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Why don't people take lessons ?


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#1 J2putts

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:38 PM

I've been playing for 4 years. I started playing at 40 years old . I had a swing that made Charles Barkley look like Adam Scott the first 3 months I started . I decided to take lessons , found a great teacher and I haven't stopped taking lessons . For life of me I cant understand people who say  " I've been playing for 30 years , I dont want a coach to screw me up ". As they proceed to hit banana slices all over the course .  What are people afraid of when it comes to taking lessons???

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#2 BrianMcG

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:46 PM

Because a lesson may cost $50, whereas that new driver that promises lower scores costs $500.  Wait, never mind.

Really, I think some people have a very fragile ego, and don't want to be told they are wrong, or are really self conscious about their game.

I've heard lots of new golfers say they want to get better first before taking a lesson, because they don't want to embarrass themselves in front of the Pro.
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#3 iteachgolf

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:49 PM

People think they can watch golf shows or YouTube videos or read magazines and not only accurately diagnose their problems but also fix them.

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#4 J2putts

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:56 PM

Or ...they go for ONE lesson , don't practice what they were shown because " it feels uncomfortable "
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#5 OTT

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 01:56 PM

4 yrs as opposed to 30. That's 26 yrs swinging the club a certain way..
It's not a case of why people don't take them, it's a case of how long it will take to change 26 yrs of play.

I play off 5 and 3 yrs ago I decided to really make a go of getting as low as I can.
I'm only 44 and playing 10 yrs but it has taken me the last 3 with at least 18 lessons over those 3 yrs winter months to change a swing past.
I'm in no way comfortable on the course with hitting in to out and on the range with drills I can get a draw going but I can't trust it on the course.
I score better playing a fade as well.. I'm pretty textbook looking with everything grip,stance,posture, but for the life of me swinging in to out is damaging me on the course. I can't post a proper score with it.. I can't trust it because I have a 5 way ball flight and I only have a 1 way miss with a fade. I also have a quicker swing speed with a fade because I'm opened up to the target a bit better. Strike is so much better as well.  

I also play with a scratch player that has never had a lesson and if you were to send him for one there's numerous things a pro would likely change in his swing.. He has a very strong grip, a really flat swing, very bad posture, but he's swung that way from day one.

If your starting out by all means have at the lessons and trust your pro. But someone that's a seasoned golfer will struggle with changes. I'm not saying it's not doable but it requires a really strong mindset and a lot of time.


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#6 rgk5

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:01 PM

View PostJ2putts, on 09 February 2019 - 01:38 PM, said:

I've been playing for 4 years. I started playing at 40 years old . I had a swing that made Charles Barkley look like Adam Scott the first 3 months I started . I decided to take lessons , found a great teacher and I haven't stopped taking lessons . For life of me I cant understand people who say  " I've been playing for 30 years , I dont want a coach to screw me up ". As they proceed to hit banana slices all over the course .  What are people afraid of when it comes to taking lessons???

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#7 Baitkiller

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:08 PM

Because it will wreck my swing.

My sons coach casually mentioned im over the line a little.
a******. Thanks allot. Now its in my head and im spraying the ball all over the planet. I cant hit the barn, let alone any particular side of it.

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#8 iteachgolf

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:14 PM

View PostOTT, on 09 February 2019 - 01:56 PM, said:

4 yrs as opposed to 30. That's 26 yrs swinging the club a certain way..
It's not a case of why people don't take them, it's a case of how long it will take to change 26 yrs of play.

I play off 5 and 3 yrs ago I decided to really make a go of getting as low as I can.
I'm only 44 and playing 10 yrs but it has taken me the last 3 with at least 18 lessons over those 3 yrs winter months to change a swing past.
I'm in no way comfortable on the course with hitting in to out and on the range with drills I can get a draw going but I can't trust it on the course.
I score better playing a fade as well.. I'm pretty textbook looking with everything grip,stance,posture, but for the life of me swinging in to out is damaging me on the course. I can't post a proper score with it.. I can't trust it because I have a 5 way ball flight and I only have a 1 way miss with a fade. I also have a quicker swing speed with a fade because I'm opened up to the target a bit better. Strike is so much better as well.  

