When people first call me to set up a lesson, the most frequent question I get is, "So how long do you think it will be before I get good?" Everyone is looking for that quick fix whether it be through a youtube video, book, magazine or private lesson. However, depending on your needs and your level, real change in your swing that is true and correct is hard. Let me say that again and read this carefully, "Real change in your swing that is true and correct is hard." To further clarify, real change that alters the way your swing looks and feels to how a correct golf swing is supposed to look and feel is a lot harder than you think, especially if you have a lot of issues starting off. If you have major issues with your swing, it will almost be impossible to figure out the correct swing on your own. Yes, little tips here and there may help, but at most they will be short lived.
With all the instructional literature, golf aids and lessons, you would think that there would be a lot more people who are good at golf. But here is the reality, most of the people you play with are probably not that good at golf. What defines not good? Well that's everyone's opinion, but the Legendary Ben Hogan believed every average golfer had the ability to break 80. I also am a believer that most golfer's who with the correct fundamentals can break 80. So if you're not consistently shooting in the single digits, you're not that good. To be honest, most of that just has to do with a correct functioning swing which enables you to be consistent tee to green as well as the short game.
According to the USGA's handicap distribution, only 13% of registered players with official handicaps are capable of breaking 80 on a good day! A couple things to note, this is of all the REGISTERED players who have an official handicap, and this does NOT include recreational golfers who do not have official handicaps!
Real Change that is True and Correct
So what do I mean by real change that is true and correct. If you're making the right changes in your golf swing, they must be true according to what current research on the kinematic sequence of the golf swing has found. the correct changes that an instructional program or tip provides must make sure that the changes you're making align with the research. Another more practical way to to see if you are making those changes is if your professional instructor shows you how your swing has progressed into the movement patterns of the best players in the world. Yes, there are slight variations, but according to 3D motion and vector plate data, almost all successful PGA swings follow the same movement patterns.
Again, are the changes you're working on really changing the way your swing looks? Are you still early extending? Are you still falling off balance? Are you still casting? Are you still over-swinging? Are you still coming in steep? Are you looking closer and closer to a model swing? The changes you're making should reflect that. If you're not, whatever it is that you're doing is just messing up your swing even more. You're going to find yourself having wasted a lot of time and still frustrated with this game.
If you've got bad habits, changing your swing into the correct motion is often very difficult. Many students who come to me never believe that changes I make them go through because they do not FEEL right. However, they are amazed when I compare their before and after swings and how it translates into straighter and farther shots. Butch Harmon states when making swing changes, "Feel is different than real." Don't waste your time trying to find a quick solution to your swing faults, they will never work in the long run. Invest some time into some quality lessons to get real change. You will definitely enjoy this game a lot more.