A simple golf lesson

Golf coaching isn’t really rocket science – it’s quite simple. But each day I’m staggered at how difficult some golf professionals/coaches/golfers like to make it.

I had my first unofficial golf lesson at my new property yesterday. It was with a family member (who will remain nameless) who was visiting us after our beautiful arrival.

It didn’t really start out as a lesson, we were just having some fun, whacking balls and discussing the day’s events.

Family Member: What am I doing wrong?

Me: Nothing. Just hit the ball and try and enjoy the experience.

FM: I would enjoy it more if I was hitting the ball better.

Me: Ok, can you feel your swing? Does any part of it stand out?

FM: What do you mean? Can’t you just tell me what I’m doing wrong?

Me: I’m not like all the other golf coaches you’ve had – I don’t believe in “right” and “wrong” instruction. Has that ever really helped you in the past?

FM: Not really I guess. If it had ever worked I wouldn’t be complaining.

Me: Ok, then give this a go – just go with the flow, relax and don’t try too hard. Now, does any part of your swing stand out to you?

FM: My left hand feels funny. I think it’s coming off the club.

Me: Great. Good job, you’ve got some awareness of what’s happening. I don’t want you to analyse or try and change anything, but keep your focus on your left hand.

After a few more tries the FM was hitting some nice shots.

FM: These are ok, I’m happy with them, but why is the ball going to the left?

Me: Has anyone explained to you about your clubface?

FM: No. I’m not sure.

Me: When your clubface is closed the ball is going to go to the left and when it’s open it will go to the right. And when it’s square….

FM: It will go straight!

Me: Correct. Sometimes, we think the clubface is square but in actual fact it’s a bit messed up. Let me show you.

I held the club in the address position for FM to see.

FM: Wow! My club is pointing way left at address – no wonder I’m hitting the ball over there.

Me: Sometimes we need to exaggerate and step things up for learning to take place. This is a lot of fun but many won’t do it because they’re stuck trying to swing “perfectly”. It will feel awkward and they won’t push boundaries enough.

FM swung with an open clubface (it actually snuck back to squarish as the club was taken away) and hit some nice and high balls down the middle.

FM: Yes! This is how I want to hit the golf ball.

Me: You can hit the ball like this, you’re already doing it. Just keep swinging, and if you like, keep you focus on your left hand.

FM was a little clunky at address – trying too hard to get things “right” but was enjoying the experience.

FM: My hand feels better now – it’s nice and solid on the club.

Me: Good job. See how it sort of fixed itself without you really doing anything?

FM: Yeah, it’s kind of weird.

Me: I call this natural learning and it’s how we learn most other stuff – for some reason, we make golf way too hard.

FM topped a ball badly along the ground.

FM: WHAT DID I DO WRONG?

Me: You didn’t do anything wrong. Have you forgotten the lesson already?

FM: Sorry. I hate hitting bad shots and I like knowing what I did wrong.

I explained the pitfalls of “working out your mistakes” once again.

Me: Just hit the ball. Stop worrying, can you feel your hand?

FM went back to hitting the ball well and finished with three beauties.

FM: I like the height I’m getting. This is really going to help my driver swing – I don’t get enough height.

The lesson lasted only 10 minutes and was incredibly simple – also one of the best I’ve done. It hit home that my decision to follow the dream was a correct one and I can’t wait to help others with this simple, correct and game changing advice. When we work with our learning system, good things do happen.

In future articles I’m going to explore this golf coaching thing a little more – I’ve got a lot to get off my chest.

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12 Comments

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply February 10, 2013

    This makes me look forward to getting up there and having a lesson with you which will be later this year everything going well
    Cheers Lukey

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 12, 2013

      Start saving your pennies Lukey – we should be up and running here within a month or so….

  • Troy Vayanos

    Reply Reply February 11, 2013

    Great work Cameron,

    Hopefully the first of many good lessons for the future.

    Cheers

  • cam280

    Reply Reply February 11, 2013

    “Thinking instead of acting is the number – one disease in golf”( Sam Snead)

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 12, 2013

      Wise words Cam.

  • wayne

    Reply Reply February 11, 2013

    Outstanding,very similar to the way i have been practicing for the last 2 months.
    Wish i had a lesson like that 10 years ago,your a legend Cam.
    p.s.last time we spoke i was off 8 now im off 6.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 12, 2013

      Wayne – great to hear. Keep up the good work and be sure to drop in one day.

  • James Smith

    Reply Reply February 11, 2013

    Good stuff, Cam.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 12, 2013

      Thanks James, appreciated.

  • Rooster

    Reply Reply February 14, 2013

    Hello Cameron,

    I’ve gone automatic from fairway to green and striking it great. Swinging smoother and making better and consistent contact.
    However, my scores are ruined as a result of hitting my first fairway halfway thru the back 9.
    I can’t hit driver or 3 wood off the tee and even my trusty 3 iron is turning at right angles.
    I’m doing my best to wipe out all thoughts but nothing is working for me on the tee box.
    I was nearly going to pack the clubs away in frustration the other day but then I strummed one 330m up the last. It’s a funny game we love as one shot makes us forget about the other 80.
    Please help!

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply February 15, 2013

      Hello Rooster, nice to hear from you.

      Almost always poor bal striking from the tee is a result of not letting go and swinging freely. You probably think you are, but I’m willing to be there’s some tension/anxiety/ego involved.

      It makes no sense that you’d be hitting the irons well and the woods poorly – it is afterall the same swing, same game. Nothing really changes – your natural ability is more than capable of making the minor changes to hit the wood or the longer clubs.

      So here’s what I suggest. In your next round see if you can be aware of your mental state, thoughts and feelings as you strike from the tee. You’re not controlling things here, just letting your attention focus on what is happening. Report back here with your findings.

      Cameron

  • James Smith

    Reply Reply February 19, 2013

    That’s a great thought, Cam. Swing your driver as you would swing your favorite iron. I will give that a try! 🙂

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