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 hugh amount of high-tech instruction and equipment which is now widely available in the "golf market". The game is growing 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.
Average scores should be going down but they are not !!
This 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 confusion? The education experts recognise that there are no broken, stupid or hopeless students. What exists are unique people with differing motivations and different instructional needs. Anyone can learn anything if the instruction is presented in small amounts and with respect to the students learning style.
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 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?
Confusion is rife and epidemic in the world of golf.
The traditional thoughts and notions 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 the swing plane, the quick set of the shaft angle or the degree of shoulder turn at the top of the swing, etc. etc. 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. Also, mechanical instruction tends to focus on the backswing and not on the target or the intention of the task. Furthermore, 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.
Golfers are being taught "golfswing" and not how to play the game.
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 and 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 and instruction.
Instruction and learning will actually become simple and easy.