Golf instruction and golf lessons...

titleist981

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What's wrong with todays golf instruction....the average joe is not getting any better,,,
Besides being overly expensive.....LOL!, I think golf instruction is lacking and instructors are not getting their message across what do you think instructors could do better or the students could do better.....maybe instructions is a waste of resources!?!
 

mancest

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as with most things being learned, the student has to do most of the work. Are their bad instructors? Sure, but I think there are a lot more bad students than bad instructors.
 

McLovin

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golfers are getting better. the data proves it.

but golf is hard. and if you don’t put the time in, it’s rare that you will see the result.

heck, i spent WAY more on instruction last year than i’ve ever spent before. i hit a huge number of golf balls. and i wouldn’t say i’m anywhere near my goal. golf is super hard.
 

WLG1952

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What's wrong with todays golf instruction....the average joe is not getting any better,,,
Besides being overly expensive.....LOL!, I think golf instruction is lacking and instructors are not getting their message across what do you think instructors could do better or the students could do better.....maybe instructions is a waste of resources!?!
Just my opinion, but I think golf instructors try to hard to turn average Joe Golfer into a pga player.

By the same token, average Joe Golfer shouldn't expect to become a pga tour player.

Instructors should take what talent the student has, and work with in those talent levels. Not teach the student with their own instructor's talent level. Sometimes egos are a bad thing in golf instruction.

Students should be committed to a series of lessons, with an instructor they are comfortable with. One, or two lessons every few years is not really helpful once the basics are learned.

On another note, I heard someone say, with all the free written golf swing instruction available, why does average Joe Golfer need to pay for instruction just to break 90? Why continue to pay, to fix a swing flaw, that's going to return again anyways? Legit questions.

I got to, and played my best golf while seeing the same, qualified instructor, over a 5-6 year period, 1-3 times a month. This how I think golf instruction serves it best purpose.
 

mancest

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Just my opinion, but I think golf instructors try to hard to turn average Joe Golfer into a pga player.

By the same token, average Joe Golfer shouldn't expect to become a pga tour player.

Instructors should take what talent the student has, and work with in those talent levels. Not teach the student with their own instructor's talent level. Sometimes egos are a bad thing in golf instruction.

Students should be committed to a series of lessons, with an instructor they are comfortable with. One, or two lessons every few years is not really helpful once the basics are learned.

On another note, I heard someone say, with all the free written golf swing instruction available, why does average Joe Golfer need to pay for instruction just to break 90? Why continue to pay, to fix a swing flaw, that's going to return again anyways? Legit questions.

I got to, and played my best golf while seeing the same, qualified instructor, over a 5-6 year period, 1-3 times a month. This how I think golf instruction serves it best purpose.
I would concur with a lot of things. I began seeing an instructor last fall. Began to see huge strides (I have been over the top, steep for a decade despite trying different instructors/training aids) and was hitting the ball 20+ yards longer by going every 2-3 weeks for a lesson. With covid the facility shut down for over a month, and I reverted back to almost where I started....

After getting back to it the changes have come back faster than the original changes, but several months of work went away in maybe 5 weeks.

I would also say the issue with free instruction is that what golfers think they are doing and what they actually are doing are sadly not usually the same thing. As you said, finding a reasonable goal you can work towards with a quality instructor should get you some sort of success. If someone expects to go from a bogey golfer to scratch seeing an instructor twice a year with no practice in between, well good luck.
 

The Milk Man

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What's wrong with todays golf instruction....the average joe is not getting any better,,,
Besides being overly expensive.....LOL!, I think golf instruction is lacking and instructors are not getting their message across what do you think instructors could do better or the students could do better.....maybe instructions is a waste of resources!?!
I think that golf instruction is in the best place that it has ever been. The access to good instruction is more available than ever. Instructors are better trained and have more access to technology than ever before. You have apps like skillist or coachnow. Web based coaching such as True Motion Golf and countless other teachers giving virtual lessons. Their founders @TrueMotionMatt and @TrueMotionTim post on this forum and have provided good information to members of this site. Not to mention all the instructors on YouTube and Instagram.

