Giving Bad Advice on the Golf Course

Offering advice on any subject is tricky. Offering advice on a subject that you are not really familiar with does not make good sense. Offering advice while playing golf could be fatal! I have played thousands of rounds of golf and through the years I have offered unsolicited advice, solicited advice, and refused to give advice; but the one constant in everything was that it was always the wrong time!

Before anyone pulls out their Golf Canada rule book and starts quoting rule 8-1, and proceeds to tell me that “Advice’’ is any counsel or suggestion that could influence a player in determining his play, the choice of a club or the method of making a stroke; I never give advice during a competition. If you are wondering, here is what others have to say:

As a low handicapper, some people believe that I can also teach the game of golf. Now, I think I have a good eye and understand the game pretty well, but to correct someone’s faults might be another matter. I wrote before about asking advice from your playing partner and waiting until asked before offering any advice. However, the best solution, I stand by earlier post, that taking lessons from your local professional is still the best option for most players to improve their golf game.

I explained before that there are three types of people who want advice; those who really want to know and would openly accept advice; those who ask for advice, but have decided that change would be too difficult; and those who ask for advice, but really don’t want you to give it.  Personally, I like to ask for advice and not to receive unsolicited comments.

The only exception I have is when I am on the course is with close friends. Most of these players have seen my swing enough times to notice a change or a hitch. They will mention something and sometimes I will make a change, but most of the time I wait until I go to the range to check things out. This same situation applies to their swing as well. I generally wait until they ask and then I try to answer their question.

I do want to caution everyone, that sometimes the advice from my friends is not helpful and they are just trying to get into my head….that is just for fun! And really not advice at all!

One area I do like discussing while playing is course management. I think it is important to talk about how to play a hole that best suits our game. I do not consider this advice, I take it as a learning moment. I can always use a good learning moment.

Giving bad advice on the golf course really equates to advice period during the round. Experience tells us that making changes while playing does not really work. Any real changes are made in the practice area and in most cases under the supervision of your local professional!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Giving Bad Advice on the Golf Course

  1. Jim,

    Great points above! Giving advice to someone is always a tricky subject to try and navigate and I think your insight is spot on. It’s hard to make changes during your round and over thinking your mechanics can oftentimes do a lot more harm than good. Again, great insight as usual.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim,

    Great points in here. Just because somebody is qualified to play the game well, doesn’t make them qualified to try and give advice on the course! I never give advice on the course, unless perhaps a beginner seems frustrated and desperate for a tip…even then it won’t be very technical, it’ll be more along the lines of getting them back in a positive mindset and not over thinking things.


    Liked by 1 person

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