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iacas

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iacas last won the day on December 16

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6,095 Legend of the Game

About iacas

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    LSW® Co-Author • 5SK® Director of Instructor Development
  • Birthday 03/23/1978

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    Erie, PA

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    Pro
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    Righty
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  1. Day 306 - December 16, 2018 - Some punch shot work to toy with the left wrist condition and demonstrate something for a student.
  2. Averages don't matter nearly as much as some of you might think. 64-80 is a pretty good estimate for the range on the PGA Tour.
  3. iacas

    Does Modern Golf Instruction Always Help?

    Cuz I don't see it as a waste of time, and because I enjoy talking about this stuff, thinking about this stuff, hearing other sides of the argument, and everything - golf is my passion, my life, my drive and purpose. It's my small way of making the world a little bit better place. Everyone's opinion has value, but that value depends on a lot of things…
  4. Yes it was. Man that's slow… you've gotta take the putter back pretty far for your uphill 40 footers on stimp 9 greens!
  5. iacas

    Does Modern Golf Instruction Always Help?

    Not really the topic for it, but group lessons can be good in that they lower the pressure, but the obvious "bad" parts are that the individuals don't get the same amount of attention as they would get individually. Adults often do them because they're cheaper, they can do them with friends, and they are less pressure. Kids often do them because they're good babysitting. That's not the point I was making at all. My point was that beginning golfers don't get to face a "beginner" opponent - the golf course and the equipment is pretty much pro-level right from the start. Beginners in cricket would not fare very well nor would they develop any good habits at all if they faced professional cricket bowlers right from the start, but unfortunately that's basically what happens in golf - they're given a golf ball, a driver, and a hole that's 4.25" away. About the only concession we make as "golf" is to sometimes tee them up 150 yards away instead of 450 yards away, but the actual act is still incredibly difficult, with virtually no margin for error. Cricket and virtually all other sports: Have a simpler motion with shorter implements at slower speeds. Have more margin for error. Are played against other human beings, who can make mistakes and who are, particularly when someone is starting out, often at about the same level. Golf: Has a complex motion with longer implements swung at higher speeds. Have virtually no margin for error. Is played right away to a 4.25" hole 150+ yards away. 🤦‍♂️ I think you've completely missed the context, not to mention the bit about meaning no offense. Being happy to shoot a 92 doesn't mean you're a bad person, your handicap is not a value judgment of any kind. Hell, half of my students probably started with me when they were at your level or worse. It's not a value judgment of any kind. But it does shed some light on your perspective here. It does lend weight to how strongly others might wish to weigh your opinions. Imagine if this was a court of law, and you were called to the stand as an expert witness. What insights could you offer into what it takes to play golf at a high level? Have you been a single digit golfer within the last 20 years? Ever? Have you been a 3, with a small but annoying miss, that required a few months to iron out? I don't know the answer to these things. I guessed at your age based on the year in your email address. For all I know you're 88 and you were married in 1967, and so shooting 92 right now is pretty good, but back in the day you maintained a +1 handicap. I don't know. That would certainly give a bit more weight to your opinion, wouldn't you agree? Think about how this looks from my perspective. You're a 22 handicapper, and I'm a +1 and a pretty good instructor. You're coming on to my site and telling me a bunch of stuff about what makes for a good lesson and how people get good at golf. Between the two of us, honestly, who might know more about these topics? And hey, maybe again I got the 51/22 stuff wrong. But if I did, tell me. Because, like in my golf lessons, I like to tailor whatever I'm saying to the audience, to the person I'm talking to. Admittedly here I'm talking to a few people, anyone who might read this, but I'm also trying to understand where you're coming from, and I'm talking at least a little more to you than the others who might read it. You want to know how someone else put it? That's how someone else put it. And your reaction to my questions above, which again, man I trademarked the phrase "Golf is Hard®" - it is, I get it… anyway, your reaction to that doesn't dissuade me from agreeing with my friend here. What are your qualifications for telling us what a "good lesson" is? What are your qualifications for telling us what it takes to be "good" at golf? That's not to say you need a sparkling résumé for each of those. If you've taken lessons at all, from anyone, you will have opinions on what makes for a good lesson and a bad lesson. And that feedback and those opinions are welcome; I welcome feedback from all corners, from anyone who has something to say, new or old, rich or poor, +6 to 36 handicap… etc. But understanding where you're coming from helps us to understand the context of your opinion. Imagine walking into an auto body shop having flipped through the pages of Car Mechanic magazine and telling the guys who worked there all about what's wrong with the auto body industry. Or talking to a bunch of Fortune 500 CEOs about how they should run their businesses because you took a few college business classes. If I'm right about the 51/22 stuff… maybe we're not that far off here.
  6. iacas

    Does Modern Golf Instruction Always Help?

