Lessons!? Rick Shiels

GOLFER1994

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Evening guys,

Feeling a little hard done by tonight. Ive handed in my 3 cards after a long time away from the game. Very different rounds of 108, 99 and 92 (Par 72). Now i appreciate I have shown it is possible for me to shoot 92 however in the 8 rounds i have played there, so far that is the lowest i have gone round in. With the latest handicap system I have been given a 20 handicap. Feel like I now have a lot to live up to. :rolleyes:

At the minute money is a little tight having recently moved house and with car insurance due at the same time the credit card has taken a hit as well. However, i want to strive to reach that handicap consistently, so my aim is to try have one lesson a month! I personally am someone who enjoys watching youtube videos on an evening and am a big fan of Rick Shiels and his channel. Seems like a knowledgable and down to earth guy. The academy he works at is only 50mins from me so would be within distance for me. A half hour lesson is £33 whereas i believe it is £26 at my course. Now, would it be silly to go that far for a lesson i could get from my own courses pro at a lower cost even though he seems a lot more serious and i feel like i might feel a bit more under pressure? Or does the added extra of meeting one of my favourite golfing youtubers and getting to visit the lovely facilities at the academy provide enough attraction?

Or am i just completely overthinking it and should just do whatever i want to?

Cheers :fore:
 

pendodave

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Firstly. I reckon you'll do just fine with a handicap of 20. After all, how long to you plan to be getting two shots a hole??

As for lessons, there are a couple of things I would consider :

1. Having a lesson with a well known teacher can make it hard to book lessons when you want - they are often up to other things or popular at the times you might want to book.
2. The advantage of having a lesson with your club pro, or at your local range, is that they can often give you a quick check over if things are going awry without needing to book a lesson. Handy if something just seems a little off.

Good luck with whatever you go for.
 

Grant85

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I personally wouldn’t rush to the ‘celeb’.

Stick to someone local who isn’t charging a YouTube premium. If you get on well with him it is much easier to book follow ups and additional lessons if you can afford. As was said, may be tough to access him if he is busy shooting videos.

also, just my personal opinion but YouTube lessons are entertainment primarily, and likely to improve your game secondary.

There is no substitute for a good pro having a look at your technique and suggesting what to work on. YouTube might give you some ideas that you can try and sometimes you may find something, but imo this will ultimately lead to trial and error and could easily lead to very little progress over a long period of time.

Also, wouldn’t worry too much about a 20 handicap. Go out, don’t try and take on silly shots and use your strokes on the tough holes or when you are out of position.
 

Smasher

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https://youtu.be/k6Wx8daG7uc

What do you think?
I watched this a while ago but I remember thinking he's improved starting position but not shallowing the club and the early extention. The after is nearer the start position only because he moved the start position up, not because he worked on shallowing the club to fix the early extention.
 

Jamesbrown

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Look for someone with a lot of experience and who is still looking to improve their coaching abilities. Look at their successes and their clients.

Someone who is passionate about coaching full time, rather than part time.
 

Capella

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Never had a lesson with Rick, but I've met him several times and he is every bit as nice in real life as he comes across in his videos. He only teaches two days a week, though, so getting a lesson slot regularly could be a problem. I had lessons with Peter Finch when they were still in Lytham, but the fact that it was so tricky to get lesson times when I needed them (I always tried to book lessons on consecutive days when I came over for holidays) made me switch to Chris Fletcher at Trafford Golf Centre instead.
 

r0wly86

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Getting on with your coach is such an important but undervalued thing, if you don't have a rapport with the club pro I wouldn't bother in my opinion.

Not saying you would get that with Rick but it is important.

Get a coach who can explain why they want you to certain things. Most of not all pros can build a good swing, but a lot will just tell you do something. The better coaches explain what certain moves will do to your swing and shot. Once you understand the move you will have a better chance of doing it
 

Duckster

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When all is said and done, the guy has a decent social media presence that he's using to his advantage. However does that make him a better coach than your local pro?

Go local. Cheaper. Hopefully just as good or better.
 

r0wly86

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When all is said and done, the guy has a decent social media presence that he's using to his advantage. However does that make him a better coach than your local pro?

Go local. Cheaper. Hopefully just as good or better.

I used to go to the local pro of whatever club I was at, but recently paid more to see a top coach, and it makes such a massive difference, at least for me.

