El Capitan del Norte
- Sep 12, 2011
- Reaction score
- Oakland, CA
So this is something I would say in way to long of a manner, I am now working with my 4th instructor in the last 3 years I guess. 1st one... I can't say he was a bad instructor, but I don't know if he was a good one. He is no longer instructing, but that could be because he had a student so bad he left the profession... hoping if that is the case it wasn't me, but it is entirely possible.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.
I did some searching and found an instructor that worked out of a gym, he had his own area that was netted and fairly private. Fit well as I started with him in the winter time. Our main focus together was getting my grip and set up to a better place. I have historically been very weak with the left hand and sat back into a stance standing very far away from the ball. This promoted a much too flat take away that fed into a severe over the top move. Took a bit, but piece by piece those fundamentals improved dramatically, but he is a very old school coach and wanted me to start working the ball both directions (which would have been fine, but I wasn't comfortable even hitting a ball one direction with much confidence) and when he went in my bag and told me to get rid of hybrids and that I needed to be carrying 3/4 irons and possibly a 2 iron that I realized it was time to look for something else. Nothing wrong, I learned quite a bit and left the training in a better spot than when we began despite my scores remaining much the same prior to starting with him.
3rd coach I went to another indoor facility but one that has all the modern "tools". Gcquad, force places, multiple cameras etc. Since my setup/grip were in a better place we were able to start working on the next biggest issue, my backswing. Getting it more upright so I have room to come down from inside the ball. It started off well, but plateaued after a couple sessions despite me practicing at least once a week. at our 3rd lesson I was fully planning to see about getting a refund for the remaining lessons on our package or if there was another instructor I could work with because it just wasn't working. Somehow when I get to the lesson he introduces me to another guy and says he is going to sit in our lesson if that is ok. This new guy (4) is several years younger than 3 (and even quite a bit younger than me) and he explains 4 is coming to work here and is learning the ropes.
4th coach quickly kind of took over the lesson, and things started clicking for me. I never said anything about refund or asking for a change, came back for my next lesson and 4 was there with 3 and again ran the lesson. At the end of the lesson 3 informed me he was moving out of state and 4 would be taking over his clients.... which worked out great for me. 3 wasn't a bad instructor in my opinion, but it didn't work for me. 4 has worked for me, BUT, I think the biggest thing that I learned is for me, the cameras during the lesson combined with the club data from quad have helped me learn so much faster than not having them.
So that is also part of it, learning what helps you incorporate the teaching. some of us are verbal, some of us are visual, some of us react well to positive reinforcement, some to negative for bad outcomes. If I had to find a new place to learn at I don't think I would consider somewhere that didn't have at least some of these tools.