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When is it ok to give help to playing partners


RadRon
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I'm not the greatest golfer. I play to a 9 handicap. But I've been playing for a long time and I've made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot along the way. Some of the guys I play with clearly have incorrect concepts about how to hit a golf ball. Slicers are the worst offenders, followed closely by guys who try to lift the ball in the air with irons and those who tee the ball too low when using a driver. I know I can help them with these misconceptions and sometimes I have, but I am still reluctant to say anything during a round. These same guys almost never see the range so that is out too. What is your take about offering advice to other golfers?

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Never*

 

*- Unless they ask me to look at a specific thing that would be obvious if they were videoing themselves, i.e., poor alignment.

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Never*

 

*- Unless they ask me to look at a specific thing that would be obvious if they were videoing themselves, i.e., poor alignment.

It's a slippery slope. If someone asks for help with alignment I tell them to line up, then set their club lined up across their toes and step back and look.

 

This is different if you are golfing with your regular buddies that you play with all the time.  They are your friends and you should know how they will take it.  

 

This advice applies to everyone else though.  If it's a random pair up, or a casual friend you don't play with often, don't offer advice.

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My friends and myself are not good golfers. I don't offer up big tips or anything, but I'll tell them things I've read and learned. Usually, it's things around the green and including putting. Had one friend get better at distance control from a tip I gave him. Basically if they're your friends, go ahead and and give some tips. Just don't insult them and come right out and say they're doing it wrong. They'll either listen to you or not or tell you that you suck too. Well, that's what they would say to me.

 

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Only if they require the Heimlich Maneuver or CPR. That's the only time it's OK

 

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I always freely offer this advice.

 

“I have my pros contact info. Would you like his card or shall I text it to you?”

 

If it's a close friend and he wants an eye on his set up I will give it. I played with a very close friend yesterday. He was crushing the ball through the bag but shanking his wedges. It was bizarre - I know it's because of his ball position (off his back foot!). But there's also other things going on that I can't figure out. He will have to see his pro to fix it. That or lay up short of wedge - that's what he did from the middle of the round on.

 

 

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The first response is the best. NEVER.

Unless your name is Butch Harmon, MYOB.

Period, no exceptions.

 

 

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Only when they ask. And even then I always say, “Man, I'm no pro and can't see everything in a person's swing. I'd like to help, but I'm not really qualified.”

Seriously, I try not to even if they ask... I am TRULY not capable.

Now, if we're on a basketball court, or if they're a coach??? I'm ALL IN!

 

 

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You guys are completely discounting the possibility of a beginner desperate for advice but feeling like any such request would be an imposition on their playing partners. The subject of advice can certainly be broached without exchanging any pointed information, i.e. "How do you feel about advice?"

 

It's odd to see our newly crowned forum director handing down blunt mandates on a such a variable dependent subject, effectively stifling discussion. It's not good for business. Period.

 

To all those offering their advice on "never offering advice"....thank you for the chuckle.

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You guys are completely discounting the possibility of a beginner desperate for advice but feeling like any such request would be an imposition on their playing partners. The subject of advice can certainly be broached without exchanging any pointed information, i.e. "How do you feel about advice?"

 

It's odd to see our newly crowned forum director handing down blunt mandates on a such a variable dependent subject, effectively stifling discussion. It's not good for business. Period.

 

To all those offering their advice on "never offering advice"....thank you for the chuckle.

I'm entitled to my opinion and I have the same right as everyone else to voice it.  I'm always open to a healthy discussion.

 

I stand by my opinion as well, and I believe I said unsolicited advice.  That's an important distinction and based on the OP's wording that is what it sounded like he was alluding to so that's the direction I took it.

 

I also said after the round on the range would be a good place to give advice if it's asked for.

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You guys are completely discounting the possibility of a beginner desperate for advice but feeling like any such request would be an imposition on their playing partners. The subject of advice can certainly be broached without exchanging any pointed information, i.e. "How do you feel about advice?"

 

It's odd to see our newly crowned forum director handing down blunt mandates on a such a variable dependent subject, effectively stifling discussion. It's not good for business. Period.

 

To all those offering their advice on "never offering advice"....thank you for the chuckle.

 

I say never as well.   I don't know how to teach the golf swing much less determine what a person is doing wrong.  It is like reading a tip in a magazine;  if you apply the wrong tip it won't help the swing and may in fact make it worse.   

 

The only place I am willing to offer information on is putting.  I have been taught a lot about putting and i am willing to provide my take on putting.  That said,  the approach I was taught was that people make choices and there are results tied to those choices.  My advice is more about how you can assess your choices and how others might impact the stroke.  

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I disagree on never giving advice. If someone is obviously struggling with something and you see a glaring issue, you should ask if they'd like a tip. For example...... I was playing with a guy that was hitting 150yd duck hooks that never got more than 5' off the ground, with his driver. I asked if he'd like a tip and when he said “yes”, I moved the ball position from the middle of his stance to his front foot. This resulted in him splitting every FW at about 260 for the rest of the round. He was ecstatic and thanked me, by buying me a couple beers after the round. In most cases, I won't offer advice, but when I see something that is a simple fix, I will certainly ask.

 

 

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You guys are completely discounting the possibility of a beginner desperate for advice but feeling like any such request would be an imposition on their playing partners. The subject of advice can certainly be broached without exchanging any pointed information, i.e. "How do you feel about advice?"

