Legendary teacher Bob Toski never got on board.  Nor did the late USGTF teaching professional Julius Richardson, a member of Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Teachers list.  There are a number of other teachers who didn’t, either.  To what am I referring? Technology.  Things like video, computers, the K-Vest, etc.  “Old school” teachers like Toski rely on their eyes to tell them everything they need to know about what’s going on in the swing – even finely honed swings like a tour player’s. So, we see it’s possible to teach at a high level without technology.  This brings up a question:  Which is better, old school or new school? A few years ago in one of the golf magazines, they attempted to answer the question of which school was “better.”  The writer first went to a traditional old-school teacher in Scotland who taught by feel, and then he went to a teacher in the US who used high-speed photography, training aids, and launch monitors.  The “new-school” teacher was apprised of what the old Scot’s instruction had been, and he dismissed it by saying it wasn’t going to fix the problems that the launch monitor had identified with the writer’s ball flight, nor would it fix the problems with his swing that had been identified through video analysis.  In the end, the writer said he got better results from the old-school methods. I’ll also never forget watching Julius give a lesson one day to a lady who was struggling.  It was easy to see mechanically what she was doing wrong, and so I figured Julius would focus on that.  Nope.  Instead, he simply told the lady to “soften your shoulders through the swing.”  Huh?  I never saw that coming.  Well, the next shot she hit was a beauty, and she was thrilled.  She continued to hit shot after shot much better than what she was doing before. Let’s keep something in mind.  Both Bob Toski and Julius Richardson were great players as younger men.  Teachers who were legitimately tour-level, or even plus-handicappers, know what a truly sound, fundamentally correct swing feels like.  If you’ve played to this level and have taught for many years and made a concerted effort to study the craft, you can probably find great success with teaching through “old school” methodology.  If you don’t have all that going for you, you probably need some help through technology.  That’s not to say teachers who are/were fine players who know a lot can’t benefit from using technology; many do.  I prefer it myself.  The key is to be able to transfer the numbers and video images to feel. The definitive answer to the question, “Which is better, old school or new school?”, is elusive.  What do you think?
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