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cutchemist42

Going for my 1st ever lesson Sunday, what to expect?

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So going for my first ever lesson Sunday morning. Going because I simply cant hit a driver, as evidenced by going through my rounds on GG if interested. 

My issues with the driver consist of:

  • massive straight pull
  • ocassional slice if I try to straighten it
  • Balls that I simply never even see off the hit, for these I assume they pulled so extremly they exited my eyesight once I looked up
  • Penalties upon penalties for the pulls and balls I simply never see.

I can play semi-average golf if I put away the driver. I also have a "My Swing" thread, but I haven't posted a swing for a while.

So anyways, decided to finally have a lesson as I cant figure it out on my own, despite trying to create different feels. I need another eye to hopefully point out something. After reading experiences on reddit/Winnipeg locally, Im going to an instructor called Andrew Steep here in the City.

http://www.andrewsteep.com/

 

Just wondering then what should I expect? Observation of my swing with various clubs first? What might he ask of me when I first come. Should I warm up before?

Im just really excited to be finally doing this, after wasting money trying to figure it out myself....

Edited by cutchemist42

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8 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

So going for my first ever lesson Sunday morning. Going because I simply cant hit a driver, as evidenced by going through my rounds on GG if interested. 

My issues with the driver consist of:

  • massive straight pull
  • ocassional slice if I try to straighten it
  • Balls that I simply never even see off the hit, for these I assume they pulled so extremly they exited my eyesight once I looked up
  • Penalties upon penalties for the pulls and balls I simply never see.

I can play semi-average golf if I put away the driver. I also have a "My Swing" thread, but I haven't posted a swing for a while.

So anyways, decided to finally have a lesson as I cant figure it out on my own, despite trying to create different feels. I need another eye to hopefully point out something. After reading experiences on reddit/Winnipeg locally, Im going to an instructor called Andrew Steep here in the City.

http://www.andrewsteep.com/

 

Just wondering then what should I expect? Observation of my swing with various clubs first? What might he ask of me when I first come. Should I warm up before?

Im just really excited to be finally doing this, after wasting money trying to figure it out myself....

I've gone to 3 different instructors in 3 years. First they'll ask you what you hope to accomplish by taking lessons. Next they'll have you hit 5-10 shots with an iron, and they'll just watch (or hopefully film). Sometimes  a it's an approach wedge, sometimes a 7 iron. First thing they'll fix is set-up. Next thing is they'll give you drills to introduce new feels, and hopefully correct any swing flaws. 

This will temporarily set your game back. Don't be discouraged. It takes me a couple of months after a series of lessons to fully incorporate the changes. Then your scores will start to drop again. 

 

 

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Congrats on a great decision w/the lesson.  Hope it really benefits you!  I just had my first instruction session in ~30 years (since I was a kiddo) w/the pro at our club.  So the experience is fresh.  @Kalnoky's experiences are right in line w/mine; I'd bet yours is similar.

Yep, I'd loosen up before-hand.  I went through my stretching routine and weighted-club swings at home to loosen up just in case, but I live 0.5 miles from my home club.  Pro was on the range with another student when I showed up on the range.  I had a bag of balls, but he acknowledged me and handed me another 1/2 bag to loosed up with before getting started.  I'd plan to arrive at the range 10-15 minutes early to get loose and hit a few.

They'll typically ask you about your goals, either in golf in general, or what you want to get from the instruction.  Go with a solid goal in mind and communicate it well, so you guys are on the same page re: expectations from the start.

Mine asked me my history with golf, how my game has been lately, and what my biggest strength and biggest weakness were.

He had me hit ~10 shots with my 7 iron.  Then, he went into ball flight laws & the physics behind the different flights & curve patterns.  I knew all this from here, but he didn't know that, so it's good to make sure the student has an understanding of what causes each shot type.  Then, he took some video (down the line, and face on) of me hitting a few more irons, and showed me, along with a couple of key points I needed to work on to meet my goal.

Hopefully, you'll leave without overload...just one or two key things to work on.  And they'll typically have you practice them for 2 weeks or more before coming back for a follow-up.  Trust those key points!  No matter the initial results!  Like me (and everyone else in our boat), you have long-ingrained flaws.  Changing them will require work and patience.  But the payoff is worth it.

Anecdotally, I was worried I'd be striping it during the lesson (or conversely, waaayy off my normal swing shanking it or something).  Indeed, I was striping baby draws within a small shot cone.  But it didn't fool him, and video proved that I simply was lucky, timing it right that day (pre-instruction, I fell very inside on my downswing, w/ball position too far back, and had to rely on perfect timing to hit a decent shot).  So, don't worry - no matter how you're hitting them that day relative to your normal day, your swing will be pretty much the same as it always is, and he/she'll be able to find your flaw and get you on the right track.

Edited by BamaWade

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It depends on the instructor. If you don't know him or her, I'd be there early, stretch/warm up a little before your scheduled time if possible, and be prepared to concisely and specifically answer 'what do you want to accomplish?' Let the pro ask questions and structure how you go about the lesson, he/she knows how to effectively teach.

