Collective insight develops a collective intelligence for students

24 Nov

It’s in politics in media and even in nature, once everyone knows, you were then taught.

This was somewhat noted in my first blog subject I wrote.

There is an old adage,” nobody invented much of anything new twice”.

Makes sense sure once fire and the wheel were developed it pretty much caught on quickly.

Now before I take everyone down the road to reminiscing on the movie 2001, let’s look at what this topic is related to in the golf instruction community.

These days we have technology at our finger tips and years of past experience from former golfers to tap into. There are books and books on subject matter of players feels and insight as well as some objective research on the golf swing, all of which I think is great material.

For the average golfer this is great as much as it is confusing to a degree. How do we as golfers start learning the subject matter without spinning our wheels?

Ill relate it to myself for a moment, which to a point I’m reluctant to do most the time.

My first experience in the learning of the golf swing was first in two books called Search for the Perfect Swing by Alastair Cochran, and John Stobbs. The other book was The Golfing Machine by Homer Kelly. Both of which lead me to learn the swing itself from Mac O Grady. After sometime I had the opportunity to learn insight from Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett. At this point I’m learning more about Track-man and 3D alignments with Grant Waite and Joseph Mayo and others.

From what I’ve written above it very much creates a timeline which shows an evolution on my teaching and learning of the Golf Swing. There was a lot of experimentation and a large learning curve not only in my organization of things but also my maturity on teaching.

Never the less it was a great experience thus far.

The most important part of my discussion is as it relates to the individuals that are part of this time line. All of which have different personality and even values on what and when to teach parts of the message.

As a whole I see this as an area that is growing very rapidly in the next ten years. “I’m not saying this should be your stock pick”. But I am saying there will be a younger generation that will expedite my experience twice if not three times faster, yet bring their personality and experience to the table. Hence we see other young teachers such as Sean Foley and Matt Killen on the PGA Tour ranges.

This is where we are getting back to the original title called, collective insight. More personality’s and experiences to relate to more people.

Unfortunately there is some headway that must be transcended in my view, there are some figure heads that will buck the idea. However in time the information will prevail as being right and or got better with age.

My last thought on the subject is related to the cell phone technology. The cell phone has been out for more than a decade and just about everyone over the age of sixteen owns one. This being said how did Apple grab the market share if they were not the inventor of the cell phone?

Apple made a phone that more people could relate too.


Internet Lessons 2012 and Beyond

15 Nov

Leonard Nimoy once said, “The miracle is this – the more we share, the more we have.”

Two years ago I started get a bunch of requests for doing lessons over the internet.

I was left now searching for ways to entertain the idea for one, and second finding a viable way to circumvent a way to even do it.

Never the less much smarter people than I developed ways to do it, and in pretty slick fashion I might add.

Years ago “without dating myself” we used to send videotapes along the vast landscape of the earth and doing so in hopes the stamps did not fall off or that Tom Hanks was showing his new found golf knowledge to Wilson. It was tiresome to a degree because the amount of time it took to take the film, review it then send it back took way too much time and in the end it was not efficient.

For me unless, you were a college player or better, I pretty much steered clear as much as I could.

Might I add this was hard for a golf teacher that says yes way to often!

But as with anything in the realm of technology the time came to be that internet lessons became the norm.

No longer did you have to drive to the out of state PGA Tour event and bring out your camera to find the perfect swing of the player you needed for your swing library. Now you just go to YouTube.
I remember the day in fact in 2006, I had LPGA Tour player Anna Rawson with me on the range here in Long Beach. She said,” Dana, you just have to go home tonight and check out this website called YouTube”!

Funny how times have changed in just a few years, you have all the swing film you need and an ability to send worldwide.

The rest is history….

Personally I think there is huge value in doing internet lessons for several reasons.

1. New fresh ideas at lower costs
2. Long term overview on your students development

The big issues with doing long range golf schools in my experience is there is typically not a way to follow up on the information that was presented and or no viable way remember exactly what you were taught.

Now this is not in all cases of course, this is why I said in most cases. There are some that feel otherwise.
I feel that golf schools for one should be the doorway to information not necessary the area for long term fixing. The long term fixing and or training should be done after the school once the student has the template on what he or she must work on.

The other issue can be cost. Golf schools sometimes without travel can range from $2000 to $3000 for two days. That’s a lot of money for most people.
For most schools the only reason they can price it that high is because of the brand and its marketing prowess.

I think now is a great time for all areas for the teacher. As the student you can do a Golf School, private lesson and even an internet lesson and get similar results.
It all depends what your market can provide, yet one is not better than the other it all depends on the student.

Are internet lessons the right choice for you?

You have to do your homework!