I also play with a scratch player that has never had a lesson and if you were to send him for one there's numerous things a pro would likely change in his swing.. He has a very strong grip, a really flat swing, very bad posture, but he's swung that way from day one.

If your starting out by all means have at the lessons and trust your pro. But someone that's a seasoned golfer will struggle with changes. I'm not saying it's not doable but it requires a really strong mindset and a lot of time.

It really shouldnít take long to see improvement if youíre working on the right things

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#9 1s1k

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:20 PM

Because I'm a glutton for punishment.
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#10 dg_1983

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:21 PM

Too much like hard work.

One thing not to overlook is a good coach that vibes with the pupil can be hard to come by.

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#11 J2putts

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:28 PM

View PostOTT, on 09 February 2019 - 01:56 PM, said:

4 yrs as opposed to 30. That's 26 yrs swinging the club a certain way..
It's not a case of why people don't take them, it's a case of how long it will take to change 26 yrs of play.

I play off 5 and 3 yrs ago I decided to really make a go of getting as low as I can.
I'm only 44 and playing 10 yrs but it has taken me the last 3 with at least 18 lessons over those 3 yrs winter months to change a swing past.
I'm in no way comfortable on the course with hitting in to out and on the range with drills I can get a draw going but I can't trust it on the course.
I score better playing a fade as well.. I'm pretty textbook looking with everything grip,stance,posture, but for the life of me swinging in to out is damaging me on the course. I can't post a proper score with it.. I can't trust it because I have a 5 way ball flight and I only have a 1 way miss with a fade. I also have a quicker swing speed with a fade because I'm opened up to the target a bit better. Strike is so much better as well.  

I also play with a scratch player that has never had a lesson and if you were to send him for one there's numerous things a pro would likely change in his swing.. He has a very strong grip, a really flat swing, very bad posture, but he's swung that way from day one.

If your starting out by all means have at the lessons and trust your pro. But someone that's a seasoned golfer will struggle with changes. I'm not saying it's not doable but it requires a really strong mindset and a lot of time.
Here is where I disagree with you . A good teacher is NOT going to rip apart a scratch player swing . A good coach is not going to change that very strong grip, or flat swing ....they're obviously producing good results. A good coach will find something subtle ...like maybe that bad posture and work on that to produce a bit more consistent results in what is already obviously a quite functional swing .
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#12 J2putts

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:32 PM

I'm also talking more about that mid to high handicapper who wants to get better. Not so much the single figure/scratch player who obviously knows enough about their swing/game to see some pretty solid scores. I'm at 6 currently....I've gone as low as shooting 74 . I could walk away from taking another lesson and have enough of an idea about my swing to play well and self correct my swing . I want to keep taking lessons over the winter because it keeps me swinging while getting instruction . I'm asking this in regards to that dedicated golfer who pounds balls at the range , with a myriad of swing flaws that don't translate into good golf.

Edited by J2putts, 09 February 2019 - 02:34 PM.

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#13 dlygrisse

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:49 PM

Same reason they don’t take basketball lessons. Or fishing lessons.
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#14 OTT

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:51 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 09 February 2019 - 02:14 PM, said:

View PostOTT, on 09 February 2019 - 01:56 PM, said:

4 yrs as opposed to 30. That's 26 yrs swinging the club a certain way..
It's not a case of why people don't take them, it's a case of how long it will take to change 26 yrs of play.

I play off 5 and 3 yrs ago I decided to really make a go of getting as low as I can.
I'm only 44 and playing 10 yrs but it has taken me the last 3 with at least 18 lessons over those 3 yrs winter months to change a swing past.
I'm in no way comfortable on the course with hitting in to out and on the range with drills I can get a draw going but I can't trust it on the course.
I score better playing a fade as well.. I'm pretty textbook looking with everything grip,stance,posture, but for the life of me swinging in to out is damaging me on the course. I can't post a proper score with it.. I can't trust it because I have a 5 way ball flight and I only have a 1 way miss with a fade. I also have a quicker swing speed with a fade because I'm opened up to the target a bit better. Strike is so much better as well.  

