I went to the PGA TRADESHOW in early October, it was held in Harrogate Yorkshire, a great town to visit, I had not been to Harrogate for thirty years, so it was great to go back again, and meet up with my fellow professionals.
I spent some time at the GASP systems stand, thanks to Steve and Mervyn, which have some really good products for video coaching, I use GASP LAB and can vouch for their equipment and their customer service. A great new product is their teaching app for IPHONE which you can download from ITUNES.
It has a drawing program and a tools menu so you can draw lines on to your video, it is really helpful when I just want to highlight something to my pupil on the range quickly.
They also have golf drills which you can access, you can see my teaching drills on the app, which I know will help you improve your golf.
As part of the PGA TRADESHOW were a number of seminars which we could attend, the speakers were top in their fields and they were very educational.
To maintain my Advanced PGA status I have to maintain a certain number of points to keep that AA status, this means that you attend seminars to gain points each year, and you are willing to learn and keep improving your level of expertise, and that you are aware of new research and keeping up to date with all the latest technology. Its a great addition to the other areas I use to upgrade my skills and knowledge, this game is like peeling the layers of an onion, there is always another layer, and there are always more questions !
I chose three speakers to see, the first was Michael Hebron a PGA of AMERICA golf professional, who has written many books, and won many accolades for his work as a teaching professional, I had not seen Michael since the PGA of America teaching summits that he organised in the nineties in San Francisco and New Orleans, it was nice to speak to him again.
His seminar was called Neuro Learning, how the brain learns, not only in golf training but in learning anything.
It is a huge subject and was a subject that as a teacher is so important, if I can help you learn more quickly and simply, so your brain can take in the skills in a more natural way, rather than thinking about various components as you swing the club, that would greatly enhance my teaching and coaching skills and your learning.
My second seminar was by Jamie Edwards and it was basically about communication and developing our own skills, which was very useful, Jamie had a lot of enthusiasm for his subject and again it was very useable not only for my business, but for life as well.
My third seminar was with Fredrik Tuxen of TRACKMAN, he has developed a system for tracking the flight of the golf ball and its the number one ball flight monitor in the industry.
TRACKMAN now delivers ball flight analysis information which was previously before TRACKMAN, a kind of guesstimate of what happened when the clubface contacts the ball, and how it reacts during flight.
Now there is proof.
Basically the ball reacts to the angle of the face with an iron to the ratio of 75% and to the path of the club 25%, with a driver its more 85% clubface and 15% path. Which before we were led to believe that the path of the club had a much larger effect on the starting direction of the ball.
This subject is pretty technical and there are many parameters that influence ball flight, but as a coach we need to know what influences there are on the ball flight of our students, as it can only make us better in helping our pupils improve, and that is why I attend these conferences.
When a student comes for to me for help, I feel I need to have the facts to help that person improve, not myths and assumptions, and we have an amazing amount of technology and information at our disposal to help golfers.
There is of course with all this training and knowledge a proviso, as coaches we must make sure we do not overload our golfers with all this data.
An analogy is like being a doctor, a doctor is trained over many years and has accumulated vast amounts of expertise in different fields, but when you go to see your doctor does he tell you everything he has learned about the subject you are wanting help with?
I know you just want to get better, but you also want a doctor who has experience, and you can trust, and they might give you their best advice, but in my experience I would not just accept what they say without asking questions and doing some research as well.
So he uses his experience and knowledge and gives you as much information as you desire, or as much as he feels is appropriate that will help you get better, and if he cannot, he refers you to the appropriate expert in that field that can help, a consultant.
So find yourself a PGA golf professional with that experience and the education that enables him to deliver what you require from your lesson in a way that delivers the improvements you want, and teaches in a clear, structured and informed way.
You are then on your way to better golf and building a great relationship with a very important person to you, your golf coach!
David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional
Authorised Golfing Machine Instructor
To view my website. www.bowngolf.com
Youtube channel Bowngolf