working on good concepts good help etc.

I do have the view that the swing is simple,  the thing that's complex is how you do it,  or it can be.

The more you analyze the more complex it becomes.  Pretty much akin to almost any phenomena.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


As mentioned a few times, I think it's all about communication.

I need an instructor to describe a feeling in the golf swing. Others learn different and need tools like the goofy swing shirt or other contraptions.

I feel the first lesson should always be about setting up the best way to communicate with one another.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I took three lessons from a guy who spoke hardly a word of English.  We used one club per lesson.  He would make a couple passes and then hand me the club.  I'd make a couple passes and hand it back.  Sometimes he would interrupt, ask for the club, demonstrate what I was doing and what was different about what he was doing...and hand me the club back again.  They were three of the best lessons I've ever had.  We'd have had more; but he moved back to his home country.  The language barrier, as it turns out, is no barrier at all.  The only important thing is communication.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

4 minutes ago, Piz said:

I took three lessons from a guy who spoke hardly a word of English.  We used one club per lesson.  He would make a couple passes and then hand me the club.  I'd make a couple passes and hand it back.  Sometimes he would interrupt, ask for the club, demonstrate what I was doing and what was different about what he was doing...and hand me the club back again.  They were three of the best lessons I've ever had.  We'd have had more; but he moved back to his home country.  The language barrier, as it turns out, is no barrier at all.  The only important thing is communication.  

Sounds like a movie along the line of Karate Kid. And this guy sounds like the exception to the rule based on this thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


15 hours ago, mvmac said:

There is a huge difference between understanding the golf swing and being able to teach yourself. If we take a look at the thousands (maybe millions) of golfers that have tried to teach themselves....the track record isn't very good ;-)

 

15 hours ago, Vinsk said:

Absolutely. I understand what I need to do in order to hit a solid, accurate shot. There are many, many ways that can be accomplished and none of them are easy regardless of one's 'understanding' of the (a) golf swing. 

I agree with both posts. I'm not only one of those "millions", but could probably be the poster child.:-P

I will say that when discussing this stuff and using words like "easy" and "good", it's relative. In my world, shooting in the low teens is good. I think there are certainly many who are athletic and intuitive enough to get there without lessons, just as there are many of us who struggle to get to even bogey golf without lessons.

But as the target HI gets lower, there are fewer and fewer who have the ability to do it on their own.

As far as the swing being simple, I think it's similar. Most could probably learn a swing that is simple, gets the ball down the fairway straight enough to stay out of trouble, and can be easily repeated. They can learn how to putt and chip and play enjoyable golf. 

But teaching ourselves a powerful swing without any compensations, and having the ability to maintain that swing for years is likely very difficult to do alone.

At some point most of us start to get an idea of what's needed, how much we're willing to put in and what level of game or progress we can live with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

It's easy to become an instructor and the golf swing is very technical and difficult. There's a gap between the knowledge of the average pro and what's required to become a decent instructor. Even if you do have a great understanding of the golf swing and how it works, you need people skills to be able to properly teach a vast variety of individuals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I took some lessons from this one guy, who told me I had to drop everything I knew about the swing cause it was wrong, he said it would take me 3yrs to become a lot better. I agreed to work with him. 

I had a really hard time executing the moves because I didn't fully understand the mechanics. He moved away. Looking back now I know he was 100% correct. I wished I would have know more about the swing then, I would have progressed a lot faster.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


(edited)

The other thing is physical limitations.

Theres a lot I cannot do.  Not even in slow motion.  It's not that I don't know what I think would be ideal or what a pro tells me to try,  it's just that I can't do it even in slow motion without literally quivering with tension.

I can't do yoga and feel where the clubhead is in my swing at the same time.

 

Edited by Jack Watson
Link to comment
Share on other sites


While I do not doubt the value of quality instruction, I have mixed views. I will probably get a bit of flack on this, but for some, I think that they can accomplish good results on their own provided they follow basic concepts and more importantly recognize what they need to work on. (Obviously, here is where the benefit of quality instruction comes in play). The caveat is that most simply do not know what they need to work on or may employ the wrong solutions. 