I also play with a scratch player that has never had a lesson and if you were to send him for one there's numerous things a pro would likely change in his swing.. He has a very strong grip, a really flat swing, very bad posture, but he's swung that way from day one.

If your starting out by all means have at the lessons and trust your pro. But someone that's a seasoned golfer will struggle with changes. I'm not saying it's not doable but it requires a really strong mindset and a lot of time.

It really shouldnít take long to see improvement if youíre working on the right things

I totally agree with you Iteach.. But from my own experience I have seen improvement,don't get me wrong, but for the effort I'm putting in I expected more. I've seen 3 different pros, I always stayed loyal to each one, they moved to different countries to follow work, but they all had different opinions of the swing and different methods.
Knowing how much I know now , maybe I was at fault a little with some things. I always had decent posture,good grip and alignment but one stood out that seemed to want to change all this. What I struggled with was an over the top motion and early extension through impact and the swingpath going left...
I figured out myself over time to strengthen my grip to minimize the curve on the ball.

What was always an issue was strike, because of the Early Extension.
I've never understood why I was asked to change a swingpath to in to out while having EE... Cue getting stuck, trapped, standing up, flipping, rolling you name it I tried it to stop that ball going right..
Eventually I found a young pro the I got on really well with and trusted and he started to take a lot of those compensations out of my swing. I'm now striking the ball much better and I still follow his drills meticulously, my early Extension is practically gone but I still have clab face control issues now..
Will I keep striving to get there, of course I will, but the last pro has given up teaching now because here in Ireland he's struggling to get people for lessons so he went back to collage.
I'm very close to taking online lessons now because I simply find it hard to get a good coach over here.  
But I wholeheartedly agree with you that it shouldn't take that long.. it's just been one man's experience..

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#15 andrue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:53 PM

Cost, time and lack of entertainment.

A single lesson costs £40 and you soon realise that a single lesson is pointless. To achieve change you need many lessons. And you need to practice what you've been taught when you'd far rather spend your spare time actually playing golf. If you're serious about golf you'll do it..but for a lot of us golf is about fun and spending time on a course. A lesson is not fun. Practising at a boring driving range is not fun.

I took quite a lot of lessons the year before last. They resulted in useful changes to my swing. But also a lot of problems and, frankly, I could have learnt most of it off the web. The real value would have come from me practising what I was taught but hell if I'm going to do that with my evenings when I could be on the course and playing.

I'm going on a residential course next month. It's only five days but I feel that I've now done enough research and have a good enough swing that I can absorb some instruction. Plus it's a straight five mornings in a row of instruction so that ought to mean changes can be reinforced instead of me forgetting them by the time I have the next lesson. In theory. Even then the main reason for doing it is a week's vacation at a nice looking golf course. Maybe the lessons will stick..but at least I get a week's break :)

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#16 andrue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:55 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 09 February 2019 - 02:14 PM, said:

View PostOTT, on 09 February 2019 - 01:56 PM, said:

4 yrs as opposed to 30. That's 26 yrs swinging the club a certain way..
It's not a case of why people don't take them, it's a case of how long it will take to change 26 yrs of play.

I play off 5 and 3 yrs ago I decided to really make a go of getting as low as I can.
I'm only 44 and playing 10 yrs but it has taken me the last 3 with at least 18 lessons over those 3 yrs winter months to change a swing past.
I'm in no way comfortable on the course with hitting in to out and on the range with drills I can get a draw going but I can't trust it on the course.
I score better playing a fade as well.. I'm pretty textbook looking with everything grip,stance,posture, but for the life of me swinging in to out is damaging me on the course. I can't post a proper score with it.. I can't trust it because I have a 5 way ball flight and I only have a 1 way miss with a fade. I also have a quicker swing speed with a fade because I'm opened up to the target a bit better. Strike is so much better as well.  

I also play with a scratch player that has never had a lesson and if you were to send him for one there's numerous things a pro would likely change in his swing.. He has a very strong grip, a really flat swing, very bad posture, but he's swung that way from day one.

