Drinking in the pub and drill of the month

I was having a drink in the local pub last night and was chatting to a new friend about golf. My friend was interested about my ideas and also my experiences with conventional golf instruction.

I was reminded of a time when I used to have golf lessons at a leading golf facility here in Melbourne. At the time I was still formalising my concepts on natural learning, and many of my golfing mates were having lessons there so I thought it was a good idea for me to do the same. After all, I didn’t want to miss out on anything that could help my golf game.

I still remember walking into to the coaching centre and being surprised at many of the golfers performing the same practice drills. It seemed a bit strange, especially when the playing standards of the players varied from professional to beginner.

I had lessons there for a few months. The routine was pretty much the same. My swing was captured on video then we went out the back to watch it. The coach would draw lines on the screen, I would nod in understanding (although I was often confused) and then I would hit some balls or do drills to put the ideas into action.

The one thing that really annoyed me were the practice drills. The coaches used the same drills for everyone! Each month or so they would come up with a new drill. This became quite funny for me so I termed the phrase “drill of the month”.

Over time the golfers having lessons there (and there were many) all resembled each other. You could spot them from a mile away. Their routines were the same, each performing a drill that they had learned.

I soon became frustrated with this coaching method. My game was stagnant, despite performing the drills and practicing hard. The coaches were great guys but they had a lack of flexibility in their coaching style. They tried to force me to fit their coaching method, not adapt their style to fit me. I stopped having lessons after few months and continued on my own path of discovery.

Chatting about it last night it hit home why this traditional approach does not work for everyone. It’s the ‘cookie cutter’ approach. Everyone is taught the same way. The coaching model is rigid…if you don’t fit in you have no chance to improve. This I believe is wrong.

If you’re currently having lessons ensure the coach can work with you and not against you. Push him or her, make them earn their money. If you don’t understand speak up. Don’t take everything they say as gospel. If you’re not improving leave, you’re the boss.

My other advice is don’t drink too much on a work night. It makes being productive difficult. Think I might head to the golf course.

Good golfing,

Cameron Strachan

Comment using Facebook


  • Steve Wozeniak PGA

    Reply Reply January 27, 2008

    Cameron, sounds like these guys have no clue how to teach it is a good thing you got out of there, the golf swing is so simple if your given the correct information, the hard part is doing it correctly over and over again week in and week out. Sadly there are not very many great instructors out there, good luck. Steve Wozeniak PGA Director of Instruction
    Bellevue/Lake Spanaway Golf Courses http://www.stevewozeniak.com

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field