IMO the problem lies with the golfer and not the instructor. Most golfers are not willing to put in the work to get better or stick to the plan their instructors have laid out. They are to busy looking for quick fixes and not willing to put in the work. When I rebuilt my swing several years ago. I got lessons every two to three weeks for a little over a year. Beyond the lessons I was working on my game 4 to 5 days a week. Fast forward to today and I see my teacher once maybe twice a year. Because we built a swing and he gave me to the tools to be my own coach. I would have never got to this point if I wasn't willing to put in the work and stick to the plan.

Also golfers need to be more involved in the lesson. Go with a plan, know what you want to work on, and make sure the instructor is delivering the information in a way the player can understand. If the golfer doesn't understand the message. The golfer needs to speak up ask questions until they understand. Lastly take time and find an instructor that you are comfortable with. Just because my coach works for me, doesn't mean he will work for someone else.
 

mig

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Golf knowledge is as good as it has ever been, from my limited perspective. But that’s only part of helping folks develop...

What might be lacking is instruction on how a student can teach themselves. That should always compliment swing instruction since no one is born with the know-how of processes by which we can change our neurobiology the fastest.
When I work with folks my biggest goal is figuring out how I can get them to coach themselves and wean them from needing me.
 

Pinger71

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What's wrong with todays golf instruction....the average joe is not getting any better,,,
Besides being overly expensive.....LOL!, I think golf instruction is lacking and instructors are not getting their message across what do you think instructors could do better or the students could do better.....maybe instructions is a waste of resources!?!
I personally feel that too many "instructors" do not communicate well. They often speak in 'buzz words', or phrases not really understood by the pupil. What do you mean by "over the top", "too far inside" or "casting". My wife has taken a number of lessons from supposedly good instructors and when I ask her what they told her and she has had no idea.
 

WLG1952

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I personally feel that too many "instructors" do not communicate well. They often speak in 'buzz words', or phrases not really understood by the pupil. What do you mean by "over the top", "too far inside" or "casting". My wife has taken a number of lessons from supposedly good instructors and when I ask her what they told her and she has had no idea.
Students need to ask questions. It's just like in school. The few kids who asked the most questions, learned, retained the most info.
 

TrueMotionMatt

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Golf knowledge is as good as it has ever been, from my limited perspective. But that’s only part of helping folks develop...

What might be lacking is instruction on how a student can teach themselves. That should always compliment swing instruction since no one is born with the know-how of processes by which we can change our neurobiology the fastest.
When I work with folks my biggest goal is figuring out how I can get them to coach themselves and wean them from needing me.
This is our goal. AND we provide them the Feedback they need to check themselves. Be very skeptical of people who take your money to watch golf videos and don’t provide feedback, it’s entertainment.

Understanding all the things you need to know to get to an end result takes time and as you improve you become more armed with information you need to keep grinding and improving.

We have videos to help people learn what to do and what to look for. They MUST video their swings and be able to share that with a coach or analyze themselves, over time as they learn what to look for.
 

titleist981

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Disclaimer: I guess that i'm bitter because I tried to get ten more yards by going from a fade to a draw, That was the worst decision of my golfing career. I lost my game and left golf for three years. I remember the instructor saying on the first day , lets change your swing....but I digress.
 

Acesteve

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Lets forget golf for just a moment. Simply ask a college student how good the instructors are this semester. Typically my kids might say 1 of 5. I have 6 years of education after highschool and I can recall 4 instructors by name. no one else even planted a memory.

now lets go back to golf which to me is harder to teach and many teachers have less experience then the college PHD teaching a class. seems to explain itself.

teaching is not easy, learning is not easy. I learn best the same way I did in college. Just give me the book and let me study it.
 

