What Was True Last Year Is Still True This Year
Golf is a very general term. The game itself covers many aspects. Playing, health benefits, the social environment, tournament golf, professional tournament golf, golf lessons, golf teachers, equipment, The PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, The PGA of America, friendships, business, money, just to name a few.
As a PGA trained and certified professional, I deal in every aspect of the game. If you start at the beginning, playing and hitting better golf shots is what every body is after. Playing golf requires a golf swing and golf equipment. While equipment can make a difference in your shot quality, good equipment together with good golf swing technique is the easiest and best way to lower your scores.
Once you learn to strike the ball, you have to learn to get the ball in the hole. That is the goal of the game of golf as proposed in the original rules of golf written by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith on March 7th, 1744 according to Wikipedia. They were entitled “Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf” and consisted of 13 rules.
While getting the ball into the hole is no easy task, hitting better quality golf shots that get the ball closer to the hole on a consistent basis is a good way to start. This is where you as a golfer can benefit from finding some golf swing keys that will work for you as an individual. You have many avenues to follow to reach this golf. You can read books and articles, you can practice, learn by trial and error, hit thousands of golf balls, use video training, swing analyzers, or get some help by a trained teacher of the golf swing, either using high tech equipment or using the trained eye, a simpler and much more effective method.
I for one have used and taught with high tech equipment, and own many devices that will help you learn about your swing. But over the years it has become evident to me that most regular golfers, recreational golfers, just want to hit better shots and make better swings. I have come to this conclusion by teaching, listening, and talking to my students and by interacting with the thousands of golfers who pass through our golf shop every season.
I love high tech equipment, both for playing and for analyzing the golf swing. I own and have used the GolfAchiever swing analyzer for many years. The GolfAchiever is a surprisingly advanced piece of hardware accompanied by a great piece of software that can give views of you golf shots on your computer screen. I know it works.
One instance or thousands of one lesson remains clear in my mind and illustrates the accuracy of this machine’s measurements. The student was hitting shots and became interested in seeing the results on the computer screen all the numbers along with a view of each shot, a line indicating the shape and distance of each shot. If you take all the lines as a whole a pattern emerges, which is quite helpful in indicating a golfer’s tendencies and what the golfer needs to work on.
Watching the shots on the range in reality and seeing accurate results on the computer screen lend great validation and validity to the analyzing capabilities of the equipment you are using.
After many shots the veered to the right, and were recorded and registered as such by the GolfAchiever and registered as such on the computer screen by the software, the student popped one shot up, straight up in the air over his head, and the shot landed about ten feet in front of us. this one shot could be called a “pop-up” over home plate. When I looked at the computer screen, there it was, a line indicating a “pop-up” straight up and down, among all the slice lines, the left to right shaped lines of the shots he was hitting. It was a poignant moment in my career as a golf instructor, a golf teacher, a teacher of the game of golf and the golf swing.
The only problem with the GolfAchiever is that it is hard to setup, it is cumbersome and a bit clumsy, and the way you hit balls in order for the machine to register your data is a little intimidating. If it were a simpler more user friendly design it would sell by the thousands.
Modern golf is an entirely different animal than golf of the past. Modern equipment requires an entirely different approach to swinging the club and hitting shots. I am not saying you can’t, but it is quite difficult to hit quality golf shots using modern equipment and an old style golf swing. That is why Tour Pros, the best players in the world, are always tinkering or overhauling their golf swings. They need to adjust their muscle firing sequence and muscle structure to the requirements of modern golf clubs and golf balls.
While I am very familiar with high tech equipment and like I said, I have invested in many models and versions, I learned from the beginning to use my eye, instincts, senses, and communication skills to teach golf students to improve both their games and the quality of their shots. Call it “old school” but it is still the best method. Many golfers are intimidated by high tech devices and really don’t want or need all the information. They actually prefer the “old school” naked eye method.
What matters just as much as being able to judge and see ball flight and its how it correlates to what the individual is doing with their golf swing is being able to communicate the information to the golfer in a coherent, timely, clear and concise way, in words and feelings that the individual student can understand.
Every golfer has different swing requirements that cannot be categorized or lumped into one or two or three categories. Every golfer is different. A great teacher of the game of golf and the golf swing knows how to make each student feel comfortable and secure, as secure as anyone can feel while trying to hit a golf ball and swing a golf club, with the knowledge and with the results.