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A few months ago I was talking to a friend who is a teacher. One of his students, whom he has been teaching for months, came to the pro shop. The golfer pulled out his phone and showed my buddy a few Instagram accounts that he was following. He asked if he should recreate the swinging movements that the online instructors suggested. My friend politely suggested that he stay with the things they had worked on that were specific to his swing.
That exchange involves two major problems that I see with the explosion of available wave fluctuation content – relevance and continuity, which I will explore in this article. David Poulton summarized it nicely in his article,
Years ago while teaching, I would educate and inform most golfers. Now I notice that I spend more time cleaning & # 39; cleaning & # 39; from golfers of irrelevant info or things they have picked up, which does not affect the actual swinging of the club.
When it comes to the golf swing, there is only so much information that a player can consume before it becomes disadvantageous. For those who seek help with online properties such as YouTube and Instagram, there are no limits to the number of available swing tips. Despite the teachers' best intentions, golfers fall into a dangerous trap when seeking advice. It's just too much, too fast.
Compared to most of my articles, it will be a little more controversial, but I think this is an important message.
It is not the fault of the teacher
In the past four years I have become friends with many golf professionals. I learned a lot about the internal functioning of the golf industry and how the company works. I never really understood how difficult their job was until I started this site.
Golf professionals are most dependent on themselves. Despite the fact that they are "employed" by courses, they are active in their company. Most of them do not receive compensation during the off-season, and sometimes they have to become creative to support themselves. Because the footprint of golf courses does not increase, it is more difficult than ever to earn a living as a swing instructor.
About a decade ago (and even earlier), a small group of teachers saw the growth of the online world and how golfers ventured into YouTube, websites and social media for advice. Like every growth curve, there were innovators and early adopters.
A typical life cycle for technology acceptance
They invested a lot of time and money, created content and grew their following. It was certainly not easy, but there was not nearly as much competition as today. They had a significant head start and were able to create a large audience.
Years later, a select number of companies have built businesses that generate income from golfers around the world. They no longer have to worry if their textbook is full – their online audience has made their career bulletproof. Between online classes, digital products, educational seminars and many other sources of income, they are doing very well financially.
Others noticed and did the same. You can call them the early majority. Although it was more competitive, there was still a chance to build a nice niche for yourself. The word spread and people like me would tell instructors to go on board, otherwise they risked missing it.
Fast forward to 2019. Although I am not sure, I think we are somewhere around the late majority or lagging behind. All teachers who ignored the earlier advice rush to create websites, Instagram accounts and YouTube channels. All you have to do is spend a little time on every platform, and you can see that there is an endless sea of content about the golf swing.
Here's the thing. It is not the fault of the education professionals; I don't blame anyone for trying to protect his career. But for golfers, it creates a potentially dangerous situation.
Here's why …
Designed to keep you there and show you more
The engineers who create platforms such as Instagram and YouTube are incredibly talented. Earlier in my career I worked at Google and was surprised at how smart these people were. It is the best of the best.
All these media have only one goal: to keep you on their website or app for as long as possible. That is how they generate income. Although I do not want to comment on the dark side of social media and its impact on society, they have adapted and adapted their algorithms to exploit how our brains work. When the video ends, they have a new queue that is relevant to you based on your usage history. If you have five accounts with which you have the most contact, they will make ten other recommendations with similar content.
Therein lies the problem for golfers. When it comes to the golf swing, I really believe that less is more, which is the opposite of what happens. You have no chance of meaningfully changing your golf swing if you have watched 15 different videos from instructors who all have different philosophies about how to swing a club. The information is endless and is offered to golfers at high speed.
One Swing, Ten Different Answers
If you took a golfer's swing and showed video of it to ten qualified swing instructors, you would probably get ten different explanations about how to correct their mistakes. Interestingly, they can all help improve the golfer, but only if a number of conditions are met.
First, the instructor's explanation must resonate with the golfer. They must understand the communication style in a way that makes sense and motivates. Secondly, the player should stay with that one instructor voice while they continue working. If they heard all the instructors at the same time, they would be in worse shape than when they started. You cannot make successful changes with too many voices in your head.
