The introduction of YouTube in 2005 brought a whole new era to gaining information and enabling golf coaches to display their talents in improving golfers. Golfers worldwide can learn off the best. And best of all……….it’s free!
However, golf is an individual game. We are all physically different, we all have different stages of knowledge………… we are all individuals, so one person’s way of getting rid of a slice might be completely different to another golfer’s ability to eradicate the dreaded left to right curve ball.
So why do I pick on YouTube when it has so much quality information out there?
Don’t get me wrong, YouTube is a great tool and massively useful. As a coach, I can spend hours upon hours trawling through the countless videos of lessons and tips distributed to us by the world’s best and most knowledgeable coaches. However, as an amateur golfer, I would avoid such videos. Why? Purely on the basis that they can add conscious thought into the mind that very often doesn’t need to be there.
For example, I remember teaching a gentleman. Good player, played to about 16-17 handicap so could hold his own around a course. Our first lesson was great, simple set up fix to get him striking the ball better and cleaner. He had a case of the heavy/fat shots when he came and when he left that was all but gone. (He was too crouched over the ball to begin with if you were wondering). All was well, he walked away happy and I was a happy coach knowing that he felt he was a better player because of how well he struck the ball. We ended the session booking the next one in 3 weeks later, to get used to the feelings and plan the way forward next for his golf.
3 weeks later, I was looking forward to seeing said player as I had the sneaky suspicion the results were going to be good on the basis he had changed something but got used to it straight away, a great confidence boost. A simple fix with instant results SHOULD mean a good consistent time on the course and range……. Or so I thought! I eagerly said how have you got on this past few weeks, expecting a positive reply. ‘Terrible, worse I’ve ever played’ came the reply. Shocked and gutted were the first two words to spring to mind from my perspective. Eager to find out what had happened, I questioned further. Was it a bad feeling about the set up? Was it swing mechanics broken down due to set up changes? Was it confidence in the new set up? None of the above……………… ‘I watched some videos on YouTube’ came the reply. Now the penny had dropped. Because he was in search of perfection, he scanned the video sharing site for extra bites of information to help hit the flag everytime. It led to a lot of conscious thoughts in his mind that didn’t need to be in there and, ultimately, led to worse results. All because he watched a few videos and tried to implement the changes they were recommending.
In golf, more often than not, less is more. Less information over the most crucial areas of technique will help. Not feeding ourselves full of apparent words of wisdom that we feel will propel us to elite stardom in the matter of a few swings.
YouTube is great for a coach but not always great for a player. If you are to consume YouTube or any other swing analysis magazine out there on the market, I advise you watch the pros swing the golf club. Just watch how they do it and spot habits in their swings. Don’t try and copy positions they achieve in their swing, just watch how they do it, their movement pattern, the impact area they get into. If this sort of imagery is available to you in your mind then that will be far more beneficial to you as opposed to endless theory about the biomechanics of the swing and splitting it into 30 different segments.