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  1. #1
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    Default State of golf coaching in Australia

    Having invested in quite a large sum of money on golf lessons this year and quite a lot of time in practice (given I work 55 hours a week in a busy ED), I must say Iíve been a little disappointed in the level of coaching in general.

    Like the thread about the Lakes golf course and course architecture, Iím hoping a teaching pro will jump in and give us his perspective.

    I have received little nuggets of information from each coach and from my home course pro, who I have regular lessons with, I am learning to play golf rather than the golf swing.

    Having said that, Iíve been left to my own devices to put the pieces together.

    Not one coach looked at my grip. I found out that I had a gap between my left thumb pad and the grip causing my left hand to move on the grip during the swing.

    No one checked any mobility restrictions I had and figure out how that may have affected my swing. For example, I tend to stop my body rotation too early in the backswing causing my arms to become disconnected from my body. Iíve been told to put a glove under my right armpit or left armpit or both, make a bigger hip turn in the backswing and just plain ďdonít swing that far backĒ.

    Through a trainer, I found I had a big restriction in neck rotation. I could only turn my head around 45 deg. So Iíve been working on this and doing some neck stretching and mobility exercises for last few weeks. I can already see a big difference in my backswing pivot and arms are staying connected more. Tempo has naturally become more even instead to rushing the transition as my arms get disconnected.

    I donít think golf coaches need to be physical therapists but I think they should do a rudimentary mobility screen before they start teaching the swing. Some anatomical movements in golf are close to end range for most people. These include hip internal rotation (especially the left hip for right handed golfers as we follow through), thoracic rotation, cervical rotation, and right shoulder external rotation (watch Ben Hogan during transition). These at least should be looked at.

    I think part of the reason that most coaches are ďtipsĒ based is because of the golfing public who donít see the value in long term lessons and just want a quick fix. Compare this to something like playing a musical instrument. If you took up playing the guitar, youíd likely have weekly lessons until certain level has been attained and then still have regular catch up lessons afterwards. Why is golf any different?

    Sorry about the long rant but Iíd love to see the level of coaching stepping up a level in general.

  2. #51
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    Make golf coaching great again.

  3. #52
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    I like Kelvin's stuff. The articles and videos and great. Such a pity with the stroke.

    I always go back to The Little Red book and see how it relates to what Kelvin is saying (or whatever else I am looking at). I guess Harvey as old school like the guys Ray is talking about.





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  4. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteyD View Post
    I like Kelvin's stuff. The articles and videos and great. Such a pity with the stroke. I always go back to The Little Red book and see how it relates to what Kelvin is saying (or whatever else I am looking at). I guess Harvey as old school like the guys Ray is talking about.
    Pete I have quite an extensive library on golf some of which I inherited from my father in law who was a fanatic golfer. Kelvin's articles gave me an entirely different perspective on the old writers words about the game. It is funny how easily we can misinterpret the written words to fit our established concepts on what constitutes a golf swing. Looking back, I think I have some dislectic traits given how off the track I was on the fundamentals. Like many golfers I put my faith on the BS written by modern teachers such as Leadbetter and journalists using the name of champions of the day (who were cashing in on their fame). Sadly their words were difficult to refute as they described what we could see on video and on stills. What they left out was the hidden movements we can't see (micro movements) that cause the movements we see (macro movements). Kelvin was the first (to my knowledge) to give an in-depth analysis on how this works. Which is all about athletics and how the body is designed to work. His words on swing planeology are interesting. What does 'on plane' really mean? Until Hogan mentioned swing plane in "Five Lessons..." the topic was never mentioned in golf instruction books. Hogan's 'on plane' is different to Leadbetter's definition. Homer's was different to both - we only have to look at You-tube to find other variations. The fact is the arms swing on a plane and the shaft swings on a plane. Kelvin has showed us that only a small percentage of tour pros own an on plane swing by any definition.
    Last edited by razaar; 17th December 2018 at 07:08 AM.