And there's a big difference in what you can expect from one lesson vs several. What the pro tries to impart will greatly depend on whether you just want one lesson with no further commitment or several (many pros offer a discount when you pay for 4-6 lessons up front - though you can make that decision after your first or a later lesson of course). My swing had 'too many moving parts' and the pro is changing my swing systematically in pieces that I can more easily digest. I am sure I'd be lost if he tried to change everything in one lesson. So I have signed up for 4, about 2-3 weeks apart, and I'll continue with him regularly next Spring (our season is almost over).

The pro I've been working with not only diagnoses using his smartphone camera showing me my swing and what he's trying to correct, but he always gives me some drills to help me practice after the lesson to help me incorporate the changes. The drills have been invaluable to me.

My HI has dropped from a high of 20 to 13 since I've been taking lessons and really working toward the changes he has suggested. I know it takes time to change swing habits, so you have to be patient and keep at it - it takes time in my experience. You might even get worse for a little while before you get better.

I've had bad lessons with other pros, but lessons with a good pro are the best thing you can do to improve in my experience. Self diagnoses is hopeless for me (I've tried) and watching videos, reading articles, listening to what you buddies suggest can do (much more) harm than good - it can send you on wild goose chases.

Edited by Midpack

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Thanks guys for the comments....right now this might be the only lesson for a while. Not because I expect a cure in 1 lesson, but rather our golf season might be over in 3-4 weeks. I will likely tell him this is something I want to come back to in the Spring before the season starts.

I'll be posting a follow-up after in-case anyone would like to read about my experience.

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8 hours ago, Kalnoky said:

This will temporarily set your game back. Don't be discouraged. It takes me a couple of months after a series of lessons to fully incorporate the changes. Then your scores will start to drop again. 

Eek. I hope not.

As you can see, I am not a believer in the "you must get worse before you get better" line of thinking for lessons.


You should check out evolvr for work over the winter, if you have anywhere you can swing and film.

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As others have said, you''ll probably be hitting a lot of shots with short irons .  with awkward changes to grip,posture, that kind of thing. 

I'll be surprised if he let's you swing your driver unless your iron game is really competent and you don't have swing flaws. A very good chance it'll make you a better player, but early lessons  might not be fun. At least that's been my experience and that of everybody I know who have taken lessons.

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If you specifically tell him that you want to work on the driver and you don’t spend a good chunk of the time working on the driver, I would seriously consider finding a new instructor.

When I have someone for one lesson I almost always work on what they wish to work on. When I have someone for a series I tend to more actively shape the content of each lesson.

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I would expect:

-Slow motion video  
-Identification of a priority piece

Only had one lesson, but it was great. It's nice to have help, and know you are working on something productive rather than just tinkering with random stuff.

Probably wouldn't hurt to show up early and hit a few balls so you're loosened up/relaxed.

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

If you specifically tell him that you want to work on the driver and you don’t spend a good chunk of the time working on the driver, I would seriously consider finding a new instructor.

When I have someone for one lesson I almost always work on what they wish to work on. When I have someone for a series I tend to more actively shape the content of each lesson.

Off topic, but I hope maybe you can start a thread or post something about what makes a good student.  I've had lessons from two different teachers, the first I got nothing out of, and the second I made some little progress after ten lessons.   I seem to make more progress teaching myself.   But I wonder if I'm just a bad student- not asking enough questions, too eager to please, acting like I got it when I didn't really get it.   In another month or so, when it is a lot cooler down here, I'm going to engage yet another pro, a guy with a pretty good reputation, and I would really like to know, how to be a better student.

I'm thinking, there are two parties to this teaching transaction, and if I'm not getting enough out of it, maybe it's not him.  Maybe it's me. 

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I think asking a swing instructor to fix one club for you is kind of a waste of both your times. You'll get more out of the lesson if you allow him or her to access your swing from top to bottom. Then return for fine tuning.  But If you're having only intending on having one lesson, i guess see what he says about just working on driver.

Warm up, yes. Let him see the swing at its most flexible. 

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

If you specifically tell him that you want to work on the driver and you don’t spend a good chunk of the time working on the driver, I would seriously consider finding a new instructor.

When I have someone for one lesson I almost always work on what they wish to work on. When I have someone for a series I tend to more actively shape the content of each lesson.

Follow-up question....is this because working on your driver swing would translate anyway to your iron swing? (I say driver because I intend to tell him my driver produces too many penalties/pulls/balls I simply dont see off impact because they got so pulled)

 

Edited by cutchemist42

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11 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

Follow-up question....is this because working on your driver swing would translate anyway to your iron swing? (I say driver because I intend to tell him my driver produces too many penalties/pulls/balls I simply dont see off impact because they got so pulled)

 

you swing slightly upwards with a driver if you're properly set up with it, but generally the swing with all of your clubs should be the same. Dont discount equipment related issues (shaft flex, lie angle etc) but if you're hitting the ball crooked with your driver, it probably not isolated issue with only that club.  Allow the instructor to critique your swing in general. Even if he puts a wedge in your hand. 

