As I wander through life and think about golf as I often do I get thinking about a variety of things. Golf equipment, topics to write about, how to make the game more accessible and instruction. When I think about instruction I have a question. Has golf instruction become too convoluted and technical?
In my opinion, I think that the short answer is yes. I know that there are plenty of golfers that understand the technical jargon, after all, there are golfers that are engineers as an occupation. One of my students (Amir) is an engineer by trade and he actually prefers a really technical explanation. He’s able to understand the “reason why” a fault happens or why the strike was excellent a little better. But, he’s been the exception to the rule.
For the most part, however, it is the general consensus based on my experiences giving instruction that golfers want the golf swing to be broken down in “easy to understand” terms. Not once have I worked with a student where I used terms like “pronation”, “supination” or discussed pressure points. The student simply wants to be able to apply the clubhead to the golf ball with the goal of advancing the golf ball.
When you think about the action of the golf swing it’s simply a turn and a return. Yes, there are certain things that need to be done in that time to ensure crisp contact but my advice to anyone reading this is to not overthink the golf swing. Everybody has their own golf swing. It’s really in your DNA and your body shape. Without thinking, how would you toss a frisbee? Mimic the action and chances are that’s your move or “pivot”. Grab a golf club and make a swing without swinging it. Physical limitations also can play a large role in determining “your” golf swing.
If I were to make a checklist of things to get a new golfer started it’s the obvious things. What I dub “The Fundamental Four”. Often these are the same things that seasoned golfers take for granted and they look for a bigger fix than what the issue might actually be. What are they? In no specific order…
- Ball Position
If you can nail these four things down… Chances are that you’re on your way to playing golf. Even good golf. In my case, when my striking is a tad “off” I immediately look at my ball position. It’s amazing the issues that can come from improper ball position.
Golf needn’t be so hard to understand. Easy and concise is the way. I’m not suggesting by any means that teachers that give a ton of technical information are wrong. In the simplest of lessons, a student will take in a ton of information. Bordering on information overload. I just think that if you create a “fog” in a student’s mind (whether they’re beginners or experienced) you stand a good chance of losing them. Especially the beginner.
Stay tuned for some upcoming tips covering the “Fundamental Four” as we focus on the off-season.
Until The Next Tee!!
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