  5. #54
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    I've got a fairly similar view on the current state of coaching (it’s not great). I've recently heard a few podcast episodes (UK and US based) where they talk about this, and how most coaching doesn’t really doesn't help people as much as it should (if at all).


    IMO if you're goal as a coach is to get your students to shoot the lowest scores they can (I’d hope it is, though I’m sure some don’t really care), the first session you have with them should be a playing lesson. I can't see how a coach can get a decent impression on a student’s game without seeing it on the course. Something brought up in the podcasts was that a student’s impression of their game and where they need to improve to lower their scores is generally not what they actually need. After the playing lesson they should have a quick chat to work out what the student’s goals are, and work out a program to get from their current state to their goals. I agree that coaches should have at least a rudimentary understanding on the biomechanics of the swing, and what physical limitations are likely to lead to what swing “faults”.

    I’ve recently been getting lessons and had four before having a playing lesson with the coach. The playing lesson has totally changed the approach we are taking, I’m not saying the first 4 lessons were a waste but they certainly weren’t as effective as they should have been. My range swing is different to my course swing, and I’m sure I’m not the only person like that, so fixing your range issues may not have a big impact on what you do on the course. For me my alignment on the course was way right of the target which just didn’t show up on the range where you have loads of alignment aids.

    Another bug bare I have with most coaches I’ve seen is that you have a 30 or 60 minute window, and soon you’re done the next student comes in. I feel the coach should be taking a few notes after a lesson, then before he sees the student again he should have a quick review of the previous session’s notes. I hate having to tell the coach what we worked on last time for the first 10 minutes, it feels like we’re starting again every time. It would only take a couple of minutes, and it would make a big difference to feeling like they care, and I would think it would help get improvements quicker if the coach actually knows when you’ve been working on. I understand from an economic view, just getting people through may get you the most money now, but I can’t see it getting the coach long term repeat clients.

    That ended up being much more of a rant than I intended. It really does get under my skin.

  6. #55

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    What names have we got for coaches to see Jono and Canuck?

    I too have not found a coach in Oz that understands the swing or teaches what I want.

    Iíve gone online to a US coach now who knows his stuff.
    I just feel Iíd get way more out of lessons in person though. Just no one to go to that I know of in Oz.

  7. #56
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    Smilesy, thatís exactly where I was going. It had nothing to do with making the swing more complicated.

    A bit of thought, organisation, and preparation from the coach will go a long way to win the confidence of his pupil. And every other teaching profession has to keep up with the latest research and recommendations. Same should be the case with golf coaches.

  8. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee cee View Post
    What names have we got for coaches to see Jono and Canuck?I too have not found a coach in Oz that understands the swing or teaches what I want. Iíve gone online to a US coach now who knows his stuff. I just feel Iíd get way more out of lessons in person though. Just no one to go to that I know of in Oz.
    Iíve started seeing Ray Hawkins at Precision Golf at Chatswood. So far so good.Iíve also found a guy who specialises in golf fitness in Wollongong so iíll Start seeing him in the new year.

  9. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee cee View Post
    What names have we got for coaches to see Jono and Canuck?

    I too have not found a coach in Oz that understands the swing or teaches what I want.

    I’ve gone online to a US coach now who knows his stuff.
    I just feel I’d get way more out of lessons in person though. Just no one to go to that I know of in Oz.
    I see Craig Bishop in WA




  10. #59

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    Thanks men. WA is a bit far 😆 but Sydney doable!

  11. #60

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    I decided last year that I wasn't enjoying golf & wanted to get a bit better so I tried a few driving range pros who, for various reasons, I didn't really click with. I started working with Ray Hawkins @PrecisionGolf with 1 lesson 18 months ago then broke my arm which derailed things a bit. I have had about half a dozen lessons this year and I've found him great to work with, he shows my faults on the video, explains/draws up what I need to do (lines on the video) & gives me drills to embed the changes & will sort me out at the indoor range if I pop in & things aren't quite clicking.