    Doesn't mean that motion is much at all like a golf swing. Since you later admitted that "natural" was a poor choice of words, though, I'm letting all that stuff go, except to re-iterate that things like cricket, tennis, etc. are much, much simpler motions with much, much wider margins of error, with shorter implements. I've seen golf taught to beginners in much the same way. I teach a junior camp to pretty much beginners every year. Where are these teachers filling beginner's minds with "technical mumbo jumbo" like you keep saying? I feel you're creating a straw man here that doesn't often exist in the real world. Nor do we do this much in golf, for beginners. Again, where is this happening? The sports are also significantly easier, and since they're often playing against people their own age, their flaws are hidden. Golf doesn't do that - golf basically puts you against a top level opponent every time - the golf course. That's not accurate. I coached my daughter's softball team, and gave them instruction on hitting that yielded stellar results because one of the biggest flaws of girls softball is that they don't swing very well. They don't have speed, they don't use anything but their arms, they don't step into stuff and use their hips. My instruction didn't use video, but you keep pretending like people become 5 handicap golfers in a summer just by doing what's "natural" and they don't even necessarily become bad softball players doing what's "natural." What's "natural" to a lot of people, or what they "figure out on their own," is often really, really bad. Let me ask you. I think you're 51 years old, and you're a 22 handicap. I mean no offense here, because trust me as the guy who trademarked the phrase "Golf is Hard®," I know it to be quite true. But you've been playing for many years, I believe, and you're not that old, and you've had lessons… and a good day for you is shooting in the low 90s? That's not that good. You and I disagree, I think, at a pretty basic level on just what "good" is at this sport. I have no idea what beginner golf lessons you've seen that you think they often "immediately become technical." Straw man? And yet most people, given a year, still can't break 100 reliably. We are defining things very differently, man. People are not as good as you're thinking, or you have a very low bar for "good." People whiff when given a club, until they don't whiff anymore, but golf requires not only not whiffing, but hitting the ball in a very small area of a club swung properly and at faster than you drive your car. A club that, by the way, is longer than any other sporting implement that I can think of except a hockey stick… and players have a bottom hand that's much closer to the puck than their bottom hand is on a driver or even a 6-iron. Golf is hard.® Humans are "good" at it, but overall, they still kinda suck. That's not always possible OR best. That's why I feel like you're possibly a band-aid fan. Sometimes change is difficult, or foreign, or "weird," and takes more time than the 35 minutes you have in a lesson to work on that new pathway. This further solidifies in my opinion the idea that you're a band-aid fan. Obviously it's a guess, but it's an educated one. It's possible that some of the lessons where you got "worse" were actually good lessons, but you gave up on them and didn't put in the work. Not everything is fixable in 35 minutes - like the story I told at the beginning of my first post about the woman. And I'm of the opinion that grip changes are incredibly easy to make. You're not moving, you have all the time in the world to make them, and you just have to know how to put your hands on the club differently. I could make any grip change instantly, as soon as I understand it. You likely find them "difficult" because you give up on the instruction quickly, because after 35 minutes you're not hitting the ball very well. This is somewhat common. A guy has a ridiculously weak grip. It's palmy. He swings over the top and flips because if he doesn't, the ball goes way right. It still goes right, but at least with the over the top move and the flip, it starts a little to the left and then curves way right. Sometimes all this player needs is a grip change. Make the grip stronger, the clubface feels "shut" to the player, and he starts swinging out to the right. That doesn't always happen inside of 35 minutes. At first, that guy often hits some nasty little low pull-hooks. Then instinctively (but not correctly per ball flight laws), he starts swinging out to the right a bit more. Everything you keep saying further solidifies to me that you're a band-aid kinda guy. You want some tiny little thing, maybe even just "move your change into your left pocket" type stuff, that makes you better inside of 35 minutes, and that's a good lesson to you. But - and again, not demeaning at all, because the sport is damned difficult - you're a 22. So I don't know that you know what a good lesson is like, or how to be a good student, or a combination of both. And I think that John Jacobs would have used more technology had it been available to him. I don't think that made him all that "different," because there really wasn't much "golf instruction" as a profession back when he started it. There was nobody for him to be "different than." Sentences like that make no real sense to me. You have some image constructed in your mind, and I have an entirely different image in my mind. Tour players and all good golfers do five things well. We call them the 5 Simple Keys®. Every lesson on the full swing that I've ever given has been with the aim of getting that golfer to do one of those things (or multiple) better. Because those are the things all good golfers do. Including Tour players. My students often have five minutes per day, though, or 10. And my students get better, not always with band-aid fixes, but with real, good, prioritized "pieces." You're a band-aid guy. I'm pretty sure of it now. Not all "obvious swing faults" can be fixed in 35 minutes to the point where the golfer is "better" right then. You're creating a dichotomy when a spectrum is probably more truthful. You're setting this one up as the "bad" one (because of the words I left off), but who wouldn't want an instructor who has a system in place for improving their students? You want someone who has no system? No methods? That just randomly gives advice? Every good profession has systems and methods. Doctors don't just say "Oh, let's try this this time to fix this same heart condition we've seen a million times." No, they have a method. A system. Those are good things. The words I chopped off were "in quite a lot of detail," but again you're assuming that a lot of that detail is exposed to the student in every lesson. I rarely expose students to too many details, but you're damned sure I know them. No, I reject this entirely. There is no dichotomy here, and ultimately every golf lesson, every good lesson anyway, is about fixing the ball flight. You're a band-aid fan. That's fine. But it's very clear to me now. You want something "simple" that probably doesn't even involve changing your grip (one of the simplest changes anyone could make), and you want to be better almost immediately, even if that improvement doesn't last very long, and you return to shooting roughly the same scores you've always shot. Again, not saying that in a mean way in the slightest. I'm glad you're a golfer who enjoys the game… but I think you have a very limited perspective on golf instruction, and that's made pretty clear by your bottling of instruction into two boxes. Who f***ing "reconstructs the entire golf swing"? This is the problem with your limited perspective. You've created this straw man argument here, and have lumped in all sorts of things together, all with this underlying (mis)belief that if you're "technical" you automatically spew it all at your student and now, apparently, "reconstruct the entire golf swing," even - to go back a bit - if the student is a beginner in his first year of playing golf. C'mon man… So do I. So does Sean Foley. So does Chris Como. So do a ton of instructors who you'd automatically assume are "bad" because they understand technical things and/or use video or draw lines or have a GEARS system or use high-speed video or launch monitors or pressure plates or SAM PuttLab. No, I don't ask the student which way to go, because they're not the educated one in the equation, they're the student. It's on me to make the judgment call. If I did ask them, you'd just blame me with trying to throw too much mumbo jumbo at them. She's not in a position to make a good decision there… and some students don't want to or need to know the "why". They want the "what" and the "how." But I always, always have a "why." And that reason is never "because a Tour player does it" or "because it looks better." Yeah, and a lot of the "just hit the ball" mechanics are horrible for golf. Yes, we can pretty quickly learn to swing a club and hit a ball without whiffing every time. Those swings might not let most people break 200, though, because the goal of golf goes beyond "swing this stick and hit that ball." Golf is hard.® Band-aid instruction can make some people feel better about their games, and might even help them long term… but it's not how every lesson can or should go.
  7. iacas

