Do adults succeed? Do we get any better?

Do adults succeed? Do we get any better?

Joined: June 12th, 2003, 5:22 pm

March 9th, 2009, 5:03 pm #1

Kind of an off the wall question I guess, but I've just realized that piano teachers in general are very reluctant to take adult students for a number of reasons. But one of them is they learn so slowly if at all, they get frustrated and quit. It's hard for a teacher who cares about success and doing a good job to fail repeatedly, better just to focus on children who mostly do learn.

Seems the opposite is true for a golf pro: adults are never going to build a good swing, so once you've hooked one you have a guaranteed income for life. Hee, hee. There's always one more fault to cure - and no impact on the score.

Self help books - if any of them worked, we'd never buy another. The key to profit is to sell book after book that promises but NEVER delivers.

Then there's those statistics - amateur handicaps haven't improved in 100 years or so.

Even the range rats on this forum go from swing method to swing method. (me included) (though I'm just a theorist now with this shoulder impingement syndrome, can't swing) We wouldn't have half a dozen SA methods if any of us could learn CG. (maybe we wouldn't have half a dozen SA methods if one of them worked! )

Kind of a long and depressing preamble, I know, but: is there hope? Do any of us get better? And by any, I mean more than that gifted 2%?
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

March 9th, 2009, 6:00 pm #2

is one of the reasons I again became active here after a couple years of inactivity. There are more than a few that genuinely seem interested in improvement, but they just can't drop the other shoe, and I felt I could contribute.I stayed away because most of the things regarding swing development have been gone over ad nauseum here...we all know what is required, and it is just a matter of getting those those things into your swing. I had completed most of the "big work" on my swing and so my attitude was "...you can't stay mired in the mechanics of the swing forever, it's time to move beyond the mechanical approach and learn how to play." Don't get me wrong, mechanics are important, but there is only so far they will take you. Once you get em you got em. I want to learn to PLAY and SCORE, and once the basics of the swing are built, it is time to move on. So the short answer is yes, we can get better. I have - At my first high school re-union golf outing years ago, I was in the "D" group. Fast forward to the next re-union five years later, I again was rated as a "D". I made the "mistake" of playing in our pick up match the day before the outing, and tied for first with a 76...they switched me to the "A" group. Most of my high school buds have gotten worse, and I have gotten better.

So the short answer is yes...we can get better.

The long answer is most don't get better. But not just at golf. Adults have a harder time learning any new activity - playing guitar, skiing, learning to drive, tennis. We learn most things as adults through the medium of language - reading and verbal instruction. We have fears, doubts, and misgivings that hinder us along the way. there is a reason Jesus said you must have "faith as a child". Children just dive right in, with no fears, and just learn by doing, by mimicry. We lose the ability to mimic for the most part. So as adults we must learn by feel, and by doing, and doing it enough until it becomes a habit, or as Bertholy would say, a conditioned response. You answered your question really, they get frustrated and quit.

And then you must remember, success is relative. For some to break 80 would be success, for Tiger, winning more majors than any other golfer might be his success. For others, just to be able to get out in the weather and de-stress with buddies and beers is success. But I know you are talking about a better swing and lower scores, and the answer is still yes we can get better. For me, I am "better than most" in my league now, but I still have never had a competitive round below par, and have never won any significant event like a city or county championship, and have never qualified for any USGA event. So in that regrad, I am not a success, but I'm thinking I am gonna try this year...which is why I am working on refining some aspects of my swing.


BTW - it has nothing to do with being gifted. I think this is true for most things, but as far as athletic activities, it is more true for golf than most other sports by comparison - Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are gifted athletes, but they suck at golf.

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Joined: October 26th, 2000, 5:07 pm

March 9th, 2009, 6:22 pm #3

Kind of an off the wall question I guess, but I've just realized that piano teachers in general are very reluctant to take adult students for a number of reasons. But one of them is they learn so slowly if at all, they get frustrated and quit. It's hard for a teacher who cares about success and doing a good job to fail repeatedly, better just to focus on children who mostly do learn.

Seems the opposite is true for a golf pro: adults are never going to build a good swing, so once you've hooked one you have a guaranteed income for life. Hee, hee. There's always one more fault to cure - and no impact on the score.

Self help books - if any of them worked, we'd never buy another. The key to profit is to sell book after book that promises but NEVER delivers.

Then there's those statistics - amateur handicaps haven't improved in 100 years or so.

