Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things That Should Change In Golf Teaching

"Things That Should Change In Golf Teaching"
By Sean & Stef Mysel
5/3/12



Remember the article "Scotty Cameron Is Smarter Than You?"  Fred's article was about how the famous putter architect makes these overprices, gorgeous putters that work like a magic wand in Harry Potter to make every ball find the hole.  Well you found out that you got laughed at by your buddies when your putting still sucked.  This post is in a similar vein to that one but this is about the golf teaching world.

I'm not going to lie, this is going to be a bit of a rant, a funny one, but a rant none the less.  There are some things that I see in golf instruction that drive me crazy.  Now before I get into the specifics, I want to say that I've had the opportunity to meet or corresponded with some of the best teachers I feel for the money.

Some of them are Sean Saunders at SWS Golf, Rex Cole, Head Pro at Cottonwood Country Club, and Adam Sprackling in the UK with his daily tipcasts at SimpleMindedGolf.com.  These aren't teachers you may have heard of, but they are the types of people who most of us can afford and can get your game into beast mode.

Ok, let's converse shall we?

I once had a teaching pro out here in the East Bay tell me that "sometimes you need to just tell a student good swing and you don't really have to teach much else."  That's garbage!

If you are paying me money for a service, you will get what you paid for.  Every lesson needs to have some substance along with an extra helping of fun.  A great teacher doesn't just watch you hit balls, concede that you have a nice swing and walk off.  That teacher should teach you to expand your game, hit some other shots or find a few extra yards.

The next thing is tardiness.  I cannot remember a lesson I had that either started on time or was highly organized.   For instance, when I was and still take lessons, each of those lessons has started at least 10-15 minutes late.  Every time!

Unacceptable...but keep reading it gets better!

Perhaps the grand daddy of them all is having your teacher walk off on you.  Seriously, the teacher gives up on a student and considers you a lost cause.  One of my students had told me this, which is ironic because he is one of the faster learners I've come across.  So here's what needs to change:

First, there should always be some purpose to each lesson.  Whatever it is, you should walk away with something new to think about regardless of how good your game is.

Second,  the teacher should provide some sort of value to the overall teaching experience.  This is to say that  when you walk away from a lesson, you're happy you paid the sum of money you did to learn something new.

Finally, there has to be respect for your time.  Of course, you need to show up to your lessons on time or you have no standing to complain.  But, it's fairly rare that my students show up late and I haven't heard many teachers say the same.  Golfers are excited more than anything to get better at the game.  There's no game where even a slight increase in skill produces so much trash talking, back slapping and beer consumption.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think golf teaching needs to change or are you happy with the status quo?