About The Golf Lesson
Golfers take lessons but rarely get better. Here, and on some of my other pages, are some thoughts as to why that happens.
What your instructor teaches is obviously very important. The question is: is what they teach right for you? Before you even start a lesson, you need to know what type of swing your instructor teaches and whether that swing is compatible with how you swing. There are a number of swing styles a golfer can learn and most golfers should be learning the style closest to their existing swing to minimize swing changes. For those who want to get considerably better, changing swing type might be necessary.
Unfortunately, the typical instructor doesn't teach a swing type. Instead, it's usually a hodgepodge of swing concepts that belong to varied swing types—what I call a Frankenstein swing! Obviously, there are potential problems with this and how it relates to a golfer's ability to improve. For more on this, see Golf Swing Fundamentals.
Here are some thoughts about the actual lesson:
1) Watch out for band-aid instruction—it's not going to make you better, but it's the most common type of instruction you'll find! I discuss band-aid instruction issues here: Band-aid Golf Instruction.
2) Proof—a thorough explanation of any covered swing technique during a lesson should not be just for the purpose of teaching. You should use that information to evaluate its validity. Not all Golf Professionals are good instructors, so don't try to learn something just because an instructor tells you to. They need to be able to explain why you should do it and it should make sense.
3) Video—the video camera can be a good tool for golf instructors, if they know how to use it, but its real value is when the golfer uses it during practice to see how their swing is progressing. The most important issue with video is that anything viewed on a TV screen is two dimensional, which means the viewer is missing the real picture of what's happening in a three dimensional golf swing. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but it can be huge because it is very easy to misinterpret what is being seen!
Have you been programmed to think you have to have video in a lesson? Golfers aren't any better now than they were decades ago, back before video was used. The average handicap is pretty much the same! Almost every instructor uses video, so if video was that helpful, don't you think golfers would be better now?
4) Still photographs—photographs can be just as beneficial, but also just as misleading, as video because they are also two dimensional.
Casey Eberting Golf Instruction
Tulsa / Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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