ONLINE LESSONS
WITH JOHN DICKSON
DURING THE LOCKDOWN

Published by : Stuart McLean - 16 April 2020

PGA professional John Dickson spends most of his daylight hours Monday to Saturday teaching at the Country Club Johannesburg golf academy. He’s in demand for lessons from beginners to professionals. The Covid-19 lockdown has disrupted his life, but while at home digital technology enables him to continue teaching through video and apps.

blank
John Dickson is confined to online lessons with students at home during the lockdown.

“Online lessons are easy to set up, and during the lockdown I am giving an increasing number of them as golfers miss going to the course or range,” says Dickson, 51, who earlier this year was named by Golf Digest magazine as one of the world’s best 75 International Teachers outside the United States. Three other South Africans received this accolade – Peter Berman, coach of Branden Grace, Jamie Gough, who teaches several European Tour players, and Derek James of Southbroom Golf Club.

“With no one able to play, some of my students have set up nets in the garage or garden where they can continue swinging and hitting balls. Golfers should know that teachers are around to help and encourage them with drills and tips to work on during this unusual time. Everyone should make the most of it and remain positive.

“Several software programmes facilitate online lessons. I use V1 Golf and have the system on my desktop PC, laptop and phone. Golfers can download the app which enables them to take videos, draw lines and analyse their own swings. Most video their swing and upload it through the V1 app to a coach’s software so he or she can do an analysis and return that as a link to the golfer. My students use WhatsApp for the process.

“At Country Club Johannesburg I have an indoor studio where I look at swings with students on a big screen television using V1 Golf. The software allows me to show a swing at a high frame rate. For lessons I use a small hand-held Go Pro with a stabilising function. I film students from different angles, down the line, face on, and from behind to see what the spine does during the downswing. That helps with preventing potential back injuries.

“Video analysis helps the student see what the teacher sees. Describing a fault without it can result in some things being ‘lost in translation.´ I send each student a link to the video session allowing him or her to fully absorb the lesson and revisit it before the next practice session.

“I give between eight and 10 hourly lessons a day. Breaking it down, the first five minutes is a warm-up and chat. Then 10 minutes to film and gather information. We move into the studio and spend 10 to 15 minutes on the software where I point out what will improve the swing or body movement. The key is to make the swing as simple as possible, then tie it together and come up with drills and feelings the golfer can take to the range. We spend the remaining time on the range putting in practice what we have adjusted. The key to any successful lesson is to ensure it makes sense to the student, that the changes are logical and easy to adapt.

“With a smartphone the student can film his or her own swing to see if they are correctly doing the adjustments.”

John Dickson has three times been named Teacher of the Year by the PGA of SA, in 2007, 2012 and 2018.

Contact John Dickson at 082 990 7201 or john@dicksongolf.co.za 

blank
Article Search
Search for news articles
Top 100 Course News, Blog
and Feature
Recent news articles
When KZN farmer Piet Nel had finished… Read more
There are five new entries in the… Read more
The Top 100 rankings have returned to… Read more
Golf Digest South Africa has returned and… Read more
Mount Edgecombe CC in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal has… Read more
Ten years ago Gowrie Farm in the… Read more
If you follow SuperSport’s 213 channel, then… Read more
Stellenbosch Golf Club has been rated on… Read more
The seaside course at Milnerton Golf Club… Read more
1 Bosch Hoek Golf & Lodge Near… Read more
Joe Knox is not a golf pro… Read more
Louis Oosthuizen’s display at Leopard Creek is… Read more
Homeowners at the Oubaai golf estate in… Read more
The weekend of the SA Open at… Read more
Fancourt have built a new halfway house… Read more
This year is the 25th anniversary of… Read more
An attractive 9-hole course on the remote… Read more
Peter Matkovich has kept himself active as… Read more
Marco Simone was the first purpose-built golf… Read more
More than half of South Africa’s courses… Read more
On a quiet Central Drakensberg road between… Read more
Listed below are all 414 courses affiliated… Read more
Gary Player Country Club will forever be… Read more
The new millennium has seen a remarkable… Read more
Pretoria Country Club has been rated on… Read more
The US Open at Los Angeles Country… Read more
South African Open host Blair Atholl, ranked… Read more
Of all the great tournament venues that… Read more
Augusta National has Amen Corner to describe… Read more
The closure of Beachwood CC in Durban… Read more
Former Sunshine Tour commissioner Arnold Mentz has… Read more
Durban Country Club will be closing their… Read more
Casey Jarvis has become the second youngest… Read more
In South Africa, the Halfway House stop… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club was devastated by flooding… Read more
The Garden Route is a popular destination… Read more
Pearl Valley has been judged as having… Read more
Zwartkop Country Club, the 18-hole course owned… Read more
Does any other sport offer as many… Read more
Silver Lakes has asked to be removed… Read more
Mount Edgecombe Country Club is hosting two… Read more
KZN estate Cotswold Downs, at No 52… Read more
There was a change of the guard… Read more
Houghton and Hermanus are two clubs at… Read more
Woodhill continues its phenomenal rise up the… Read more
Having a river flowing through your course… Read more
Atlantic Beach is one of those courses… Read more
Katberg, Orkney and Emfuleni are this year’s… Read more
An exciting project in Mpumalanga is the… Read more
We’re seeing five key changes to the… Read more
The Eastern Cape has been included as… Read more
The Alfred Dunhill Championship is one of… Read more
Royal Johannesburg’s newly renovated West Course was… Read more
Durban Country Club’s iconic short par-4 18th… Read more
Composite courses could become fashionable locally in… Read more
Blair Atholl is an exciting new addition… Read more
Veteran East London Golf Club member Denis Jones… Read more
How would you react if you learned… Read more
Blair Atholl has the longest stretch of… Read more
Amanzimtoti Country Club suffered the most devastation… Read more
Durban Country Club will next year be… Read more
Bryanston Country Club head teaching professional Leigh-Jane… Read more
Work has started on the refurbishment of… Read more
Golf Digest magazine in the United States… Read more
The Sunshine Tour visited 17 of SA’s… Read more
TOP 20 GREENS 1 Fancourt Links, 2… Read more
No 1-ranked Fancourt Links claimed more honours… Read more
Links courses were the big winners in… Read more
Gauteng is endowed with wonderful golf courses,… Read more
Today’s announcement of 20 courses ranked between… Read more
Anyone who has played at Plettenberg Bay… Read more
Woodhill is one of 17 courses in… Read more
Four courses – Reading, Eagle Canyon, Centurion… Read more
Two new entrants to the Top 100… Read more
Such has been the huge amount of… Read more
blank blank
FIND A TOP 100 COURSE
blank
blank
blank
blank