So here we are on April 18, and I am now one month into my new job as a full time teacher. It’s been a lot of fun so far, and the amount of lessons I have given has been above my expectations for the first month. In all honesty, I expected it to be pretty slow given that I needed to build a clientele, and while it has been slow at times, I have had some great days. But most of all, I have really enjoyed helping people get better at the game, and by extension increasing their enjoyment.
These lessons have also helped clarify the main areas I focus on in my teaching, essentially adding to my teaching philosophy. I’ve come to learn that I seem to break things down initially with each student in to one of two areas: impact or swing shape. Sometimes I feel that fixing the impact position will improve their game faster, other times working on swing shape will do the trick. But interestingly, they both are never far from each other in any lesson.
As I have written about before in this blog (“The Real Scoop”), impact is so incredibly important, and is really a fundamental of the golf swing. Not only is it imperative to have the handle of the club in front of the ball at impact as you strike down, but it really can increase the enjoyment level of a golfer very quickly. Who doesn’t like to hit the ball flush out of the middle of the club face! The added benefit to this is that, assuming the swing shape is somewhat reasonable, improving impact will also improve accuracy, as the club face will be squarer and more stable as the club arrives at the ball.
In terms of swing shape, as most teacher will agree, the predominant swing shape is too much out to in, or “over the top”, as the majority of players have this issue. The swing that is too much in to out is a “better player’s” miss, and not as common. But if I can get the swing to be more rounded and flatten the shaft out while getting the club closer to coming from in to out, the ability of the player to make a more free flowing swing and hit the ball further and more effortlessly increases quite a bit. Once we get this part fixed (or at least improved), we can then take a better look at impact to help continue the improvement.
It’s always interesting to keep learning about your craft, and I have really had a learning experience this first month, as well as some really great success helping people get better. Can’t wait to see what the future holds next…