Tuesday, May 18

Golf Pet Peeve: The Wannabe Golf Instructor

Robert Bruce of Game Under Repair has something he needs to get off his chest. Maybe you can relate.

By Robert Bruce

RIGHT OFF THE CLUB, you know it’s going to be a bad shot. The ball starts left, continues hooking left, and disappears into the thick woods 15 yards left of the fairway. You’re frustrated, maybe even a little pissed. This hook has been driving you crazy.

As you reach down to pick up your tee, you hear a voice behind you: “Know what you did wrong there, don’t you? Your stance is too narrow, and you’re not keeping your head down. And that grip of yours. Look at that grip.”

Meet The Wannabe Golf Instructor.

I think there are two unwritten rules in golf instruction: First, never give unsolicited advice. Second, never EVER give unsolicited advice to a better golfer. But The Wannabe Golf Instructor scoffs at such unwritten rules. The Wannabe Golf Instructor knows just enough about golf to make him dangerous.

His own golf swing has more flaws than Tim Tebow’s throwing motion, but he watches the Golf Channel religiously, making him the self-appointed mouthpiece of all things related to golf swing instruction. He’s a close relative to the The Golf Channel Guy. He has a library of Hank Haney, Butch Harmon, and David Leadbetter instructional videos. His swing is mechanical and slow. His scores suck. He putts like a bull in a china store. And, yeah, that probably doesn’t make much sense.

The Wannabe Golf Instructor has zero self-awareness. None. The Wannabe Golf Instructor offers unsolicited golf instruction at every opportunity. Even though he averages a 98, he will freely offer poor advice to a 10 handicap on the driving range. He will sit in the bar and analyze Ernie Els’ shoulder turn and Justin Leonard’s putting stroke.

You’ll nod your head and act like you’re listening. That is, until he tells breaks down your swing after that nasty hook on the 4th hole. Then, you might just have to tell The Wannabe Golf Instructor to shut up. Good luck with that.

Robert Bruce is a full-time writer and part-time golf blogger in Nashville, Tennessee. Visit his golf blog at www.gameunderrepair.com.

(Image: klavr/Flickr)


Heather Kerrigan said...

So very true! The problem with the WGI is that once your mind hears his/her ridiculous advice it can be hard to erase.

One of my fave WGIs once told me, "Your actual chip is nothing like your practice swing." I knew she was full of it, but it took me weeks to hit the delete button in my head.

courtgolf said...

Well CLEARLY you think these things because of the super strong grip. If you'll just... :-D

Good stuff, Robert the Bruce !

Mel Sole said...

I LOVE the WGI as it drives a lot of business my way. I'll get students coming to me saying "My friend/golfing partner told me.............. and now I cannot hit a shot to save my life. Can you please help me" The WGI will always give you the last thing he/she heard on the Golf Channel, or the last thing he read from a golf magazine, regardless of whether that piece of advice applies to you. Bring them on!