There are several I can name off hand whom do a wonderful job doing internet lessons.

To me I’d say they are all qualified only because their students are in the end happy with the progress and or results.

There is a level of passion to these professional teachers that is great to see in this day and age. Most of them do their homework enough and make golf teaching more as a medical practice than just producing random ideas.

So in the end take it for what it’s worth, golf teachers shared experience and ideas once again move everyone forward to getting more beginner golfer out to playing the game.
Results in this area and only in this area are what we are striving for.

Ill close with this tonight.

Keeping your head still

10 Oct


Being a golf teacher is a great endeavor it lets you work with people on many different levels. One of the facets that the community of teachers have on a global scale these days just so happens to be social media. Over all this leads to faster discovery’s on swing ideas on theory and or technology. It also links people into basic communication so that teaching the teachers can become very organic. I find myself very fortunate to link up with many fine folks all over the world.

Sometimes social media especially these days has become a marketing machine. The rules have not really changed, but the business models have to a degree. So far this has led some teachers into marketing statements. These statements I’d call the hook. The hook basically brings viewers to your website or blog to see what the teacher was talking about. There is nothing negative about this but sometimes it may come across negative or giving us a head scratching moment. Never the less I enjoy both sides of the equations.

One of the latest discussions on a notable golf blog was stating that keeping your head still is now a centerpiece of a number of modern day gurus. It’s dead wrong.
At first glance I’d say that this is a very pigeon holed statement. But never the less what this say is that at the basic level, if you’re a golfer keeping your head still is not a good thing to strive for.

Ok so before we just say ok let’s look at this on two levels.

1. What benefit does having a little or no movement in the head develop?
2. What benefit does moving the head create
3. Is this an actual measurable part of the body?


One of the big issues for the average player playing the game of golf is contact. Sure there are other parts that may occur like shot shapes and or curves. But really the average player has a big issue across the board with hitting the ball first. In fact if the golfer continues to miss hit the ball the game is said to be too hard.

So having the feel of not moving the head may help improve that player’s ability to time and time again get better contact. Why? It makes the club travel in an arch type fashion around a stable feeling axis. “I tried to not get into semantics here” When doing so the player can and should develop a pattern of hitting the ball in the same arena on the ground or tee.


Well I’ll give the positive and then the negative. So the reality is the head actually does move to a degree or more in most golf swings. Actually for the best players in the world is by far the easiest for them to do, however it may not be the best idea. The reason is that they already developed the motor patterns to hit the ball. So no matter what they actually do, they have some developed preconceived movement that they have developed. When you stand on the range at a PGA Tour event you will see some of both. Some that move the head and some that do very little to none. At the highest level of golf some players who move the most have to make the most compensations to overcome it.

“Some may say well if that PGA guy does it, why don’t” I?

Here is the problem most average players can’t or won’t get to that capability.

So for the average amateur golfer who has a job and family why not eliminate some of the parts of golf that just plain make things harder?


Well to make an answer to this question it’s a yes. However on another level it’s also a no. Today we have the opportunity to work with some very cool technology. There are super high speed cameras and also 3D machines. Both are pretty new within the last decade and the golf teachers are able to get data on what the golfers actually do.

2D video gives an anatomical perspective with ability to note positions that can be cataloged for study. This is a great way to show historical evidence on what great players actually did outside what they said they felt. There is however a limit to what a 2D video can actually see, and really on many levels. With a very experienced eye you can get pretty darn close to the correct arena.
3D machines came into the market for golf about a decade ago. Over the years the ability to see what players are doing is vast. You can measure body’s alignments and segmental speed ratios pretty darn clear. It’s a system that’s getting better every day, especially when more data is captured to study.

My feeling on the 3D is that is a bit complicated for most teachers up front and or the perspective values that people are looking for may be too wide. As an example if you take most tour players ranges of motion in the swing they will actually have the most variations. That being said there is no ability to create an idea in most circumstances. Kind of like what we talked about in the beginning about high level motor patterns.


We start looking at the golf swing first out of esthetics sometimes. Is it pretty to look at? Does the swing hit the ball the same way time after time?
So yes I am with you on that subject matter completely. I see a motion and it really suits my eye. Some others even at the highest level may not.
But in the end we need to grasp the fact that most of the tour players are not in the category that we personally have the ability to do in the area of ball striking. We can make better choices in playing, improve how we read greens and develop better mechanics. But physically becoming Bubba Watson is a pretty daunting task.
So in the end I’d say reduced head movement wins the battle. Not because it’s a center of anything or that is priority number one. Its wins because for the average player it helps them control the nervous system with stability and make better contact.
Hope you enjoyed my take on the debate, may it continue

Here are three examples on the PGA Tour.