You make some good points… but as I might agree with some that you don’t have to be a top tier ball striker to teach the golf swing… IT CERTAINLY DOESN"T HURT!
TGM will hand you a diploma after sitting in a class for a week or two, with no player ability test. There are TGM Authorized instructors that play off a 15… I know this for a fact.
The PGA of America was created not to put guys on tour, but to support the games growing infrastructure. The PGA is needed and has it’s obviously important place in the game… and their instruction manual is geared towards the more basic needs of golfers in general. The PGA player ability test requires a pro to basically be a single digit player, nothing more.
With the tremendous growth of the game in the last 20 years, the PGA simply needed more members to support the game’s expansion, so they had to loosen their playability critera, to get more people into place to support the growth.
The overall goal of the PGA and the equipment manufactures has been to grow the popularity of the game… to make it easier to play, and to make it a more pleasant experience. Clubhouses are bigger and nicer, better food and amenities, big forgiving clubs, GPS devices and a wet bar in the cart… all that good stuff… most people like that, and find that to be important to them…
Now getting back to instruction… personally, I like the idea of working with a guy who can really play… or really could if he is an older gentleman. Personally, I would rather talk to a guy like Mike Maves, who is a deep thinker about the game, equipment, and the golf swing, and I can see by looking at his swing that he is a good player. I think he said he was played off scratch back when he was playing a lot… and it is quite possible that he may have been pro caliber tee to green… but maybe he couldn’t putt and chip good enough to get out on tour.
When I was growing up, there was a guy at my club that flushed it, and could easily go out and hit 16 greens and have the ball at the pin most of the day, and he was a 3 handicap. Simple couldn’t putt. You do not have to be a good putter to be a good ball striker. Two different games… a game within a game (putting)
When I was on tour… and I am sure TwoMasters would agree, that there were some pretty average golf swings out there, very amateur type swings, that would play just good enough to be out there… chipping and putting their brains out to be 100th on the money list… and sometimes these guys would even beat you if you had an off week.
There are plenty of 3 handicappers that give the mini tours a try, and some will even squeak through onto a secondary tour… and if they have a few bucks behind them… can play the role of “tour pro” for years if not decades.
So it really depends what you are looking for… different levels of instruction for different objectives and skill levels.
This is Advanced Ball Striking!