A simple golf lesson
Golf coaching isn’t really rocket science – it’s quite simple. But each day I’m staggered at how difficult some golf professionals/coaches/golfers like to make it.
I had my first unofficial golf lesson at my new property yesterday. It was with a family member (who will remain nameless) who was visiting us after our beautiful arrival.
It didn’t really start out as a lesson, we were just having some fun, whacking balls and discussing the day’s events.
Family Member: What am I doing wrong?
Me: Nothing. Just hit the ball and try and enjoy the experience.
FM: I would enjoy it more if I was hitting the ball better.
Me: Ok, can you feel your swing? Does any part of it stand out?
FM: What do you mean? Can’t you just tell me what I’m doing wrong?
Me: I’m not like all the other golf coaches you’ve had – I don’t believe in “right” and “wrong” instruction. Has that ever really helped you in the past?
FM: Not really I guess. If it had ever worked I wouldn’t be complaining.
Me: Ok, then give this a go – just go with the flow, relax and don’t try too hard. Now, does any part of your swing stand out to you?
FM: My left hand feels funny. I think it’s coming off the club.
Me: Great. Good job, you’ve got some awareness of what’s happening. I don’t want you to analyse or try and change anything, but keep your focus on your left hand.
After a few more tries the FM was hitting some nice shots.
FM: These are ok, I’m happy with them, but why is the ball going to the left?
Me: Has anyone explained to you about your clubface?
FM: No. I’m not sure.
Me: When your clubface is closed the ball is going to go to the left and when it’s open it will go to the right. And when it’s square….
FM: It will go straight!
Me: Correct. Sometimes, we think the clubface is square but in actual fact it’s a bit messed up. Let me show you.
I held the club in the address position for FM to see.
FM: Wow! My club is pointing way left at address – no wonder I’m hitting the ball over there.
Me: Sometimes we need to exaggerate and step things up for learning to take place. This is a lot of fun but many won’t do it because they’re stuck trying to swing “perfectly”. It will feel awkward and they won’t push boundaries enough.
FM swung with an open clubface (it actually snuck back to squarish as the club was taken away) and hit some nice and high balls down the middle.
FM: Yes! This is how I want to hit the golf ball.
Me: You can hit the ball like this, you’re already doing it. Just keep swinging, and if you like, keep you focus on your left hand.
FM was a little clunky at address – trying too hard to get things “right” but was enjoying the experience.
FM: My hand feels better now – it’s nice and solid on the club.
Me: Good job. See how it sort of fixed itself without you really doing anything?
FM: Yeah, it’s kind of weird.
Me: I call this natural learning and it’s how we learn most other stuff – for some reason, we make golf way too hard.
FM topped a ball badly along the ground.
FM: WHAT DID I DO WRONG?
Me: You didn’t do anything wrong. Have you forgotten the lesson already?
FM: Sorry. I hate hitting bad shots and I like knowing what I did wrong.
I explained the pitfalls of “working out your mistakes” once again.
Me: Just hit the ball. Stop worrying, can you feel your hand?
FM went back to hitting the ball well and finished with three beauties.
FM: I like the height I’m getting. This is really going to help my driver swing – I don’t get enough height.
The lesson lasted only 10 minutes and was incredibly simple – also one of the best I’ve done. It hit home that my decision to follow the dream was a correct one and I can’t wait to help others with this simple, correct and game changing advice. When we work with our learning system, good things do happen.
In future articles I’m going to explore this golf coaching thing a little more – I’ve got a lot to get off my chest.