The very best golf coaching

There is no better way to improve your golf than with a coach who is dedicated to helping you. When the instruction and delivery is correct, magic can happen that allows for improvement far beyond what you’d think possible.

Coaches need knowledge in mechanics, natural learning, psychology, strategy and equipment. Timothy Gallwey, author of the Inner Game of Golf, says the very best coaches are those that understand natural learning not just mechanics. I agree. He goes into some detail as to what he thinks makes up the perfect golf coach. Here are his five steps with my comments afterward.

1. Trying to figure it out on your own: this is a long and hard road. If you try and do everything by yourself then it’s going to be tough for you. You’ll almost always end up struggling and finding golf impossible.

2. Taking lessons from a golf professional who understands only the mechanics of the game: sadly, most golf instructors live here. The psychology of almost all teachers is that technique comes first and unless you have “perfect” technique then improvement is beyond you. This mindset is also likely to cause you to fail.

3. Natural learning without the help of a professional: You’d be here if you had a sound understanding of natural learning principles but didn’t seek outside help. It isn’t always easy to find a natural learning coach. There simply aren’t many around. By having some knowledge of natural learning you are most likely far better off than most others.

4. Natural learning plus the help of an inner game coach: If you ever get the chance to work with someone who “gets” learning and coaching then jump at the chance. The chances are you’ll be put on a path of learning and discovery that will change your golf game for the better.

5. Natural learning with the help of a golf professional who understands how to coach natural learning: This is the ultimate level of coaching you’ll ever receive and it will have a profound impact on your golf development. Here’s an excerpt from Gallwey himself;

The coach who understands the natural learning process, but not the mechanics of the golf swing, can still help the student get the most out of his or her own learning abilities. But the professional who grasps both the mechanics and the Inner Game can be even more helpful, since the student will be able to keep faith with his own learning capabilities while benefiting from the teacher’s experience

Gallwey’s book transformed the way I thought about the game. His ideas and concepts got me back on track when I thought I had lost my natural golf game forever. After reading his book for the first time, and then implementing what I learned, I was able to shoot 14 rounds in a row of par or better. My handicap tumbled down from five to scratch. And I did it in a few weeks and beat a nasty bout of self-doubt and a form slump. Those few weeks are still clear in my mind and I experienced things that gave golf new meaning;

  • Realised for the first time that I was able to play consistently and it didn’t take any special talent or skill
  • That my swing was good enough to reach my golfing goals
  • Confidence that I was going to play well before I got to the golf course. I can still remember this one day driving to the course with a big smile on my face because I knew I was going to shoot a great score. It’s a hard feeling to describe but it certainly made golf worthwhile
  • A sense of fun I had missed out on and realising that fun (and good scores) can only come when we learn to let go and get out of our own way. I’m pretty sure that most golfers miss out on this step because they, despite knowing better, can’t let themselves play golf in a fashion that really means something.

And this wasn’t the most important thing I learned from Gallwey. More importantly I developed a passion for coaching. When his ladder of effective coaching hit home to me I made a commitment to become a master coach. I wanted to have the skills and knowledge to be the best coach that I could be.

Since 1991 (I can’t believe it has been 20 years now) I’ve made it my mission to understand as much as I can about natural learning, coaching and the mechanics of the golf swing. I’ve worked with learning experts, golf professionals and helped develop a biomechanical golf swing model. Writing this blog regularly has been my secret weapon in the process. Continual thought and writing on the subject has allowed me to explore golf to a level I wouldn’t have thought possible. I’ve become a better coach and for that I’m thankful.

This year I’m taking a bigger step. I’m having my first golf learning workshop where I’m going to spill the beans on what I’ve learned in twenty years of passionate study, testing and playing. This is your chance to take some positive steps in your game and discover;

  • The secrets to combining your inner game and mechanical game so you keep improving
  • How to fix your swing when all else fails
  • How to practice properly (without spending hours and hours) so you get the most bang for your buck. These are the steps I discovered that allowed me to play “Remarkable golf” while developing a career outside of golf. i.e. I didn’t do that much practice
  • The real fundamentals of the mechanics of the golf swing and how they apply to you
  • The true meaning of automatic golf and how you can become a Master player (and I don’t care what level you’re at right now – current ability plays virtually no part)

So it’s going to be a ripper of a workshop. I’m pretty much going to put my head on the line and share with you everything I know about improving at this great game. There’s going to be some new and controversial things I haven’t shared before. So you’re going to walk away with your head spinning (and excited) but with a clarity on what you can do right away to lower your handicap, play more consistently and find a meaningful game.

And it’s not just me. I’m going to be joined by Scott Barrow for the day. I put him in the master coach category – he currently coaches at a number of AFL clubs and has helped Olympians, CEO’s and athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport. The bottom line? Scott “gets it” and comes with my highest recommendation. (I actually have a weekly coaching session with him and he’s helping me to reach higher and achieve more).

So here’s your chance to learn directly from me, a natural learning coach, below scratch golfer, developer of a biomechanical golf swing model, author and passionate golf coach and, Scott Barrow, my coach, plus a full-time professional coach that understands the Inner Game as well as anyone in Australia. (There’s more about Scott you can read here)

This workshop is going to be hands on. While there’s going to be a theory component, the main emphasis is on getting you to explore, learn and grow in a practical environment. You’ll get one-on-one time with me, so you can have any issues you’re experiencing answered and solved. Here’s the rough outline for the day;

Start – Welcome, Introduction, Principles, Concepts, Myths, Theory (60 mins)

Open Space – what would you like to achieve? (10 minutes)

Practical – Play, Baseline, Principles, Coaching, Hot Seat, Play, Explore, Demonstration, Learn (120 minutes)

Debrief and Reflect – Questions, Open Space, Feedback (45 minutes)

Unstructured Conversation – casual chat/discussion over a beer. (this is where the magic happens and real insights and learning can take place)

Bookings are essential and numbers are limited to 10 (we may go to 12 if the venue permits – am checking this out soon) so that Scott and I can give the group our best attention and each participant gets the absolute most out of the day.

I expect the numbers to fill up fast. I’ve let the cat out of the bag over the weekend and I’ve had two people already commit to the day. So if you want to spend about 5 hours learning how to get the most from your game, overcoming nerves and fear, pushing boundaries and taking a giant step to mastering your golf game, then we’d love for you to attend. This is a fantastic opportunity to mix with like minded golfers and spend the day thinking, playing and talking golf. It’d be great to see you.

Here’s the details:

Date – Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Venue – The Yarra Yarra Golf Club, Melbourne
Time – 12pm – 5pm
Cost – $275 per person (includes gourmet snacks and soft drink)

Please complete the form below to reserve your spot now.

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  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply May 23, 2011

    “….despite knowing better, they can’t let themselves play golf in a fashion that really means something”

    This is REALLY intriguing Cam. I would love to hear more from you on this. I think its the very heart of things. A simple statement but LOTS going on here.

  • Cameron

    Reply Reply May 24, 2011

    Hi Grayden: You’ll have to come to the workshop

    I’m planning on lifting my game this year – I want to take golf instruction to the next level.

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