    Anyone used the Orange Whip?

    Too heavy too. Trains you to swing slow.
  8. iacas

    Importance of Strike on Distance

    Why is that your assumption? Better players swing faster, and faster players are better players, generally speaking.
  9. iacas

    Animated GIFs

    Animated GIFs that we might like to use throughout the site…
  10. That's really, really low. Are you doing it right? It takes you over a second to go from one end to the other end, or middle to middle? Can you film yourself doing that and post it?
  11. You've only made five posts in this topic, my man. Day 305 - December 15, 2018 - Hit ten balls (errrr, 12 actually) focusing on going about 60% with my transition move (elbow/wrist). Felt I did it pretty well. Also hit a lot of punch shots and chips when working with my kiddos.
  12. iacas

    Shorter Rounds?

    I don't know the last public course I've been to that didn't have a nine-hole rate. Maybe some high-end place like Kiawah Island… and they probably have a nine-hole rate, too. But maybe not. Sounds like a deficiency in the UK, perhaps? But I could see a lot of courses there not having a nine-hole rate because a lot of UK courses go out and back in a big loop, without returning nines. I'm not saying the majority, but a lot of the earlier courses were like that, IIRC, so maybe it's not built into the "system" there to have a nine-hole rate.
  13. iacas

    Anyone used the Orange Whip?

