Yes, the vast majority of lessons are a complete waste of your time and money because there will be no long term improvement
Discover some of the reasons why most golf lessons are a complete waste of your time and money
Fact – The vast majority of golfers who have lessons do not show long term lasting improvement
Fact – The average handicap has not changed despite massive improvements in equipment
Fact – If you can’t blame the equipment you have to blame the coaching
Fact – There are some really good coaches out there but they are hard to find
What you really need if you are to have any long lasting benefits from swing lessons is a very solid grasp of the Fundamentals of GOLF. Without these then you are building a house on very dodgy foundations and sooner or later it all comes crashing down. That is exactly what Golf Fundamentals are. The foundation stones of any good golf swing.
So what are all the fundamentals you need? Well, there are various acronyms for them but here’s mine. The full Golf Fundamental series is in the acronym G R A S P A B B
GRASP your A and BB’s. It’s not necessarily in order but the acronym works as a reminder of the full range of fundamentals that any golfer must have, before attempting to change swing mechanics. Part of the mental game of golf is also built into this acronym although we will not discuss the Fundamentals of Mental Game in this article. Enough that you have a solid routine and into that you build the right triggers and “thinking” fundamentals prior to and on each shot. A good Sport Psychologist can assist you with incorporating solid Mental Game Fundamentals into you routine.
G Grip – The way the club is held – Hold is the preferred term but then the acronym doesn’t work
R Routine – On every shot, both Physical and Mental
A Alignment – Orientation of body to target
S Stance – This is ultimately where the whole body is grounded and Balanced
P Posture – That the swing can be made properly for max power and without long term injury
A Aim – Proper clubface aim. (Amazingly 95% of golfers can’t do this, they just think they can!!)
B Balance – Balance throughout the swing can reap huge rewards
B Ball Pos – Consistent shots require consistent ball positions
It is only when these fundamentals are in place and working that a golfer should begin to look at swing changes. Understanding and accepting the fact that if just one of the Swing Foundation Stones (the fundamentals) is incorrect, then swing mechanics will change to accommodate the flaw, they have to.
So we can say that working on swing mechanics and attempting to build a mechanically sound move in order to propel the ball to a target is a waste of time if the Fundamentals are wrong. Let’s say that again because there is a pretty strong statement about to follow. Working swing mechanics is a waste of time unless you are fundamentally sound – BEFORE YOU SWING!
Here’s the strong statement. Virtually ALL golfers have a poor grasp (knowledge and ability to implement) of 1 or more of the fundamentals and the majority of lessons on swing mechanics are a complete waste of time and money in the long run.
Hey, it’s not your fault if the coaching establishment does not make the amateur golf market highly aware of this.
Lets give you an example, an obvious one, of how working on swing mechanics is wasted if just ONE fundamental is out.
Your body works and will be able to propel the ball to a target best when the “machine” (your body) is aligned to the target properly. That is: The minimum alignment checks of Toes, Knees, Hips and shoulders should all be parallel to the ball to target line. (fore-arms and eye line can also be added to this list of checks according to some coaches)
So classically we would describe train tracks. The ball sits on one track and at the end of that track is the target. The properly aligned golfer stands on the other track and the aforementioned body parts are all parallel to the train tracks.
With this set-up made properly you can make a nice flowing and natural swing toward the target and you can work on good swing mechanics. The club path will come from slightly inside the line as it approaches the ball and can be held through impact and release.
Now imagine a right handed golfer who is aligned incorrectly. For the purpose of this example let’s say they are aimed significantly to the right (SHUT) of target. The golfer can no longer swing in the same fashion as the golfer who is aligned correctly because if they do the ball will go right. The body must compensate for this faulty alignment and will attempt to “PULL” the ball back left at the target thus changing the desired swing mechanics (presuming they are trying to get an “in to out” swing path).
This is an obvious example but there are many more which are no where near as obvious but just as damaging in the short and long term. Here is the good news. The better your fundamentals the more your swing will begin to naturally change and improve.
So, get your fundamentals sorted out by getting hold of books and videos or go talk to your local coach and discuss a specific plan that focuses on the goal of solid all round fundamentals – before worrying about swing mechanics – and make sure you stay on that goal and don’t get sidetracked into “looking at the swing” before time.
The main thing is take responsibility for you own learning, get out there and learn from any means you can and lastly let me tell you to avoid swing “Tips” like the plague. You will end up with a band aid swing. It is the solid, no bells and whistles “Fundamentals” which will give you the reward.
If you want to become virtually unbeatable then hone your fundamentals and develop a great short game. You will win an awful lot of matches and while the opposition may not appreciate how good your setup is they will fear the results and be terrified of your short game.