Monday, May 23, 2016

Magazine advice, social media and bad tips...

I spend a lot of time on social media. I enjoy helping people, it's what I do. When i'm asked about a shaft or a swing or a thought, generally speaking i don't offer advice. I offer information.  Information as to what should be happening to get the best out of the equipment or make the ball do what you want, NOT what they're doing or not doing in their swing.  I offer ball flight laws and the effect shafts have on different swings. Why? Because 99.99999% of the time there is little to no information about what is going on with that golfer and I have little to no time to have an at length conversation with the subject to gain the information needed. 

Watch this video:
What's wrong with this swing? It's very flat, the club is in a decent position, but not perfect at address, head dips a little low on the swing, and the hips clear pretty fast.  Far from picture perfect. Probably most of what i wrote above would be exactly what you would see written or would write yourself if this was posted and said "any help, i would be grateful".   Heres the thing.. what you don't know is that this person has no L5/S1 disk in their spine. Their shoulder locks on a spur if it goes higher or any different position farther forward than what you see here, and the grass is wet, and they aren't wearing spikes. They also average 10/14 fairways per round and hit the ball over 250 yards consistently.  All those things considered - i think it's a pretty darn good swing.  Mostly because it's mine - at an impromptu demo day for Ping where i wanted to try the new offerings they had.  Still, that didn't stop the advice on ball position and where to get my hands and how to angle the club and how i was wrong wrong wrong wrong.  Some of them were even Local Pros in different states!  Here's my advice to you - the only real advice i give.... Be very very very VERY wary of what you read and post online. Especially coming from "Pros" or "Teachers". They're very often the real deal, but no coach worth the dirt in your divot will give you any advice based on your description or a single video. They would want at least 2 different angles, head on and Down the line of the same swing, and to have a lengthy conversation about what you do and don't do.  

Still, every day I read comments from Pros and hacks alike - stuff they read in a golfing magazine once. Something that works for Adam Scott - former #1 player in the world - is a crapshoot for a middle aged bogey shooter who has trouble walking 18 holes. It's just the way it is.  Looking for advice online from forums and social media is only going to hurt your game and maybe even your body - trying to do something that it's physically unable to do. While you may be able to glean some moves off it, remember to sort out the information from the advice. There will be different and opposing opinions and as we know on the internet - everyone has to be right.  

In my area, you can get a great swing evaluation from a real teaching professional for less than the cost of a round of golf. That is absolutely invaluable. When  you decide to change equipment or swing characteristics without factual information about what you're already doing, you're throwing money away or chancing that you're going to make your game even worse - and with no way of going back. Practice makes PERMANENT, only perfect practice makes perfect. If you practice something that is incorrect, it's going to stick with you and will be harder to get rid of. Good advice CAN be found in a magazine, but figuring out if it applies to you is not your job. Go to your local PGA or LPGA pro and start a conversation. One lesson can go a long long way. 

Take things with a grain of salt - especially things written on social media. It's a forum where any keyboard warrior feels invincible and will waste no time in ruining others just because they can.