Trigger warning. This is a golf post.
I’ve been frustrated the last few weeks (really the last 52) with making progress. So I spent a half-hour with my pro tonight. Two minor changes to my set-up. Reduce the tilt of my shoulders a bit and bring lead shoulder fully over hip and knee. From there he just worked me with a three-quarter swing, just about as slow as I could make it.Shot after shot was crisp and clean, or close to it.
“See? Not much needed to change. I know it feels like you’re not hardly swinging, but look at what you’re doing. Right on the money, great distance (~140 yards), and this is all you need to swing an 8-iron.”
“Actually, it’s the 9.”
“Even better! This is all the swing you need for a short iron.”
So, two little changes in setup and less backswing. I’ll work on it.
Sometimes it seems that this all that is really needed. A couple of minor changes in how you start and things get better. This has also been the story since starting golf lessons. At the beginning, we worked on some bigger changes set-up followed by reinforcing the good points of my swing. Each lesson after the first two were about the little changes needed. I can look back at the progression and see that.
This is not much different than how I try to teach programming or “coding” as the cool kids and non-programmers call it. We start with a basic model that replicates the most important aspect of what the student (generally a staff member) needs to be able to do and gradually expand on that. Along the way I try to offer tweaks in terms of structure and style that I hope will also increase understanding.
The difference between teaching coding and golf is that teaching is a lot less frustrating.