Well the first thing you need from your coach is trust and communication you must have trust and complete faith in the message your teacher is trying to instill, that then goes hand in and with communication, you must be a good communicator to be a good teacher.
But that doesn’t mean you need to blindly follow everything he says, be inquisitive, intelligent questions, and you will find a good teacher will have a perfectly sounds and logic answers, which will eliminate any doubts you have about your swing, if your coach is found wanting on a reply, time to change.
A good coach must have a fine rounded knowledge of the game and complete belief in what he is saying, I also believe that if your coach can’t demonstrate what he is imploring in your swing physically then how can you teach it! If you can’t do it! Don’t teach it.
I personally never achieved what I should have done, but that’s by the by I learnt more after I finished playing than during. My mediocre playing career (British boys champion. European tour player, PGA cup player) average but some nice things to draw back on, I have practiced and played this excruciating game for over 40 years and now I feel I have enough knowledge and experience to from some valid opinions about it, through trial and error, listening to great teachers, watching and playing with great players, putting it into practice and seeing what works and what doesn’t’, studying hard, reading books of all the ‘great teachers’ stealing little phrases and ideas along the way, creating a nice archive along of knowledge, you should always listen to what pros say, somethings should be dismissed immediately others tried out, somethings you will learn from every teacher we are still learning that will continue to do so.
Don’t discard anything until you have achieved a good sound understanding of the game then of course event move has a certain logic you can’t argue too much with physics, geometry, kinetics, leverage etc.. You’ll work out yourselves what is right for you. Also the ball never lies if you can achieve a repetitive strike and trajectory your on the right track.
I strongly believe that you must have a plan and never deviate from it. Explain where you would like to finish and why but more important where to start, this needs to be explained in depth and then simplified choosing the one or two things in the swing that are counterproductive, and work solely on those until ingrained, then move to phase two, the pupil must be aware why he is improving only one move in order to finish the plan – step- by- step. Don’t be in a rush, If you want to rush it you will always return to point A, the beginning!
I also believe you teach golf to the individual here (improve what you already have). I am not too keen on method teachers, one dimensional way, I prefer to use experience to help who is standing in front of me, with a method that may work for one may not work for another.
After all we are all different: body shapes, ability agility, we must be flexible and adapt a functional repetitive swing for each individual taking into account the time they have to dedicate to the sport, physical ability, height, weight, athletism and the passion and will to listen and learn, throw in application and patience, humility to improve one’s swing step by step and there is no reason that huge improvements can’t be made, anyone in a hurry to get better in let’s say a week should be looking for an opening at dance class, probably they will enjoy dancing badly there than playing bad golf.
Certain fundamentals obviously must be adhered to : grip , posture (correct body angles), alignment sound balance points head, knees and feet which are vital. You must builds your swing around a golf solid base, than we can start on the use of our levers and rotary movement (which creates width) the width is maintained by the lead arm, the left which must remain straight yet not stiff back and down, that is the main fulcrum of our swing.
For me the secret of good teaching is to work out which of the key fundamentals needs improving first and work on that until it becomes right ( generally, head position, footwork and rotary movement). Then comes the communication explain what a certain key move has been selected and what can be achieved if we follow the PLAN explain the plan clear confusion and fog and impose on your students why the first selected move was chosen to improve and where we can go from there.
A good teacher will continually repeat the same things over and over again ingraining the logic behind the idea constantly thing reminding the pupil why he is doing the right and where we wish to end up, getting as near to your potential as possible.
I believe once you have good balance points and a stable base we have the platform to build a solid repetive swing (could also be another major fault).
Anyhow the most important thing to correct first must be sought out, in golf one good important move leads to a chain reaction of 4 or 5 better moves, “action-reaction” . The same unfortunately is true one bad move will lead to 7/8 compensatory move causing inconsistency, lack of speed etc.. Identify the key issue and try to modify it correctly. You need patience and belief if your teacher tells you after 10 lessons you are still swaying although you may be happy enough with how things are going maybe it’s time to re-adress the situation one must always strive to achieve or get close to ones potential, the time to improve a faulty grip or dipping head is NOW!!!
Not after next weeks monthly medal or the semi final of the mixed foursomes, even small changes may feel alien and uncomfortable in the beginning, but conformable doesn’t mean correct.
If you can improve key fundamentals even if they feel strange can only improve your game not make it worse as is common belief?
I am fairly against method teaching good pros like, Hank Haney (forearm rotation, wrist pronation), Jim McLean (8steps) although he is sound, Jimmy Ballard (laterel swinging) , Bob Toski leg resistance and drive “if you can dance gotta chance, the stack n’ tilt boys, someone once asked my after a pro-am in Turkey to explain stack and tilt, fine I said STACK 20 beers on the bar and I’ll tilt them down my neck! (Hopefully that answered the question- Sean Foley stay centered and left for more compression although I believe in a lot of things these guys teach .
I would never advocate a method for everyone, there is no one way to swing the club, as we are all different shapes and sizes, the one thing that never lies is ball flight and trajectory, that’s when you know are on the right track as you build your library of golf knowledge you can take bits and pieces from everyone and use their theories when called for …..
Perhaps your student is hooding the club face going back, which is probably the most destructive part of his swing. A little gradual fore-arm rotation a – la Hank Haney would be a good thing although I don’t advocate that for everyone, what if a pupil arrives with a weak grip and immediately fans the club open with his hand, well – a Hank Haney fore-arm rotation would only accentuate the problem!
So again I believe you must take information and knowledge from every top teacher or player from a catalogue of information which helps you understand more about your game. Remember a good pro has all this knowledge and knows how to adapt it to each individual there is no one way to play good golf, but certain fundamentals need to be ad hered to …. A good golf pro apart from banging home the importance of what you need to do and why he will never let you hit a shot with a faulty grip (the hands control the clubface) – plus he’d have to explain all the compensations you need to make to hit the call better when perhaps the key fault was simply the grip!
… Never be afraid to ask questions (sensible ones) your pro should have an immediate answer, the explanation of what happens during the swing may be longwinded , which will help you with your understanding of “why” perhaps you shanked it, but the “cure” is usually very simple as it should be…
Golf is a game of opposites, remember when taking lessons follow the rules afore mentioned and I am sure you’re find the right pro for you, simplicity and communication, be patient, step by step and you will make giant leaps in the future quick fixes, band aids or the idea of playing your best immediately will only leave you with sore hands, scratching your head for answers, find yourself a good pro and set to try to reach your potential.
It’s a worthwhile journey to follow, rich with satisfaction just make sure you do it right …. With your trusted pro….
GOOD LUCK IN YOU SEARCH