Not saying Risk Shiels would be any good but to me a good coach is worth the extra money
 

Garush34

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I would go for the guy that is closer to you, just because it would be easier and you could go more often. I use a guy that is an hour away from me and is great and has improved my game no end. But adding two hours to every lesson for travel has started to become annoying as it just isn't that easy to get up. We get on great and that, but I would just like to be able to get a few more lessons a year in.

I am looking for someone more local towards the end of the season and will give them a try. Of course it will come down to how good the new guy is, if I don't improve or don't get on with him I will go back to my current pro, but it's worth a try for me.
 

Duckster

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I used to go to the local pro of whatever club I was at, but recently paid more to see a top coach, and it makes such a massive difference, at least for me.

Not saying Risk Shiels would be any good but to me a good coach is worth the extra money

Big difference between "top coach" and "very good on youtube" though. I'd have no qualms about paying extra for a known decent coach.
 

BRISTOL86

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Assuming their ability to teach is comparable, I’d say getting on well and engaging with your coach is a huge deal.

However a nearly 2 hour round trip for a lesson for me would immediately rule it out as an option. That would get old very fast. And if money is tight then extra cost per lesson plus the cost of nearly 2 hours of driving makes it a no brainer to stay local if the pro is half good.

Why don’t you do routine lessons locally but book the odd one in with Rick as a treat. Have a clear plan of exactly what you want to work on with him, and communicate it in advance, then get an hour at a time to make it worth the trip.
 
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Dan2501

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Big difference between "top coach" and "very good on youtube" though. I'd have no qualms about paying extra for a known decent coach.

This. You'd be better off spending more money on a coach who has a proven track record of improving players and getting them down to a high level / works with Tour players/professionals than over pay for lessons from a Youtuber whose main focus is not on coaching.
 

Capella

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where you from

Germany. I try to travel to England once a year for golf lessons. Not that we don't have golf pros in Germany as well, but it just isn't the same. Also I like to get my lessons during my holidays, because that means I also have a lot of time to practice between lessons. It also means that I play total crap during that time, though, because having several lessons in a row makes my swing go completely out of the window for a while until I can apply the changes without thinking about them.
 

pendodave

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Germany. I try to travel to England once a year for golf lessons. Not that we don't have golf pros in Germany as well, but it just isn't the same. Also I like to get my lessons during my holidays, because that means I also have a lot of time to practice between lessons. It also means that I play total crap during that time, though, because having several lessons in a row makes my swing go completely out of the window for a while until I can apply the changes without thinking about them.

Out of curiosity Capella, do you do your lessons with Fletch in English or German?

It's a shame the Carter waltzed off to the Gulf, as I enjoyed Chris's appearances on the Improvemygolf channel, he seems like a really good guy.
 

garyo

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The choice of coach will probably be a very personal thing, evident by different people having very different opinions/reviews on certain coaches, so will just be a case of 'whatever works for you', but I would probably go local first for sure and see how it goes. You need to give him a fair crack though and not approach it with any 'wonder if the celeb coach would agree?' thoughts!

As for your h/c, the way I read it you shaved 16 strokes off your score in those 3 rounds, so you've shown straight away you can play off 20. I think it's pretty generous to be honest, so I wouldn't worry about it! :thup:
 

Grant85

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Also - just my experience, but a coach based at a driving range could be a better bet than a club pro.

Rationale behind this as well, as well as my own experience.

Basically a Club pro has various avenue streams. Lessons, selling mars bars, selling clothes & equipment, gripping and fixing clubs etc, as well as maybe a salary or retainer from the club.

A guy based on a range is probably a self employed coach and is ONLY making money from lessons. Basically if he doesn't get guys to keep coming back to him, he will quickly struggle to make a living.

He probably needs 15 to 20 hours of coaching a week to make it worth his while.

Also, I wouldn't have lessons where you can't see the full flight of the ball and can't hit balls repeatedly (like at a driving range). A lesson at a smaller practice area, or even in nets, is not going to be as valuable imo.
 

Hosel Fade

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Surprised no one has mentioned the access to technology (launch monitors etc) that your local pro may or may not have. Now I wouldn't say go and see Shiels regularly because his diary will be limited and because of the nearly 2hr round trip, but consider it in looking for coaches
 
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