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Hit the Nail on the Head

“If all you have is a persuasive hammer, every problem will look like a subservient nail. When you respect individual nails only then can you select your hammer!”

I’ve recently become concerned that the trend in modern day and especially online coaching has become so obsessed with aesthetics and not paying enough attention to function.

Maybe I’m painting a picture with a very broad brush, as without doubt, many online and method teachers have helped some players to great success with their ‘swing of the day However, by going the “what it looks like” way, others could go down a path, (excuse the pun) of irreparable damage.

Look at Matt Wolff’s unique swing: Lifting the left heel, crossing the line at the top, etc. He can definitely play, but the problem would be if someone tried to change that because it “looked odd.” Any teacher worth his weight would not change a swing simply because it looked odd especially if it was good at impact. I learned this from a great coach and truly believe…it matters not what the swing looks like if it is producing great impact.

I’m not objecting exclusively to those method teachers who feel a certain prescriptive pattern of motions is the one true way to get to solid impact. I just feel that some of the instruction online and on YouTube video tips, etc. is not the measure of a teacher. Many of them recognised names, who I’m sure, are great teachers. However, wouldn’t you prefer to see them teach as opposed to hearing them speak about a teaching philosophy or theory of movement and trying to get everyone to do just that?

Even worse is the ones who would have you believe that a players struggle is something that can be corrected in “two seconds” WOW! Nothing can be corrected that quickly, simply because the player has likely fallen into that swing flaw over time, and it will definitely take time to correct.

The other big thing, in my opinion, is the disconnection between theory and application related to one method fits all golf instruction. It’s easy to learn tons of prescribed theory then use it to try and help someone online, who has sent you a poorly shot video of their swing and believes you’re going to use witchcraft to make it OK. However, the difficult thing, without the correct Launch monitor data, (video cannot measure impact, true path, face-to-path relationship, centeredness of strike, angle of attack, club speed, ball speed, launch etc.) is to use that information wisely and target the correct areas where the student will benefit in tangible improvements to his or her game.

Comparing video with Quad is unfair I know, because the two systems serve different functions. Thus, if the real help you want is better ball strike/flight, which of course only results from better impact, then you’ll need both a video of the overall motion and a measure of impact. Whilst the proliferation of do-it-yourself online coaching tech, like swing recording apps and, for the more affluent, launch monitors, may lead you to conclude that you might be better off doing this alone, don’t be fooled as even the best swing monitoring technology is no match for the expertise of a real-life coach (Biased I Know).

In summary… If you’re serious about sorting those flaws in your game, find a great coach, who you can trust will work with what is best for you and not the ‘new tour pro’ fashionable “swing of the day” which most of us, for many different reasons, couldn’t do anyway!



2020-04-18T11:28:28+00:00April 18th, 2020|