Disproving the Old Adage ‘You Have to Get Worse Before You Get Better’

October 11, 2005. Golf Made Simple highlights the maverick golf-instruction techniques of Mark Solomon. Here’s a peak at the company’s offerings.

Whoever came up with the phrase, “You need to get worse before you get better,” is a quack! At least, as far as the Golf Instructor Marc Solomon sees it.

“I would like to come out to golfers around the world and officially announce how absurd it is to say that you need to, ‘Get worse before you get better,’” says Solomon. “Would you bring your teenage son or daughter to learn how to drive a car, at a school that openly stated that they would drive worse before they got better? Would you pay money to attend a university that lowered your IQ during your freshman year? Of course not. So why would a golfer believe they should get worse before they get better?” questions Solomon.

Solomon believes that most golfers subscribe to the “Worse before better theory,” because that is what they have been told in previous golf lessons. Yet, he has proven results that are contrary to this common belief, from golfers from all over the world who come to see him at his California and Florida schools, Golf Made Simple. “Most people who play golf are on a tight schedule between their work and family commitments. They just don’t have time to ‘get worse before they get better.’ They need to get better now!” he says.

Another infamous phrase that industry gurus use, makes Solomon shudder – “Keep your head down.” Golfers who utter that phrase around Solomon will get a very animated response. “It’s the one thing you need to do if your goal is to play consistently bad golf.” Golf Made Simple is built around a basic premise – improve a golfer’s pre-existing swing instead of changing a students’ grip or stance. Golf Made Simple believes that the typical tips like “Keep your head down,” are worthless.

As you might expect, much of what is taught during a Golf Made Simple three-day school is a shock to its participants. Instructors contradict a lot of the typical golf jargon that students have heard in the past. Take for example the mantra of a frustrated golfer, “I need to learn to keep my left arm straight.” To which Solomon responds, “If you keep focusing on straightening your left arm, you’ll continue to be frustrated!”

Get a Grip of Yourself

The golf industry brainwashes us to think that the only way to improve our game is to make major changes in your swing, which leads many golfers to believe that they can’t become better players without adjusting their grip. Many golfers will ask, "If you guys don’t change my grip, how am I supposed to improve my swing?" This thought process is caused by instructors in other programs who teach their students that they need a strong or weak grip. Then before the golfer has had a chance to digest the change in their grip, they are overloaded with all sorts of techniques such as: straighten your arms; bring your elbows in close to your body; keep your head down; swing in to out; shift your weight, but don’t sway. It’s an exhausting and complicated way of trying to get better – no wonder most people get worse with all those things to think about.

Just Say No to Video

Solomon says, “Unfortunately the trend is that more and more golfers want to be videotaped because they’ve been told by golf instructors that it will help them to hit the ball better. Yet, nine out of 10 golfers are more confused and frustrated after taking a video lesson than they were prior to it. It simply just doesn’t work. You can’t bring a video tape on the course with you.”

That is just one of the reasons why Golf Made Simple stopped videotaping their students’ swings four years ago. Solomon also believes that video does not encourage golfers to enjoy the sport, an important component to successfully mastering the mental game of golf. “Watching your swing on video just gives you even more to think about on every swing. Thinkers are stinkers!” he jokes.

It’s Simple

The philosophy of Golf Made Simple is what you would expect - simple. Prior to Golf Made Simple, most golfers have 13 different swings for the 13 woods and irons in their bag, which is complicated to keep consistent. When each Golf Made Simple student returns home to practice the skills they learned on the course, they have one swing for those same 13 clubs.

“92% of golfers who come to Golf Made Simple looking to break 90 for the first time have been successful in reaching their goal!”

Solomon and his staff lead four-person classes for a customized experience. Students can take three-, five- and seven-day classes in St. Augustine, Fla., Amelia Island, Fla. and Santa Barbara, Calif. Their Instructor For Life program guarantees that each student can always contact their instructor for free customized advice, tips, drills and exercises – for life. It’s Golf Made Simple.

