"The World as we know it"
THE WORLD OF INSTRUCTION AS WE KNOW IT
Golf Instruction is an evolving business. With the introduction of technology and training tools, a real shift has been made in the last fifteen years to include these tools in a golf instruction session. Even using these tools, we see a wide variety of different ways that people teach golf. The one thing that is still fairly constant is the time/money proposition: “You come and see me for an hour of my time and you will pay me $100”. That is a reasonable and customary way to exchange money for a service. The problem is; we don’t feel that is the best way to offer a path to improvement for the student. Real improvement focuses on a plan and it requires a commitment from the student to do the work prescribed to achieve growth. Real improvement can only come from a real plan; not just a series of swing tips and random quick fixes in exchange for a hundred dollar bill.
From the beginning of time, golf instructors and top players have been searching for the secret techniques of the golf swing. Some have even claimed to have found these secrets and there certainly are theories and techniques that will help almost all golfers. The problem with these “perfection” techniques is that most golfers will never even come close to being able to achieve these “perfect” movements. The other problem is that most of these “perfect swing” methods are more centered on the instruction and the instructor and have no regard for the individual needs of the student. Real improvement in the game of golf does not require a secret and certainly does not require perfection. Real improvement requires an evaluation, a plan, and proper training of that plan.
It is always a good idea to look and see what other industries are doing and see if our industry could use a little push towards better practices. Harvard Business School has a new program called HBX. This is a blended learning program. Blended learning means that the lessons come in different forms all coming together to produce more retention. There is video content combined with different types of interactive elements. The US Government has conducted studies that have shown there is 60% better retention rate using this blended learning method vs. standard classroom instruction. This is the holy-grail for educators and we are bringing this education style to our precious golf industry. In the sports world we see countries that have true player development programs for their competitive athletes that start at the earliest of ages and develop players through the program to Olympic and even professional levels. These programs involve complete player training and have been proven methods in turning out superior athletes. Korea, Japan, Australia, Sweden and Scotland come to mind as countries that have great golf development programs. It is pretty clear to see that these programs are turning out many great players for these countries.
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