Brant Kasbohm: Coaching vs Teaching

(Brant Kasbohm is a licensed PGA teaching professional and Director of Instruction at FixYourGame.com.  Periodically, Kasbohm also provides expert analysis to ChicagoDuffer.com on a variety of different topics.  The following is an exerpt from his blog at FixYourGame.com.) [L]et’s talk about the differences between teaching and coaching. A teacher will instruct a student on how to swing the club, stroke a putt, etc. but a coach will instruct a student on course strategy, mental preparation, practice techniques, physical training, etc. Often people get these confused and mistakenly use terms like “swing coach” when they mean “swing instructor” or “mental coach”. Instructors can be experts on the mechanics of the swing, coaching, or both. Or, an instructor can break down each category into specialties to focus on. Someone like Dave Pelz is an expert short game instructor; Dr. Bob Rotella is an expert psychologist / mental coach, and Pia Nilsson uses coaching and teaching techniques as part of her instructional philosophy. It’s very important to diversify your knowledge base to get as much information as possible. Do not stick to one philosophy, or technique, or instructor, as you may be shutting out valuable information.

It’s important for golfers to study and learn all aspects of the game and apply the relevant portions to their own situations. Often people focus on one aspect (usually the swing mechanics) and ignore the other parts. We’ve all seen these people, and you may be one of them—are you constantly tinkering with your swing? Changing equipment? Scouring the Internet for the latest tips and advice? If so, you may be forgetting a huge side of the game that can improve your scores.