By Mike Jennings
I love my dad. He is one of those who can study something a few minutes then offer the perfect solution to remedy the situation.
Normally his advice makes perfect sense and leaves you scratching your head wondering why you didn’t think of it first. He tells me his abilities derive from the fact that he possesses a special “common sense” gene that is only ingrained in those of Carter County descent. Regardless of how he developed these abilities, I have found him to be a great source for sound advice.
With that being said, I have had a few experiences in which his advice went a little, shall we say. “askew.” For instance, when I bought my first car he convinced me getting it without air conditioning was smart because it lowered my payment about $5 a month. Then there was the time he convinced the family that utilizing a piece of foam in the bed of his truck for sleeping quarters would make for a more memorable vacation trip. No, these were not good ideas, but they did teach me one thing – dad was cheap and this could sometimes negatively impact his advice or suggestions.
Having the ability to filter good advice from bad is especially important in golf. As a golfer, you will have access to a world of tips and suggestions. A lot of it will be good, but I have to tell you much of it will be bad. So how does a new golfer know what advice to listen to? Here are a few of my rules for accepting advice.
Rule 1: Consider the source. If the person trying to give you advice stinks only moderately less than you, their advice is in one ear and out the other.
Rule 2: Avoid any advice that starts off with “I saw this on the Golf Channel…” With all due respect to Brandel Chamblee and the boys, this advice is in one ear and out the other.
Rule 3: Do not take equipment advice from someone who says only pros need the good equipment. There is no cure for stupid, so their advice is in one ear and out the other.
Rule 4: Do not take advice from someone who says they just play for the exercise. That’s keyword for I am not good, have no desire to get better but can’t admit this in public. Thus, their advice is in one ear and out the other.
Rule 5: Do not listen to any person who tells you to “keep your left arm straight,” “keep your head down,” “slow your swing down,” or “swing inside to out.” These are absolutely the worst golf tips in history, so their advice is in one ear and out the other.
Comic Rodney Dangerfield offered some great advice to his graduating class in the movie “Back to School.” He told the graduates that while they were busy looking out for number 1, make sure not to step in number 2.
Ah, If you could only get great tips like this in golf.
Mike Jennings is the head golf professional at Pine Oaks Golf Course. For more information on instruction or events at Pine Oaks, call 423.434.6250.