Even the range rats on this forum go from swing method to swing method. (me included) (though I'm just a theorist now with this shoulder impingement syndrome, can't swing) We wouldn't have half a dozen SA methods if any of us could learn CG. (maybe we wouldn't have half a dozen SA methods if one of them worked! )

Kind of a long and depressing preamble, I know, but: is there hope? Do any of us get better? And by any, I mean more than that gifted 2%?
I used to "suck" at golf too. About 15 years ago I would have been really happy to break 100. I then stumbled onto the Heard Super Swing which instantly cured my slice (but brought on some other minor issues)... and brought my score down to the low to mid 90's. Found this forum years ago (10 years?), which enabled me to find the Scott Hazledine/IMA way to play golf. Have dabbled in other books as well - always trying to educate myself about the game. I have stayed away from all CG instruction. Yes I practice almost every day (15 minutes or so)... even in the winter I will swing a power fan, a weighted club, a super light club... something. I now play a few rounds a week and score in the low to mid 80's with plenty of rounds in the 70's. Low score of 73 on a par 71. Shot a few 74's on par 72 courses. And of course, the occasional bad round in the low 90's still is present. My goal for this year is no rounds in the 90's and a handicap of 7 would make me happy. Currently a 10.2

My point being, yes we can get better. Bertholy is the best bet - but alot of work. Too much for me actually. So I stick with IMA, and do the drills often. Practice the short game... and putt well - that will definitely help.

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Joined: April 30th, 2001, 4:02 pm

March 9th, 2009, 8:09 pm #4

Kind of an off the wall question I guess, but I've just realized that piano teachers in general are very reluctant to take adult students for a number of reasons. But one of them is they learn so slowly if at all, they get frustrated and quit. It's hard for a teacher who cares about success and doing a good job to fail repeatedly, better just to focus on children who mostly do learn.

Seems the opposite is true for a golf pro: adults are never going to build a good swing, so once you've hooked one you have a guaranteed income for life. Hee, hee. There's always one more fault to cure - and no impact on the score.

Self help books - if any of them worked, we'd never buy another. The key to profit is to sell book after book that promises but NEVER delivers.

Then there's those statistics - amateur handicaps haven't improved in 100 years or so.

Even the range rats on this forum go from swing method to swing method. (me included) (though I'm just a theorist now with this shoulder impingement syndrome, can't swing) We wouldn't have half a dozen SA methods if any of us could learn CG. (maybe we wouldn't have half a dozen SA methods if one of them worked! )

Kind of a long and depressing preamble, I know, but: is there hope? Do any of us get better? And by any, I mean more than that gifted 2%?
The trouble with most golf instruction , whether it be from books, video or live lessons, is that it focus on what to do, not how to do it. This is where Bertholy comes in. But as Mcirishman said, even given the how, most adults don't have the perseverance to stick with it long enough to ingrain the skills into habit.

I recently did a search on this site for the Bertholy threads, and came across several angry responses about how people didn't have 1-2 years to spend on Bertholy. They needed to improve NOW! This was 7 years ago. I wonder how many of those folks have seriously improved their handicap with whatever methods they flitted to?

However, given that you do have the swing mechanics down, you still may not score well with a poor short game. I found it interesting when Dave Pelz did some research to find that Tiger isn't the best driver, he isn't the best ball striker, he isn't the best long or short iron player, nor is he the best putter. In fact, he wasn't in the top ten for any of these categories on a consistent basis. If you can believe Pelz's data, he found that Tiger is the best at getting it up and down ... by an overwhelming percentage, year-in and year-out.

Food for thought.
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

March 9th, 2009, 8:27 pm #5

a Persuader style....
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Joined: January 22nd, 2009, 4:38 am

March 10th, 2009, 5:31 am #6

The trouble with most golf instruction , whether it be from books, video or live lessons, is that it focus on what to do, not how to do it. This is where Bertholy comes in. But as Mcirishman said, even given the how, most adults don't have the perseverance to stick with it long enough to ingrain the skills into habit.

I recently did a search on this site for the Bertholy threads, and came across several angry responses about how people didn't have 1-2 years to spend on Bertholy. They needed to improve NOW! This was 7 years ago. I wonder how many of those folks have seriously improved their handicap with whatever methods they flitted to?

However, given that you do have the swing mechanics down, you still may not score well with a poor short game. I found it interesting when Dave Pelz did some research to find that Tiger isn't the best driver, he isn't the best ball striker, he isn't the best long or short iron player, nor is he the best putter. In fact, he wasn't in the top ten for any of these categories on a consistent basis. If you can believe Pelz's data, he found that Tiger is the best at getting it up and down ... by an overwhelming percentage, year-in and year-out.

Food for thought.
"par" as a measurement of success , but that leaves out almost everyone --so we must alter our bar of success to " each person has a different definition of success"
read give everyone a medal like they do at certain sporting events
The ADULT mantra -- if I cant REALLY succeed i'll redefine it so as I am still ok
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Joined: January 13th, 2001, 8:30 am

March 10th, 2009, 6:31 am #7

is one of the reasons I again became active here after a couple years of inactivity. There are more than a few that genuinely seem interested in improvement, but they just can't drop the other shoe, and I felt I could contribute.I stayed away because most of the things regarding swing development have been gone over ad nauseum here...we all know what is required, and it is just a matter of getting those those things into your swing. I had completed most of the "big work" on my swing and so my attitude was "...you can't stay mired in the mechanics of the swing forever, it's time to move beyond the mechanical approach and learn how to play." Don't get me wrong, mechanics are important, but there is only so far they will take you. Once you get em you got em. I want to learn to PLAY and SCORE, and once the basics of the swing are built, it is time to move on. So the short answer is yes, we can get better. I have - At my first high school re-union golf outing years ago, I was in the "D" group. Fast forward to the next re-union five years later, I again was rated as a "D". I made the "mistake" of playing in our pick up match the day before the outing, and tied for first with a 76...they switched me to the "A" group. Most of my high school buds have gotten worse, and I have gotten better.

