It was announced recently that The PGA of America has just partnered with GOLFTECH, an off-course golf instructional company.
GolfTech first started offering golf instruction in 1995, mostly indoors in their improvement centers, using advanced technology including video, motion measurement and launch monitors. And during this time have grown to where they now teach over 25% of all golf lessons in the United States.
It will be very interesting to see how the PGA Members, themselves will take to this new alliance. Local course professionals have taken to Twitter and Facebook this week worrying about what this means for their jobs.
While GolfTech boasts to have a 96% success rate with their students improving their golf swing, many reports suggest this doesn’t translate well to the golf course itself.
In GolfTech lessons, golfers are hooked up to a variety of computer technologies, launch monitors and video swing analyzers in order to get an evaluation of their swing. The main thrust of the GolfTech program is then to help the golfer develop a “perfect golf swing” that will then, supposedly, consistently work for them on the golf course.
However, this is where the contention lies.
For the past 100 years golfers and golf teachers have believed that a great golf swing will guarantee great golf shots. Seeing the PGA have tried this route already, and golf scores still haven’t decreased across the country during the last half century, perhaps the entire “perfect golf swing” method of teaching has been floored from the start.
Perhaps golfers around the country should look to try a totally different approach. Which is a notion that is also recommended by neuroscientists and the motor-learning professionals.
Motor learning experts suggest that “instead of focusing on making their golf swing mechanically perfect, which is known as ‘internal focus’, human-beings golfers do better focusing on external things like their target, or the shape of their shot.” This is know as ‘external focus’ in the neuroscience world, and this style of practice has been shown to superior in developing motor skill and consistency.
Perhaps the PGA of America should take a look at this research before installing more computers and video cameras in every golf course across the country.
Programs focusing on shot creation and making golf simpler, rather than perfecting mechanics may sound a little “old school” in such a technology focused sport such as golf, however the results are are far superior for the golfer.
Afterall, there have been many successful PGA Tour players throughout history winning Majors, with a perfect golf swing.
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Darrell Klassen is a PGA golf instructor in Visalia California. He has been successfully teaching golfers how to find their own natural swing and create the shots they desire, without worrying about perfect swing mechanics for over 55 years.