IF YOU WERE TEACHING YOUR BEST FRIEND, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HIM….
Todd and I are sitting here in the airport, about 2 hours after the final day of our last 3 day school here in Orlando, and as always we are talking about our previous weeks schools… what we saw, what we taught, is there a better way or different way to teach our students, etc.. And as always, there are a few points that always seem to “pop” up after all our schools… I wanted to share these with you, as in the next couple of etips we are going to start our winter practice recommendations and want everyone to get a “jump start” on recommendations.
Before I start, I want to say that in NO WAY am I pointing out anyone in particular… and hopefully as many of you know by now, I tend to tell it as it is… I believe “sugar coating” anything only leads to confusion and that is definitely something we want to avoid in golf instruction…
So here we go…. (hold on for the ride…) – Before we go on – Todd and I figured out between us, we have now taught for close to 30 years… and played competitively and taught for over 60 years combined…
1. Todd and I are continually amazed how many students come to our school with (I will say it as tactfully as possible…) poor fundamentals. Not fundamentals of being on plane, leverage angles, etc.. but rather grip and set up fundamentals. Let me give everyone a hint out there – if you have a poor grip and/or poor set up – THERE IS A HIGH LIKELIHOOD you will not and can not swing the club on plane. The grip and set up should be two of the easiest fundamentals to master…. as long as you have a reference and you check your positions to that reference. Guys….. and again I’ll be as tactful as possible…. this is NOT that hard… get your reference (The ABSOLUTE best is the our Single Plane Solution) and video or even take still pictures of your set up – compare them. Be hard on yourself. Where is your lead hand, compare to all the views on the instructional material – what does your set up look like… again compare to the reference.
Now I’m going to really be as honest as possible….. and for those who don’t want to hear this… I’ll apologize before I go on…. if you have the NG training material – it is NOT good enough… this is why we produced the Single Plane Solution…. this is also why everyone who signs up for our 3 day school gets the Total Game Overview with the school – it is an ABSOLUTE must to learn Moe’s swing….. here is a challenge I want to throw out to everyone out there – please, please, please let me know if there is any better instructional material about Moe’s swing… this is exactly why Todd and I produced this instructional material – because we couldn’t find it. This is 15+ years of studying Moe’s swing put on videos/DVDs….
Sorry for that rant… now I’ll get back to the points…
2. At the beginning of every school – I typically give a talk about topics such as “Taking Responsibility for Your Own Swing”, “Peaks and Valleys of Learning the Swing”, “Perceptions vs. Reality”, etc.. The reason I give this talk is to set up our students expectations and to help them understand what they are about to go through. During that talk I always tell them – during our schools you will NOT see improvement in your ball striking until at the earliest the
middle of the third day to the end of the third day. As I tell this to the students on day 1, they look at me with this blank look on their face, basically telling me “Ya, right… you’ll see, you’ll tell me a thing or two I’m doing wrong, and I’ll have it… perfect..” Then the school starts, and WITHOUT exception, it happens every time… first day – a lot of learning, but you see frustration with the students.. they want quicker results. Day #2 – continued learning and improvement – but still some sense of urgency as the school is nearing the end. Then bingo… day 3. The students ALWAYS comment on day #3 about how they are starting to see and feel the changes. Are they hitting the ball good/perfect yet.. absolutely not, but they can see the path in front of them and are starting to understand the process. I guess this comes from 4 instructors sitting behind them telling them and showing them over and over again what to do. (This past school we had a student whose lead hand grip was too strong on the club… I asked Clay to count the number of times in 2 hours he told him to rotate the hand to the left in the correct position. Clay stopped counting at 15.) Question – Did the student not understand what was being said… Clay told him, I showed him, Todd showed him, Jarod told him again.. problem is the student wasn’t focused on solely fixing the grip – he was focused on the entire swing and hitting the ball. After a couple of days, maybe the students get tired of hearing the same things over and over again and due to not wanting us to same the same thing again to them… maybe that is why they start to make changes.. And this is common with 99.9% of our students… focusing on results rather than the CAUSE.
