The Perfect Student

We have just opened up our school schedule for 2021 and the schools are starting to fill very fast.

With all the students signing up for the schools, I like to review and article I wrote what makes a “perfect student”.

In this instructional article I want to write about the student … What do we expect / “hope” from our students. This includes students of our schools, camps, or maybe just students who are studying our video instruction and/or watching our webinars or maybe just reading these practice tips.

The first morning of our camps, I like to go around the room and ask our students what they want out of the week, the next 6 months of their golf game, and maybe the next year. What are their goals? What are their expectations?

We typically get the same responses… Wanting to improve their scores, cut their handicaps in half, learn fundamentals better, not have so many “blow up holes”, work on short game, etc.. etc…

After hearing their responses – it typically falls into about 3 catagories (all related):

  1. They want to learn how to improve (score better).
  2. They want to learn how to make less mistakes on the golf course.
  3. They want to be more consistent when they play golf.

What I hear is them saying “I want to learn how to practice and become a better student.”

With that being said – I want to describe the “perfect student” … or someone we believe has the best chance for improvement. The closer the student is to the “perfect student” the faster he/she will improve. This is no question there is a direct correlation in this area.

1. The student is open to EVERYTHING being said.

In other words, everything being taught, he/she is receptive too. Too many times, students have heard (or learned) things different before and they put up a mental “road block” when hearing something new. Playing good golf starts by understanding a method of solid fundamentals. The fundamentals don’t have to be complicated or difficult, but the student must learn the fundamentals within the method. Mixing and matching fundamentals of different methods does not work.

2.  The student understands is takes TIME to make changes.

This is a big one… To many want things too fast (me included). I once heard a saying, “If you get something fast, you’ll probably lose if fast”.  Cannot be more true when learning a new move, a new fundamental, etc… If you have patience, give it time, understand it will take a little while to figure out, etc. the change will “stick” and most of the time will be something you won’t have to consistently work on again and again. Rushing the process never works, or at least work for a period of time… Quick fixes are just those…. here today, gone tomorrow.

3.  The student understands you can not break a bad habit, but rather you CREATE a new habit.

This is a big one. I guarantee you if I interviewed golfers and asked them what they thought they needed to work on in their golf swing, a majority would say they need to break this habit, or that habit, etc… To start, it is basically impossible to “break” anything when it comes to a physical movement you have learned or acquired from the past. What is needed, is to determine what you need to work on and then work on doing it perfect (or as close to perfect) every time you practice. In other words, your body and brain are working together to create something that is good, it is not working “against” each other. How many times have you heard (or maybe said to yourself), “My brain says to do one thing, but my body does another”. We need to work on creating new/perfect habits that are much stronger than the old/bad habits which will in essence get our “body and brain to work together”.

4.  The “perfect” student will ASK questions.

This sounds like something you heard in school doesn’t it. But, you’d be surprised how many students will sit in a group, nod their head like they understand everything being said, and then after the presentation is over, will come up to the instructor and ask a “ton” of questions. We love the questions, problem is, if one student has a question, chances are, so do a majority of the other students. So, if you are sitting in one of our schools or camps, please don’t hesitate to ask any question ANY time. If you are watching our videos, webinars, reading e-tips, etc. email us with questions any time. We promise we will do our best to get back to you with answers asap. Please don’t go forward not knowing the answer or “confused” about something.


5. The student understands learning, especially an athletic move / moves, is a PROCESS.

It can be a fun process and the process can be sped up with proper practice, etc. but it is always a “process”. Enjoying the process is the key! Looking forward to making changes and working on those changes is a key! Ultimately understanding there really isn’t anything that is a “quick fix” (as stated before), but rather a process to change and a process to good and eventually, great golf. Understanding the process, looking forward to working through the process, getting help when necessary, will ultimately lead to the golf game the student wants.

Again – As the golf school season begins again (as many of you read this, my staff will be teaching at our academy in Orlando) – thought it would be a good time to list what we would love to see from every one of our students in order that they can improve their golf games to levels they can only imagine now.

Remember – Always Practice with a Purpose.

Remember – A little improvement every day, will lead to a lot of improvement over time.

Tim Graves, PGA

One thought to “The Perfect Student”

  1. I can make a series of what feel like good practice swings with good leg, torso and shoulder rotation,, but when a ball is in front of me the old bad muscle memory kicks in, usually resulting in cutting off the backswing, standing up straight and hitting with hands from the top. The result needs no description.

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