The Shotgun Start Podcast (Also birthdays and nuptials). Andy learns how to ‘pilot’ a balloon!

Brendan’s lack of understanding the one and done today was at its peak, when he asked Andy if his One and Done was also his pick to win.


Andy’s take on lessons over equipment needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Any time my high-handicapped buddies ask what driver or wedge they should buy I immediately beg them to use it on a club pro instead. I don’t think a single one has ever listened.


Or, at the least, on a club fitter. As a former person like your buddies, I have now gotten fitted for irons and a driver and in both cases walked out with different clubs than I assumed I’d get (and what I would have bought if I hadn’t been fitted and seen the actual data.) Gotta get my fairway wood/hybrids and figure out what the hell I should be using, and honestly want to do the same with my putter. God knows the one I picked up a few years ago somewhat randomly is unlikely to be the best putter for me.


There is no doubt getting a club fitter helps. I will still suggest a pro over fitting to most of these guys I’m talking about, because they have no set swing thoughts to ensure they are making a consistent enough swing. Once they’re making the same swing over and over, then a fitter can see what kind of impact they’re making and have better suggestions.

Also, no matter who the fitter is, a golf club isn’t gonna stop them from thinning or chunking a pitch shot 9 times every round.


either is a waste money

lessons are a waste if you aren’t really dedicated to putting in the time and discipline to make changes

equipment is a waste because it’s not going to dramatically improve your level of play

however, of the two, equipment is more likely to make an immediate impact because it can be fit to the swing and no practice is necessary

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Wouldn’t it depend on how much of a beginner they are? Ie someone who just swings all arms or doesn’t understand set up would benefit from lessons and club fitting would be pretty useless

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preaaaaaaach. A ‘casual’ golfer is never going to put in the time to make meaningful swing changes given in a lesson imo.


Only for true beginners. Most people who have played for a length of time and started as adults are pretty stuck in their ways with their swing.


Maybe…maybe…a simple setup change or grip change. Of course, a grip change is going to feel really awkard and the person will likely gradually go back to the old.

To truly change your golf swing and improve, you need to not focus on the ball flight and only the swing mechanic, which is extremely difficult to do. And, it usually needs to be done without the ball…so practicing in a mirror.

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Yup, and most high handicap players that I see would get more benefit out of having a low 'cap player follow them around and give them true course management advice than either solution of new equipment or a lesson. I can’t begin to tell you how many strokes I see guis lose by pulling driver everywhere, shortsiding themselves on most approach shots, and/or trying the hero shot when a pitch to the middle of the green & 2 putt is all they need.


That makes sense. My mom was talking about taking lessons with my dad. I think lessons would be good for my mom and terrible for my dad. He’s played his slap shot swing and has accommodated his misses for so long that lessons would probably cause him more frustration than needed.

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The number one thing most players would benefit from is an accurate assessment on how far they hit each club and the dispersion with that club and then choosing the appropriate club to the green on every shot with the appropriate aim.

In my personal observations, distance control is THE skill that really correlates with being a good golfer.


Dropping truthbombs in here, anyone looking to shave a few strokes would be wise to take this to heart. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again for the people in the back: most golfers would score better if they chose the club that they believed would reach the back of the green and aimed for the center of every green with that club. The vaaaaaaast majority of amateur golfers greatly overestimate both their actual yardages they hit it and the amount of times they actually flush an iron.

Just this year I decided to be more proactive about getting yardages to the front and back of every green (it helps that I have a hybrid laser/gps rangefinder) and using those numbers more than actual pin yardages and my handicap is as low as it’s ever been. These things just work, ppl.


This and killing the habit of grabbing the same 56 or 60 wedge for EVERY chip or pitch and instead going with the shot that makes the most sense and is easiest to execute. It drives me nuts watching buddies grab the 60 from right off the green with tons of green to work with.

How many of these individuals have ever had someone analyze not only their swing but the way they think and give them thoughts that make sense to them? Half of what makes a good instructor is being able to find what works for the specific person. Even stubborn people with minimal practice can help from alignment or grip changes.

And as far as practice, if they are ever going to practice another day in their life, I pray it’s with good ideas behind it. Practicing poor things only worsens the situation. Get someone who knows how to help to do so before it’s too late.

I think it is kind of funny Nike effectively let Brooks design his own shoe and he wont stop wearing the old ones.

I have a buddy who I have been trying to fix this habit for years. He tries to hit the same little floppy chip shot with his 60 in every situation. I at least got him to buy a proper set of wedges and made him promise to use his 54 around the greens more and actually assess his shot and lie. He is a decent player, just set in his ways.

Anybody got a shipping confirmation email re: the most recent merch release?

this along with stance/posture is all the vast majority of people really need lessons for…then it’s just swing your swing

So, I took eight years off from playing. When I started back up I had horrible lateral movement, particularly with my head. It took a winter’s worth of practicing in the mirror with super slow motion (even then not slow enough probably) swings focused only on not letting my head move to the right. That largely fixed it.

Now, I am focused on my wrists reverse cocking on the backswing. On my takeaway the butt end of the handle moves back much faster than my club head. So, every swing on the range and the course has a flat left wrist as its focus. And, I’ve done some slow swings in the mirror.

Not yet.