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On the fence about lessons? My experience here.


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Great post. Thank you very much.

 

I just had my first lesson today and I'm definitely in the uncomfortable and not hitting the ball well phase, but glad to know there's light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, if you can find an instructor who emails you something like this after your lesson, you may have found a good teacher for you:

 

"My only goal when teaching is to help someone enjoy the game as much as I do. If, in any way, I can do that then we both win."

 

  • Like 1

WITB of an "aspiring"  😉 play-ah ...
..Tour Edge Exotics EXS 3W/HL (17*) and EXS 7W (both Tensei CK Blue)
..Callaway Super Hybrid 23 (PX Catalyst) and Big Bertha 19 5H (Recoil ZTR)
..PXG 0211 6i-GW (Mitsubishi MMT) 
..Cleveland CBX2 54 and CBX 60 (both Rotex graphite)
..Evnroll ER5 (33", 385g, P2 Reflex Tour)
..all in a Datrek bag on a Bag Boy Quad XL push an MGI Zip Navigator electric cart.

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Great post! What is the overall Timeframe for all these lessons?

 

MDGolfHacker

What's In This Lefty's Bag?

Driver: :cobra-small: F8 9.5° Project X Even Flow Blue 65g shaft 

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Fairway Woods: :cobra-small: F8 5W Project X Even Flow Blue 75g shaft

Hybrid: :titelist-small: 816H2 19°

Irons: :mizuno-small: MP-20 SEL Project X 5.5 shafts 5-PW

           :mizuno-small: MP-20 HMB Project X 5.5 shaft 4 Iron

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great post!

 

I have been thinking about taking lessons, but I hate the thought about spending the money on lessons instead of rounds of golf.  This article makes me seriously reconsider my position.

  • Like 1

Mizuno JPX EZ driver

Taylormade SLDR HL 3 wood

Mizuno JPX EZ hybrids 3 & 4

Mizuno JPX EZ Irons 4-G

Titleist SM6 Vokey wedge 54.10

Odyssey White Hot Pro V-line putter

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I'm super interested in Jim Venetos the more I scuff the ball around.From the beginning of our email conversations.He seems like an all round great person who cares

Keep it in the short stuff

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... What an excellent description of the learning process. I taught full time for 5 years but had to stop after back surgery. I was with the IPGA and teaching was as much a learning experience as being s student. Here are some brief thoughts about things I learned as an instructor for those of you considering lessons:

1. You need to have a good relationship with your instructor. People process information differently and hopefully your instructor can fine tune their lesson to your personality. Getting along is just as important as knowledge and information. Meaning if you are a feel player, an instructor that deals in mechanics and positions may not work best for you. If you are an introvert, getting you to explain everything back can be a disaster. Your instructor should figure out how you like to learn and devise a plan for you only. It was common for me to tell a student the exact same information different ways until the light bulb went off in their head. "Why didn't you tell me that to begin with?" Of course I did, 7 different ways but the 8th way finally made sense to you. Many instructors repeat the same information the same way not really understanding their student does not process information the same way they do. Talking more or less, more visual and less verbal or the other way around. You should know after the first lesson if you have a connection but certainly after 3 lessons. Never feel bad about leaving an instructor if you are not completely comfortable. 

2. It is the job of a good instructor to help you evaluate what you are doing wrong, and communicate to you if you are capable of changing it. To be honest, most are not. The longer you have played, the harder it is to make a change in the true nature of your swing. If you have an over the top swing, starting from the top and cutting across the ball with a weak slice most students are not capable of completely changing their tendencies and starting the swing from the ground up, dropping the club to the inside and hitting a straight shot or even a draw. What you can do is turn your natural move into a tighter, slightly over the top swing and turn your weak slice into more of a power fade. The OP had a shorter swing, knockdown move he was comfortable with and that was a real bonus for him and his instructor. Most do not and should be content with ... and this was the foundation of my personal philosophy "Learn to do what you are doing now much better".  Yes, I ran across students capable of completely revamping their swings but they were few and far between and willing to put in years of work and tons of range/mirror/practice time. So be realistic in your goals. 

