A practical application of swing mechanics for teaching and coaching.

Teaching & Coaching Best Practice – May 2020

There is seemingly an unlimited amount of information as it pertains to the golf swing on the internet and social media these days. To make it more confusing, many golf instructors use different languages. Some more medically or technically accurate and some entirely made up. The amount of different styles, theories and science out there is quite outstanding.  Coaches who specialize in the “body swing connection” through certifications such as TPI.  Coaches who primarily develop elite junior golfers.  Statisticians and strategy experts. Golf scientists and PHDs all attempting to discern what is happening to the club, kinetically. LPGA and PGA professionals around the globe all looking and learning for ways to get better and help whoever their core clientele are.

For all this information available, the question I often ask myself is how do all these different preferences of style, movement patterns and golf science filter through 6 simple laws of ball flight.

Centeredness of contact.
Face angle.
Club head path.
Club head speed.
Angle of Approach
Dynamic Loft.

All lessons I give have a primary objective, and because I mainly teach all levels of developing juniors and mid-high handicaps, much of my time is spent changing the ball flight by affecting one of these six things.

Sometimes, changing one will effect another and the art of coaching is somewhere in those details. You are really coaching when you take the time to precisely match certain types of grip, ball position, pivot, distance from the ball, stance with their existent swing and the desired outcome. Then how to change a slice into a hook or vice versa becomes easier and the more people you can help.

If your preference or method of swing mechanics doesn’t apply to changing at least ONE of those laws to positively effect a person’s ball flight inside of a singular golf lesson , ultimately leading to a better enjoyment of golf, you may be only changing the shape of a swing for “better” aesthetics but not necessarily, consistent and quantifiable improvement.

The great coaches are experts in applying match ups, finding the missing link and changing ball flight.

If we can filter our preference of swing shape, styles and patterns through the lens of these laws, and adapt our teaching to a more practical application of all the different theories available, I truly believe we can positively impact more students.  Maybe even create a more self sufficient golfer capable of “being their own coach”. For me that is the ultimate goal.

Ryan Smith
Lead Instructor
Marc Lapointe Golf Academy