Hello Golf Friends:
Spring seems to be hitting all areas of the country now and I’m sure my northern climate golf friends are enjoying time back on the course!
The above quote demonstrates what I see on the driving range on a daily basis. I admire the people who are getting out there and getting after it; looking for the magic to surface; beating ball after ball in hopes of acquiring that simple move that sends the ball powerfully and accurately forward. Unfortunately, I seldom see the magic they are searching for come to fruition. As my Dad says… “They are beating a dead horse”. And I too, have been known to beat that dead horse! (Special shout out to Cathy Schmidt, LPGA for getting me to stop beating the dead one and get on a new one!)
Back to that in a minute…
One of the quotes I use with every student is “One of the purposes of taking lessons should be to improve our misses (as golf is not a game of perfection) and the person with the best misses, wins!” Good misses keep you in play and on the golf course, bad misses put you into golf’s never-never land. Good misses lower your score, save you money on golf balls, and keep you in the game when you don’t have your best stuff.
In the Master’s, Jordan Spieth was open and honest about having issues missing right and ultimately, that miss cost him the tournament. He knew he didn’t have his best stuff and his bad misses reared their ugly head at “Crunch Time”. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES! WE ALL HIT BAD SHOTS! I guarantee Jordan went to work with his instructor after the Master’s to iron out the misses! He’ll be fine because he has a great team assembled around him.
So… why take a lesson? A golf instructor can serve as a set of eyes and ears all the way up to a mechanic to fix the swing. An instructor should be a part of every golfer’s team in order to reach our Ultimate Potential; to bring a greater knowledge and skill package; to provide greater practice habits that will bring more rewarding shots on the practice green, range and course and can be the key in helping you break 100,90,80, or even 70!
I’ve been very lucky to have some great people to talk with and work with in Tampa: KK at Tampa Palms; Cathy Schmidt at The Golf Boot Camp in Bradenton; and my two guys at Heritage Isles in Abs Mawji, and friend, mentor and instructor Rick Bradshaw. Rick Bradshaw gave me more in golf than anyone will ever know! Not only have they helped me with my game, but I have learned from them. Getting better at golf is a learning process, and who better to teach us than a good golf teacher! We can all learn! We can all improve!
People spend hundreds, thousands of dollars on new golf equipment. Yes, today’s equipment is easier to hit and designed to make the ball go farther and straighter. But, design is not necessarily outcome. Equipment doesn’t fix GASP, ball flight, pivot, low-point, angle of attack, over-the-top, and so on. Spending money on the latest and greatest tech, the best golf ball, range balls (and practicing and ingraining the wrong thing over and over) will not provide you the greatest opportunity for success.
I see a number of the same people at the range 4-7 times a week. They practice hard. But they don’t practice correctly. There’s a dead horse in the way. On average they spend 40-60.00 per week on range balls and play 1 or 2 rounds per week. I charge $50.00 for a lesson and it gets cheaper with a package. Range balls are included so it is even less than that since they would probably hit range balls anyway.
So… why take a lesson? I like looking at You Tube and my other instruction sites. I have over 100 books and DVD’s on golf. They can serve a purpose. But I don’t think golf is a DIY sport. You Tube can’t answer your questions, can’t diagnose your problem and give you individual instruction to improvement, nor can it talk to you about management of course and emotions. As a 24 year school teacher and 18 year golf instructor, I think there is an incredibly important human component to teaching/coaching and learning. I also think it’s incredibly important to find the right instructor for you at a price you can afford who can effectively and simplistically communicate to you the drills, methods, sensations and feelings needed to improve your overall golf performance so you can realize “Your Ultimate Golf Potential”.
Until Next Month,
The Complete Golfer Golf Academy