I have never had a formal lesson, but I believe that I do have the ability to recognize and choose the techniques that apply to me. Also, I don't adopt every jot and tittle that I see or read, I believe that I intuitively know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Many will disagree and many would tell me that "But, you could be so much better with a qualified instructor."

Maybe so,. but for the present I am satisfied with my progress. I just need to play more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I've taken lesson's from a few different instructors over the last 12 years . Some were "Method " teachers - TGM  & Carl Lohren  to mention the ones I remember ... Honestly they were good instructors but way to methodical - imo 

A few in between were not very good and just spewed the same basic info to every student - It's a good idea to try to watch your instructor / pro work with a few different types of students and listen - see what they say - work on - if it's the same things  be a little concerned  as every body has a bit of their own DNA .  I know most beginners  have similar issues - OTT  being a very common one 

Every student will respond to the corrections in a different way so the lesson has to fit the student -  doing the same drill for every OTT   student will yield some results  but likely leave a few very frustrated folks 

The instructor I've worked with recently has been helping but not really finding the cause - just slapping some band aids .

He tries hard and spends xtra time with me but the bottom line is  WE are not fixing some of the issues 

It's hard to teach a complex motor skill without a well rounded knowledge of skill & most importantly the ability to Communicate  with many different types of students -

 I'm realizing that I am more visual - need to see - copy for my own - then associate a " feel" 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


To me, the biggest problem with most golf instruction is not the instructor, but the method that is generally and commonly used by instructors to teach a player.  Few instructors teach a swing, they teach swing parts.  They correct swing parts instead of teaching a full swing that eliminates the mistake before they happen.  It has shown up numerous times in this thread:  the golf swing is incredibly difficult and complex, the player needs to get to this position, your wrist has to pronate (or supinate), 60 % of your weight has to be on your back foot (or front foot), etc.  The current method treats symptoms instead of the underlying illness.     

 

When I was young, I did a lot of fishing with my father.  I learned to cast very effectively.  I could place the lure over a log, or next to a stump or...you get the idea.  I learned to cast overhand, side arm and underhand   Casting a fishing lure to a spot is not much different from hitting a golf shot.  The movements are just as complex.  But, we don't break the motion down into minutia like we do in golf.

 

In the days before high speed cameras and stop motion video, trackman, doppler radar, etc.,  Harvey Penik used a grass whip to teach a swing.  Ernest Jones and Manuel de la Torre used a ball on a string.  Players learned a swing, not positions.  Focus was on the target and swinging to the target, not on the ball and getting the club into the "correct" place at the top of the back swing.

 

A few current instructors teach a full swinging motion, but they are few and far between.  Jimmy Ballard, Shawn Clement, Golf Made Simple, are a few.

 

I'm sure I'll catch a lot of flack for my views.  Thinking differently requires one to break out of the current paradigm and look at what has worked for generations of golfers.  It also corresponds to the latest research on results oriented learning.  Hopefully the cycle of body part focus and positions in a swing is coming to an end.  But, I'm not holding my breath.      

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites


2 hours ago, Hacker James said:

While I do not doubt the value of quality instruction, I have mixed views. I will probably get a bit of flack on this, but for some, I think that they can accomplish good results on their own provided they follow basic concepts and more importantly recognize what they need to work on. (Obviously, here is where the benefit of quality instruction comes in play). The caveat is that most simply do not know what they need to work on or may employ the wrong solutions. 

I have never had a formal lesson, but I believe that I do have the ability to recognize and choose the techniques that apply to me. Also, I don't adopt every jot and tittle that I see or read, I believe that I intuitively know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. 

Many will disagree and many would tell me that "But, you could be so much better with a qualified instructor."

Maybe so,. but for the present I am satisfied with my progress. I just need to play more.

Playing and practicing more can help, but it can also work against your goals. Most people will get better by playing golf, but most will peak at some point and not get better no matter how much they play. There's no doubt practice and playing is a way to improve, but if you are doing the wrong stuff, doing it thousands of times can only ingrain the errors more, making it even harder to change.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's easier to teach a fairly new player a good golf swing than to correct the swing of a player that's been playing for 10+ years and has a handicap of 15-20. One reason it's difficult to make changes in a golf swing is that you've been doing things "wrong" for a very long time and it's what the body and muscles remember. It's not impossible, but it takes more effort while practicing and playing.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

IMO it's more a student problem than a instructor problem. Most golfers are so bad any improvement is low hanging fruit and that coupled with people wanting instant fixes and not being willing to put in the time they get half-assed instruction. I see people that do so much wrong one simple tip would make them better but the first time they hit a bad shot it's back to bad habits.

