We use the web at work, we browse it for news, and we download games and videos.
Perhaps you have considered how you can use the Internet to help your golf? I do find it surprising that more people do not use this resource, which is literally at their fingertips. I think I know the answer, though.
Many people I meet in the golfing world tell me they have taken one look at golf instruction websites and ran a mile. They were terrified and confused! Talk about too much information! There are so many sites. They present information, videos, diagrams, interactive maps; they are all there. In addition to this, many of these sites seem to lack focus; they have short bits on everything and not enough on anything. And you may also be asking: which of these sites is any good? There seems to be no way of telling on a quick look.
It is not surprising that for many enthusiastic golfers out, there switch off their computer and stick to asking their golf buddies or their coach for advice on how they can improve their game.
Can the Internet help your golf game?
I agree it can be confusing. But I think it is a shame if all the noise and the number of websites put you off using this great new resource. If you can crack it, then you will find a wealth of incredibly useful information out there. In this article, I am going to help you make sense of it all, and I hope that means you will be able to find what you need quickly and easily.
Before we start, let’s answer this critical question: does looking at and reading golf instruction websites improve your game?
Some excellent, very committed golfers believe that just watching a video or listening to a podcast cannot make you a better golfer. They say you have to get out there and practice, and that is the only way of improving. These people reflect a belief that too much theory can confuse you and stop you developing a smooth, confident game.
I can understand this; I have seen the love of the game driven out of some golfers as they obsess over the correct swing and the right way to hold the club.
But in the end, I would beg to differ, theory and watching and learning from experts all have an essential place in golf game improvement. And I believe the thing which destroys morale and love of the game is when you practice and do not improve.
Practice your golf but practice with focus
There is a reason for this, and I see it every time I go to the practice range. What I mean is that I see people hitting the ball without any worked-out plan, and for no particular purpose. Some people spend hours, even every day doing this. Perhaps some enjoy it, and if so good luck to them and I wish them well. For most of us, though, it is a grind. Often these hard workers do not improve or do not develop as fast as they would like. Then they give up practice and may even give up the game.
I firmly believe that unfocussed method is not the best way to improve your game. You do need a plan, and you do need a target. And you need to know how to get from A to B. If you want to hit the ball harder and accurately, for example, there are certain things you need to do. You need to learn what these things are, why they are essential, and how to do the once you have that you can develop a real focus on the game.
There are different ways you can get to this point and get that focus. Seeing a coach is a tried and tested method. Playing with guys who are a bit better than you and modeling your game on theirs is another. Often what works well is a mixture of these and using a good golf instruction website can be an invaluable addition to the mix. Watching golf instruction videos is useful and fun, and watching those better than you can be instrumental in making you a more skilled golfer. You will learn new things, and you will be inspired. There are millions of golf videos on the web. Many are of PGA tour players at their best; others are by famous golf coaches. I watch these a lot; there is nothing I like better on a rainy day than learning from a good coach or just watching my heroes do it better than me.
But here I do not just want to look at individual videos. There is an excellent resource in sites which go through a different aspect of the game in a structured and thorough way. I think the best out of all the online resources out there you need to know what to choose.
Okay, I’m convinced. But how do I know which websites to trust?
Websites are changing all the time, and there are often new kids on the block. It’s strange, but some very slick looking sites are not that informative. You do not always get what you see in the world of golf instruction websites.
To get the best out of the web, you will need to keep up with what is new out there. You will also need to cultivate the ability to pick the good from the not so good. There are some tried and trusted ways which I use to select the best websites. You may find them useful as well.
Ask the local experts
The first one is to ask the local experts. It might be your more experienced golfing buddies, and this can work well. They will know your game and know your personality, so will hopefully offer suggestions which will suit you.
It is all the better if you have a pal who is great at golf and also knows a lot about the web. I have a great golfing buddy who has worked for many years as a website service provider. He is the go-to guy on all things Internet in our town. And he is well known more widely; he hosts some of my favorite sites!
I always take the opportunity to chat about the web and new technology generally, with him when we are playing a round of golf together. That way, I find out what’s new and what is right in this fast-changing field. I store up all the information he gives me, then the next rainy day I am ready! I spend time on the web, checking out what is new. I can’t think of a better way of spending a day when I cannot play golf.
This guy is great, but he is not my very best. My favorite go-to person is a local golfing professional who I sometimes see for coaching sessions. He is a very internet-savvy type of golfer and knows which sites are best for golfers at all different skill levels, including mine! He is always recommending websites to the golfers he coaches and mentors, so I know his advice is valuable. For me, he takes a lot of the uncertainty out of finding the right sites which will help me. He knows my learning style and the strengths and weaknesses of my game.
If you are not lucky enough to know a website savvy gold buddy or local professional, then search one out.
You may know someone, but if you do not find them, then an excellent way to do this is to find a local golf coach who likes the Internet, just like my golfing guru.
There is another benefit which you can get from these internet-savvy coaches. I am sure you will also find that these coaches are also excellent sources of knowledge about all golf technology. Here is one example. If you want to use other sorts of technology such as golf simulators or range finders, then this sort of coach can help you a lot. It is an invaluable help when you are thinking of investing a lot of money in technology to improve your game.
Talking of other technology, this takes me on to golf supply shops. If you know a golf supply shop which has an excellent reputation for supplying things such as golf simulators then the guys there are likely to know some useful golf instruction websites. So, if you have a good golf supply business near, which knows its way around those tremendous new things like range finders and golf simulators, then they are likely to be up on the best websites as well. Pop in have a good look around and ask which sites they like best.
