How Many Golf Instructors Does It Take?
How may Golf Instructors does it take to screw in a light bulb? If it’s the same amount that it took for me to get my golf swing consistent enough to think about becoming a PGA Professional – it’s a lot more than 1 and little less than 100.
In order to screw in the light bulb – one Instructor will tell you that first you need to position the ladder, then climb up to see what type of light bulb is already being used, then climb back down to get the replacement bulb, then climb back-up to take out the old bulb and put the new one in.
The second Instructor will have you position the ladder and carry up the new light bulb with you before you take out the old bulb – but before you do start to climb up another Instructor will stop you and tell you you’re doing it all wrong because you can’t bring up a new bulb before taking out the old bulb – “you might drop the new one while unscrewing the old bulb. And you DON’T want to drop a light bulb onto the kitchen floor!”
Now the next Instructor will tell you that you can’t replace the bulb yet, you need to go to the store because that incandescent bulb you’re going to put in is not very energy efficient – “you need to use a fluorescent bulb – it’ll save you money over the long haul. So stay in the dark a little longer until you can use the latest in technology.”
And the next Instructor tells you that you shouldn’t even have a light fixture there. You need to move that light away from the center of the room. You should have it a little more near the corner of the kitchen where the table is. But that would require you to get an electrician to come in and rewire the kitchen – you tell the Instructor: ok that sounds great, but my light bulb is out today and I’d like to have light in the kitchen tonight so we could eat dinner and it might be days before you can get an electrician in to rewire.
Which prompts the Instructor to say – “Yeah, but don’t you want to do it the right way? Just switching the light bulb isn’t going to help – you’re wasting your time. What’s a little darkness for a week or so if you can have better light down the road?” (Kind of like the – ‘You have to get worse before you get better theory’)
While the next Instructor tells that you as you’re unscrewing the bulb that you need to use less wrist. “Bend your elbow at 90 degrees and turn your forearm like you’re using a screwdriver. I’ve never seen a successful light bulb changer use their wrist when changing a bulb!”
Light bulb changing of course isn’t the only activity on earth that people have varying opinions on how to accomplish simple tasks – yet at the same time having a perverse fascination of making it much more complicated than it needs to be so that they can appear intelligent in front of others.
I recently witnessed a poor lady at the driving range that was there to hit golf balls. I was forced to watch in shame as she was approached by what seemed like an endless stream of Instructors – (Professionals and Joe Pro Wannabes), that offered so much advice to her about what she was doing wrong that I thought I was back in 4th grade Art Class with my teacher Mrs. Older’ndirt. I can still remember how Older’ndirt was trying to teach me how to draw an abstract of an apple. ‘Abstract? Lady, I’m only 9 years old. I don’t care about abstract – let me draw a picture of my GI Joe action figures in hand to hand combat!’
And just as I was (and still am) completely turned off from drawings of apples – the lady at the driving range was getting more and more upset with her golf after each Instructor gave her their sage, magical, foolproof, you-have-to-do-it-this-way advice.
Here’s a question for you –
If you had to teach a newcomer to golf, what would be the most important thing they need to do to learn to hit the golf ball – what would you tell them? Which “tip” below is of the most importance and what would be the order you would place the other “tips” from most important to least important: A. grip; B. stance; C. weight shift; D. left arm straight; E. eye on the golf ball; F. keep your head still; G. ball position; H. turn your shoulders; I. turn your hips.
Did I miss something?
Ok, now that you told the Golfer one of the above is the most important and they start working on it – what will most likely be the adjustments you need to make: A. you’re holding the club too tight; B. your feet are too far apart; C. no, you can’t sway like that, feel like you’re swinging in a barrel; D. your left arm is too rigid – you can’t cock your wrist with it that straight; E. didn’t you hear me – you have to keep your eye on the ball, don’t peek till you finish your swing; F. don’t move your head on the backswing – it needs to stay over the ball or you’ll sway; G. your ball position is too far forward – it needs to be in the middle; H. your shoulders need to go 90 degrees on the backswing – you’re not turning enough; I. your hips are turning too much and causing you to reverse pivot.
And then the next Instructor this Golfer comes across will tell this person – A. you’re holding the club way too loose – you need to hold it tighter than that; B. your feet are much too close together; C. you’re not moving your weight enough – you have to shift your weight back, you can’t just turn side to side; D. you’re bending your left arm too much – you need more extension; E. your eyes are fixated on the golf ball too much – let your head move with your weight; G. your ball position is too far back in your stance – you need to move it forward closer to your left foot; H. you’re over-rotating your shoulders on the backswing – use more of your arms to swing the club back; I. your hips need to move – you’re not moving them at all, they need to turn 45 degrees in your backswing.
And the next Instructor will say … well, you know how it’s going to be – that Instructor will tell you that everything the previous Instructor told you – was wrong. And the worst part is that you – someone that wants something as simple as just getting a little better – gets stuck in what could be classified as a battle of egos between Instructors.
And that stinks – that’s not the way it should be!
If you read the instructions on the light bulb box on how to change a light bulb – you’d know enough to effectively change the bulb. And if you followed those same instructions when the next light bulb goes out – you’ll improve your light bulb changing skills with this bulb over your performance with the first bulb. And then if you followed the instructions with the next bulb – what took you 3 minutes the first time will take you less than 30 seconds the third time.
Yet, if you got new instructions each time you changed the light bulb – by the third time it wouldn’t take you the 3 minutes it took you on the first bulb. It would probably take you a minimum of 5 minutes because you’d have to think about the new instructions you just received, in addition to the instructions you had from your 2nd light bulb screwing Instructor and on top of that – you’d also have to worry about breaking all those ‘bad habits’ that your 1st light bulb screwing Instructor told you that you absolutely needed to stop doing.
And those 5 minutes don’t include the time you had to spend cleaning up all the bits of broken bulb on your kitchen floor because as you tried to stop using your wrist so that you could start bending your elbow at 90 degrees, you almost fell off the ladder and had to let go of the light bulb to grab onto the ladder so you didn’t fall to the ground yourself.
And that doesn’t include going to the hardware store again to get another light bulb – where the person helping you select a light bulb will without much encouragement be very happy to tell you their opinion on how to effectively change a light bulb.
If you don’t believe me that in the past this is exactly what has happened in Golf Instruction and is still happening today – step into the shoes of one of my Instructors for a day. Because although we do have people that have never taken a golf lesson before – we have enough people that have spent enough money on golf lessons that they could’ve funded the U.S. Economic Stimulus themselves.
How good are our Instructors? Well, watch them work with Golfers that have 52 thoughts going on in their mind every shot because they’ve read too many Monkey Digest’s or spent too much time around light bulb screwing Instructors. Watch them work and you’ll be amazed at how talented they are. Because golf might be the most frustrating thing a person can experience – and people are spending a lot of money to come see us to see improvement and get answers. Come watch them work with a Golfer that’s frustrated and confused and you’ll see why they’re the best in the world (bar none) at helping Golfers brighten their light bulbs more efficiently and brighter than they have ever seen them before.
The Monkey never has the light come on because they’re always changing light bulb screwing Instructors
The Player keeps their light bulb the brightest by staying consistent with what they’re working on with their golf swing
Go ahead, be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life