    Not a big fan. I'm sure it's okay for some people, but overall, it's not great for speed because it's too heavy, and it's not great for tempo because someone like Nick Price would have had that thing going all over the place with his tempo, and yet, he was a great player. So, not a fan as it's not for everyone, and has plenty of potential downsides. If you use it to stretch out a little bit, okay. But that's about all I'd really like to use it for.
  14. iacas

    Does Modern Golf Instruction Always Help?

    I'm going to speak as an instructor, and one who is completely confident that for the vast majority of my students, I'm doing a damn good job. I'm not insecure, but I'm also not going to say I'm perfect, either. I'm sure I could do a better job with some students. But it's tough to say, and you never really know. A brief story. I had a woman this past summer who was swinging WAY over the top and left. Like… more than I'd almost ever seen. So I could have gone two ways with her, and I chose what I considered "Way A" - a tougher but ultimately more "correct" way. The rest of the lesson went poorly, I thought, but she was getting the motion down better and better, so I kept going with it. At the end, feeling as if maybe I should have gone with the "easier" but "less correct" "Way B," I told her I wanted to see her in two weeks and I'd give her a half price lesson. I told her I wanted her to keep trying to do what we'd worked on (it's still the right thing, but she was having trouble hitting the ball anywhere on the club face, the change was so big for her). Anyway, two weeks goes by, and I meet her on the lesson tee. She is very nervous. I'm thinking "oh, man, oh no." She says "I'm so nervous. I've been doing what you said… and I'm hitting the ball so well I can't even tell you. Better than ever in my life!" I watched her hit a few shots, recorded a few, and said "wow, that's great. Let's work on your chipping or short game or putting or something, what you're doing there is awesome." So sometimes the instructors don't even know if the lesson was "good" - sometimes in a span of 45 minutes it's impossible to suss out exactly how someone will best learn something, how someone is going to practice, etc. The woman above trusted me and was just making such a big change, she couldn't hit the ball even as poorly as she had before, but as she got even used to it over two weeks… she started hitting it great. The golf swing is a physical motion. Yes, your brain "controls" everything, including your "feels," but it's a physical motion. All golf swings are repetitive, and none are natural. Some people have better hand-eye coordination than others, some have more speed than others, some may have played more stick sports as a kid… whatever. But the golf swing is not at all a "natural" movement, and instructors who say that, honestly, I think they're just scamming you. Marketing to you. Conning you. Those two things don't have to be mutually exclusive at all. I use technology. Hell, I wrote Analyzr, video swing analysis software. I use video in nearly every lesson I give, always. I use SAM PuttLab. I use FlightScope. I use training aids, and I draw lines, and so on. But I see my job as finding that one biggest change, the "priority piece," for that golfer to work on. Tour players are still valid comparisons, not because you should have the same flexibility or speed as them, but because they do the 5 Simple Keys®, and can serve as a good demonstration to show you what should be different. The high-speed video is for me at first, you bet. I can see things with high-speed video that you cannot see with the naked eye. I don't always need it, and the more I teach, the more I know what I'm going to see on the video, but it's still helpful to see the degree. It's super-human vision, after all - who would turn that down? But after the initial analysis, and after me seeing it… the video and the lines are for the student. I produce pictures for the student with their feels, and show them how that changes their golf swing. Yes, it's in photos… but the photos remind them of what they're after, what their "priority piece" is and how to work on it. I don't like blanket statements, either, but almost always, if you're leaving a lesson without photos or notes or something like that, I'm likely to feel you've gotten a bad lesson. A band-aid. A quick fix. My job is to take what can be quite technical and boil it down. To know the ocean's worth of information, but to give the student (oftentimes) what amounts to a tablespoon. Some golfers can handle a cup or a gallon. Most are good with a tablespoon. Those two things don't have to go together. "Too technical" is a fault, sure, but an instructor can be "technical" himself without exposing that much "technical" stuff to the student. And not all "line drawing" guys are technical. Everyone is a feel player, after all: They fog the minds of everyone. You're not alone in that. Just three quick things there… Those sports are comparatively much easier than golf. They have more margin for error and are simpler overall motions. Nobody has to start out training golfers by "filling their heads with technical mumbo jumbo," either. I just finished teaching 16 juniors today. In my last group, I have four girls. One is working on feeling like her left shoulder slides backward (to her right) across a shelf, the second is feeling like her hands drop down from the top of the backswing, the third is making her backswing motion feel "smoother" (the way her hips and knees work), and the fourth is trying to point the club to the left at the top of her backswing. That's it. That's their "priority piece." There is a TON of technical mumbo jumbo known by high-end pitching instructors, soccer players, wide receiver coaches, hitting instructors, and so on. Despite the fact that those motions are orders of magnitude simpler with much wider margins of error than the golf swing. You're arguing against a straw man, of sorts. Golf is hard.