Expectation is the issue. They want drive-thru fixes that produce instant results and don't realize that at their skill level they are going to hit a bunch of bad shots no matter what. I've been a 5-8 handicap golfer for 4 years. On a good day I hit maybe a couple real good shots. Everything else is a half decent mishit. Bows my mind when I see a 20 handicap guy expecting to hit a bunch of great shots. It takes a lot of work to get there.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

2 hours ago, Dave2512 said:

 

Expectation is the issue. They want drive-thru fixes that produce instant results and don't realize that at their skill level they are going to hit a bunch of bad shots no matter what. I've been a 5-8 handicap golfer for 4 years. On a good day I hit maybe a couple real good shots. Everything else is a half decent mishit. Bows my mind when I see a 20 handicap guy expecting to hit a bunch of great shots. It takes a lot of work to get there.

 

That is probably true for the majority. I have no lofty expectations. Lately, I have been fairly consistent at scoring in the low eighties and am confident I will break that barrier very soon. I have my share of bad shots and poor decisions. I also am in the process of re-learning my club distances and that in of itself is not easy as it is hard to get over the stigma of what once was and is no more. It takes discipline to take out a lower lofted club on a 100 yard approach than one you have used all your golf life. It throws everything off across the board, but once you realize what the "new" distances are it becomes fun. My swing has become pretty consistent and more or less automatic save for specialty shots that are learned through experiences. An example would be that I now might use a putter from a lot further off the putting surface if the optics are right and the apron provides a good surface. I am talking about 10-12 feet or so when before it would be a wedge or toe down eight iron if I needed a lot of roll out.  I only have maybe 10 years of golf left in me and I have no delusions about breaking par, oh, I might do it once or twice but those would be exceptions not expectations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

  • iacas changed the title to Poor Instruction Is Very Common. Why?
Note: This thread is 1498 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!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    Whoop
    SuperSpeed
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • Day 9: Worked every club in the bag in my golf pit... emphasis on "feeling the lag, uncoil, and strike!" (60 min). Weekly plan: focus this week will be on irons, as I plan a return visit to Lake St. Clair Metropark. 
    • Old school names now there's a thought. Maybe some manufacturer might resurrect the idea. Its agreed the loft of say a TaylorMade is different to say that of Callaway etc so why not a name instead of a number. Irons I reckon you need a long, a medium, a short and a wedge for chipping. How nice and simple would that make the choices, then add in a driver and fairway wood or hybrid. How uncomplicated is that.
    • He is too fixated on 1 and 2 in the beginning.  After he fills out 1 's and 2's on the second row box, 3 goes in first box bottom left corner by kings move and by not have consecutive number. He is one track minded. that should be bottom right (sorry got my left/right mixed up) then 3 goes on far right second row of the middle box. and so forth
    • Oh, I totally agree. There can be 6-7 degrees of loft difference between 7 irons from different manufacturers, none of which bear any resemblance to the lofts of clubs that are older. Iron numbers are meaningless and obsolete. We might have an opportunity here though. How does this sound, “I pulled out my 29 degree mashie niblick.”? 😛
    • I am going to disagree with that. I've hit shots so far onto the toe before that I missed the grooves. The ball doesn't go 60 yards short. Maybe 30 yards. 1/4" an inch, the ball might come up 8-10 yards short with a blade, and about 2 yards shorter if that pending how much game improvement design there is.  Game improvement irons is all about ball speed retention, and most of their design lower spin and increase launch angle.  I agree with the feedback, you can miss 1/4" on a GI and not notice you did. On a blade, you'll notice. 
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Nevsteve
      Nevsteve
      (62 years old)
    2. Pab4141
      Pab4141
      (28 years old)
    3. rdpoffenberger
      rdpoffenberger
      (36 years old)
    4. Salem Golfer
      Salem Golfer
      (56 years old)
    5. stothemc
      stothemc
      (38 years old)

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...