 

It's odd to see our newly crowned forum director handing down blunt mandates on a such a variable dependent subject, effectively stifling discussion. It's not good for business. Period.

 

To all those offering their advice on "never offering advice"....thank you for the chuckle.

Maybe you missed this part that Brian said earlier.

 

This is different if you are golfing with your regular buddies that you play with all the time.  They are your friends and you should know how they will take it.  

 

This advice applies to everyone else though.  If it's a random pair up, or a casual friend you don't play with often, don't offer advice.

 

That does not seem like a "blunt mandate" to me. Brian's responses have been quite nuanced actually.

 

Offering suggestions to interested friends is one thing. If you offer unsolicited advice to anyone though, you are probably adding a new distracting swing thought to the beginner, or seasoned golfer, and potentially distracting them for the rest of the round. During a round, focus on your own game.

 

In my experience, there is no worse random partner than the one that feels obligated to help me with my swing. I know my swing has issues, but I don't need to hear a stranger's interpretation of it, especially if he or she is not a trained teaching pro. One does not become a doctor just because he/she had the flu once.

 

If one really wants to help a beginner, that's great. Take him or her to the range after. Maybe just casually mention that the course has a great teacher that you have benefited from after taking lessons.

 

Remember too that a true beginner is likely nervous about playing on the actual course. He or she has hit the range a few times, but has little experience on the course. The last thing that he or she likely needs is a person telling them that they are swinging wrong. If you can't help but be helpful, maybe focus on playing etiquette, but leave the swing alone, unless specifically asked, or if they open with something like "Man, I just don't know what I'm doing wrong."

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This is a very meta-thread, soliciting advice about unsolicited advice. Feels like an episode of "community"

 

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Offering and soliciting advice are two interesting interactions- both requiring humility, some vulnerability, and some tact in both asking and providing.  Many of the individuals who are willing to offer are low to mid single digit players- they have game.  I am pretty sure none of them would spontaneously blurt out "Hey, you're doing it wrong" or "Here, this will help you with that terrible snap-hook..."  All stated that they would offer if asked, and preface their comments with "I am not a pro- or this is something that might help, but..."  showing some humility before sharing advice or recommendations. 

 

Similarly, me, as a solid 11, would not ask a 20+ playing partner what the secret was to his booming drive (not) or great experience getting out of traps (also probably not)- I would more likely solicit that from a friend who is as good or better than me- but again, this takes some tact and some humility, and an acknowledgment of vulnerability- showing you have, and recognize a personal weakness - in this case, a flaw in your game...

 

Whether you be the requester or provider- if done with humility, tact and when appropriate (i.e. solicited)- I think it would be ok-

 

My wife has another thought on subjects like this - she asks three questions

 

1.  Does it need to be said?

 

2.  Does it need to be said NOW?

 

3.  Does it need to be  said by ME??

 

If you cant comfortably answer YES to all three, you may want to reconsider...

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Never unless I am asked.....

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Not yet mentioned in this thread (but has been in others on this subject) .. giving or asking for advice - during the course of a stipulated round - incurs a 2 stroke penalty.

 

So - anyone keeping score and submitting a round for their handicap should do neither.

 

Personally, I don't ask for advice unless I'm taking a playing lesson with a teaching pro; I don't offer advice except to my wife .. and then only every once in a while .. and only when I see her repeatedly struggling with something I think it's a straightforward fix .. and then I will "suggest" that she, eg., check her alignment - I will not line her up nor tell her how to do it.

 

I agree that each person should play their own game out on the course.

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The overwhelming majority of replies within this thread begin "never" and conclude with "but, unless, however, only, etc..."

 

The absolutes and exceptions contained within these responses adequately illustrate the scenario variability referenced in my original reply and are the reason I believe an unflinching umbrella policy re: advice is far from a nuanced approach.

 

OP inquired about offering advice but I think most replies in this thread are actually thinly veiled opinions about being on the receiving end of unsolicited advice; more specifically, advice from a source deemed personally dubious. Well, there are many PGA accredited professionals that I consider terrible instructors and my amateur status has not precluded me from helping regular playing partners and strangers alike to improve immediately and dramatically.

 

The golf course is undoubtedly a poor place to present swing theory. But if someone is standing way too far from the ball for example, telling them to move closer cannot hurt. Similarly, a playing partner strangling their putter and struggling with speed will immediately benefit from reducing grip pressure. I'm certainly not in a position to claim OP has no constructive knowledge to offer those around him.

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The overwhelming majority of replies within this thread begin "never" and conclude with "but, unless, however, only, etc..."

 

The absolutes and exceptions contained within these responses adequately illustrate the scenario variability referenced in my original reply and are the reason I believe an unflinching umbrella policy re: advice is far from a nuanced approach.

 

OP inquired about offering advice but I think most replies in this thread are actually thinly veiled opinions about being on the receiving end of unsolicited advice; more specifically, advice from a source deemed personally dubious. Well, there are many PGA accredited professionals that I consider terrible instructors and my amateur status has not precluded me from helping regular playing partners and strangers alike to improve immediately and dramatically.

 

The golf course is undoubtedly a poor place to present swing theory. But if someone is standing way too far from the ball for example, telling them to move closer cannot hurt. Similarly, a playing partner strangling their putter and struggling with speed will immediately benefit from reducing grip pressure. I'm certainly not in a position to claim OP has no constructive knowledge to offer those around him.

 

had to pull out the dictionary on this one....... great writing.

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