® It's not soccer. I've played soccer at a reasonably high level (varsity as a freshman, on a traveling team through that same year, until I quit to play golf instead), and it's so, so, so much simpler. No, we don't. Most instructors are pretty bad. You shouldn't be, as strict adherence to that standard will lead you to value band-aid fixes over actual golf instruction. It depends on what you mean by "better at the end of it," but if you mean "hits better shots at the end" then I disagree on occasion. Like the woman in my story at the top - she ended up getting a great lesson, and was what she needed, and she was nearly whiffing at the end of her lesson. Some guy who has been coming over the top for 40 years and who plays to a 12 doing that has figured out how to make that "work" to some extent. Making a lasting change that might let him become an 8 handicap might not happen inside of 45 minutes - he might need to keep working at it. But if he got a good lesson, that golfer should know what he's working on, know why he's working on it, know how to work on it… etc. Then, honestly, it's up to the student to actually do it. Some priority pieces take a little time and effort. I challenge myself with every student to "change the picture" as quickly as possible. Often that means asking for some feeling to be exaggerated. Then the student can see the change, and can be excited about it. It shows them quickly that they CAN do something. Then it's up to them to actually do it. A hundred times. A thousand times. Whatever. The golf swing isn't natural, but the habits (good or bad) that people build up are natural, and often fixing those bad habits feels very unnatural for quite awhile. You might not be an actual "better golfer" at the end of that lesson, though. You keep adding in stuff like "technical mumbo jumbo." I know almost all the technical mumbo jumbo you could want… and some students like to know what "palmar flexion" is. Others just want to know "twist the grip" or "turn the door knob." Not necessarily. Particularly for a really bad and really ingrained habit. You said that in response to "No type of instruction always helps." I took that to mean that for some, a more technical lesson can work, while others benefit from being a bit less technical. For some, a certain feeling or drill will work, but it likely won't work for everyone. And that's true. You're a different person than every other one of my students, @Don Golfo. The lesson that works for you, even if someone else was given your same exact golf swing and thus had the same exact problem, may not work for that student at all. I might have to explain things completely differently, or come up with a completely different drill, or whatever. There is no one type of instruction that always helps. And you know what else? You can give a great lesson, and if the student doesn't practice… it can all be for naught. The student has a responsibility too. They can't expect to take a lesson and just be "fixed." Technology doesn't do that, no. The instructor chooses to do that. I gave a lesson on SAM PuttLab the other day where a student had a severe inward arc on the backswing, swung the putter out way to the right on the follow-through, and left the face open (or it'd feel like a snap hook). I could have taken that information and gone a ton of directions with it: Show him the graphs and charts and paths and numbers and explain what it all meant. Show him the picture of his putter head path and clubface at impact and explain how to fix it. Show him nothing, but tell him how to fix it. And all sorts of other hybrid or subtle variations. What I did with this student was basically the middle one - showed him the path, showed him how that was leading to a clubface too open, and then said "feel like you take it back with the face shut and on a straight line." (He didn't take it back straight, but it was much less inward). He did that and we looked at those two data points to see what had changed. Then, using the picture of his path and the face angle number as his guideposts, he messed around until he found the feelings that worked for him, within a very narrow, specific framework. Any of the three solutions (or variations) could have worked with all sorts of different students. Some might be interested in the more technical stuff, about how if the putter is on a certain plane and if your shoulders are on this plane, and you move this way, the arc should be 15° with the face staying square to that arc but opening to the target line… and others just want the simplest of simple things. Maybe, but not necessarily. If the student doesn't take his notes, his pictures, what he learned during the lesson, and go practice it properly, even though he knows why, how, and what… then whose fault is that? The student's. I can give a great lesson that the student completely understands, that he improves at during the lesson, and see the guy in a month and if he hasn't continued to work on it, to make it a habit… he can be exactly the same as he was, with no improvement.
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