Here we are in 2011 and as teaching professionals we continue to test the boundaries as to what is the most effective way to swing the golf club. As I asked in my previous article "Have you gone full circle as both a player and a teacher?" What I meant of course, with all the instruction methods prevalent today, are you realizing that what was once old, is new again?
This begs another question. Is it not time for all of us, the family of golf instructors, to standardize golf instruction? This question leads me to another question. Are we as golf instructors experts at providing conflicting information?
You know what I mean. How often have we seen name instructors appearing on television or a magazine explaining a concept only to witness the polar opposite in opinion by a peer the very next evening or monthly issue? If this is either frustrating or at worst confusing to you as a teaching professional, imagine how our students feel?
Yes we have "Stack & Tilt", One plane/Two plane and a host of other methods professed by their aficionados, but as a professional industry have we truly instilled a set of hard fast rules (standardization) in which we as professionals abide by and that become universal within the industry. Would this not be beneficial for our reputation and credibility? Would this not create a standard as we see in other professions? The next question I now ask is why should the instruction element of the profession NOT fall under the auspices of standardization or has it already? The USGTF through its multi-certification process offers this opportunity and provides the building blocks to begin the standardization process in golf instruction. It is up to us the teaching professionals, to perpetuate it.
I can hear some of the groans already, "Each golfer has their own swing, body type, learning style, intellectual and physical capacity etc… hence a cookie cutter approach just won't work". I have one simple answer to that argument. The last I checked it is humans who play golf and we use implements called golf clubs. The golf club is a tool to be used in a particular manner and the human body is the motor used to operate the tool. The mind is the instruction manual and the golf professionals are the ones who write the manual.
Others may state that, "I as an individual cannot adopt a certain standard as I have my own way of teaching and have been successful for years with a large clientele and following". To that I say, you have been following standardization but you don't really know what it is. If you were to break it down to its bare bones and share it with your fellow successful peers, you may discover the hard and fast rules all successful instructors teach, but do so by instinct via years of experience. This is what I'm conveying.
A professional's style and personality are his/her tools for helping the less inclined and informed to interpret the standardization manual formed by the industry. How astute would we be or perceived to be if a client received the same advice from 2,3 or 10 different instructors? I believe we would truly show the dedication to our craft and professionalism and seriousness of the golf teaching profession. We're getting close.
Next Month: Standardization: Let's take it to another level.