This theoretical example illustrates the two main problems I see with platforms such as YouTube and Instagram – relevance and continuity . If you want to improve your golf swing, these two concepts are crucial.
I will explain some more …
How do you know what is relevant to your golf swing?
If you use & # 39; golf swing tips & # 39; type on YouTube, spin a roulette wheel. The only difference is that there are many more options than 38 outcomes – there are thousands.
You get to see all kinds of video & # 39; s from different instructors. They all have different styles and ideas. How do you know that you are going to land on the voice that is relevant to you? Will they communicate in a way that makes sense to you? Or will their explanation about the golf swing confuse you?
More importantly, does their advice match what problems you have in your swing?
Although there is a lot of useful information available, the problem becomes relevant to your golf swing because there are so many different options.
That does not mean that you cannot find anyone who can help you. But the odds are against you because of another problem, continuity .
Continuity is essential, but everything is stacked against you
Continuity is a problem that occurs at every wave level when it comes to swing instruction. Because this game is so difficult and your performance can be so changeable every day, our instincts can be to disembark quickly. Even the best players in the world are known to cycle quickly through swing instructors if they don't see immediate results.
In my opinion, if you want to give yourself the best chance of making meaningful changes to your golf swing, you must stay with the same voice / philosophy for a while and make it work. I do not know exactly how long that period is. Nobody does it – that's the challenge.
Online platforms are designed to do the exact opposite. They want to show you as much as possible that you get stuck. It only takes about 30 minutes and you can consume quite a bit of conflicting information on the swing.
Part of it is excellent. I have found many wonderful teachers who have provided quality advice over the years. Conversely, I have seen a lot of mediocre content from people who do not have much expertise or lack the communication skills to properly deliver their information on video (which is quite challenging). Often the daily golfer will not know the difference between the two.
Because several instructors are just one click away and many of them are imposed on you by recommendations, continuity becomes one of the biggest problems.
For a week, a golfer falls in love with a YouTube channel and finds success in implementing some of his advice. A week later the novelty has disappeared and they again have problems with their swing. It is fairly easy to leave the information and proceed to the next account. Or they try different tips from several instructors at the same time. Yikes!
Because there are thousands and thousands of teachers available, the temptation to continue becomes almost impossible to resist.
Then a golfer finds himself in a situation where they are on the course, about to make a swing, and they have many different swing ideas in mind. Club Pro Guy (a hilarious satire account) calls it his 7-4-7 swing system. Seven waving thoughts from take to transition, four swing thoughts during the transition and seven final swing thoughts from transition to impact. Although that is an ironic explanation, I am afraid that many players work their heads up with those many swing thoughts.
So what should you do?
I know that much of this article has been negative, which is a departure from the way I usually communicate on Practical Golf. For clarity, I am not against the instructors. I am friendly with many of the popular accounts that you come across and I learned a lot from it myself. My problem is more how the information is distributed and consumed, which is beyond their control.
Although I don't have all the answers, here are a few suggestions that I think will give you a better chance:
If you go on a cruise for swing tips, try to stay with one voice. If you find an instructor who resonates with you, and you get positive results from their advice, resist the temptation to find five others like them.
I'm a big fan of skill-based exercises, rather than someone explaining their philosophy on the golf swing. There are numerous instructors who do creative exercises that you can do on the driving range or at home without a swing theory. They are meant to challenge you and find ways to organize yourself to find a solution without having to worry about what you do in the swing.
Get lessons . In general, I think you have a much better chance of hitting your balls if you can get customized advice. If you find a teacher you like, listen to what they have to say. Do the exercises and exercises that they prescribe. Don't confuse their message by looking for conflicting information elsewhere!
Online golf advice is not perfect. I admit that this website has limitations because I cannot possibly provide customized information to all golfers who read my articles.
When it comes to the golf swing, it becomes even more complicated. You want to keep every web feature on their site for as long as possible. It's almost as if you spend more time in a casino – the longer you stay, the greater the chance that you will lose.
I realize that many of you will not agree with what I have written. Just like everything else on this site, these are the opinions of one person. I can assure you that I have all your best intentions in my heart; there is no hidden agenda here. Feel free to continue the conversation in the comments section.