Golf teaching has been letting senior golfers down for a long time and it’s getting worse! Yes, the over 50’s are getting a raw deal. Now, I know that’s a pretty strong statement but my research over the last 10 years proves it to be true and I can’t help but feel a sense of injustice that this section of the golfing public is being poorly served. What a shame when it only represents around 60% of all the players in the world.
Let me paint you a picture of a typical senior golf lesson so that you can be more aware of what is going on and therefore better equipped to choose the right coach for you and your game.
You arrive at your appointed golf lesson time and within minutes you’re hitting balls. You will be asked a few details about your game but this is often limited to such questions as your handicap and how long you’ve been playing. Have you been asked if you have any physical issues? This is essential for golfers of any age group but for the senior golfer it virtually goes without saying that he or she will have some ailment, injury or recent operation to tell the coach about. Why have you booked a lesson and what are your strengths and weaknesses are basic questions that all Easiest Swing coaches systematically ask their new students.
After you’ve hit a few shots you may hear this from your teacher, “Ok, I can see what you’re doing wrong!” Without asking some basic questions all he or she can really see is how you are gripping the club, how you are setting up to the ball and how you are swinging the club. Does the teacher know what anxieties and issues you bring with you and what lies behind the visible surface of your swing?
Let me tell you about a recent experience that Julian Mellor, one of my licensed Easiest Swing coaches, had with a new student. In questioning his student before any balls were hit he discovered that this man had a serious spinal condition and had a metal rod from one end of his spine to the other. He had had his last lesson with a young pro in USA who hadn’t asked him about health matters and proceeded to suggest that he keep his head down longer after impact. Luckily, he quickly realized that this would hurt and stopped the lesson after 10 minutes telling the teacher that he couldn’t continue as it would break his back!
The other typical type of golf lesson that is to be avoided is the one where your swing is compared with one of the current top tour players. How ridiculous is this, in particular for the senior golfer? I’m 67 years old and my body simply can’t do the things I see on the TV.
This is where Easiest Swing coaches are making a massive difference to so many seniors around the world, be that with live lessons or online coaching, in that they are helping golfers to a more relaxed and enjoyable swing which permits older golfers to hit the ball a bit further, to come off the course less tired and to play longer into their old age.
Our coaches are trained to involve you from the outset and they do this by asking a lot of questions. We will only do a 1-hour consultation lesson for new students as this gives us the time we need to learn about you and your game. Honestly, we can’t do that effectively in the traditional 30-minute lesson
So, ask yourself these questions:
- Have you been fully involved or just told what to do?
- Has your coach/teacher fully understood why you are taking a lesson or has he/she assumed you just want to reduce your handicap?
- Has your coach/teacher compared you with a tour player?
- Has your coach/teacher helped you to feel better by the end of first lesson?
- Have you felt physically uncomfortable during the lesson?
As golf teachers and golf coaches we have a duty of care towards our students and we, at Easiest Swing take this very seriously.
I hope this blog will help you to choose wisely in the future and to enjoy your golf more and for longer.
Easiest Swing coaches – helping seniors to have more fun!
Very best wishes
Brian Sparks – founder of Easiest Swing / author of ‘Positive Impact Golf’