Years ago, I was speaking with a renowned swing coach. He was working with a PGA Tour player, but he was not confident the relationship would last or that his efforts would be effective.
When I asked him why, he responded, "Because he's a collector."
I had no clue what the phrase meant, and when I asked, he told me that throughout his career, the player had gone through a mind-boggling amount of swing coaches. His belief was that the player's constant search for swing information held him back from achieving what many thought would be a hall-of-fame career. But he couldn't seem to help himself!
Many regular golfers are no different. They LOVE learning more and more about the golf swing. But they have a few more things working against them, like:
- They don't have PGA Tour talent
- The internet is designed to feed them more of what they want
This combination usually leads to a lot of confusion over the ball, which is why I usually warn against cruising YouTube for swing tips. Here's why...
There is more information on the golf swing than ever. Literally thousands of resources.
A lot of the advice is well-researched and accurate. Some of it flat-out sucks.
How do you know the difference?
I believe the odds are stacked against you because of:
- The Algorithm
The biggest problem I see is relevancy. Your golf swing is a puzzle that has multiple pieces. The goal is to make them fit together to hit functional shots.
With so many different instructors giving different versions of the golf swing, you have no idea what is relevant to YOUR swing. The whole thing can break down if you start changing out one piece for another.
Continuity is another massive issue. Your mind needs to be as quiet as possible over the ball to play your best golf. That's very hard to do with several voices in your head giving you different ideas on how to swing a club.
If I sent your swing to 10 instructors, they all might find different ways to communicate a solution to your problems.
You have no chance of improving if you listen to all ten at once.
However, if you chose one and stuck with their plan, you would have a much better chance.
Perhaps the worst part of it all is the algorithm.
If YouTube (Instagram/TikTok/etc.) sees you watching these videos and engaging with them more, that is all they will show you. And they have an endless supply!
The path of least resistance is to consume more. But golf doesn't work that way.
You don't need to be a swing expert to play well. If anything, THE LESS you know about the golf swing, the better.
So what should you do?
Unless you have a very advanced understanding of the golf swing, I suggest getting off the swing-education train.
You have two options:
- Work with an instructor and get customized swing advice.
- Focus your time on more skill-based practice methods (many of the ones I discuss in The Four Foundations of Golf
You can do both at once.
It is estimated that less than 10-20% of golfers are currently taking lessons.
I am a big proponent of working with an instructor at some point.
They can make your path to improvement more efficient and give you great ideas on how to practice effectively.
If you do take lessons, you need to commit, though.
Don't show your teacher YouTube videos from other coaches and ask if you should be doing "that"
(I've seen this happen)
Stick with their plan.
And if you do want to keep watching videos, please just stick with one voice :)