DataDude

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I would concur with a lot of things. I began seeing an instructor last fall. Began to see huge strides (I have been over the top, steep for a decade despite trying different instructors/training aids) and was hitting the ball 20+ yards longer by going every 2-3 weeks for a lesson. With covid the facility shut down for over a month, and I reverted back to almost where I started....

After getting back to it the changes have come back faster than the original changes, but several months of work went away in maybe 5 weeks.

I would also say the issue with free instruction is that what golfers think they are doing and what they actually are doing are sadly not usually the same thing. As you said, finding a reasonable goal you can work towards with a quality instructor should get you some sort of success. If someone expects to go from a bogey golfer to scratch seeing an instructor twice a year with no practice in between, well good luck.
My only counter to all of this would be if an instructor is teaching the golf swing did the golfer really learn anything if it all goes away after 5 weeks? Seems like the instructor at that point is maybe more so serving as a swing guardrail. If I go to an instructor they should not only be able to get me swinging good then, but give me the foundation to fix my own swing and understand what is going wrong with certain misses.
 

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I think there is too much emphasis on swing. I have had 3 playing lessons that were hands down the best learning for me. Why is this rare? My short game lessons were also far more important than any swing lesson I have taken. Thank you Brian Eekhoff, RIP buddy.
 

mancest

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My only counter to all of this would be if an instructor is teaching the golf swing did the golfer really learn anything if it all goes away after 5 weeks? Seems like the instructor at that point is maybe more so serving as a swing guardrail. If I go to an instructor they should not only be able to get me swinging good then, but give me the foundation to fix my own swing and understand what is going wrong with certain misses.
Here is the way I look at it, I have made THOUSANDS of swings one way. Then I go and get instruction for 45 minutes to try and markedly change that pattern. I go home and maybe get a chance to hit balls once or twice a week if I am lucky, maybe 40-60 swings each time. Do you think there is a chance my tendency might lead me back to the thousands of swings of history, or the 50-60 I got in that 45 minute lesson the next time I go play golf?

For me, I tend to go back to old habits so I personally need feedback to try and keep from reverting and keep progressing. As mentioned before the changes have come back quicker, with better retention and I have dropped 3 strokes off my index in the last couple months (cutting 25% off my index) but 1 case (myself) doesn't mean that will work for everyone.
 

bbutler

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I believe there are some good tips to play better golf from online content. Not sure it’s for everyone. A friend and I built our own sim a little over a year ago. I’m 58 he is 55. I went into it knowing that I had a swing ingrained into me. It wasn’t going to completely change and maybe didn’t need to. I look at a few online instructors for tips to solve issues with my swing. Still revert back to my old bad habits from time to time. He on the other hand watches way to many different videos. Then tries to alter his swing completely. Not working. Gave him a drill yesterday that I looked at and got him to use it for an hour on the sim. Great contact good ball striking. Will see if he can remember it today.
I don’t think the average golfer has the time or space to improve greatly. It takes daily practice to implement any real changes.
 

JonMA1

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I've taken lessons from five different PGA professionals. These four things were in common with each:

1) No improvement
2) The same weakness was never identified twice
3) Me as the student
4) A good deal of effort was made to apply what was being taught

These are facts... the root cause of the failure is up for debate. While like any profession there are good and bad instructors, I choose to accept #3 as the biggest reason.
 

wubears71

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First, I would disagree that instruction is expensive. You will see significantly more improvement getting lessons from an instructor than the new $500 driver. The most I’ve ever spent on lessons was a GolfTec 25 lesson pack and even that was around $2k, which sounds like a lot but is still cheaper than a full bag of new golf clubs. What I think are complete ripoffs are the ”celebrity instructor” clinics, which can set you back several thousand for a few days. My current instructor charges me $60 for a 45 min session And I can use the video capture equipment on my own when I want to stop in.

