The Golf Channel Program, Morning Drive, is one of my favorite shows and that is where I first saw Karen Palacios-Jansen providing tips to improve one’s golf game. I loved the combination of swing tips and off-course exercises Karen provided and thought it would be great if I could find someone like her (golf pro and certified personal trainer) locally. Well, now I don’t have to look because I can work with Karen online. Yes, from the comfort of my own home, I can work with a LPGA teacher of the year.
At first I was skeptical when I saw that Karen was providing online golf instruction via the web. I have participated in plenty of online courses but they did not involve any physical activity. I was curious to see if it would be possible to create the interaction of a face-to-face golf lesson or workout session online. Here is what I experienced:
The Technology for the Class
I did not recognize the website, Powhow and so I read the “about us” section of the site, the terms & conditions, and the refund policy. The company is new and their focus is providing great technology for online classes. The terms were fairly standard and I was pleased to see the refund policy was in plain English and seemed very reasonable. Please make sure you read the terms and policies anytime you use a website for the first time.
It was easy to sign-up and email reminders were sent with technical requirements and instructions on how to log-in. The day before the class, I did go to the website, speedtest (provided in my reminder email) to test my internet speed. It was easy to do and it put me at ease knowing my internet access exceeded the speed requirements.
The day of the class, I just opened the email reminder and clicked on the link for the class. When I arrived on the landing page, I chose to log-in via Facebook and it was fast and seamless. Within less than a minute I was online with Karen.Any concerns about the technology quickly left me within the first few minutes and I was completely focused on Karen. The image was clear, I could hear Karen clearly, and she could see and hear me. The ultimate “thumbs-up” test was that I never had any delay in the video or voice transmission during the class. The Class: Swing Essentials – Tips & Drills for Distance and Consistency We chatted for a few minutes and I told Karen I had a shoulder injury. Karen began the class and it was easy to follow along. Karen started off the class with a warm-up you can do before you play. I did all the moves along with her and I could ask a question at any time. But, given Karen’s expertise in teaching, I really did not need to ask too many questions. It seemed like every time I thought “what should this feel like” Karen would say “you should feel this in your…” I guess I could say she was reading my mind but I just think she knows her stuff. When she came to an exercise involving the shoulders she paused and said “Catherine, you probably should not try this one.” Karen went over some of the common swing issues. One issue I have had is coming out of my golf stance. Karen explained the role of the hamstrings in maintaining the position. I am happy to report that I have been doing the strength and stretching exercises she showed us and it has made a big impact on the course! Karen frequently reminded the class that she can see us so if we were wondering if we were doing an exercise correctly, she could look at us and give us feedback on what we were doing. This is where Karen’s skill at verbal instruction comes into play. For example, she can’t physically take your hands and place them on the grip for you but she can say move your left had a bit to the right. That is the unique aspect of this class and what makes it better than a video. Don’t get me wrong watching a video is great but you don’t get feedback. When I started the class I felt a bit funny standing in my home office doing the exercises while watching Karen on my computer screen but it didn’t take long for me to just focus on what I was doing. I think a good sign that you are engaged is if the time flies by and that is what it felt like taking this online class with Karen. I learned a lot and enjoyed the class; and was so pleased with what I learned that I got her iPhone App. Grade for my experience: A The class exceeded my expectations. I don’t think it replaces my face-to-face time with my local golf pro but it is definitely a nice addition to the tools I use and lessons I take to improve my game; especially her insights on off-course exercises based on issues with the swing. Finally, if you live in a cold climate and want to work on your game in the winter — mark your calendar to take an online class with Karen Palacios-Jansen.