    In terms of changes he's helped me to sort out my reverse pivot out-to-in swing to be consistently hitting an in-to-out draw which got me from playing from between 12-16 over socially with a mulligan a round to a GA handicap of 6. Over the last 2 months we've been working on shortening my swing to get better aligned to plane & improve strike consistency, not quite there yet but have seen better scores & handicap has fallen to 4. I've also refreshed my clubs (with Ray's help) which has helped but the majority of the improvements have been through his coaching & my practice.

    I think the main thing is to find a coach who you get on with, one who you can connect with and who you believe in, trust is big as you need to trust your coach if you have to make large changes to get better, I had some horrific rounds mid swing change but believed in the method/process to get better so stuck it out. I would highly recommend anyone to give Ray a shot.

  12. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halfer5 View Post
    I decided last year that I wasn't enjoying golf & wanted to get a bit better so I tried a few driving range pros who, for various reasons, I didn't really click with. I started working with Ray Hawkins @PrecisionGolf with 1 lesson 18 months ago then broke my arm which derailed things a bit. I have had about half a dozen lessons this year and I've found him great to work with, he shows my faults on the video, explains/draws up what I need to do (lines on the video) & gives me drills to embed the changes & will sort me out at the indoor range if I pop in & things aren't quite clicking. In terms of changes he's helped me to sort out my reverse pivot out-to-in swing to be consistently hitting an in-to-out draw which got me from playing from between 12-16 over socially with a mulligan a round to a GA handicap of 6. Over the last 2 months we've been working on shortening my swing to get better aligned to plane & improve strike consistency, not quite there yet but have seen better scores & handicap has fallen to 4. I've also refreshed my clubs (with Ray's help) which has helped but the majority of the improvements have been through his coaching & my practice.I think the main thing is to find a coach who you get on with, one who you can connect with and who you believe in, trust is big as you need to trust your coach if you have to make large changes to get better, I had some horrific rounds mid swing change but believed in the method/process to get better so stuck it out. I would highly recommend anyone to give Ray a shot.
    Thatís fantastic progress mate. 👍Yeah Ray is fantastic. Heís really busy but still seems passionate about teaching.

  13. #62

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    Thanks mate, I was a good junior player with, in hindsight, a terrible swing that has held me back for decades. I've also had long periods of falling out of love with the game which hasn't helped things. Unfortunately it took me 26 years to seek out lessons/meet Ray which has fast tracked me back to where I was punching above my weight many years ago with the swing now to beat my PB. I'd say that finding the right coach & getting my swing fixed has put me 5 shots better off that I thought I'd be this year.

    Ray is super busy but always makes time & passionate describes his teaching attitude well as he is keen to taj golf & hear what I'm up to do he can help me to get better. Hopefully you also get some good results & have a cracking 2019.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    Make golf coaching great again.
    Again?
    When was it ever great in this country?
    Hit Them Well or Hit Them Often

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    In terms of elite coaching the only place I have been satisfied with is the MGA in Melbourne

    I invested in a top coach in SA who did more harm than good to my golf swing, took me 2 years to shake out of it

    Now I get ad-hoc lessons from my pro shop manager Phil, who is an ex. SA Amateur Classic winner. charges $150 for 5 x 30 minute lessons and doesn't even watch the clock. He was a major reason for me curing the yips showing me an old conventional grip that removes the fingers from the front handle

  16. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecollective View Post
    In terms of elite coaching the only place I have been satisfied with is the MGA in MelbourneI invested in a top coach in SA who did more harm than good to my golf swing, took me 2 years to shake out of itNow I get ad-hoc lessons from my pro shop manager Phil, who is an ex. SA Amateur Classic winner. charges $150 for 5 x 30 minute lessons and doesn't even watch the clock. He was a major reason for me curing the yips showing me an old conventional grip that removes the fingers from the front handle
    I go to Rohan Dummett at MGA , cured my snap hook and rebuilt my swing have gone from 17 to 6 .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy8 View Post
    I go to Rohan Dummett at MGA , cured my snap hook and rebuilt my swing have gone from 17 to 6 .
    I actually had a lot of success with Michelle, I think she is awesome