Second, its all about setting expectations up front. Most players I know do not commit to really working on getting better. They want a couple of lessons to put a band aid on some flaw. And when things get worse, they give up instead of working through the muscle memory change. I was in this situation recently. I had to make a major change with a new instructor to take all the pressure off a bad back. I struggled for weeks just trying to make contact, and finally, im playing solid golf again with zero back pain. I was so frustrated with my instructor because I was regressing. But i stuck to it and it worked. We will continue to do lessons.

Finally, it’s finding an instructor that works well with you. I’ve worked with instructors that others say suck because they could not communicate with each other and I’ve worked with other ones that I just didn’t gel with. However, i learned something about my game from each one.
 

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One addition. I get motivated to take a lesson when I am not playing well. Fine. But I think it is perhaps more important to take a lesson when I am playing well. And that leads me to a big lesson takeaway from my experience so far. It takes a lot more time than I expected to improve. Not weeks. Not a few lessons and months. It takes regular instruction and work over years. And maybe that's just because I am dense and slow, but I gotta say I'm not seeing big progress among the players I see out there either. Setting realistic expectations is important.
 

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I think there is too much emphasis on swing. I have had 3 playing lessons that were hands down the best learning for me. Why is this rare? My short game lessons were also far more important than any swing lesson I have taken. Thank you Brian Eekhoff, RIP buddy.
With the bold I think setup and grip impact swing more than anything else also. I have worked on those 2 things and gotten immensely more consistent with striking the ball well without changing the swing much at all.
 

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I have only taken 3 lessons in my life and that was a long time ago. I think my instructor did the best he could and tried to teach me strong fundamentals. I also think instructors sometimes want to rush the lesson and move on. People learn by different methods.

Looking back though, I wonder if golf instruction should take a more "coach what talent the individual has" approach instead of the canned instruction that we often see. Golf is something that can have some different aspects to lead to the one critical point of impact. In other words, we don't all have to swing the same, but we got to hit the ball properly to produce the output that is desired.

In my opinion, not enough teachers are really good at seeing what a person actually needs. Most that are, I think do best with the majority of golfers. Take for instance if a person has a really good swing and their main problem is a need to find out how to better reduce mishits due to mishits costing them about 3-5 strokes a game. Would an instructor be able to see that weakness in the person?

In my case what always works the most is finding the weaknesses and working on those areas. I am decent at knowing my own flaws and don't presently get any lessons. This is not to imply lessons aren't good, just my example.
 

mig

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Second, its all about setting expectations up front. Most players I know do not commit to really working on getting better. They want a couple of lessons to put a band aid on some flaw. And when things get worse, they give up instead of working through the muscle memory change. I was in this situation recently. I had to make a major change with a new instructor to take all the pressure off a bad back. I struggled for weeks just trying to make contact, and finally, im playing solid golf again with zero back pain. I was so frustrated with my instructor because I was regressing. But i stuck to it and it worked. We will continue to do lessons.
This.
 

robrandalgz

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I think the issue is multi layered but the biggest issue is an instructor/student match, IMHO. I think most players that seek instruction just trust the fact that, because the instructor has more knowledge about the golf swing, that they MUST be able to make them better. I think another issue is some instructors' insistence that their way is the best way. It's a big reason that I have zero interest in seeing a "method" instructor. I'm 48 years old and I have ZERO interest in completely rebuilding my swing. If I even sense that that is what instructor is trying to do (or God forbid mentions it) I'm done with him/her.

I need to get back and see my instructor because some of the things that we worked on are slipping. But many of the things that we worked on have stuck. My issue is that my instructor is a 7 hour round trip away. Some (most) people would think that's insane to put that kind of effort into instruction. And, a few years ago, I would agree. Until I realized that every single instructor in my area a is an absolute "nope" for me.

One I've witnessed at least 40 times give lessons on the range that I normally use. It's like nails on a chalkboard every time I see/hear it. Look, I'm not Rory, or Tiger (and neither are your typical students) and quite frankly I don't care where their club is at this particular sequence of the swing. I don't have their flexibility, athleticism, or time to dedicate to the game. Trying to build my swing like their swing with your little iPad and camera is a HUGE "I'm outta here".