3. I started every lesson by asking my student to produce their very worst swings and worst shots. "If you can't hit really bad shots that's OK, but it really helps me if you take your worst swings". It was my way of loosening them up and taking the pressure off of what is a very intimidating endeavor, being vulnerable in front of a stranger. 

4. And for me the most important rule is give out information by the teaspoon not the shovel. I may give an overall description of what we will try and accomplish but in very general terms, not specifics. I like one swing thought at a time. As the OP said, he was trying to think of 6 things at once and we are only capable of thinking one thing at a time. We can go back and forth between thoughts very rapidly of course, but down that road lies madness as you are still thinking 6 different things at different times in one swing.

Often my student may hit a bad shot while I am excited about the one move we are working on. It will all come together in the end but almost never in the beginning. Putting the swing together one element at a time is imo by far the best way to learn. If you are swinging way past parallel, then coming over the top and hitting with your hands and cutting across the ball I would start with just shortening the swing and getting to the root cause of why the swing is too long. Breaking down of the wrists? Arms? Tilt? Whatever it is, there is plenty to work with and that one change alone will feel like a completely new swing even though we are just tightening up the swing you already have.

We will get to coming over the top after you have the club and your body in a better position to do those things. If I tell my student we are gonna shorten the back swing. Then we are going to fix the over the top move caused by starting the swing with the hands not the lower body. And then we will start dropping the club inside or at least keeping it on plane for the downswing those thoughts are in the students head and they will be aware of them when they practice or play on their own. All I want them doing is shortening their backswing and once we have accomplished that goal, we will move on to the next goal. 

Teaching is a special calling and not many are really good at it. If you can find an instructor you click with like the OP, you are halfway there. If you don't click with your instructor, do not hesitate to find another. 

  • Like 4

Driver:   TaylorMade SIM2 Max ... Diamana Limited 60R
Fairway:  Cobra SZ 14.5* ... Atmos Blue TS 7S
Utility:   Callaway Super Hybrid 17*   ... Diamana Limited 65R
               TaylorMade DHy 19* ... Diamana Limited 65R
Irons:    4-Pw Cobra King Tour MIM ... Nippon 950gh r-flex
Wedges:  Cobra Snakebite 50* ... Nippon 950gh r-flex
                 Mizuno T20 58* ... Nippon 950gh r-flex
Putter:  Cleveland Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
Ball:      TaylorMade TP5x (2021)

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I have been playing seriously for about 4 years. I have never taken lessons, so my swing is completely homemade. For me, building my swing consisted of testing different techniques/fundamentals and seeing what worked and what didn't. I have gotten to the point where I can consistently shoot in the upper 70s to low 80s range. I know lots of people who have swing coaches, and they are much better than me. When they are on, they are really on (I'm talking -3, average). But here's what I have that they don't: I have the ability to self-adjust. I can correct flaws in my swing, and get my game back on track. They rely completely on their swing coach. When something happens to their swing, they become helpless. So, that is my theory on swing coaches. Don't get me wrong, lessons are still a great idea, as long as you don't become dependant on you coach. I am sure I would also start taking lessons, if I could afford it! BTW, congratulations on the improvement you're seeing :)

 

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2017  :taylormade-small: M1 460, Project X HZRDUS Black 6.0

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:cobra-small: Fly-Z 4H
:mizuno-small: MP-60, 3i-PW, True Temper Dynamic Gold
:mizuno-small: S5 54° & 58°, True Temper Dynamic Gold
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:titelist-small: Pro V1x

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... What an excellent description of the learning process. I taught full time for 5 years but had to stop after back surgery. I was with the IPGA and teaching was as much a learning experience as being s student. Here are some brief thoughts about things I learned as an instructor for those of you considering lessons:

 

1. You need to have a good relationship with your instructor. People process information differently and hopefully your instructor can fine tune their lesson to your personality. Getting along is just as important as knowledge and information. Meaning if you are a feel player, an instructor that deals in mechanics and positions may not work best for you. If you are an introvert, getting you to explain everything back can be a disaster. Your instructor should figure out how you like to learn and devise a plan for you only. It was common for me to tell a student the exact same information different ways until the light bulb went off in their head. "Why didn't you tell me that to begin with?" Of course I did, 7 different ways but the 8th way finally made sense to you. Many instructors repeat the same information the same way not really understanding their student does not process information the same way they do. Talking more or less, more visual and less verbal or the other way around. You should know after the first lesson if you have a connection but certainly after 3 lessons. Never feel bad about leaving an instructor if you are not completely comfortable.

