Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
At the start of every lesson I give, I ask the student what they have been working on and why they have been working on it. Most often, the answers to those two questions do not match and that is why most golfers do not get better as fast as they would like.
The student may tell me they are hooking the ball so they are working on trying to swing more from the inside and out to the right. Or, they may be slicing it so they are trying to turn their body through better. I feel bad when I tell them that what they have been working on so hard has probably actually made them worse. This is the problem with self diagnosis.
When you are ill you go to the doctor and he identifies the illness for you and prescribes medicine, which will cure it. Typically you get better quickly. However, if you try to diagnose the illness yourself, and even worse, try to prescribe your own cure, you would most likely make yourself even more ill.
The diagnosis part of golf instruction is not actually that difficult. Prescribing the correct cure is the hard part. Good instructors can quickly match the error in your swing with the right correction and get you moving in the right direction sooner. This is why qualified instructors are invaluable!
Breaking bad habits takes time, so the longer you practice with the wrong correction to your error the more deeply you will ingrain those bad habits. To use your practice time more efficiently make sure your instructor explains exactly what the error in your swing is, what the fix for that error is and how to correctly practice that fix. If every time you go to the practice area you have a plan that meets those three criteria you will speed up your improvement process immensely.
Jeff Fisher is the Director of Instruction at the OB Sports Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.