Overview and Philosophy
WHERE ARE WE?
Average scores and handicaps should be going down but they are not!
According to statistics, the average golfers' handicap has not reduced in twenty five years. This is in itself an amazing fact if we consider the huge amount of high-tech instruction and equipment which is now widely available in the "golf market". The game has grown and as a result a large number of new players have now to be considered and they influence in some part the statistics. However, this should be offset by the major developments that have been made in the areas of equipment (clubs and balls), sports science, biomechanics, fitness and psychology.
Mis-education and confusion are rife and epidemic in the world of golf
Non-reduction of the average handicap is not the only indication that there is something wrong in the system. The most problematic indicator is the huge level of frustration and perceived inadequacy felt by golfers. Golfers try and try again but they find that they never get near their expectations on a regular basis. Is it because they are incapable or is it because of mis-education and confusion? The education experts recognize that there are no broken, stupid or hopeless students. What exists are unique people with differing motivations and different learning needs. Anyone can learn anything if the content is presented in small amounts and with respect to the students learning style.
Most golf instruction is based on what is happening on Tour, for the average player it is too complicated and aimed at too higher level. Most golfers don’t have the necessary developed skills to achieve it. This creates a lot of frustration and low self- esteem for most players. The game is being taught as a series of instructions and the essence of play is being lost. Remember how you played as a kid with no conscious thought and with a focus on task/objective/target?
Golfers of today have a difficult task in determining what to buy and where to but it; whatever it may be. According to marketing and advertising, every ball goes further than every other ball; every club hits the ball longer and straighter than every other club; every golf magazine/book is better than every other one and every swing technique is superior to every other. We are both the beneficiaries and the victims of marketing and advertising. How does a golfer ever get a clear, precise and truthful message?
Golfers are being taught "golf swing" and not how to play the game.
The traditional theories of golf instruction are focused almost entirely on the mechanical correctness of the golf swing. Swing mechanics have for some considerable time become more important than both golf and the golfer. What is most important to the majority of instructors is some specific technical position or movement or a swing model for every player. They disregard what the client wants, how they learn, how they are mentally wired, their body constitution, motivations, athletic history, behavior style, sensory preferences and the other factors which lead to quick, satisfying and efficient learning. Furthermore, mechanical/technical instruction tends to focus on the backswing and not on the target or the intention of the task. Having perfect technique and/or greater distance does not directly influence your score or guarantee good results as this is influenced by a number of other skills which the golfer needs to learn. It is easy to lose sight of the aim of the game. Golf is a game and games are to be played and the game of golf is played on the golf course. The "play" part has become increasingly more scarce and golfers are now "working hard" on their games.
Technology is taking over
Advances in technology and the increased use of measuring devices, swing monitors, etc. has meant that we are able to analyze everything in much more detail and break the swing into an infinite number of movements. However, most players are thinking of these things and trying to re-create these things whilst they play. Is it useful or not? A machine can give a lot of useful information but what to do with the information is the key. This is the role of the Coach. A machine can tell you what is happening but not why!
Technical data has its place but that is not in the player’s conscious thoughts when they are striking the ball. Trying to groove a golf swing that does not break down under pressure is a worthy but impossible task. The best players in the world all hit bad shots.
Players (especially amateurs) have forgotten the objective of the game and how to play.
Learning will actually become simple and easy.
The above trends serve to define where we are as golfers and where we are going. What golfers are compelled to find is the experience of playing good golf; whatever that means to them. Playing good golf is easy; playing bad golf is hard. What we need to find is a way to play in a state of "ease". This will be achieved by changing the process of learning and instruction and not by the content of what is being taught.
The world of golf is preparing itself for a major change of philosophy. It must be different and must have the player’s/golfer’s interest at its centre. The old, established beliefs are being questioned by some enlightened Coaches who realize that the current way of learning and instruction is not the most effective way for the golfer. These Coaches will excel as providers of easy and effective learning.
Overview and Philosophy
A NEW AND EXCITING APPROACH
The main aim of my philosophy and approach is to coach and guide you how to play the game and move the focus of attention from solely swing mechanics to you the individual. I will consider every element of your game. These elements can be defined as;
Fitness and strength,
Flexibility and balance
Body type and posture
Equipment, club and ball fitting
Rhythm and tempo
Tests and Games
Motivation and goal setting
Focus and mindset
Confidence and beliefs
Decision making and strategy
Visualization and imagery
Management of thoughts
Management of feelings
Management of physiology
Management of expectations
Acceptance and perseverance
My philosophy incorporates all of these elements and my core beliefs can be summarized as follows:
EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT
COACH THE INDIVIDUAL
UNDERSTAND THE LEARNING PROCESS
USE CAUSE AND EFFECT ANALYSIS
COACH BOTH SKILLS AND MINDS