As golf instructors, we are trained not only how to analyze the golf swing, but also how to communicate with our students.
Every student learns in a different style. If we are able to understand each student’s learning styles, instructors are better able to communicate with their students.
Human beings learn through all of their senses. For most people one or two of their senses are used primarily to communicate and learn a new skill.
The three learning styles used most often in golf can be identified as visual, kinesthetic and auditory. Understanding which is your dominant learning sense can be very helpful in your improvement.
For students who are visual learners, they respond the best with images. In general, they like to read instructions, or imitate models they see. Visual learners appear as very organized individuals, taking lots of notes. They also taking pride in dressing nicely, often in bright coloured clothing.
In golf, visual learners appreciate the ‘look’ of a good golf swing, and may be distracted with non-conventional looking swings.
They may also respond to how a golf club looks to them. Training aides that offer visual stimulus are best, such as using alignment sticks to help with aim. Video analysis may also be a powerful tool for visual learners.
Kinesthetic learners learn best by ‘doing.’ They often don’t read instructions, but would rather put things together as they go. They often choose clothing by comfort rather than look, and may appear less organized that the visual learner.
Kinesthetic golfers respond to how solidly golf shots are struck and how they feel.
Training aides that allow the golfer to feel different positions in the golf swing, such as foam noodles to help define swing plane are helpful. Impact drills are also ideal, as this helps improve the overall solidness of shots.
Finally, auditory learners learn best by listening to instructions. They love to listen to music in the background and work place, and they prefer to wear clothing made for movement.
In their golf swings, auditory learners are highly aware of the sound a shot makes. They are also sensitive to movement, and ‘tempo’ of the golf swing. They respond to how fast or slow the golf swing feels. Tempo drills are great for auditory learners.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? Many people have one highly dominant learning style. For others, they may have one slightly dominant learning style, along with a secondary learning style.
Identifying and understanding your learning style is very helpful in your day to day activities as well as your golf game. Your instructor can help you identify which are your dominant learning styles, which will help determine what learning environment is best for you.
Jennifer teaches golf to adults and juniors at the Chilliwack Golf Academy. She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including two on the LPGA. She was named the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Tour Low Teaching Pro of the Year, and is now lead instructor of the Sardis Golf Academy. She can be contacted at 604-798-9805, chilliwackgolfacademy.com, or at Jennifer@chilliwackgolf.com