By Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional, CI
Smithtown Landing Country Club, Smithtown, NY
There are millions of golfers investing in lessons, books, videos and the
latest equipment yet gaining only short lived progress with their golf
games. Why? Perhaps they have been trying to improve with an
approach not suited to their individual learning style. I refer to this as
"each person own best way"!
While we recognize there is a difference between learning a motion and
performing one, what is often overlooked is the different learning styles,
or ways people learn. Education leaders have known for years that
everyone has his or her own best way of learning. This is sometimes
referred to as a "personal preference for information".
How people learn is based on how we perceive and process information;
we each do this a little differently. In his book Golf's Best Kept Secrets,
Dr. Carey Mumford (www.clearkeygolf.com) suggests golfers fall in four
· The Driver-Doer: Learns by trial and error and is not very patient.
· The Feeler-Craftsman: Has more patience than a Driver-Doer, but
uses the same approach.
· The Persuader-Observer: Attempts to copy, likes demonstrations; just
want to get the job done.
· The Analyzer-Thinker: Looks for perfection, wants answers, like to read.
Learning is also influenced by preference for "Right or Left Brained
dominance". Left brained learners tend to have logical and sequential
skills where right brained learners have artistic and visual skills. Left
brained people like "how to" information and use details. Right brained
learners like general information, pictures, feels and are intuitive
learners. The Institute of Denver gave over 400 EEG tests and found
accountants, chemists, lawyers, contract lawyers, classical musicians,
and mathematicians were clearly left brained dominant. Criminal lawyers,
artists, rock musicians and athletes were right brained dominant.
While the information given to a player is important, the style that is used
to present it, and what the player hears, remembers and understands
are more important. Once a golfer has some insight into his/her golf
personality and learning style the ability to make progress improves.
General Playing Comparisons Right Brained Golfers:
· Tend to have more natural talent than left brained golfers.
· Tend to spend more time playing than practicing
· Must play well to swing well
· Should work more on their long game than their short game.
· Are good at trouble shots and short game.
Left Brained Golfers:
· Tend to have better techniques than right brained golfers.
· Tend to practice more than they play.
· Must swing well to play well.
· Should work on their short game more than their long game.
· Have good full swing abilities.
When a golfer or their instructor has some insight or understanding of
the golf personality and learning style, the ability to make progress
improves. The ongoing goal at our golf school is to continue to uncover
the a wide range of communication and visualization skills to assists
students with their progress.
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