If your starting out by all means have at the lessons and trust your pro. But someone that's a seasoned golfer will struggle with changes. I'm not saying it's not doable but it requires a really strong mindset and a lot of time.

It really shouldn't take long to see improvement if you're working on the right things
Golf is hobby, I don't want to work at it. When I'm working on things it's computer software and I'm being paid ;)
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#17 BrandonDunes

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:59 PM

View PostBrianMcG, on 09 February 2019 - 01:46 PM, said:

Because a lesson may cost $50, whereas that new driver that promises lower scores costs $500.  Wait, never mind.

Really, I think some people have a very fragile ego, and don't want to be told they are wrong, or are really self conscious about their game.

I've heard lots of new golfers say they want to get better first before taking a lesson, because they don't want to embarrass themselves in front of the Pro.


I think you may be right with the ego aspect of it for some people. My dad has been playing golf for 20+ years, plays almost every weekend, has played almost all of the iconic courses, and has only had 1 lesson ever. I've been trying to get him to take lessons but no avail.

He's plays with a low slice but since he's been swinging that way for so long he's learned to start it way left. It works out sometimes but obviously consistency is an issue and fat shots. He is a little bit headstrong so his ego doesn't allow him to take advice very well. I asked him once why he doesn't practice more and he said he is content with the way he plays...yeah I really don't believe that.

He is scared to take lessons/practice more because he is embarrassed by the way he hits the ball. If only he would go to the range more often and notice that the majority of people there have similar issues. Well, I'll just continue to take lessons and beat him when we play and I hope he'll get tired of losing.
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#18 J2putts

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 02:59 PM

View Postandrue, on 09 February 2019 - 02:53 PM, said:

Cost, time and lack of entertainment.

A single lesson costs £40 and you soon realise that a single lesson is pointless. To achieve change you need many lessons. And you need to practice what you've been taught when you'd far rather spend your spare time actually playing golf. If you're serious about golf you'll do it..but for a lot of us golf is about fun and spending time on a course. A lesson is not fun. Practising at a boring driving range is not fun.

I took quite a lot of lessons the year before last. They resulted in useful changes to my swing. But also a lot of problems and, frankly, I could have learnt most of it off the web. The real value would have come from me practising what I was taught but hell if I'm going to do that with my evenings when I could be on the course and playing.

I'm going on a residential course next month. It's only five days but I feel that I've now done enough research and have a good enough swing that I can absorb some instruction. Plus it's a straight five mornings in a row of instruction so that ought to mean changes can be reinforced instead of me forgetting them by the time I have the next lesson. In theory. Even then the main reason for doing it is a week's vacation at a nice looking golf course. Maybe the lessons will stick..but at least I get a week's break :)
Right....I totally understand where you're coming from.  That's why I expanded on what I said initially  by saying the mid/high capper that does practice , that wants to improve . Not so much the guys that just want to soak up the sun and knock the ball around , nothing wrong with that.
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#19 OTT

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:01 PM

View PostJ2putts, on 09 February 2019 - 02:32 PM, said:

I'm asking this in regards to that dedicated golfer who pounds balls at the range , with a myriad of swing flaws that don't translate into good golf.

Because like Iteach has said, those same dedicated golfers are the very ones that are trying to get quick fixes from,YouTube or some magazine.
You need to know what your looking and and why you misses are a certain way before eyou can even begin to diagnose or try anything.

One thing I am really grateful for through the lessons is giving me and understanding of the golf swing and an understanding of my faults.
That is gold to me.

Edited by OTT, 09 February 2019 - 03:29 PM.


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#20 J2putts

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:13 PM

Amen to that! Agree ...understanding WHY you are seeing things in your ball flight and how to fix , is the biggest benefit lessons provide.   YouTube lessons where the fix is " bow your wrist like DJ for longer drives " only makes it worse for a lot of players .

