Has Golf Instruction Gotten Too Complicated?
It’s no secret that technology has greatly advanced in all aspects of golf—clubs, balls, agronomy and even shoes and apparel. It’s not surprising that golf instruction has also advanced in technology, and the website on which you’re reading this blog is an example of that. High speed video, sophisticated software models of swings, launch monitors, simulators, mobile apps and gadgets have all be used regularly by golf instructors. But how does this high-tech stuff help the average golfer who’s struggling to break 100?
There’s certainly a novelty factor with all of this technology, and a lot of marketing is involved as well. People always want to try something new to see if that unlocks the “secret” to their inner Tour pro. But I’m concerned that a lot of it goes over the head of the player who’s just trying to make solid contact. Do you know the feeling you get when you’re at a seminar or conference, or listening to a lecture and you don’t understand what’s being discussed, or you arrived half way into it? Your mind wanders and you “zone out”. I’ve seen it happen while giving golf lessons, when I’ve lost the student. I’m afraid some of the complicated new technology may encourage this, rather than solve it.
It’s my contention that, in the right hands and presented properly, this technology can be of great benefit to average golf students. But the problem is that it’s often not in the right hands, and when this happens it can create too much and conflicting information. Too many times a student learns what they’re doing wrong, but not how to fix it. It’s great to know that your ball speed is too low, or that your spin rate is too high, or that X angle or Y angle is not ideal, but what do you do about it?
I do feel that the technological advances in golf instruction can help the average golfer by reducing the cost of golf lessons, allowing for remote connections between the student and instructor, and by giving the instructor additional information that’s not available to the naked eye. But instructors and students have to maintain their focus on the fundamental building blocks of the golf swing and use these additional resources to help improve their fundamentals, and not over-complicate the game. Golf itself is hard enough as it is, let’s not make it more so.
Brant Kasbohm, PGA
Director of Instruction