Re: What a welcome, and refreshing take...August 1 2011 at 11:24 PM
|Sally (Login Golfpro2011)|
Response to What a welcome, and refreshing take...
Hoby, thanks for the wonderful comments. You have made my day.
Some randon thoughts dear, hope they help or inspire. If they do not, I am sorry for wasting your time.
Yes, I would call my approach to golf no nonsense. I live in a depressed area, a lot of mills and manufacturing are gone. We had seven golf clubs in my county two years ago, we are down to four and rumor has it that another is going to close. My club used to charge a $1000 entrance fee, we now charge nothing and with a 12 month committment we give you a month free. We have had to lay off half of our grounds staff. The course is still nice, but it was a whole lot nicer a few years ago. Yes, tough times, no times for nonsense anymore, none at all. My students have neither the time or financial resources to be jerked around or talked down to. They are looking to learn the game, have fun, and get away from all the crap in the world for a few hours, they are not looking to be scratch golfers. They are not looking to impress their peers with fancy theories, buzz words, and biomechanical concepts. Most new golfers I meet in the real world have very basic and modest epxectations. I have yet to meet any new student who said to me they want to be a scratch golfer. Everyone of my students fill out a questionnaire, and I ask them their goals. The last five were: 1. " Stop my slice please"
2. "Teach me so I can keep up with my boyfriend"
3. "All I do is hit the ground. Sally, can you please show me how to get the ball in the air, I give up!
4. " Always interested in golf, thought I would give it a try. Seems fun"
5. "Can hit my irons OK, never been able to hit my woods"
I charge $30 for a lesson, they can go for an hour or sometimes two. We don't use video at all, it is silly for the average golfer. For me to superimpose the lines of Tiger or Phil or Annika or whomever on your setup and swing is silly, because you are not them. I don't want you focused on ridiculous colored lines, because they might become perceived as a static postion, they are dynamic and you achieve these lines by a sound setup and a sound takeaway, you get on the lines without trying. If you try, you are dead. The ball is the best teacher, it does not lie. I never use words like swing plane or lag, those are taboo. Because they will happen sure enough.
Think of golf as a small swing and a turn. The small swing being very similar to what Nick Faldo shows with his Faldo Drill Google the "Faldo Drill" for more info. Do the Faldo Drill and turn. Golf can be that simple. You do the Faldo Drill and have good setup, spine tilt, and maintain good balance, you will play well. Another good resource is "Two Steps to a Perfect Golf Swing" by Shawn Humprhries. He makes it so easy it is almost sad. Basically, boils a decent golf swing down to two steps, two simple steps. And he believes in holding back nothing from the top of the swing, advocates an active release from the top as I do. In fact, there are others, like Nicklaus and Mike Austin, all who have wrote about releasing early from the top. You will get lag, yes you will, as long as your body parts are sychhonized and you do not quit on your shot. "Always be turning", those are the words of one golf instructor I admire. I believe in an active release from the top. Not a scoop, an active release down and through the ball, with the hands never ceasing the sense of release. Always following the movement of the core. Always a sense of accleration.
I get my students to learn chipping first. And I add a bit of wristiness to it. Not a scooping motion, but a bit of wristiness. And we progress to a pitch, and then longer clubs. The students are amazed how quickly they are hitting good shots, and with a nice click, instead of a dull chunky sound. I believe in active hands, a hands controlled pivot rather than pivot controlled hands. We are not interested in pro quality impact, that is silly. If we get it, that is fine, but if I can get my student making consistent contact, and and consistent reliable ball flight, we have hit a home run, We are interested in getting the person to a level where they will want to come back, have fun, and want to continue to learn. And with time and practice, I am proud that some of my students have really come into their own.
Now I am not a big believer in training aids, but there is one I use and it is called the Orange Whip. Look it up please and read the positive reviews, it teaches synchronization of body parts better than anyone or anything. And it does wonders for one's tempo. I swing it almost every day, it reinforces good habits.
