I sent this out to my Email Newsletter list as a golf tip, and decided to put it on a web
page so that students could understand the evolution of learning a golf swing method. To join the list click here:
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Golf Tip: Golf Teacher or Swing Coach
Is There A Difference Between A Golf Teacher And A Golf Swing Coach?
There is a difference and that difference can have significant impact on your
golf improvement. The difference between change and evolution is the difference
between a Golf Teacher and a Golf Swing Coach.
This may not make sense at first but consider the golf teacher and golf swing
coach to be the same instructor, only at different phases of the learning process.
Change - The Primary Stage
When a student first begins to work with a golf teacher, a beginning student is normally given
swing instruction to develop a swing method that suits
their physical characteristics; students with some experience often want to make changes to
their current swing method. This is the primary stage, which is relatively short - maybe
one to two years for someone who practices frequently - but can consist of intensely
Please recognize that students who don't practice frequently - or not at all - can still have an
enjoyment of the game. The one to two year time frame mentioned above is for the more serious player
who is really working on getting their game to a high level.
Evolution - The Secondary Stage
After most of the changes have been introduced, the instruction gradually shifts from
new information to refining the movements the student has already begun to learn. In this
secondary stage, the golf teacher becomes the golf swing coach, layering more small details
in as the students' knowledge increases. There's more focus on giving feedback and less
emphasis on teaching totally new information. The goal in this stage is to help the student
develop a much deeper understanding of the golf swing in terms of how everything interacts.
It isn't until the student gets to this evolutionary stage that they can begin to get the most
significant benefits from golf instruction. Once they reach this stage, they are working
on things that they have already worked on before so it becomes less difficult and less
frustrating. The more golf instruction a person gets in the evolutionary stage in the form
of feedback, the better their swing becomes.
Unfortunately, most people don't get to the evolutionary stage because far too many
students expect to see results quickly. It doesn't work that way in golf, it takes lots of
focused practice repetitions to develop an efficient, repeatable golf swing.
The good news is that practice itself can give you tons of great feedback and be very
enjoyable. I say that because you get the chance to really enjoy your good swings while
you practice, without getting the full blown negative effect of a bad swing at practice
that you would get during a scoring round - namely a high number on your scorecard.
Keep working at your game and enjoy the journey.
BTW, there's a book that I recommend regarding learning how
to practice golf. Practicing golf is not the specific focus of the book, rather it's a book about
how to become great at what you do - but for anyone that's serious about improving their
golf game, it's a must read: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
All the best, and hit'em straight,
WGTF "Top 100 Golf Teacher"
USGTF Class "A" Teaching Professional
Cell: (716) 474-3005
Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can accomplish
what others can't.
~ Jerry Rice, NFL Hall of Fame