Copyright (c) 2010 Scott Cole
Most golfers will agree that golf is a very difficult game to learn, particularly for adults. Kids, on the other hand, have a greater ability to imitate than adults do, so they tend to pick up the game much more quickly. Adults simply have much more difficulty imitating a good golf swing for one reason or another.
Unfortunately, conventional instruction does not deal very well with teaching adults who may have less ability than others. Conventional instruction normally just introduces the fundamentals to an adult beginner similarly to a child beginner. This simply does not work for most people, due to their inability to imitate. As a result of these issues, an industry was born several decades ago, and it continues to grow. This is the golf training aid industry. Combined with the technological advances in golf equipment, the training aid industry was developed to help golfers improve without having to practice much. Unfortunately, the average handicap for male golfers has barely moved from around 16.
There is a faster way to learn, however. In many disciplines, we are taught to take notes when learning a new vocation, taking a class, or in any other educational environment. While some golfers do take notes at times, they are usually not focused in the right areas. In other activities, such as the martial arts, a good instructor will require a student to keep a journal and notebook. Students of martial arts are required to learn many forms or kata, and within these forms are many details that are difficult to remember without notes. The golf swing is similar to a mini form, as are many other areas of the game. Also, as in the martial arts, the golfer must learn to prepare for different conditions. While golfers get to experience the real deal more often, unlike the martial artist who will rarely fight, they still should take notes.
In other businesses, such as trading the financial markets, the best traders typically keep very detailed notes so that they can learn from their past failures and successes, and also to have a good reference tool for when market conditions change.
Golfers should follow this example as well. They should take notes and keep detailed statistics in order to get much better feedback from various parts of their game. These techniques have been applied by some instructors with very positive results with their students. This is according to Ed Feeney, a corporate behavior analyst who applied his craft to golf instruction. Top instructors are now incorporating these ideas into their instruction programs. These techniques now give both the student and the teacher a method of measuring results.
Scott Cole is a Hank Haney Pro Associate Instructor who teaches at Olney Golf Park in Olney, Maryland. For more information, visit www.howtogolfyourbest.com