Ego Can Ruin Your Development

Mar 12, 2019

One of the biggest mistakes a golfer can make in their journey to improve is letting their ego or temper get in the way. A humble and grateful person, whether it is a coach or a golfer is appreciative of an educated second or third opinion. Doctors, lawyers, architects, surgeons, writers etc encourage a second or third set of eyes for feedback all the time. But for some reason in golf instruction that has become unacceptable.

In the world of golf instruction often untrained and uneducated players offer advice that should be taken with a grain of salt. However, it is a completely different situation when an educated and successful coach gives feedback. 

A second or third set of trained eyes and an educated mind is welcomed by smart and experienced coaches. I’ve heard Butch say he always listens to feedback from another professional instructor about a player. He even invites those coaches to attend his lessons. He wants to see what they see and learn how to solve that issue.

I welcome the same thing for my students especially when it comes from educated professionals. I have reached out to top coaches to hear their thoughts and they have reached out to me to help them with a student “who isn’t getting it.” Interestingly enough they have been top 10 coaches according to golf digest wanting to hear my feedback. That is humbling and shows they are truly committed to their students development and hearing all perspectives. They aren’t insecure in any way and that is refreshing these days.

Here is the disturbing trend that is happening. Ego, stubbornness and arrogance stops players and coaches from improving. Especially on social media. The intent of a comment or feedback can be misinterpreted due to a persons mood or attitude at the time. People lash out with rude or disrespectful comments instead of being appreciative and thinking there is probably some merit here. 

A couple months ago I was involved in a discussion about this with 5 top teaching professionals. They each said the same thing that ego, arrogance, temper or frustration is hurting golfers and their coaches development. There is nothing new in the golf swing except how it is taught. They told stories about sincere feedback they had given that was considered an insult or a put down. They were so upset by the encounter and the arrogance of the individuals they didn’t care if they improved anymore. I thought that was interesting but they had been pushed to that point. One of the gentleman is a coaching legend and he said, “Once an instructor or golfer stops listening and learning from others it is time for that player or instructor to quit and go do something else.” 

For the first time I recently had an encounter with this and I felt what I had only heard others talk about. It was an unfortunate and eye opening experience. 

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