Hank Haney Says Equipment Over Instruction??!?

Golf Digest published an article today breaking down the press conference where Hank Haney basically said he thinks the future of golf will be more influenced by innovations in equipment and NOT innovations in teaching.  The link to the article is HERE if you want to read it for yourself and I suggest you do.

I have two problems with what Haney is saying here.  First off he is a golf instructor who has a full line of golfing aids in golf stores across the country.  His name is a commercial staple of teaching and improving your game.  He has a TV show where his teaching alone improves the average golfer.  Second he is making a very direct “This or That” statement.  He is basically saying that golf’s future will be most affected by innovation of equipment alone.  How about BOTH.  Why can’t golf’s future be pushed forward by new innovative teaching methods AND new innovative equipment?  It seems like a very defeatist attitude for a teacher of the game.

I also don’t agree with him when he says there won’t be some new teaching method that makes the game easier.  Says who?  Says Hank Haney?  Guess what Hank?  You are a great teacher but you are not the only golf teacher in the world.  You may think you have all the teaching methods figured out, but you can’t predict what great golf mind will potentially come along down the road.  The comments seem quite egotistical and off-putting to be honest.

If these comments had come out when he wasn’t announcing his new endorsement deal with Adidas and Taylormade I still would have raised my eyebrows, but the fact that he said them when he did makes it even worse for me to swallow.

I am not discounting the fact that equipment is getting much better and can help your game, but I don’t want people to swear off getting lessons and looking at the methods of teaching the game with fresh eyes and objective eyes.  It will cripple the game as a whole if we think we can “buy a game” as he mentions.  He does make a mention that people in general just don’t want to put in the time it takes to get better, which is probably true, but we love the game because it is hard and because we have to work at it.  I take pride in the fact that I have worked at my game to be some what decent at the game.  Far from good, but decent.  I don’t want to be able to go to Golfsmith and pick up a new set of clubs that lets me shoot par.  That is boring.  That is not what golf is about and Haney should be the biggest proponent in the world for hard work to earn it.  Seems like a cop-out to me.



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