 

2. It is the job of a good instructor to help you evaluate what you are doing wrong, and communicate to you if you are capable of changing it. To be honest, most are not. The longer you have played, the harder it is to make a change in the true nature of your swing. If you have an over the top swing, starting from the top and cutting across the ball with a weak slice most students are not capable of completely changing their tendencies and starting the swing from the ground up, dropping the club to the inside and hitting a straight shot or even a draw. What you can do is turn your natural move into a tighter, slightly over the top swing and turn your weak slice into more of a power fade. The OP had a shorter swing, knockdown move he was comfortable with and that was a real bonus for him and his instructor. Most do not and should be content with ... and this was the foundation of my personal philosophy "Learn to do what you are doing now much better". Yes, I ran across students capable of completely revamping their swings but they were few and far between and willing to put in years of work and tons of range/mirror/practice time. So be realistic in your goals.

 

3. I started every lesson by asking my student to produce their very worst swings and worst shots. "If you can't hit really bad shots that's OK, but it really helps me if you take your worst swings". It was my way of loosening them up and taking the pressure off of what is a very intimidating endeavor, being vulnerable in front of a stranger.

 

4. And for me the most important rule is give out information by the teaspoon not the shovel. I may give an overall description of what we will try and accomplish but in very general terms, not specifics. I like one swing thought at a time. As the OP said, he was trying to think of 6 things at once and we are only capable of thinking one thing at a time. We can go back and forth between thoughts very rapidly of course, but down that road lies madness as you are still thinking 6 different things at different times in one swing.

 

Often my student may hit a bad shot while I am excited about the one move we are working on. It will all come together in the end but almost never in the beginning. Putting the swing together one element at a time is imo by far the best way to learn. If you are swinging way past parallel, then coming over the top and hitting with your hands and cutting across the ball I would start with just shortening the swing and getting to the root cause of why the swing is too long. Breaking down of the wrists? Arms? Tilt? Whatever it is, there is plenty to work with and that one change alone will feel like a completely new swing even though we are just tightening up the swing you already have.

 

We will get to coming over the top after you have the club and your body in a better position to do those things. If I tell my student we are gonna shorten the back swing. Then we are going to fix the over the top move caused by starting the swing with the hands not the lower body. And then we will start dropping the club inside or at least keeping it on plane for the downswing those thoughts are in the students head and they will be aware of them when they practice or play on their own. All I want them doing is shortening their backswing and once we have accomplished that goal, we will move on to the next goal.

 

Teaching is a special calling and not many are really good at it. If you can find an instructor you click with like the OP, you are halfway there. If you don't click with your instructor, do not hesitate to find another.

Great post - great info and great insights ... Thanks!!
  • Like 1

WITB of an "aspiring"  😉 play-ah ...
..Tour Edge Exotics EXS 3W/HL (17*) and EXS 7W (both Tensei CK Blue)
..Callaway Super Hybrid 23 (PX Catalyst) and Big Bertha 19 5H (Recoil ZTR)
..PXG 0211 6i-GW (Mitsubishi MMT) 
..Cleveland CBX2 54 and CBX 60 (both Rotex graphite)
..Evnroll ER5 (33", 385g, P2 Reflex Tour)
..all in a Datrek bag on a Bag Boy Quad XL push an MGI Zip Navigator electric cart.

Forum Member tester for the ExPutt Putting Simulator

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  • 2 weeks later...

