I’ve been providing golf instruction for many years. And while I enjoy giving golf lessons and discussing golf tips, there’s something to be said about golf instructional videos as teaching aids. Increasingly popular, videos have several advantages other instruction methods don’t. Below are four advantages that I especially like about videos.
1. Visual Learning
We’re all different and we all like to learn in our own way. Research has found that two major categories of preferred learning styles exist—visual and auditory. (Those who use both are referred to as “balanced” listeners.) In other words, when it comes to learning new information we prefer to use either our eyes or our ears, depending on how our brain works. About 65 percent of us are visual learners. The rest are auditory or balanced learners. I see this theory at work in my golf lessons all the time. People prefer to see a technique or a specific shot executed, enhancing the learning process.
Instructional videos provide an excellent learning experience, given our preference for learning visually. Many of us tend to learn new information faster and retain it longer when the information is taken in through our eyes, making videos highly effective teaching tools. In addition, videos can provide two or three times the amount of information in a visual setting than other methods. One golf video I viewed covered the basics of golf in a little less than an hour. Thus, golfers not only receive information in their preferred learning style but also in greater quantities, reinforced by the latest visual techniques.
2. Money Savings
In comparison to a typical hourly lesson rate of anywhere from $50-$150 for a PGA Pro, a golf instruction DVD can provide that same information at a fraction of the cost. Better yet, you can watch it over and over again…without getting charged hourly.
3. Stop and Rewind
This technological capability must be singled out for its unique communication capabilities. Unlike a personal presentation, the instructional video allows the viewer to stop and rewind the tape, either from the beginning or from a certain point in the script. In other words, it lets us replay the tape again and again, helping us learn through repetition.
The capability also helps with complicated golf techniques. We can rewind the tape over and over again and watch how a shot was made, imprinting it in our minds. It’s especially helpful with difficult shots. Once we have this visual representation in our minds, making the shot when we face it becomes much easier.
4. Unique Technological Capabilities
Instructional videos employ the medium’s unique technological capabilities to drive home key points effectively—capabilities that support information presentation. Golf instructional videos use split screens, inserts, close-ups, and computer generated 3-D graphics to teach the game’s fundamentals such as how to grip, aim, and swing the club as well as how to create the proper angles at address and how to take the club back correctly.
These techniques also help maintain our interest, especially when combined with other visual aides. There’s nothing more boring in person, on television or during movies than watching a talking head. Human beings crave action, movement, and so on. If we don’t get it, we get bored quickly and turn our attention to other things, lowering the effectiveness of the presentation. Keeping us interested helps us focus on the material being presented.
In addition, the capability lets us hone in on details we might have missed the first time around, as well as things that we couldn’t see in print, like rhythm, balance, and timing. Much of our golf game depends on these details and key intangibles, and much depends on our getting a “feel” for what the moderator is talking about and demonstrating.
These are just four of the unique benefits provided by instructional videos. If you sat down and studied the question, you probably could come up with several more. These benefits explain golf instructional videos’ popularity over the last decade or so, and why they are so efficient in communicating information to a golfer. In short, they are cost-effective teaching tools for the average golfer.
Of course, we’re not saying that you should abandon all other instructional methods, like golf lessons and golf tips. Each makes a contribution to the learning process and each has its place among the different techniques. Golf lessons, for example, are great at providing feedback and correcting faults.
By combining teaching methods, however, you’ll learn the game faster than using just one method. You’ll also learn to lower your golf handicap faster using several teaching approaches than one. And isn’t that what golf instruction is all about?