Edited by Groucho Valentine

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53 minutes ago, cutchemist42 said:

Follow-up question....is this because working on your driver swing would translate anyway to your iron swing? (I say driver because I intend to tell him my driver produces too many penalties/pulls/balls I simply dont see off impact because they got so pulled)

 

I don't think it does. I mean they say it's the same swing.. maybe on paper it is. If I was an engineer I would say it's the same mechanics. It looks the same on film. But learning to hit the driver screwed up my irons for a couple of months, I'm just now getting it back (7 GIR yesterday YES!). The driver is such a long and lightweight club, nothing else in the bag feels like it. At least that's my novice opinion. 

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2 hours ago, cutchemist42 said:

Follow-up question....is this because working on your driver swing would translate anyway to your iron swing? (I say driver because I intend to tell him my driver produces too many penalties/pulls/balls I simply dont see off impact because they got so pulled)

It may.

I'm assuming the driver is the biggest issue right now, and not just by a little.

If I have a student who is coming for > 1 lesson, I take a slightly different approach. I'll work more often with an iron swing, because many of the same issues are present across the board.

But if they're just coming once? I have to show them that I can help them get better with their biggest weakness. And so sometimes that means "yeah, you probably do that with your irons, but since it's magnified even more with the driver, let's work with that."

It's not always a pure "golf" decision. Sometimes it's a business decision. If you've got someone coming for eight lessons, you can work up a longer-term plan, and if the driver still isn't fixed you can address it in a later lesson, and the student is more comfortable with that too. If you have one shot, you've got one chance to leave the student feeling happy at the end of the lesson. Your priorities change a little, as does the student's - he's not looking for a long-term ten-shot improvement, he wants to save two or three shots by not hitting a huge slice 14 times a round.

2 hours ago, Groucho Valentine said:

You swing slightly upwards with a driver if you're properly set up with it, but generally the swing with all of your clubs should be the same.

Depending on what you mean by "generally." The driver and iron swings can be fairly different. There's less importance on getting your weight forward when the ball is teed up, you can swing faster, many pros play a different shape with the driver than irons, etc. It's a similar but different swing… depending on how picky you want to be about calling something the same or different.

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Well sadly it was forecasted for hard rain on Sunday so we cancelled Saturday afternoon. The rain came as predicted, so we re-scheduled for this Saturday. Hope the weather cooperates this time...

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Well guys, I went to the lesson and loved it!! I'll try to post this in quick point form instead of doing an essay.

  • Was at Southwood here in Winnipeg, which was easily the nicest practise area I've ever seen. Found out they sell memberships just for it which would be tempting if I lived closer...
  • Just as a reminder, I had an extreme pull with my driver, that also slightly showed up with my 3wood. Think other fairway for how much of a pull it was.
  • Warmed up for about 20 mins before, this was for a 40 min lesson
  • We spent 5ish mins talking about my game, and what I thought was the main problem. I told him I basically have no aspirations of ever being scratch, I just want to play bogey golf and not lose balls from the tee.
  • Hit my 7iron, after 3 swings he complimented me of putting my swing together without a prior lesson. He said he actually liked what he saw at that moment, said the clubhead speed and ball flight looked nice. He was filming for a bit but put it away after only a few swings.
  • Went to 3-hybrid.....hit maybe 6 times. He liked it once again, but I did produce 1 of the extreme pulls. I told him I felt that was my miss.
  • After that, did 3-wood, produced another pull with maybe 5 good shots.
  • He asked me to hit again, and tell him where I felt hand/body pressure. I told him I hold tight with my left hand (Im righthand) and that It felt like the right hand was along for the ride.
  • He had me show driver hits, produced 3 straight balls, and we went straight back to 3-wood.
  • He then went into explanation.....he thought I was hitting with a lot of anxiety with the driver, and that my tempo with the driver was noticeably different than my other clubs.  He said I didnt finish my backswingg with the driver.
  • Had me hit 3wood thinking of hitting with my right hand and right side of body, anf fully finishing my backswing. Once he saw what he liked, we went back to driver.
  • Immediately, my drivers were going completly straight, past the 250 marker, ball after ball after ball. I just couldnt believe it.
  • This only took 20 mins, and he said this was one of his easiest fixes ever. He thought I came in with a good overall swing, that simply wasnt being reproduced with the driver. He said if it ever goes bad again, just know your problem is tempo and that I can fix it myself, just rid myself of the anxiety. Its why he said he stopped filming my swing, as he liked my positions. He just disliked my driver tempo, and that it slightly showed up with the 3wood/3hybrid. 
  • We spent another 10 mins just chatting overall about other things.
  • I told him I loved the experience, and just wish I did it sooner in the Summer.

Went golfing today before it started raining and I was afraid of fully swinging as I was soaked.....1st dry driver I hit was straight on the fairway for 270. It worked, and Im so happy.

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