The other, I actually paid $100.00 to help me fix the swing flaw with my driver. Absolute disaster. I stuck with what she was TRYING to teach me for weeks. Shared videos with her only to get the "your on your way" feedback with results that were absolutely NOT "on my way". I've never hit that club worse in my entire life (including the first time I ever grabbed the club). It took me weeks to un-learn the cluster-you-know-what that she created and get back to actually hitting a fairway once in a while and she was far too eager to dig into my pocket for another $100.00.

@Wildcat4life and @Doubleb21 kept raving about the lessons that they were getting from "Laura" (Laura Beuhring for those in the Tucson area or for those from the Valley that are willing to travel to see her like @MSEASU) . If I remember correctly @sourmash has her on deck, also. They absolutely raved about her everytime they took a lesson. My interest was more than piqued, to say the least. I've always known Chris (Wildcat4life) to be a pretty good golfer. Brian (Doubleb21) was the more intriguing story to me, however. When he joined this forum, his handicap was close to mine (hack level 20+) so I automatically considered him a kindered soul considering his cap and location. I've watched his cap drop from that level to, what I'll assume at this point, to be single digit or just within a hair of. I know that Brian has worked hard on his game. I also know that Laura has been a big part of his journey (though not all). I HAD to see her.

The one thing that I automatically noticed when I met her was the lack of a camera or iPad (I wasn't sure how I felt about that at first). We had communicated by phone and e-mail before my lesson so she had a general idea of what I wanted to work on and certain things that I absolutely HAD to fix. We introduced ourselves and I continued to hit balls with my irons (I was already on the range and warming up when she met me). She didn't say anything for about 10 balls. Then made a small tweak with my set up. Hitting the ball better and more on line with my target. Then we move directly to my driver (the "big miss" club). In less that 10 swings (and one swing thought) the push slice was gone (no FREAKING WAY, I'm thinking to myself). She then asks what other clubs I'm struggling with. Woods and hybrid off the deck was my answer. Now, for reference, I have NEVER been able to hit a wood off the deck. I started playing in 2001. I MAY have had 10 swings in that entire time with a wood off the deck with acceptable results. She made a tweak with my alignment (which was WAY off) and a little bit different of a swing thought than the driver and, by the fifth ball, I was absolutely pounding that ball. I was in absolute shock. Next was the hybrid (same alignment issue) and one more different swing thought. Same results. Through casual conversation during the lesson I actually asked her if she wanted my to send her videos of my swing. She said that she was O.K. with that but she cautioned against trying to build a "pretty swing" because of what I saw on camera. She told me that she didn't care if a student's swing was "ugly". Only that it got the results we were looking for. She had no interest in building her swing, or Tiger's swing, or Rory's swing. She wanted to work with MY swing. That (and the results) were all I've ever needed to hear from an instructor.

I need to schedule some time with her again because the miss is creeping back into the driver. I have all the faith in the world that she'll identify the thing that I'm missing (or forgot) and have me back on track in WAY less than he hour our lesson will cover and we can move on to the short game. Can't wait to see her again. Which brings me to my last point. If you aren't excited to see your instructor (and the positive gains that they bring to your swing/game). Get a new instructor.


TLDR version: Find an instructor that suits YOU.
 
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Luchnia

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TLDR version: Find an instructor that suits YOU.
I think this can be very challenging for a lot of golfers, but it is critical in my opinion or you would be wasting time and money.
 

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Covid interfered with my desire to attend a 3 day golf school last year and now this, but I think an hour lesson is futile unless you find someone stellar. Find the time to immerse yourself in game improvement for a full day or a number of days with instruction interspersed with practice, video analysis etc. Now hoping I live until 2022 so I can get this done. Lots of information out there about best instructors in your region. I also start each season re-reading the 5 fundamentals of golf by Hogan.
 
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