Can lessons be a waste of time?

Swango1980

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Jul 22, 2019
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The main problem with lessons is that teachers simply dont know what the essentials are to make a good swing. So they teach cosmetics, or what is visible in the swings of some good golfers according to the fashion of the moment, and hope that the pupil improves. Most are utterly ignorant of science and physics, and speak the most appalling technically incorrect rubbish.
So it is pot luck. Their random fiddle with your swing, of promted tips and urgings to change your action, are little better than making a few moves on a rubiks cube while blind folded - in theory the pieces could all move into place to solve the puzzle, but the chances are overwhelmingly that the result is just a different version of mess.
Let me get this correct. You are telling us golf professionals, who do this for a living and got all the qualifications on how to swing a golf club, don't know what the essentials to the golf swing are? And you are qualified to say this because??????????

I've absolutely no doubt some professionals are not great, just like in any other walk of life. But a lot of professionals are not interested in the cosmetics at all. They are interested in your own physical limitations / strengths, and work around that. In fact, I have a loopy swing, which is cosmetically disgusting. Last pro I went to told me not to worry about that, as I was still getting club back into a good position at top, and focused more on another aspect of my swing that was actually causing me problems. My swing is still cosmetically horrific, but after a couple of lessons his advice has worked wonders this season.
 
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Let me get this correct. You are telling us golf professionals, who do this for a living and got all the qualifications on how to swing a golf club, don't know what the essentials to the golf swing are? And you are qualified to say this because??????????

I've absolutely no doubt some professionals are not great, just like in any other walk of life. But a lot of professionals are not interested in the cosmetics at all. They are interested in your own physical limitations / strengths, and work around that. In fact, I have a loopy swing, which is cosmetically disgusting. Last pro I went to told me not to worry about that, as I was still getting club back into a good position at top, and focused more on another aspect of my swing that was actually causing me problems. My swing is still cosmetically horrific, but after a couple of lessons his advice has worked wonders this season.
If that's what you were told then I would agree that the Pro wasn't giving you expert advice.

A good position at the top may look good and may indeed help towards your impact conditions. But unless the main focus is on the impact conditions then you will be throwing away good money.

@Batsticks is absolutely correct in that many Golf Pros don't give the correct advice to students. He is also correct that without a good understanding of the physics involved in creating a desired ballflight you will not be able to teach effectively.

When I consider people who have many lessons I don't see them making big improvements to their games.
 

Swango1980

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If that's what you were told then I would agree that the Pro wasn't giving you expert advice.

A good position at the top may look good and may indeed help towards your impact conditions. But unless the main focus is on the impact conditions then you will be throwing away good money.

@Batsticks is absolutely correct in that many Golf Pros don't give the correct advice to students. He is also correct that without a good understanding of the physics involved in creating a desired ballflight you will not be able to teach effectively.

When I consider people who have many lessons I don't see them making big improvements to their games.
Not sure you read my post correctly?

The pro refrained from the cosmetically poor backswing, as that was not my fundamental issue. Instead, he focused on a key area through impact I was getting wrong, and gave we ways of improving it. As a result, I've had big improvement in my game, and a surprisingly successful season in club comps.

No doubt, if I continued with lessons, then other areas could be refined. I'm sure my backswing might sometime be a factor, although again maybe not. Furyk never changed his I guess.

My point was, if anyone can improve a players golf game, it is a golf professional. It certainly won't be the milk man or tesco delivery driver.
 
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Not read the entire thread, but:

As handicapped golfers, and especially the higher the handicap, of course we have inconsistent shots. Fats, thins, slices, hooks, shanks all in amongst some decent shots as well. But, I can assure you that most of us have consistent flaws that result in these issues. Don't be fooled that you have an abysmal swing when you hit an awful shot, and are swinging like McIlroy when you flush it.

A good professional should be able to spot what your major flaw or flaws are, and come up with some good swing thoughts and techniques for you to overcome this. Regardless of how you are hitting it. However, due to the unfortunate issue of muscle memory, it takes a while to work on these. And, even if you achieve the changes required longer term, it may mean there are other issues that you then need to iron out. For example, habits that you got into to counter bad swing technique and therefore worked to some extent, but now causing you more grief now you solved the original problem.

Lessons will probably be most effective in the immediate term to the extreme beginner golfer. Get rid of some basic flaws straight away. Much harder for more experienced golfers, who have these bad habits ingrained within their muscle memory. They will work (with a decent pro), but it takes a lot of dedicated work to make the changes to your game, otherwise it is so easy to slip back into what you were doing before anyway. I reckon most of us do not have the patience to put the practice in. At best, we may hit a few shots at a range on a flat mat, end up endlessly swing driver to no particular target. At worst, we just try and make the changes while playing a round, and immediately get disheartened when we don't hit the perfect shot, and then start thinking about what else we can change, never discussed at the lesson.
My experience precisely, as I work with my pro to correct the major flaw and swing habits that I developed to compensate for it that I grooved over a period of 35yrs, habits that enabled me to get to 6 but there I got stuck due to the major flaw. My pro spotted the flaw immediately…

It’s taken a year so far…it is very difficult, and though I am getting there, the flaw and bad habits lurk just beneath the surface. But my pro knows the answer - it’s up to me to do it.

I note that today I knocked it round in 6 over par, but a momentary lapse of concentration on the 14th saw me hit very close to a shank…not the worse shot in the world but almost a shank nonetheless - the shank being the regular manifestation of my flaw and old habits.
 
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My experience precisely, as I work with my pro to correct the major flaw and swing habits that I developed to compensate for it that I grooved over a period of 35yrs, habits that enabled me to get to 6 but there I got stuck due to the major flaw. My pro spotted the flaw immediately…

It’s taken a year so far…it is very difficult, and though I am getting there, the flaw and bad habits lurk just beneath the surface. But my pro knows the answer - it’s up to me to do it.

I note that today I knocked it round in 6 over par, but a momentary lapse of concentration on the 14th saw me hit very close to a shank…not the worse shot in the world but almost a shank nonetheless - the shank being the regular manifestation of my flaw and old habits.

Have you got any videos of your old swing and your new one?

I'd love to see them. Always interested in seeing these videos.
 
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