Hard to believe but according to a 2014 National Golf Foundation report the average golf score is STILL 100 and has been about the same for decades! How is this possible?
The modern game is replete with advanced clubs and balls, better playing conditions, better fitness and nutrition, more and supposedly better information, lesson videos on the internet, the Golf Channel, and the like. With all these so-called advances it just doesn’t make sense that the average player can’t break 100! Something is clearly wrong.
Not only does the average score remain high, player data from the most prestigious golf organizations including the National Golf Foundation (NGF), the PGA of America, and the USGA also indicate high rates of attrition.
Player attrition is blamed on many aspects, the most common being:
- Game takes too much time
- It’s too expensive
- Game is too difficult
These are all viable points BUT I believe that the main issue lies within the world of traditional golf instruction – I mean what else is left to consider? The insane and readily accepted orthodox doctrine of head down, left arm straight, make a shoulder turn, right elbow in, weight shift, etc. is just too hard and frustrates new and experienced players alike!
If the game is too difficult then it’s that way because it’s been made to BE that way through so-called traditional golf instruction. If traditional instruction is as large a part of attrition as I think it is, instructors, teachers and coaches need to wake up, do some real work on how people learn physical motion, then apply that education so their students can improve. It isn’t easy to do.
Whether a teacher or a player, breaking through orthodox doctrine is exceptionally difficult and requires an understanding that some think harkens back to a different era – the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s when fundamentals meant something different and swinging a golf club was a physical event that came from athletic intuition. A time before re-treaded how-to magazine articles, You Tube, Golf Channel and the internet.
If it’s true that all things old become new again, then today is the day when you’ll be allowed to just use your hands and arms to swing a club and hit the ball! Go ahead, just do that. I dare ya’.!!! When you do, you’ll be pissed about all that time you wasted trying to figure out what to do with your lower body!!
This is much like golf was taught in the 30’s and 40’s when most teachers were also excellent players. They used a different language than is used today today but it was effective. Back then, it was a learning language composed of sense, feel, intuition and an emotional awareness that got players around the course and back home again.
Harry Vardon refers to the “low man” in one of his books. Who was the low man? He was a player who was a 20 handicap or less amateur! How can it be that a score of 92 was so highly respected back then! The answer is Arnie’s Army and television!
Television ruined amateur golf! Television has made average players think that they’re supposed to be better than they could ever be! How can it be that today – even with all of our technology – most players tend to use statistics and swing technique intended for professional use – not for the daily-fee and/or club player. Television. Kostis talking about width and NOT SAYING “don’t try this at home” is ridiculous! Less than 1% of my students can accomplish such a feat! Television makes the rest think otherwise. Listen up people: 340 yard drives ARE NOT NORMAL. Even the low man need not entertain such fantasies.
At this juncture, it’s important to realize that the Old-School Golf Professional (where I learned how to play) was looked up to and respected. There was no internet, Golf Channel, or 1,000 magazine articles on how to swing. Placing trust in and relying on the Professional was without question. Today, golf instructors in general are seen as snake-oil salesman. Is it true?
I unfortunately have to say yes. The business of teaching golf has changed from a viable means to an end to something that needs to be scrutinized at every step. Television, general technology and the internet haven’t made things any better. Understanding what “keeping the head still” REALLY MEANS has been replaced with angle of descent, hand plane, power angles, launch angle, and a hundred other data points. What happens? Keeping the head still means nothing at all – and if it does, it’s so difficult to understand that the average player just gives up, accepts mediocrity, and trudges along doing the same ol’ crap until they die.
Many instructors are victims of traditional doctrine themselves. They don’t continually research and evaluate their profession, continue their professional education, or taken any additional college courses. They are stuck, just like a player gets stuck. Except for a cookie-cutter approach, they don’t know what to teach, when to teach it, or even why they are teaching.
If you’re looking for something different and you like to think different than the rest, we would be a good combination. If you need a traditional language approach, then you should look for another golf instructor. I would not be your guy.