There are many reasons to book a golf lesson but not every instructor is the right fit for you. However, there are some things golfers do not consider before they book a lesson. These 3 things can be the difference between a quality lesson or a waste of money.
This subject came up earlier this week from someone I met while at a golf course. This golfer told me he booked a lesson explaining their overall goal was a quick fix and he was not willing to overhaul his swing at an advanced age. The instructor not only did not listen, but that instructor also tried to completely change his swing, his grip, and stance to swing like someone 20 years younger. Having seen this golfers swing the basic fundamentals were there and not something that should have been messed with. Also to assume any golfer's goal is to become scratch, or that they have time or are willing to put in the range time for such major changes is not being a good instructor.
After hearing this story it had me thinking about how often this happens. Then I decided to ask a few people if they have ever had a golf lesson that they didn't like. What caught my surprise was out of the 10 people I asked all 10 said yes to that question. When I asked why was it bad they all had a similar answer as the initial story above.
Although there is no simple answer to why this is here are 3 things you can do before booking your net lesson for the best experience and results.
Determine your goal(s) - First, you want to decide what your goal is as a golfer. Do you want some quick tips, just some short game lessons, or do you want to revamp your swing and become as good of a golfer as you can? Depending on your overall goal you also need to determine how much time you can devote to that goal. For example, if you want to lower your handicap from 20 to 5 do you have the time for the practice necessary? Ask yourself how serious you are about your goal as well. All this plays a role in the next two tips.
Search for an instructor - Do an internet search or call around to find an instructor in your area that may be good for you based on what your goal is. Some instructors specialize in certain areas of the game. Some are great at short game instruction, like Dave Pelz, while others are great at swing mechanics, like David Leadbetter. Not all instructors will advertise if they have a specialty so you may have to call and ask a few if they do specialize in any specific areas. If your goal is to increase distance off the tee the last thing you want to do is see an instructor that specializes in putting. You also want to ask friends or look for reviews about instructors you have in mind.
Interview Instructors - This is one that hardly any golfers do yet is vital to your lesson success. Remember this is a service you are paying for so you want to get the best out of it. Meet with instructors or call and ask them questions. You want to make sure they clearly understand your goals and that they understand what your commitment level is towards those goals. Another reason to interview an instructor is to make sure they have a personality you like. This does not mean you will not get along with that instructor. This is more about the psychology of getting along with like-minded individuals and how information is retained. If your personalities clash it could be more difficult to retain information that you learn due to it being explained in a different way than how someone you have more commonality with. Interviewing instructors may be more important to you that the lessons themselves.
Just like there are millions of tips on YouTube to fix something or gain distance, not all those tips apply to every golfer. They don't even apply to every golfer that may have the same problem they say they can fix. Just because two golfers slice the ball that does not mean they have the same cause for the slice. The same is said for golf instructors. Every instructor is not good for every golfer and while some instructors know this, it is not every instructor that can fix your swing the way you need it fixed.
I hope these tips help you find an instructor best suited for you. These are three things I would look at if I needed to find a new instructor for myself.