“The code”

There is an unwritten code that we teaching pros are not supposed to criticize each other. I obviously break this code on occasion, but I am very torn. I don’t want to be that guy that says everyone else is a moron and I know everything.

Obviously not the case as I learn every day and there are guys out there who are very good at what they do.

I was at a teaching competition yesterday where 60 pros were paired up with 60 high handicappers (18-26). We got two hours to coach them and then we caddied for 9 holes. There was a pretty big purse. It was like $3000 for first, $1500 for second and on down like tournament layout,

I had a great time with my guy. He was a 60 year old retired chiropractor. 26 handicap lefty who was basically blind in his right eye and had limited flexibility. Not a very long hitter, but very straight and hit the ball solid.

We talked about rhythm, a little better alignment, keeping his left arm moving betting in the short game and focusing more on speed than line in putting. Simple stuff and he did great.

He was a 26 handicap so he got 13 shots for 9 holes. This course was not the best for him as it was all forced carries and 7 of the 9 holes were uphill approaches. He was only 8 over par through 6 holes. The 3 hour and 55 minute pace for 9 holes got to him and he made triple on two of the last three holes for a net of 1 over par for the 9 and I believe 3 under won. So he was right there and he felt like he let me down. I felt no such thing, as I only hoped he had learned something to make him better.

By the way, that was not a typo, the 3:55 for 9 holes was hilarious. Think there was some over coaching going on?

I heard talk of needing plane shifts, having mismatched club face angles at P4 and P6, understanding tangents on the putting green, disturbing the proper amount of grass on a divot. With apologies to the guys who did an excellent job out there, it was a horror show. I even heard one berating his partner for not listening.

If there were doctors out there giving out bad advice to people, wouldn’t it be the job of other doctors to say something? With the exception of calling out some big name guys for their marketing campaigns rather than honestly trying to make golfers better, I am not going to call out individuals.

What I am going to do is hold my fellow professionals to a higher standard. The same one I hold for myself. Learn to do better. I am calling out my entire profession to do a better job so we can keep golfers in the game and attract more golfers. The current way of doing things is not working.

Golfers leaving the game, handicaps not going down in spite of equipment innovations and horrid pace of play being my evidence we are not doing our jobs. Golf needs to be more fun, not less

…and I am at the top of that list. I need to do better too.




  1. Kip

    I was always left baffled by most teaching pros and never felt I had a good idea of what I was supposed to do. I was basically just trying to hit poses in their V1 playback or match Charles Howell III which is impossible. My arm is the width of his chest. Sadly I think they make you feel dependent on them because if they told you the correct way to do things for yourself you woudln’t need them. Also they never explained playing the game of golf which is completly different from “hitting”. Man pace of play makes me sick! I am still under the impression it should take 3 hours for a foursome to play 18 holes… walking. Now its 4 1/2 hours for a quick round, realistically it will take you 5… WTF!!!

  2. Calvin

    4 hours for 9 holes????
    That’s not hilarious, it’s agonizing.
    If I had been your pupil I would have imploded.
    In spite of your excellent coaching.
    I absolutely abhor slow play and cannot
    adapt to it ever. Perhaps your profession
    needs to add a major section to manuals
    that addresses how to play with a snail like pace.

  3. Rancho Bob

    A four hour nine is unconscionable. Talk about how to discourage beginners and set golf up for habitually bad pace of play. That’s just criminal.

  4. scott

    All forced carries and 7 out of 9 uphill approaches. Geez whats a fellow to do if he is not a long hitter? Did the forced carries have “bail out” options?

  5. NIGEL

    I think slow play is killing our game. Most people just don’t have 5 hours spare time to play, what with work and family. If the pros were made to play quicker then weekend golfers might not take such a long time to play their shots.

    Nigel is an avid gofer who likes to help fellow golfers improve their game and lower their scores at his website
    fourmagicmovesforgolf. Download his free golf ebook here
    fourmagicmovesforgolf to lower your scores.


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