Overheard on the driving range...
“Do you know what’s wrong with your swing?”
Thankfully I haven't been asked this question but I couldn’t believe when I heard it. This was a question from a man on the driving range who then went on to give a lady advice on how to change everything about her swing! To begin with I thought that perhaps they knew each other (the most rational reason why he was giving her lots of advice), but when I asked the lady once the man had left, she said she didn’t know him and couldn’t believe he thought he had any right to offer advice. One of my Instagram followers has also shared a post recently about this happening to her and said it made her feel humiliated and angry.
This made me think about golf advice in general. Firstly, no one wants unwarranted advice from a stranger especially when they’ve probably seen a few shots and now think they know your swing inside out. Of course this man probably had good intentions and wanted to help but if you did not ask for any advice then I think it is rude and poor etiquette, especially because he had really reduced the lady's self-confidence in her game.
Also overheard on the driving range:
"I don't need your advice. We didn't do that in my lesson."
These were the words from a teenage boy to his dad. This made my heart break a little because it’s very similar to what I’ve said to my dad a number of times when he’s got a new drill or technique he thinks will work for me. When he reads this he will probably be very smug, as I now want to say sorry!
There is no doubt that there is a lot of golf advice out there. The last few months on my Instagram have been incredible and I've met so many inspirational people through it, but it has re-instilled the fact that together with all the YouTube videos, books etc. there are so many different drills and techniques you can use to practise and sometimes it can be really overwhelming.
If you have lessons, your coach should definitely be the main person you listen to. It's their job and the professional that you are paying to teach you after all! If you are not happy with their advice then you need to find yourself a new coach!
However, I don't think you should be closed off to all advice whether that’s online, from books and magazines or from your friends or your family. I think it's always worth taking on board advice if it’s given from someone you trust and most importantly if it relates to something you actively want to change/improve. If you find it doesn’t work for you then you can discard it but sometimes it may help trigger a thought process to find something that does work for you. I recently sent a swing video to one of my friends who is a pro and he was really helpful at giving me a couple of pointers which I slightly adapted to help work for me. I also always make sure my coach knows what I’m working on and testing so that we can work on it together in our lessons and my coach in the past has said that’s really beneficial as it helps him understand what works and clicks for me.
Any golfer can be inundated with advice (especially as a beginner) and something that works one day may not work the next. Definitely ask for advice when you need it and your coach should always be the person you listen to most. Stay open to advice from other sources (especially of course the tips I put on this blog!). However, if you receive any unwarranted advice from a stranger ask them what their handicap is, why they’re not on tour and get them to demonstrate their advice to see if they can practise what they preach!
The best words of advice are probably these:
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it"