If you know me at all, you will know I love finding answers to problems and watching tutorials on YouTube, its a phenomenal resource and nearly every topic in the world you can think of is covered. My technical knowledge and skills with my primary hobby the camera have matured beyond all recognition from my first ‘off colour’ fuzzy attempts of a few years ago, Similarly, I cook a pretty handy fillet mignon today, when 10 years ago a could have burned water! So before you read on understand that I believe the information super highway the we enjoy today of the internet can be a great thing, but as with everything in life, if you are not careful there are plenty of disasters out there too.

However, you do need an amount of common sense before you logically attempt certain things, I’m happy to try and attempt a new dish in the kitchen on the proviso that if it is terrible I can always bin it and call a take out. And if I try a new technique with the camera, the recycle bin is all that awaits for the file….no drama!  As confident as I am in my abilities to take on new things, there would always be limits, I’m sure if you looked hard enough there would be a video out there demonstrating laser eye surgery…. but no matter how easy it looks, that would be one I would want to leave for the professionals! Similarly I’m not sure many of us would be in a rush to board a flight if we saw a maintenance engineer watching a ‘how too’ video of jet engine repair on the tarmac as waited in the lounge to board our next flight…

So where does that leave us golfers, for you golf is not life of death or a medical emergency…so you are free surf the web right? Well not so quickly, let me give you 3 points you should consider before you try the web browser to fix your slice.

  1. A large amount of the instructional articles on the web are either factually incorrect or blindingly confusing, are you certain that the person you are listening to is correct and focusing on what really matters?
  2. Lets say you have found a great article or teacher online (there are many out there) Is the video and tip you are watching relevant to you and your particular problem?
  3. Lets say the teacher and article are spot on and correct for you… Is you body actually capable of physically making these movements?

John is pictured here in 3 before and after photos during a lesson with me on TrackMan here at Thornleigh Golf Centre last week. Falling foul of point number 2 in the above list, John had seen a YouTube video that suggested a player should keep the clubhead ‘outside the hands’ on the takeaway. Good advice that this may be, in this instance John had taken his already neutral (And in this case pretty perfect) takeaway and introduced a move that would cause issues throughout the rest of his swing creating very weak high slice to the right. Within a few minutes and less than 20 swings, I had John’s takeaway back online and then the following sequence of his swing corrected itself to produce some superb penetrating draws and a huge distance gain.

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The moral of the story is simple, many things in life are transferable and teachable in a ‘how too’ video, but golf in my opinion is not really one of them, sure if your past time is watching them then fine, but don’t start injecting changes into your golf swing without first knowing if those are ‘the right pills for your illness’. Come and have a lesson with me here or see your local PGA Professional and cut a plan than is not only right for your game and aspirations but is also achievable with your physique. The amount of forces, torques and physical movements required for you to direct the club in an efficient manner can be overwhelming at times, you need to focus on fundamental issues and controlling your clubface in the downswing and through impact, If you can do that, you will have less ‘hits’ on the course than I have on my YouTube videos…. and that would be quite the challenge!

Jason Wood
Director of Coaching