For more information, or to read Golf Improvement Weekly (the world’s most read golf improvement newsletter), visit www.GolfMadeSimple.com.

Canadian Dollar Strongest in Five Years – U.S. Golf School Welcomes Their Neighbors to the North with Open Arms

The Canadian golf travel season is now officially upon us. The cool crisp Canadian air marks the beginning of the yearly migration to Florida and California for golf and golf schools. This year the sluggish U.S. dollar has greatly improved the exchange rates between the neighboring countries – in fact they are the best that they’ve been in more than five years.

“Golf Made Simple remembers that only a few years ago our Canadian students were paying $1.60 for every dollar they spent on improving their golf game,” says Marc Solomon, PGA pro and founder of Golf Made Simple. “We’ve always felt it was unfair that a Canadian Dollar was worth 63 cents in the States. With rates that have improved dramatically this year, there is no better time to visit us. Hopefully, one day soon there will be no exchange differential between the U.S. and Canadian dollar.”

Canadian golfers and travelers can now enjoy world-class golf instruction at more affordable prices in sunny Florida or California. “We have already received more inquiries from Canadians this year than ever before and that’s saying something when you consider that last year we received over 800 inquires from Canadian golfers” says Solomon.

“There’s a huge boom in the Canada to U.S. golf industry. We’re seeing a lot of growth. We have so many students from Canada, especially from the Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal areas. I feel lucky to have made special connections with our Canadian students and friends (like Harvey Kestenberg from Toronto, Lawrence Binding from Montreal and Rick Anderson from Vancouver, see below) who’ve come down to see us. I would say, with the risk of sounding stereotypical, that Canadian golfers are some of the most devoted golfers that we see!”

“After two back operations and the frustration of watching my golf scores being stuck in the mid 90’s and up – I had a choice: accept the fact that this is going to be the best I’ll ever do or go see a Golf Professional that will help me to improve. I knew I made the correct decision the moment I met my Golf Made Simple Instructor…Golf Made Simple was the greatest golfing experience of my life – it even surpassed the time I played Pebble Beach. Marc Solomon and his Instructors care more than you can ever imagine a Golf Professional caring about your game! As far as results, my last 4-scores are 81, 86, 81, 82. Not bad for a guy with two back operations that just last October was thinking about giving up on my game.” - Harvey Kestenberg, Toronto, Ontario

“My golf game is going well. My best score before seeing you in the spring was a 102. I got a 94 yesterday in the pouring rain. I feel much more confident with my game and know with more practice and play I will get through 90. I feel your instruction really helped me. One of the biggest things that has helped me were the tempo lessons (TIC-TOC). Also, the shorter back swing has resulted in much more consistent ball sticking. I rarely hit the ball to the right any more. If I do hit a bad shot, I know how to correct it. I also have found the putting techniques with the shorter back swing and more follow through to be invaluable. My buddies are 3 putting and I rarely miss within 5 feet. So things are looking good and most importantly I am enjoying myself on the golf course.” - Rick Anderson, Vancouver, British Columbia

“Remember a couple of weeks ago how excited I was about shooting 92 at my club? Well today my friend, I shot 83. Seriously...83. I was making pars on the par 5s and 3s. I only had one blow-up hole. I had three 1-putts. And even with a couple wild drives I was able to scramble and get a lot of greens in regulation. When I applied my 18 handicap to my 83 the final net score was a blistering 65. Maybe someday it will be a real 65. And the guy I was playing with asked why my game was suddenly so "different" from last year. I told him about Golf Made Simple...and he asked if I could get down to St. Augustine with him in August.” - Lawrence Binding, Montreal, Quebec (President, Commotion Communications, Inc.)

For more information, or to read Golf Improvement Weekly (the world’s most-read golf improvement newsletter), visit www.GolfMadeSimple.com.