Go to the stars
Some of the best golfers love helping others get better. And this includes professionals. You will know which PGA tour golfers play the sort of game which you would like to emulate. Google them and check out their videos. Just have fun and get inspired, but do something else. Focus on the issue you want to deal with; this might be your swing or your chipping shots or your short game. Then search to see if they can help you.
But there is another sort of famous face which can help you. That is the celebrity coach. These guys get paid fortunes for one to one coaching, and there is a reason for this. They are good! Again, focus on what you want to improve and then see who out there is offering you the sort of advice which regularly only millionaires can access.
How many golf instruction websites are out there? Dealing with information overload
We all know there’s information overload from the web. Whether it is news or sport or our favorite TV show, this is too much than we can absorb. Who has time for all that?
And of course, golf is no exception. If you google golf instruction websites, you will get about two million results. None of us can cope with that. So, what should we do? Seek out some experts as I suggest above. But there are some other tips which might help.
Making information manageable for an ordinary golfer
One good tip is to focus on the problem you want to solve and also to describe yourself as a golfer. You will be overwhelmed if you search for general terms, such as ‘golf instruction websites.’ It is a better idea to search for a much more specific topic. Here is an initial list.
- Golf swing
- Get started in golf
- Get your golf handicap down
- Women’s golf
- Junior golf
- Senior golf
- Short game
Once you have decided what to search for, you might want to narrow your search even more. Let’s look at an example. So, we can start with ‘improving the golf swing for beginner golfers’ (if this is you of course). You will begin to target your search much better.
I even have a formula here.
- Ask what particular aspect of your game you want to improve?
- Describe yourself: skill level, gender, age,
- Describe your commitment to golf: enthusiast, weekend player, occasional player,
If you do this, you will find some useful information and excellent websites come up for you on the first page of Google.
I know some of my golfing buddies have a bit of a problem with my formula. It is deciding what aspect of the game they want to improve. They say: ‘But we all need to improve every aspect of our game.’ I always say: ‘Yes, eventually. But every journey starts with one golf swing!’ Searching for useful websites is no different from targeting your practice as we talked about earlier.
Can you tell me more about search terms for golf?
Once you have an idea what are you want to go for, you will need to pick the most exact search term. I will give you one example; which you can then apply to whichever golfing problem you have. To better your golf swing, here are some terms which will deliver you vibrant content.
- Golf swing for beginners (or high handicappers, low handicappers)
- Golf swing for left-handers
- Golf swing for young golfers (or juniors)
- Golf swing for lady (or women) golfers
- Safe golf swing
- Golf swing for older golfers (or seniors)
- Improve your golf swing safely
- How to swing a golf club without hurting yourself
Consider your learning style
One great thing having so much information out there is that there is something to suit everyone. And that includes golf instruction websites to suit different learning styles. Some of us are visual and prefer to see what we need to know, some are more analytical and like to have things explained, within that some might prefer to listen to an explanation while others like reading. Consider your learning style. Then build this into your search terms.
Here are some examples if you are using the web to improve your golf swing
If you are visual, you could search for
- videos of best golf swings
If you take a more reading based approach, try
- Analyze your golf swing
If you like to plot and enumerate try
- Tracking your golf swing
You can use this primary method for all aspects of your game. Let’s break it down a bit further.
- Pick your area (golf swing, short game, putting, etc.)
- Say who you are (beginner, senior, low handicapper, junior, female, older, etc.)
- Say your learning style (analyze, videos, articles, interactive, etc.)
If this all sounds very complicated, let me assure you it is not. And you cannot make any serious mistakes. So, try different combinations, and within a few minutes, you will find useful content.
What about online golf communities?
Do not be afraid to ask online if you cannot find what you want. There are some great forums which can help point you in the right direction. And you can make some great online friends and extend your golfing community. A friend of mine went to Europe last year to meet up with a couple of guys he had talked to on a golf forum. They got on just great, played some fantastic golf, and the British guys are heading to Florida this year. The Internet really can give us golf without borders.
Best golf instruction websites, my favorites
I hope you have enough tips to enable you to find your ideal golf instruction websites. Ones which will suit your game, your learning style, and answer the issues which you want to fix.
To finish off, I want to point you towards some of the best of the big general golf instruction websites. These are well worth a look.
There are some subscription elements to these sites, but they are an outstanding value. Choosing a subscription to one of these sites can be a very cost-effective way of improving your game.
Here are some of the sites which you may find useful
It is a membership site with over 300,000 members. Chuck Quinton founded it and is one of the best in the field. It has a big team of certified instructors. Its selling point is that it will help you develop a golf swing which is not just efficient but also safe for your body.
Wisdom in golf
This great site was set up by Shaun Clements and had a specific learning style which may suit you. We like it. Shaun says: ‘we human beings are learning machines, and when you learn there are no mistakes.
The learning relies on instinct and common sense. It aims for smooth, fluid rhythms on all strokes. Choosing the word ‘wisdom’ for the site combines all the elements of us as human beings which go into learning and taps directly into the brain and the body. It has a subscription video channel which converts just about everything you could ever learn about golf.
Golf state of mind
This site run by David Mackenzie, an expert in sports psychology, and concentrates on the mental aspect of the game. It is recommended for golfers at all levels and offers a mental game training program which will help you will all aspects, including controlling your nerves, using breathing to help you focus and developing pre-shots routines.
Fried Eggs Golf
It is for the visual among you. Fried Eggs Golf has a YouTube channel which has 20-minute videos. It is fun instructive and will make you laugh as you learn.
Best golf instruction websites – use the Internet, improve your game
Once you have got used to searching and got a feel for which sites suit you, there will be no stopping you. And it can be fun as well as instructive. I bet in a couple of months you will be the one the others at the gold club turn to when they want to know about the best golf instruction websites out there.