Learning how to coach yourself

Do you consider yourself an analytical thinker, or are you more intuitive when it comes to learning about your golf swing?  It’s important to understand the differences between the two, and it can also have a great influence on the type of instructor you choose to work with on your golf game. Golf instruction has become much more analytical throughout the years.  In other words, more information is shared through illustrations and numbers.  Though this information can be valuable to quite a few of you, it can also complicate the learning process. Over the past 20 years, I have spent time working with thousands of golfers of different abilities and professions.  I have found it to be extremely important to recognize the personality of the student I’m working with, in order to properly assess the most effective way to communicate my message. I believe that the most effective way to instruct a player is by teaching them how to recognize their strengths and weaknesses.  My responsibility as an instructor is to train my students to eventually be able to coach themselves on the practice range and the golf course.  This begins by understanding ball flight. Learning how to coach yourself begins with understanding certain rules of ball flight.  For a majority of players I work with, there are two common misses…a high slice, or a low hook.    A high slice typically will tell you a couple of things about your golf swing.  One, is that the face of your golf club is open at the point of contact.  This means there is too much loft.  Second, is that the path of your golf swing is coming too far from the outside on your down swing, thus creating the slice spin. If you are hitting a low hook, you are most likely much too active with your hands, and your golf club is turning over too quickly at impact.  A reason most hooks fly much lower than slices is because a hooked clubface is angled down, while a sliced clubface is angled up. Analytics will show you the path of your golf swing, as well as the spin rate that an open or closed clubface is producing.  However, it won’t resolve the issue for you.  By learning to better understand the cause of a high slice versus a low hook, try to instead just think of your clubface angle at the moment you are striking the ball.  If you are hitting a high slice, spend time trying to angle your clubface down at impact.  The goal is to try getting the ball to fly lower and to the left.  If you are hitting a low hook, try to angle your clubface up at impact.  The goal is to try getting the ball to fly higher and to the right. Analytics is a valuable tool for many instructors to better diagnose certain aspects of a player’s swing.  However, for a golfer to learn to coach themselves, it is important to be more intuitive and feel the angle of the clubface as it’s striking the ball. PGA Golf Tour Schedule MAR 22 – 26 World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play Austin Country Club, Austin, TX • Purse: $9,750,000. Defending Champion: Jason Day $1,620,000 MAR 23 – 26 Puerto Rico Open Coco Beach Golf & CC, Rio Grande, PUR • Purse: $3,000,000. Defending Champion: Tony Finau $540,000 MAR 30 – APR 2 Shell Houston Open GC of Houston, Humble, TX • Purse: $7,000,000. Defending Champion: Jim Herman $1,224,000 APR 6 – 9 Masters Tournament Augusta National GC, Augusta, GA • Purse: $10,000,000 Defending Champion: Danny Willett $1,800,000 APR 13 – 16 RBC Heritage Harbour Town GL, Hilton Head, SC • Purse: $6,500,000. Defending Champion: Branden Grace $1,062,000 APR 20 – 23 Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio – AT&T Oaks, San Antonio, TX • Purse: $6,200,000. Defending Champion: Charley Hoffman $1,116,000 APR 27 – 30 Zurich Classic of New Orleans TPC Louisiana, Avondale, LA • Purse: $7,100,000 Defending Champion: Brian Stuard $1,260,000 MAY 4 – 7 Wells Fargo Championship Eagle Point Golf Club, Wilmington, NC • Purse: $7,500,000. Defending Champion: James Hahn $1,314,000 MAY 11 – 14 THE PLAYERS Championship TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL • Purse: $10,500,000. Defending Champion: Jason Day $1,890,000 MAY 18 – 21 AT&T Byron Nelson TPC Four Seasons Resort, Irving, TX • Purse: $7,500,000. Defending Champion: Sergio Garcia $1,314,000 MAY 25 – 28 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational Colonial CC, Fort Worth, TX • Purse: $6,900,000. Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth $1,206,000 JUN 1 – 4 the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Muirfield Village GC, Dublin, OH • Purse: $8,700,000. Defending Champion: William McGirt $1,530,000 JUN 8 – 11 FedEx St. Jude Classic TPC Southwind, Memphis, TN • Purse: $6,400,000. Defending Champion: Daniel Berger $1,116,000 JUN 15 – 18 U.S. Open Erin Hills, Erin, WI • Purse: $10,000,000. Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson $1,800,000 JUN 19 – 20 CVS Health Charity Classic Rhode Island CC, Barrington, RI. Defending Champion: Keegan Bradley, Jon Curran $150,000 JUN 22 – 25 Travelers Championship TPC River Highlands, Cromwell, CT • Purse: $6,800,000. Defending Champion: Russell Knox $1,188,000 JUN 29 – JUL 2 Quicken Loans National TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Potomac, MD • Purse: $7,100,000. Defending Champion: Billy Hurley III $1,242,000 JUL 6 – 9 The Greenbrier Classic The Old White TPC, White Sulphur Springs, WV • Purse: $7,100,000. Defending Champion: Danny Lee $1,206,000 JUL 13 – 16 John Deere Classic TPC Deere Run, Silvis, IL • Purse: $5,600,000. Defending Champion: Ryan Moore $864,000 JUL 20 – 23 Barbasol Championship RTJ Trail (Grand National), Auburn/Opelika, AL • Purse: $3,500,000. Defending Champion: Aaron Baddeley $630,000