St. Andrews, Scotland native David Armitage says that being recognized as one of golf’s “Best Young Teachers” by Golf Digest feels “absolutely fantastic.”
A PGA Master Pro who’s now located in Miami, Armitage teaches plenty of students of all skill levels as well as Tour pros like Ernie Els.
To help advance the game of golf one golfer at a time, Armitage knows the golf swing very well.
He says he knows that there’s not just one way of teaching so he thinks his biggest attribute is two-fold: First, trying to find what the best way for an individual is to improve at the game; and secondly, setting up practice plans and making the time that they spend on the range and course away from him more meaningful so that they know what to look for and how to self-analyze.
That approach leads to getting a lot better between lessons and not just during classes.
Once common flaw he sees in golfers is them coming over the top with the clubface open in a weak position.
“There’s often a root cause for every problem — is it because of the grip or is it because of the setup, in this case?” he asks. “After I find the root cause, I definitely like to see that golfer change the miss. That’s a big thing for me. They may not hit it perfectly straight away. But if they keep hitting those big sweet slices, they’re essentially doing the same things. So, I’m really looking to try and change that. It may become a pull hook to begin with, and then we’ll straighten that out. First I want to try and find the root cause, and then go from there.”
Armitage loves working with V1 Pro video technology, as he sees it accelerate learning among his students.
“Visual learning is definitely the most rewarding for a student, among the many ways people learn,” he says. “They can see what they’re doing, they can relate feel to real, and it’s great to see how they’ve improved. We have a V1 locker and I can keep their very first lesson with me and then refer back to it, so they can see that they’ve made huge strides and improved because sometimes if they have a lesson every week or every month, we’re making small changes. However, if we look back to a year ago, they’ll see a huge difference in their swing and can therefore gain confidence with that. Sometimes I use it when they’re not seeing differences, too. Video gives us those key reference points, and gives an instructor valuable tools to use during every lesson.”
Technology like the V1 Pro software 100 percent enhances his ability to help students and work more efficiently, according to Armitage. He uses it whenever he’s on the range at his club and with his Tour players like Els and Tom Lewis. He has it on his phone, iPad and laptop — so he has V1 access to every swing in the database wherever he’s teaching.
“It’s just an amazing tool,” he says. “I’ve been using it for many, many years and will probably use it for many more years to come. I’m a big note taker, but giving students a video with my voiceover comparing different swings and maybe different pro swings is incredibly helpful. I encourage them to watch before they go and practice or play. It’s a great tool that’s only helping golfers.”
Armitage also uses launch monitors to gain reference points of how a student’s club is moving and on the ball flight. That helps him back up what V1 video is showing. “I’ll use any technology I can if I feel it’s going to help the student improve,” he says. “I don’t overuse it, but I have it at my fingertips at all times, to be able to call upon when needed.”