Step by Step Learning
By Michael Hebron, PGA Master Professional, CI
Smithtown Landing CC, Smithtown NY
A new golf season has arrived and millions of golfers have set new goals for this year's
season. Let's start with some suggestions on learning and new ways to reach your golf
Trying to learn a golf swing and the game as a whole is one of the main reasons people
do not reach their potential! A sound golf swing is a motion made up of many different
parts being controlled at one time. Golfers must first learn the significance of each part
and understand where the part fits in the greater whole before any lasting progress is
possible. I call it a step-by-step approach to learning and understanding one stage of
the swing before moving on to the next.
We all learn letters before words; words before sentences; sentences before
paragraphs. Learning golf correctly is no different. People who have reached their
potential realized it would take time, and they used a step-by-step approach. Learning
is really not something we do, it is something we allow to happen, and instruction, for
the most part, should be imparting ways for people to learn and let it happen.
Each of us have our own best way and time frame in which we learn. Visual learners
need pictures. Analytical learners need details. Kinesthetic learners need to feel and
touch. Action learners need demonstrations. Instructors at our school deliver messages
in the way that is best for your learning style.
Look at your golf as a computer; the swing as its program; and the ball flight as its
printout. The ball can only do what it is programmed to do at impact. No one can react
to information they do not have, know, or understand. In most of the lessons I give, the
student's current information is improved or changed, just like upgrading your computer
software for better performance. Many golfers create a bad swing before the club is in
motion because their grip, stance and alignment. Grip-stance-alignment is not the same
old story; it's the only story. When you are not making progress or your game slips, it
would be wise to review your grip, stance, and alignment. They are essential to good
Being a Student
Some golfers overlook their own responsibilities in making progress. Any time you
spend on your game must be quality time if you want results. Work on one segment of
your swing at a time, not several.
• Warm up 15 minutes before lessons. Ask questions and make notes during lessons.
• Practice for an hour after a lesson. Try using video replay whenever you can.
Practice in front of a mirror because research shows that by putting a picture with a
feel, motor skill learning improves 70 percent.
I'll expand on common misconcepts about the golf swing in the next article. In the mean
time, give some thought to what your approach has been to learning the golf swing and
improving your game, then set out on a planned path for improvement this season.back
It's rewarding to hit a great shot that goes just where we planned, the challenge of the
game is to make these great shot repeatable! In order to make shots repeatable we
must first have an appropriate knowledge base. Without an appropriate knowledge
base we have nothing to draw from to plan for the shot at hand and our ability to reach
our potential is limited. I'd like to expand on the learning concept and how the contents
of your information base is effecting your golf game.
Causes for poor golf and a lack of progress:
• information that is not understood
• information that is misapplied
• information that is not remembered
• information that is not true
Copyright Michael Hebron, 2008, all rights reserved