So the short answer is yes...we can get better.

The long answer is most don't get better. But not just at golf. Adults have a harder time learning any new activity - playing guitar, skiing, learning to drive, tennis. We learn most things as adults through the medium of language - reading and verbal instruction. We have fears, doubts, and misgivings that hinder us along the way. there is a reason Jesus said you must have "faith as a child". Children just dive right in, with no fears, and just learn by doing, by mimicry. We lose the ability to mimic for the most part. So as adults we must learn by feel, and by doing, and doing it enough until it becomes a habit, or as Bertholy would say, a conditioned response. You answered your question really, they get frustrated and quit.

And then you must remember, success is relative. For some to break 80 would be success, for Tiger, winning more majors than any other golfer might be his success. For others, just to be able to get out in the weather and de-stress with buddies and beers is success. But I know you are talking about a better swing and lower scores, and the answer is still yes we can get better. For me, I am "better than most" in my league now, but I still have never had a competitive round below par, and have never won any significant event like a city or county championship, and have never qualified for any USGA event. So in that regrad, I am not a success, but I'm thinking I am gonna try this year...which is why I am working on refining some aspects of my swing.


BTW - it has nothing to do with being gifted. I think this is true for most things, but as far as athletic activities, it is more true for golf than most other sports by comparison - Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are gifted athletes, but they suck at golf.
Barkley and Jordan are playing at golf. I am thinking that they had a different idea in mind when they learned the game of basketball. Both of em played basketball to kill. Life or death and any sacrifice necessary with absolutely no baloney. The would do what worked and discard what didn't. I think that what drove them was the same sort of desperation that drove Hogan to develop his game. For instance Barkley would never have allowed a hitch to develop in his stroke in basketball he simply would not have let it happen. I bet that if either of them had learned golf when young with the same passion that they learned basketball things would be a lot different in their games today...

Regards, Herbert
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

March 10th, 2009, 12:26 pm #8

they are great athletes, but they started at golf as adults, and they have a hard time. I am not watching the Haney project but I imagine it is more of same - a golf pro telling someone what to do, why he must do it, but not giving him any steps to get that into his swing/game. No program to incorporate the fixes recommended. If Barkley worked even 1/2 hour a day on Bertholy, he would get better.
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Joined: October 11th, 2001, 7:22 pm

March 10th, 2009, 12:27 pm #9

I used to "suck" at golf too. About 15 years ago I would have been really happy to break 100. I then stumbled onto the Heard Super Swing which instantly cured my slice (but brought on some other minor issues)... and brought my score down to the low to mid 90's. Found this forum years ago (10 years?), which enabled me to find the Scott Hazledine/IMA way to play golf. Have dabbled in other books as well - always trying to educate myself about the game. I have stayed away from all CG instruction. Yes I practice almost every day (15 minutes or so)... even in the winter I will swing a power fan, a weighted club, a super light club... something. I now play a few rounds a week and score in the low to mid 80's with plenty of rounds in the 70's. Low score of 73 on a par 71. Shot a few 74's on par 72 courses. And of course, the occasional bad round in the low 90's still is present. My goal for this year is no rounds in the 90's and a handicap of 7 would make me happy. Currently a 10.2

My point being, yes we can get better. Bertholy is the best bet - but alot of work. Too much for me actually. So I stick with IMA, and do the drills often. Practice the short game... and putt well - that will definitely help.
than doing IMA drills, but they are probably harder in terms of physical strain.
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Joined: April 30th, 2001, 4:02 pm

March 10th, 2009, 2:05 pm #10

a Persuader style....
Yes, Persuaders like Tiger and Phil tend to spray the ball (no offense intended to you Persuaders) and then they must rely on their short game heavily. But my point wasn't that their excellent short games were merely covering for their wild ball striking, rather that this ability has made them the best players in the world.

My real point is that excellence in getting the ball up-and-down can help players of any ability become good scorers (and the higher the handicap the more it helps.) I used to dread the 30-70 yard shot into the green because I had no idea what to do. And playing on several leagues, I can see that this is the worst distance for most amateurs (how many times have you seen yourself or playing partners hit a decent drive, a mediocre iron shot short/long or wide right/left of the green and then hit 2 or more sculled/chili-dipped wedges before getting on the green far from the pin?) I adopted the Pelz 4 swing/4 wedge system and now this has become my favorite distance. I know I'm going to knock it inside of 10ft from this distance 75% of the time. It's easy to learn ... you don't need particularly good mechanics to be good at it. However, I do understand this this type of system appeals more to the Craftsman and Analyzer styles.

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