As I’ve come up in the golf industry first as a student and now as an instructor, I’ve noticed an odd phenomenon about the golf instruction industry. For years, I’ve tried to understand this phenomenon, rationalize it, to no avail. So what is this phenomenon that I’m talking about?
The 1 hour golf lesson.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why as amateur golfers that we believe that a 1 hour ball beating session overseen by an instructor is going to produce long lasting benefits to our golf game. What’s even more troubling is that the majority of these 1 hour lessons are done without any video feedback. Having worked through many swing changes myself, and having taught thousands of students in our schools, the majority of golfers simply cannot “feel” a change. For true success, you have to match the feeling to the correct movement, and video is the only way I’ve ever seen to match up our perception (feel) to reality (real on video).
The best rationalizations I’ve come to thus far are these:
- Golf is a hobby for most amateur golfers. The goal is simply to not embarrass themselves when they play, so they go to an instructor for a 1 hour lesson to find a way to accomplish that goal.
- Many amateur golfers still mistakenly believe that there is just one ‘secret’ that’s keeping them from true golf prowess.
For many years I was baffled that Todd and Tim wouldn’t take on 1 hour private lessons, but insisted upon a commitment of time from the student before they would even consider teaching them. As they years have gone by, I now understand the “why” behind that thinking. You see, for an instructor interested more in their reputation than making a quick buck, the 1 hour lesson is a minefield, which can rarely be navigated safely.
Here’s how that minefield works; an instructor agrees to take a 1 hour lesson with a student, and during that lesson immediately realizes that there are some major issues that need to be addressed with the student’s swing. So the instructor has a choice – (a) ignore the major issues and try to get the student to hit the ball better during the lesson (the band-aid approach), or (b)suggest the necessary changes that the student must make for true improvement. It’s a catch 22 for the instructor, and unbeknownst to the student, for him as well.
Why you may ask?
If the instructor tries to put a band-aid on the big problems, the student will inevitably regress to old, bad habits in a matter of days, if not hours. If the instructor suggests and insists on the major changes needed, the student leaves that lesson and gets invariably worse, because they have not or will not implement the recommended changes. And who gets blamed for that? The instructor.
Nobody wins in either situation, and it’s a travesty of modern golf instruction.
One of my favorite quotes from Todd to students in our schools is this – “You’re either trained, or untrained”. What does he mean by this?
Simply put, if you are trained, you have developed sound fundamentals through coaching and training, over time, through diligent and meaningful practice. Everything else is untrained. As much as the golf industry would like to tell you that it isn’t true, I believe you know deep down that it is.
So if you are untrained, and you are tired of putting Band-Aids on your swing’s internal bleeding, what should you do? Well, there are several options:
- Devote yourself to matching the Moe Norman model. It works 100% of the time. Simply put, the closer you match the model, the more trained you become.
- Develop a long term approach to becoming trained. This can include, but is not limited to; attending a school once a year, participating in the Internet Golf Academy, our long distance coaching program, learning to study your swing on video yourself.
Simply put, you have a choice with your game, like every other golfer out there – keep putting Band-Aids on and hope it stops the bleeding long enough to play a respectable round, or get trained.
Here’s what I know to be 100% true 100% of the time – the closer you get to matching Moe’s swing with your own, the more consistent and accurate your ball striking will become. How do I know this? Because I’ve experienced myself, first hand, and I’ve seen it in hundreds of our students who’ve taken on the task of becoming trained in the Moe Norman swing. I’ve never seen a golfer who made a change to match Moe who did not become a better ball striker.
So are you up to the challenge of becoming trained? What are you willing to do to accomplish that task?