Are You Open to Suggestions

Are you open to suggestions about your golf game? I mean, having someone (other than a pro you pay to help) offer unsolicited advice about how to improve your golf game. Personally, I am open to any conversation, but I will have to admit that I am a bit remiss for a player offering solutions to problems they have yet to solve. I am not sure why a player would accept such advice, but it happens quite often at the course. 

When playing my net Match Play round, my discussions with Rich were about many things golf. He never offered any advice even though he closed me out on the 14th hole, but as we walked around the course, he mentioned several times that he struggled coming out of the sand. I mentioned to him that I would be glad to help if he was interested in a quick lesson.

I actually meant after the round, but on the 17th hole we decided that now was as good as time as any. We were all alone as the course was empty. We plopped 5 balls in the sand. The first one I hit to show him my technique and to explain the fundamentals of following through towards your aim point. I explained about the amount of sand on can take to change the flight of the ball and its distance. Now it was Rich’s turn.

After a couple of practice swings, he hit his first ball using his own technique. For the next shot, I set up is position, weight distribution, aiming points and explained the importance of following through nice and high. His ball went 25 feet past the hole, but popped out of the sand as intended. He was happy.

His third shot, I explained about hitting 2 inches behind the ball and following through for 2 inches passed the ball. Also, he needed to follow through. The ball splashed out and stopped about 15 feet from the pin to the right.

On his last shot, I discussed how taking more sand will allow the ball to fly higher and land softer on the green. Additionally, he needed to aim a bit left of the pin because the ball will fly out to the right given the way he was set up. I offered on last suggestion to follow through nice and high. After this shot he was 5 feet from the pin and was ecstatic with success of these shots. I mentioned that he needed to head to the range and to practice. Sand shots are difficult most of the time and I had only offered the start towards improved sand play.

Rich was very open to my suggestions. His success out of the sand was proof he was a good student and open to many suggestions. I rarely offer solutions to golfing issues on the course, but our match was over and Rich had asked. Since we were not bothering anyone, I figured why not.

There is a difference to being open to suggestions and someone offering unsolicited advice.

8 thoughts on “Are You Open to Suggestions

  1. HI Jim, interesting one this

    I am always open t observations but not necessarily advice unless it’s form the trusted few (and I mean a few) as you and Brain said.

    When out of sorts I have 2 main faults, 1 is coming over the top a little and the other is to swing too fast (often together). If my buddies observe me doing this and mention it then great I can adjust myself accordingly based on what my coach has taught me. However if someone gives me advice I am always polite but take little notice until I have reflected on it and probably spoken with my coach too.

    Similarly I try very hard not to offer advice either and prefer to offer an observation if I see a pattern, for example the first time I see someone set up with their feet aiming way right, I don’t know if they are a big drawer of the ball and intend to set up that way until |I have seen what happens several times. If they do this and block everything right all the time I will ask them if they want to know what have observed and what the outcomes were, if they say yes then I will let them know they were always aiming right and the ball stayed there. Then it’s up to them to correct it, not advice from me.

    What I don’t like to hear on the course from players is ‘what you need to do is’ or ‘what you should do is’ without being asked for an opinion and from guys who are struggling to beat 90 themselves!

    If anyone wants me to show them how I approach shots then I will show them but will also say that this is how I do it and might not work for them.

    Each to their own, we all prefer different approaches and other than the unsolicited ‘you should’ brigade I don’t have an issue with guys sharing and learning together. For me, I think I have learned so much form my coach and his instruction has worked, that my preference remains that it wouldn’t seem right to start accepting unsolicited advice.

    As always guys, swing easy! (Darn it, is that giving advice LOL)

    Paul at Team Blind Apple

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, I will never give advice unless asked and with regard to receiving advice, usually only trust the one or two players I normally play with who are familiar enough with my game. They also will not offer unless I ask. Generally I find that more is less and rely on my swing instructor or my own film analysis. Too many cooks spoil the broth 🙂



    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was always open to them. I haven’t had anyone offer any in a while though.

    When someone does want to offer suggestions, I pounce on it and get them to film a swing or two so I can see what’s happening myself. I find that very helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

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