Define a Rigid Method Approach
That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a rigid Method, that person who teaches golf in a one-size-fits-all cookie cutter approach. In that type of method, the set-up is exact.
The grip must be exact. A Freddy Couples with almost a four-knuckle grip would be labeled as too strong and changed.
Once the swing starts, there’s no room for a slightly inside take away or a slightly outside take away. The takeaway’s got to be exactly on the model position. And, then the next position and the next position and the top of swing is very specific with the arm on a certain angle compared to the shoulder. And, the club-face is a certain angle, and the wrist is a certain angle.
That’s possibly okay for a new golfer. And, it’s maybe okay for a golfer who’s completely lost their belief in themselves, let’s say a tour player type situation. But, other than that, it’s not the best way to learn a motor skill, and, that’s what a lot of these teachers really haven’t taken into account.
The important thing for me in the approach I’ve taken in studying golf swings is that unique mannerisms are GOOD. I don’t want to look at Jack Nicklaus and say he’s an exception because of his flying right elbow. That is part of how Jack does it and he blazed his own trail.
For example, If I was a fan of Ben Hogan’s swing and that was my model, then I would look at Nicklaus and say “He would have really been a good player if he had been flatter like Ben Hogan”, and “He wasn’t quite the ball-striker that Ben Hogan was”.
The way I study swings is not going to go in with a pre-conceived idea of a model. I want to look; I want to watch; I want to pay attention. And, when I see a lot of variation amongst great players in the backswing, that tells me that I should allow for variation in the backswing with all the players I teach.
When I allow for variation in backswing, I don’t find anybody who has a totally collapsed left arm with no width in their backswings. So, I make sure that my players have width (extension in their back swing). But, if they’re upright or flat, there’s a range that we consider acceptable, and then, we base that acceptability on whether they can get to the spot that most golfers have in common, which is where the club is from hip-high to the golf ball.
Why Do Fad Diet Methods Pop Up?
I think the positives of the that cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all method is that it’s very defined. There aren’t a lot of options, so there’s a certain number of people who want that nice, neat package. The tough thing is if you get lost in it, and it’s so unnatural compared to what you’re accustomed to. It takes away so much of your personality and your style that it then becomes this foreign entity that you never get accustomed to on the golf course.
My experience tells me that the rigid one-size-fits-all method tends to have a 30 percent, maybe, 40 percent success rate.
It’s not like it doesn’t ever work, of course it does. And, the success stories allow that teacher to say, “here’s all our success stories.” But, they end up with a lot more failures simply because there’s nothing left that is authentic and unique to what the golfer brought to the lesson.
How Many Great Players Have Been Ruined
You’ll see good players gravitate toward rigid methods. They say “I’m taking it to the next level”. The golf roadside is just littered with the carnage of people who’ve basically been ruined, or lost their game as the result of being drawn toward the “Next Level”.
One thing we have to never lose sight of is that this is their first time through the learning and improving process. They had a successful college career. They played a certain way. And, then, they get on Tour and they are surrounded by great players. It’s all the great players of the last twenty years. It’s all the college All-Americans. It’s all the people who were dominant. And, now it becomes the dominant of the most dominant.
And it’s really easy to look around and see one or two people who are having some sort of immediate success and decide the reason for their success is that new swing method they’ve adopted, that thing that they’ve switched to.
The thing that we have found as we look at it and study the numbers is that it’s not really the new method. It’s really the mental excitement bump of doing something new.
The mental part of golf has a lot to do with certainty and confidence. The golfer changes to something new and buy in that it’s a better way to swing. So, while they’re in the new stages of it, and they believe in it, they’re very upbeat about what’s about to happen. And, they’re very open to their mistakes because it’s early and expected. We know these mistakes are going to happen. So, they don’t get overly upset about their mistakes.
They’re very upbeat about they’re good shots. And, now they go and play in the tournament. And, the next thing you know, because they’re more up and upbeat, funny thing is, they start chipping and putting like demons. And, they start shooting really good scores.
If a Rigid Method is truly better over time, then, statistically it’ll show up as better in greens regulation and other ball-striking statistics.
Golfers say, “I could do it on the range but I can’t take it to the golf course.” And, that’s where if you take too much of a person’s nature away, you take too much of the skill that they’ve built up as junior players and college players.