On teaching

Well my tournament golf is certainly at a low point with successive 86’s on the Eden in the last 2 medals. My handicap is currently 8.7 and I’ve been agonizingly going through swing adjustments over the past few months.

I’m now going down the self-teach route, as my experience with golf instructors per se has been awful. You tube is handy for watching different swing actions and does give some insight. But like ski teaching there are far too many little fixes out there which can leave you heading rapidly down the 19th hole road.

I taught skiing for 15 years and am very cynical about the efficacy of a lot of the teaching out there too, to be honest. In fact most of the canon is pretty drivel and you only have to sit at the bottom of Hillend for half an hour at ski school time, to get an idea of the paltry, inane stuff that is dressed up in the name of professional ski instruction.

For mostly you learn to ski by watching and finding a natural balanced posture that suits you. You can’t really be told how to ski.

I always go back to the commencement of ‘teaching’ ski turns. There are chapters in ski manuals about pressure and angles and other mind busting stuff (squeezing your big toe nonetheless!), people being made to hold their hands on their knees and all such ridiculous piffle.

However, I found the best and most immediate way was to get the pupil behind me, head down the slope, start turning and say ‘follow me’. And they did.

And they did it naturally. Without their head full of unwanted, restricting and damaging nonsense.

The same mostly goes for golf I think, but after a few fundamentals are appreciated. A good balanced set up, a square take away and then a good coil of the body involving a slight tightening of the abdomen and a full shoulder turn.

It’s taken me forty years to approach getting this right and ridding my mind of bad habits born through bad teaching and my own misunderstanding. It’s a fact that the person who has given me by far the most insight into the dynamic of the golf swing is my local butcher.

Anyway, I must say I feel mildly confident with things now. But only mildly. It’s still very early days.

Let’s watch this space over the forthcoming year to see if the kilted caddie’s new golf method works for the kilted caddie.

And by the way, anyone wanting a kilted caddie ski experience (yes experience not lesson), can take me out to Val D’Isere for a week at that new 5 star pad.

I specialise in apres-ski.

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