“99% of golf teaching is utter nonsense” Jim Mc Kellan 1999
The problem inherent in current golf teaching, it seems to me, is that most golf teaching tends to not present the problem to be solved, namely how to swing a golf club effectively, as a whole continuing action. They invariably present the student with bits and pieces of the solution, and assume that these “bits and pieces” will somehow come together during what we call “the golf swing.”
This problem has confounded many a student, yet has been central to golf ‘teaching and learning’ probably since golf began.
Percy Boomer writes in 1946 after starting to play the game in 1896, “This is not a book on the science of golf, but about learning it. Everything on the science of the game has been written, little on how to learn it.” The science being the bits and pieces or theory or static positions to move to.
John Jacobs, renowned as a teacher of golf for over forty years, pleaded with his readers not to copy the swing positions shown in the golf books they may have been studying, because the swing is a one, free flowing movement, not static positions to move through one by one.
I have worked with professionals who taught up to seven positions to move to throughout the swing. So the student would pause in the swing seven times at predetermined positions that the professional taught them to do. There is no professional golf player that pauses in his swing.
Henry Cotton, an Open Champion, wrote, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.” This implied that trying out a little tip is of no use when you don’t know the whole idea.
In a Professional Golfers’ Association conference it was said, “We know a lot about the swing but little on how to learn it.”
That is because knowing about certain positions is not how we learn. You don´t think about your leg position or arm position while driving a car. What I teach is how to swing the club head. Once you can feel what you are trying to achieve with the club head you can learn to do it with practice but at least you know what you are trying to achieve instead of being paralysed by thinking about seven different positions to move through or what to do with your legs and hips and so on.
Dylan Bawden BSc
Advanced P.G.A Professional