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Friday, September 4, 2009

Do You Have a Filter?

One of the biggest problems a weekend player faces is the great wealth of good golf instruction available to us today.

No, really, I’m serious. There is so much good instruction out there, and it comes in so many easy-to-use forms like books, TV shows, and DVDs, that it’s dreadfully easy to lose your way. You see, there are a lot of different swing concepts, each with slight variations tailored to suit different body types and strategic considerations… and some of the techniques will work together, some won’t. How can you possibly sort them all out?

It’s simple, really. All you need is a filter.

And just what is a filter, you ask?

A filter is a single teacher whose methods have worked reasonably well for you. They may not work perfectly, but you've had some success using them and you feel comfortable using them. This teacher’s methods become the yardstick you use to determine whether a new technique will work with your existing swing. Everybody needs a filter.

This is even true for the “big boys.” Have you ever seen a pro achieve some success, change teachers in an effort to get better, lose their game, and then make a comeback by going back to their original teacher? They got away from their filter, and returning to it turned things around for them.

For example, my filter is a teacher named Carl Rabito. You may have seen Carl on Golf Channel; he’s one of 43 PGA Certified Master Teaching Professionals in the United States and one of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers, and he works with many professionals, like Jeong Jang from the LPGA Tour. I met Carl nearly 20 years ago when he was teaching the Golf Studio at the Disney Inn in DisneyWorld. My swing was a mess at the time, and he literally revolutionized my game during that one lesson, giving me a few easy-to-understand basics that I still follow. Whenever I think about trying something new in my swing, I check it against the things Carl taught me; it’s saved me a lot of wasted effort.

A filter is one of the greatest assets a weekend player can have. If you don’t have one yet, take some time to find one. You won’t regret it.

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