Now there are some here that have poked fun at me, that is fine. Just because someone uses a lot of buzz words and sounds qualified does not mean they are. Until I meet someone in person and see them swing, I take them to be a blowhard. Just like you should take me to be the same. I don't expect anyones respect until I have earned it, this is just talk here. I am sincere, but it is still just talk. Talk is cheap, anyone can say anything online, but can you really back it up. Many high profile golf instructors are actors and performers first. They are marketeers, they present themselves well. And because they present themselves well ,they get away with charging a premium and there is the illusion that you pay more, you get more. I believe in back to basics. When I had my will done a few months ago, I hired a basic attorney out of the phone book. He did fine. I did not need a nationally recognized lawyer. If my car breaks, I take it to the local garage, I do not need a NASCAR level mechanic. When my daughter needed a tutor for math, I hired a local college student, not some PHd. What is my point here, most of golf instruction is fluff and overkill. By making it complicated and esoteric, they create a preceived need that we need to learn all this stuff. Good marketing, that is all there is. There are hundreds of local pros no one has ever heard of that for a tenth of the price of a big name pro, will provide equal or better results in a quicker span, without the clock ticking, in a more casual and less stresful environment.
Golf instuction and groupthink, I put the two together. We have the single planers arguing with the double planers. The Golf Machiners have their ideas. We have those that believe in Single Axis. There are instructors arguing with instructors over minute points. And it is amazing how these different factions will defend their turf to the point of being utterly childish and sarcastic. Seems a lot of the types that hang out on these internet forums have a need to be part of a group, be accepted by the group or a subgroup at large, and make life unpleasant for the square peg that does not fit in the round hole. When something is presented that does not fit some preordained scheme of things, the troops get restless and childish behavior and rants result. And some folks really get mad. Mad about golf, what a joke. If anything about golf makes you mad or anxious, you really need help. You want mad, I an mad about all the stupid wars. I am mad at the teachers laid off in our county. I am mad at hospitals closing, police and firemen laid off, and bail outs for currupt bankers, that makes me mad. But not some silly disagreement about the golf swing, this is supposed to be fun. I make it fun, and my students have fun. And they stay with the game without a big hole in their wallet. They get value, and that is the name of the game in todays harsh world. I have a conscience, there are some that will pay anything it seems for a good swing or being able to hit 10 yards further, I can't do it.
Now one last tip. The best golf book ever written in my opinion is one that probably is not real well known. It is called Better Golf by Julius Richardson. This book spends a huge amount of time on setup and pre shot alignments. You read this book and study the pictures, you will have a sound foundation. All the good things in the golf swing start at set up. I have read over a hundred golf books, this book does it better than anyone, not even a close second in my humble opinion. I have had students do nothing but go through a pre shot routine and address the ball for over an hour. It seems redundant and boring, some get impatient, but does it ever pay dividends.
Goodness, I have been on a roll. I love the game, I feel for those clubs that are having such a diffciult time, I feel for those golfers that struggle and don't have the time or financial resources to improve. And I feel for those that take this all so seriously, that they will insult or ridicule others who do not fit their scheme of things. We are talking golf folks, just golf. Our game is in deep trouble, we need a new way to attract new players. And not only attract them, but keep them interested and keep them happy. A successful lesson for me is when I see a big smile on the students face. If I see frustration, I have failed. Too much frustration and anger out there, lets make golf fun again. I see all these Type A old men out there cussing away and throwing their clubs, this is FUN?
God bless all here. I do admire the detail and time that many here have put into studying the golf swing. Nohing wrong with that, it is harmless and it a good intellectual exercise. Not for me. You guys make it too complicated, my head spins trying to comprehend it all. I am on the wrong forum. The best to all, I really have no interest in endless debate and listening to the sarcasm that seems to follow so many sincere posts. I am back to lurking as they say, and if I upset anyone or caused any ill will, may I offer my sincerest of apologies.