Golfing so far has been a blast. Besides the soreness in my arms and hands I can say that I have really enjoyed every aspect of my lessons so far.
My mentor and I had a long conversation about his experiences and expertise while we were walking up to the second floor of the driving range. Before this meeting I had read the questions to answer for the next post and thought that this moment would be the most effective time to ask these questions. This conversation not only helped me learn about my mentor’s past, but it also helped me set more realistic and reasonable goals because I learned the general amount of time he took to master each skill.
My mentor has been playing golf for almost nine years in total. He started playing in middle school where he was introduced to golf by his dad. Like himself his dad is also an avid golfer and has been playing golf for a longer time. Since then my mentor has really found an interest for golf and started to take lessons from the driving ranges and also from other mentors which include his friends on the school’s golf team, and recommendations by his dad.
During those experiences my mentor told me all about his frustrations learning golf. Golf is an extremely strategic and hard to master game and so my mentor had some difficulties learning golf at first. At this time he was learning golf with an instructor and had difficulties finding his own method of swinging. He talked about how his mentor told him specific guidelines to follow even if it didn’t match his style. After his lessons, he learned to mold his style of swinging with golf. Of course there are some guidelines to follow, but once he mastered the basics, he had the opportunity to experiment with his swing to find his full potential.
So far in the meetings with my mentor I have learnt a lot of basic information. What I enjoy about his way of teaching is that he actually shows all his information physically. In the first meeting we were talking about the different types of golf clubs and while we were doing that he was showing me how each club functions. After the basics we quickly moved on to the swing. He talked me through the steps and then had me actually try with his clubs. Obviously, the first hit I had was a horrible shot. To improve my swing, he would then tell me what I did wrong during my swing. For example he would say your left arm bent and I would try again focusing on not bending my left arm. At this moment in time, I would say that I have a good grasp on how to swing properly, but now it’s just transferring that information into real life.
In terms of facilitation strategies I learnt that golfing should be personalized for the athlete. The learning student should have guidelines, but whatever feels comfortable should be what the student does. I also learnt that asking questions as the mentor is just as important as asking questions as the student. It is important that the mentor asks questions to make sure the student is learning effectively. For example the teacher may ask, “Do you want a demonstration or not?”, and the student can reply based on how comfortable they feel with the topic.
I cannot wait for the next meeting with my mentor. Hopefully I can impress him with my improved swing!