Has golf instruction got too complex in 2017?

"Too many coaches I see try and fit a very complex answer to a simple solution. It gives us a bad reputation." 

Andy Roberts's picture
Submitted by Andy Roberts on


Golf instruction is getting far too complex in 2017. That is the view of The Belfry's Senior PGA Coach and Director of Junior Golf Phil Akers. 

Sitting down to talk to us in the comfort of The Belfry's stunning PGA National Academy, Akers revealed how he sees a number of golf coaches today complicating the most simplest of golf lessons for beginners and game improvers who just want to improve. 

Akers also gave us his thoughts on the in-depth nature of Facebook coaching groups, and stressed an urgent need for coaches to dumb down information for the average Joe, as the ones who aren't right now are giving the rest of the profession a "bad reputation". 

Here's what he told us...
 

Phil Akers, Belfry Senior PGA Coach 

"It's a brilliant question - for me it all depends on the client and the coach as well," said Akers. 

"You've got a lot of golfers out there who like to know the intricacies, and you'll find that in everyday life that you've got some people that like to know the ins and outs of things, and sometimes ignorance is bliss with people. A lot of times a lot of people don't know which one of them they are, and some are in the middle of it. 

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"I think from a coach's standpoint it's actually understanding what your client wants and what level they're at. You might have an engineer that comes in who is a doctor of it or something like that, but equally if they're just starting out in golf I can't go into the physics of it even if they might be able to relate to certain things, you want to keep it all as simple as possible.

"It's like if you're talking to kids, you could never talk to them about ground reaction force or something like that, but you could tell them to stomp on a grape and do exactly the same thing.

"I think in part, yeah, a lot of the golf teaching groups you can join on Facebook and other forms of social media can go very, very in depth. I don't think there's not any danger in having an awful lot of knowledge. I think it's a very good thing. The coach should know a lot of different ways to explain one thing.

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"Equally, golf coaching is going down a lot of different routes these days with biomechanics, psychology and all of this stuff. You need quite a broad knowledge base, but I think too many coaches see this stuff on Facebook of their groups and then try and explain it the same as what it was explained to them, and not dumb it down a little bit, which I think is quite important.

"At the end of the day, average Joe just wants to get better. Knowing the D-Plane or how to build a neural pathway is the coach's job. Then it's also their job to be able to simplify their explanation of it. 

"I'm not saying explain it to a point that is loses the actual point of it, but some topics are complex and there's no easy way to explain around it, but I think it's the golf instructor's role to be able to communicate that in the most simplest fashion whatsoever. 

"Too many coaches I see now try and fit a very complex answer to quite a simple solution. I think it gives us a bad reputation in all fairness. I think people don't get better with it."