Really interesting read.  I think lessons are a really interesting topic.  I have been playing seriously for about 5 years and I have had a range of experiences from worthless to really good.  In that time I have managed to go from an 18 handicap to 5.  Some key learnings (i.e. the best lessons I had) were:

- Early stages, focus on:

1. Fundamentals - setup (grip, posture etc.) - still in the top 2-3 lessons I have had

2. Strike

Note - I naturally knew how to hit a ball with reasonable power from the start through my sporting history so these provided me a foundation to get better

 

Next I would do a gapping lesson, understand the distances you hit (not what you think you hit, what you actually hit).  This plus a putting lesson got me to single figures

From a quick improvement standpoint, the best lesson I have ever had was a putting lesson.  I was a terrible putter, I found out that I aimed left and swung right and also my putter was too long for me.  The pro helped point this out and gave me drills to help fix it as well as drills to maintain it (and cut down my putter on the spot).   

 

Having got myself to about an 8 the next step was building consistency (full swing).  As per the original discussion this is where you can go backwards quickly and things can get really frustrating!  I found changes to improve one part of the game impacted others.  Positions and swing flaws were easy to spot and difficult to fix and marrying up a swing thought to the issue felt really tough.  Some issues I had was early extension, flipping the club on the back swing (which led to going over the top - pretty much like everyone).

 

The lesson that turned my fade to a draw (sometimes hook) was a simple one.  It was around the back swing.  Basically when your hands are above your trail foot, make the clubface point to the ball.  Initially I would move the club to that point and stop (coach would check) then I would make the swing from there.  Do this for all clubs, longer ones to have to move you hands further before having any wrist break...We tried things after this but nothing helped and we ended up moving back to this principle above.

 

Funnily enough after working on being able to hit a draw my coach and I agreed that focusing on hitting a fade as my stock shot was the way to go.  The changes I did above really helped make me more consistent and essentially built on the above.

 

The key thing is having an open mind, actually practicing the changes and then reporting back the findings.  And if a certain coach isn't clicking go elsewhere (if you can).  Also stat tracking apps and shot tracking products are good because it allows you to provide a coach with meaningful information and help guide the development focus.

 

That's my 2 cents anyway.  Great post and interesting topic.

  • Like 2

WITB

Titleist 917D2 Driver - Speeder Evolution 757 Tour (Stiff)

Titleist 915F Fairway (15 degree) - Diamana 70g (Stiff)

Titleist 915H Hybrids (21 and 24 degree) - Adila Rogue 85H (Stiff)

Mizuno MP54 Irons (5-P) - Nippon NS Pro 950 (Stiff), 2 degrees flat

Mizuno MPT5 Wedges (50,54,58), 2 degrees flat 

Scotty Cameron Futura X7 (33')

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Great overview of your lessons and progress. I'm in the same type of pattern right now. I'm 4 lessons in, of 12. Most of my practice is done at home, without a club. I'm working on shortening my swing and a million other things. I actually have a thread on another forum where I am posting all my videos and thoughts. I agree that taking lessons with the right instructor is wonderful.... But I think the best thing you can do for the lessons and yourself is to be honest with yourself and the instructor and be committed. Things will not get better quickly. It will take time and commitment. I can't stress those things enough. Half a commitment won't be good enough and most likely lead to frustration and no long term improvement.

 

 

 

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 (8*) with Diamana Kai'li X-stiff

Fairway:   :ping-small: G400 (14.5*) with Diamana Kai'li X-stiff

Irons: :ping-small: Crossover 3 iron (19*) with TT Dynamic Gold 120 S400 shaft

            :titelist-small: AP3 (4/5) and AP2 (6-PW) with TT Dynamic Gold 120 S400 shafts

Wedges: Scor 50*, 54*, and 58* with TT Dynamic Gold 120 S400 shafts

Putter:  :cameron-small: Pro Platinum Newport 2 Midslant

Handicap: 3

Location: Illinois...until i can get my wife to move to a warmer climate

Right Handed: Although sometimes I wonder if left handed would suit me better :blink:

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