As I log on to Facebook to check out what my colleagues are talking about in our many different Golf Professional teaching groups, I notice a terrifying trend. The golf instruction world, is as divided as the United States government. We have so many different swing theories and within each one of those theories we have radicals. The “my way or the highway” thinkers. Their disdain for the other swing theories leads to a dislike for the people who teach those theories. It’s turned into an all-out war for the imaginary, golf instruction throne. But, in this mess, I believe I have found the recipe for unmatched success to unleash every golfer’s highest ability.
It all started with a man by the name of Eric Hogge. He was one of my instructors as I went through the PGA PGM program. As he stood before us in the classroom he said these words, “Find things in the golf swing that you think are certainties, and prove them wrong.” This has been my challenge and my goal for the last 3 years. I have read every book I could get my hands on. I started with Hogan’s Five Lessons. I then paid an outrageous $85 for the Golfing Machine. I quickly found out I needed a doctorate in physics to fully understand it. But, I had many take a ways and appreciated his attempt to rethink the golf swing. Then, I dug deeply into Stack and Tilt by Andy Plummer and Michael Bennett. This is one of the most criticized golf books out there but I believe it brings some unbelievable arguments to the table. I then attended the Dr. Kwon Biomechanics certification course. That doctorate in physics would have paid off again here as well. But, again I walked away from the seminar excited to dig deeper and find out what is really happening in a golfer’s swing. Then Sasho Makenzie captured my attention and his approach to kinetics and the mid-hand forces in the golf swing. And of course, Bob Grissett posted on Facebook about the most in-depth golf book every written, so of course I ordered myself a copy. Followed by becoming TPI certified. I haven’t learned everything. And I still have a long way to go. But, I have learned one thing, if we could get over ourselves, we could see the connection between them all.
Every time I step onto the lesson tee I become someone different. One student will need me to be a Stack and Tilt teacher. The next will need me to help them understand Dr. Kwon’s theories on ground reaction forces and moment arms. With every student my approach to teaching changes. I am passionate about every single swing theory. I have to be, because I have come across students that need me to know all of them in order to help them reach their highest potential.
Golf instruction is a tricky thing. Every student wants and needs something different. Someone once told me, “If you are giving the same lesson over and over again, you are doing something wrong.” No two students are alike and no two students have the same goals. Which means I need to be able to fit my student into the best swing for that individual and that individual’s goals. It honestly doesn’t matter what I do in my swing, what a student did in a previous lesson, or what Ernie Els does. The golf swing is an art form. It is my job to fit the painting to the canvas. It is not the student’s job to fit into my idea of what a golf swing should look like.