Subnote – this is exactly why we started teaching the 5 day camps and really teach very few one day schools anymore. Imagine if you were in a 5 day camp and on day 3 started to see some improvement. Instead of going home and hoping it “sticks” – you still have 2 more days to ingrain…
3. Focus – This leads us to the topic of focus. We have NEVER met a student who could focus on more than one swing change at a time. Let me rephrase that – NEVER! It is human nature and definitely the nature of golfers to want to work on the entire puzzle rather and perform it a piece at a time. Problem is, we learn a piece at a time. Especially when you are trying to undo “bad” habits or learn new habits…Look at your game and think of it in the smallest terms… “If I could fix one thing in my swing in the next month, it would be ________” Fill in the blank. Make it specific. For example – Grip, Takeaway, Setup, Leverage angles, spine tilt, etc… If you can not fill in the blank or if you are telling yourself, “I just want to fix my swing” remember – A good golf swing is a series of moving parts in proper position making impact in appropriate sequence. If any of those moving parts are not “set correct” the others must either make up for that or there will be an “error” in the system.
4. What do you see???? Have you ever seen your golf swing? The second day of the schools we always film each person’s swing. (In our camps we basically film 3 to 4 of the 5 days). It is amazing how many students will see themselves for the first time on video (V1 system) with their swing on the right of the screen compared to Moe’s on the left, and they will say “That’s not me – or at least not my swing”.. Todd and I are always saying to ourselves.. okay, then who is it?? Or, you’re right, we got someone who looks just like you to swing like that and we put it in our computers…. As we hear this, we know immediately, they have never seen themselves swing a club before. I will challenge anyone and everyone out there – take a video camera, set it up and film your swing (only takes a couple of minutes). Go home and look at it… be honest with yourself and describe what you see. Now take a reference, (like our Single Plane Solution) and compare the swings and positions….. THERE IS NO BETTER WAY TO LEARN AND DETERMINE WHAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON AWAY FROM A SCHOOL OR LESSONS!!!!!! DON’T allow this to be a guessing game – We see WAY too much of this and you’re time is WAY too valuable to make it a guessing game.
5. What tools do you use when you practice? How many have check systems as they work on their swing? I can tell you right now, I have practiced with literally 1,000s of touring pros, many you know the names very well. And WITHOUT exception, when they are working on their swings, they always have an alignment tool at their feet. May be as simple as a club laying on the ground, or some other method. Ernie Els always uses his umbrella as a guide. Imagine – you have just gone through a great practice session working on some issue in your swing… and after you finish you realize you were lined up 20 degrees to the right of your target.. what do you think will happen when you get on the course and line up correct (or now differently) at your target….. make a bet it’s not pretty… We see this all the time… not practicing with the right tools and check systems which many times are very simple to use.
Anyway – As many of you are probably saying to yourself, enough of your soapbox talk again. But, also as many of you know, Todd, Scott, Trent, Rhett, Clay, Dave, Ron and myself are passionate about making you a better golfer. Like I always say, spending about 1/2 the year 1,000s of miles from your family working with 1,000s of students better be a passion or I would suggest finding other forms of work. If you ever question our passion – I’ll give you another “dare” – Give Scott a call… ask him about the swing, your equipment, or any golf related topic…. call anytime.. (you have no idea how many calls we get after midnight) – leave a message if you don’t get him right away… see how long he takes to call back.. listen to the passion in his voice about making you a better golfer. That’s what it is all about!!!
To finish – this is a start to our winter practice schedule/routines that will be out in the next etips. I have been told by many fellow instructors (many PGA that have taught for years) – you need to tell the student what to do and then get out of his/her way. Let them try and fail, try again, try again…. this is how we learn.
So here is your start –
1. Go to our chatroom http://www.moenormanforum.com/ – talk to our alumni about how they have improved their game.
2. If you don’t have reference material to start working toward swing improvement – get it. We recommend to start with our Single Plane Solution, and for advanced work – look at our 7 Principles of Golf Improvement. All this material is guaranteed 100%.
3. If you have a question about the swing, equipment, etc.. call or email us anytime. That is what we are here for.
4. Be prepared to learn and understand what Moe always said “When you get it, you won’t believe your eyes”.
5. Continue to follow along with our etips and instructional material.
You’ll be amazed the changes you’ll see the next golf season!!