    Adam is also very good, but pricey

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    Quote Originally Posted by thecollective View Post
    I actually had a lot of success with Michelle, I think she is awesomeAdam is also very good, but pricey
    Only ever been to Rohan , heard him on sen1116 talking about snap hooks ( hadnít played for 14 yrs because of them ) tried the tips in the back yard seemed to be right , played 9 holes at mirage in port douglas when on holidays hit them ok , started playing again and started going to Rohan a few months later. Kristie at keysborough seems to be really good both in coaching price and personality
    Last edited by Grumpy8; 3rd January 2019 at 11:55 AM.

  19. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchman View Post
    Again?When was it ever great in this country?
    I'll make it great and i'll make the coaches pay for it.

  20. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecollective View Post
    In terms of elite coaching the only place I have been satisfied with is the MGA in MelbourneI invested in a top coach in SA who did more harm than good to my golf swing, took me 2 years to shake out of itNow I get ad-hoc lessons from my pro shop manager Phil, who is an ex. SA Amateur Classic winner. charges $150 for 5 x 30 minute lessons and doesn't even watch the clock. He was a major reason for me curing the yips showing me an old conventional grip that removes the fingers from the front handle
    I think the very fact that a top coach had harmed your swing shows that there is a lot of room for improvement in the coaching industry as a whole. Iím beginning to realise that itís up to me to learn what I can from each coach and piece my game together. I donít think any one coach will get me to where I want to go. Iím going to have ongoing lessons/playing lessons with the young pro at our club but not as frequently as I did in 2018. Iím also going to catch up with Ray at Precision Golf time to time and Iíll be seeking out someone for the mobility/fitness side of things.

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    I can't speak for anyone else but my experience this year is totally different to what you have described Jono.

    I had lost the edge that I once had and was not prepared to accept that I was just part of getting older.

    I approached the four teaching pro's at my club and discussed what I was hoping to achieve with them after having played a competition round with all of them individually in the 4-6 weeks prior. After this I was able to make a choice that best worked for me and we began the journey together. Six months don the track, 6 lessons later and plenty of video feedback from swings I had made on course my GA has dropped by over 4 shots to 3.1 and the key numbers that I had been tracking have all improved. My goal is to get back to somewhere between 0 and 0.5 by the middle of this year and I am 100% comfortable with the coach/mentor/advisor that I have picked to work with and their ability to get me there. I also accept that more than 75% of the work is on me to do the practice, work on the drills and think right on the course.

    Good luck to everyone in their search to find the right coach for you and make 2019 the year!!!

  22. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecollective View Post
    In terms of elite coaching the only place I have been satisfied with is the MGA in Melbourne

    I invested in a top coach in SA who did more harm than good to my golf swing, took me 2 years to shake out of it

    Now I get ad-hoc lessons from my pro shop manager Phil, who is an ex. SA Amateur Classic winner. charges $150 for 5 x 30 minute lessons and doesn't even watch the clock. He was a major reason for me curing the yips showing me an old conventional grip that removes the fingers from the front handle
    Was this yips cured before you missed that 6 inch putt at Brookwater?😏

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrins View Post
    Was this yips cured before you missed that 6 inch putt at Brookwater?
    Was a work in progress at that point. I didn't putt well that day

    In all fairness that putt was a real Scott Hoch, had a lot of break and I was complacent about it, was all me though nothing else

  24. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    After all this rant, I think I found the right coach for me. 😉
    Nah, this is the coach you seek!😀
    Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrins View Post
    Nah, this is the coach you seek!😀
    That's bloody hilarious 😂
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    He would give the shirt off his own back.


 

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