Phil Scott shows the way to great coaching

Phil’s greatest coaching gift to his son was not to cloud his mind with technique, but keep his swing simple and natural.

Phil claimed golf’s greatest champions all had an innate natural “feel”, and he wanted to liberate his son’s instincts, not stifle them.

And so a swing that is golf’s version of a silk scarf flowing in the breeze was born, and off he went to become a junior world champion at 17.

This text is as important as anything that appears on this site. It comes from a Herald Sun article and is in reference to Phil Scott, Adam’s dad. Here’s why it’s so important…

… when you can learn to swing naturally and instinctively first, this then becomes your default mode. So if you ever get stuck or lose your game you can more easily revert back to your “feel”. This is the only way to keep your game on track and avoid the mishaps that can come when you try and fix your technique. Your natural swing is also something that will hold your game together when the pressure is on. Artificial swings not so much.

Another important point: Making changes to your game is infinitely easier when you have a natural swing as a reference point. You can take on board small amounts of instruction and apply them to your swing with great results. You tend to work WITH your swing and NOT against.

A huge problem with lots of modern golf coaching is the belief that we need to build the perfect technique first. This absolutely stifles development and destroys flow. Ugly, tight and awkward swings tend to be the result. Swing the club first. Let it flow from start to finish and you’ll be in great shape. Then, if you so desire, add some technique later – but never the other way around.

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4 Comments

  • Andrew

    Reply Reply April 18, 2013

    I remember a few years ago before I came across this site and I was having traditional lessons. I would swing and hit a ball then turn to the instructor and say was that right, having no real awareness of how the swing felt, just wanting to know if i did it “right”. Trying to swing right or get the right technique seems to rob you of feel.
    There is a perception that the pro’s work exclusively on technique, but the more you dig into it all the great players have that feel.

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 20, 2013

      Andrew: And this is why a lot of teaching doesn’t work too well. We (the golfers) lack trust and belief in ourselves to swing the club. We think we need to rely on outside influences (like an instructor) to tell us what is right and wrong – so we’re continuing to “turn around” and wait for the answer. But the answer already lies inside us, we need to trust and the swing will shine. Thanks for posting and the heads up on the article… Cam

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply April 19, 2013

    Cam said: “Swing the club first…then, if you so desire, add some technique later – but never the other way around”

    Yes, yes, YES. If I was teaching someone to play golf these days I wouldn’t let them go NEAR a golf ball until they could “swing the club” in a rhythmic, balanced fashion – and have it in fact well and truly GROOVED. Sounds like the long way round but its actually the short way. Its like what Abraham Lincoln said: “If I had 3 hrs to cut down a tree I’d spend the first 2 hours sharpening my axe”. Or the two guys in Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” parable who were told they would get 50c for every bucket of water they delivered. The first guy immediately started running back and forth from the well to the village with buckets. The other guy didn’t deliver ANY water for a week because he was busy building a PIPELINE (!)

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply April 20, 2013

      GP: It’s a slight deviation from the norm but an important one. One of my best coaching experiences was with a beginner who I wouldn’t give too much info. I gave her just enough impetus to swing the club her way. The lesson didn’t last long but she made nice gains. I’d bet my last dollar that many others would have filled her mind with,

      – how to hold
      – how to stand
      – how to swing

      instruction.

      Holding off from the technique definitely allows for the water to flow later!! Good stuff…

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