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#21 naj959

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:16 PM

Like others have said its an ego thing. When I first started playing, I took great pride in having a homemade swing that I built on my own. After struggling for years I finally caved and took lessons. I didn't see a ton of improvement after trying multiple local guys and kept searching for a good teacher. Stumbled onto wrx and found Dan C. Best money I've ever spent on my game!Deciding to take lessons is only half the battle. Finding a competent instructor can be a real challenge depending on where you live. My buddy is on the verge of giving up and I keep suggesting he take lessons. He believes his self taught swing is a tweak away from being pro caliber but the shanks he hit yesterday say otherwise.

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#22 andrue

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 03:16 PM

View PostOTT, on 09 February 2019 - 03:01 PM, said:

You need to know what your looking and and why you misses are a certain way before eyou can even begin to diagnose or try anything.

One thing I am really grateful for through the lessons is giving me and understanding but of the golf swing and an understanding of my faults.
That is gold to me.
I agree with that. The one thing I took away from my lessons (and it was something the instructor made a point of) was understanding why the ball went where it did. Because understanding that is a good first step to fixing the issue. It's actually a bit like computer programming. Stage one is to understand the problem. Stage two is to fix it.
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#23 SNIPERBBB

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 05:33 PM

For me, it's because there really is nobody close and there's some satisfaction in digging it out of the dirt yourself.

Edited by SNIPERBBB, 09 February 2019 - 05:34 PM.

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#24 getitdaily

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 08:46 PM

I did back in the early 2000s to significant improvement. I don't now because

1. I know my swing really well and know enough of what to check when things go awry
2. It's hard to find someone I can trust. Went through 3 instructors last year trying to find the solution to a problem. 2 of them wanted to make a swing change. One said "nothing is technically wrong". I guess the third guy helped me realize something I'd been thinking of focusing on...tempo. I changed nothing technically, just finally started working on tempo and everything started clicking.
3. I am at the playing level I'll stay at unless I practice more and I don't have time for that.

Edited by getitdaily, 09 February 2019 - 08:47 PM.


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#25 PorscheFan

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:23 PM

I think there are a few aspects to this.

There are players that maybe never took a lesson, made improvements themselves and don’t see any value in taking instruction at this point.  They’ve made some progress and they believe they can make more

There are certainly those that never took a lesson and find it uncomfortable having their swing picked apart (the ego thing)

There are probably others that never took a lesson, but play functionally, say, to a mid handicap and are afraid of starting some long and expensive journey with no guarantees of improvement

I’ve had some good lessons, but I’ve also had some really poor ones where I actually lost progress I had made and felt like I didn’t even know what end of the club to hold.  For every iTeach out there I believe there are a fair few so-so teachers that can get a student into a pickle and not necessarily have the requisite skills to get them out of it


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#26 Redjeep83

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:31 PM

Itís one because most arenít that comfortable getting their swing picked apart and second because they have to perform while in the lesson. Plus, most sports that people play are self taught. There are few golfers that really take improvement serious and those are the ones who will take lessons when needed.

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#27 obsessed_golfer

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:48 PM

Because guys have their swing ingrained and even if an instructor makes some changes , they will probably eventually revert to their established original swing.

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#28 Redjeep83

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 09:55 PM

Iíve been to a few instructors, some very good and Iíve found that my knowledge of good swing is many times better than theirs. Iím at a point where i just need a second pair of eyes and someone I canít bounce ideas off of to come up with something to improve. Iím passed the point of blindly doing what an instructor says, to me that becomes less effective the better you are. Although no one must of told Tiger that with Haney and Foley, lol

Edited by Redjeep83, 09 February 2019 - 10:01 PM.


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#29 farmer

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:49 PM

The key word is competence.  It's hard to find a really good teacher.  In my area, it's about 100 miles to the nearest genuine pro, and most likely, if you book a lesson, it's going to be a young assistant.  It takes a series of lessons, with work in between, lots of people can't afford the lessons and don't have the time for the work.  Good for the OP to find a good teacher.

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#30 BB28403

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 10:59 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 09 February 2019 - 01:49 PM, said:

People think they can watch golf shows or YouTube videos or read magazines and not only accurately diagnose their problems but also fix them.

It’s like someone making their own clothes versus going to a tailor.


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