It is surprising to most people that according to the National Golf Foundation, only 17% of golfers take lessons.
This may be because most golfers wonder... Are Golf Lessons Worth It?
Most players don't know what to ask their instructor before, during, and after taking golf lessons to get the best results from their sessions.
In order to get the most out of your lessons, you should ask your instructor about common goals for the two of you, what type of lessons are best for you, whether you have any physical limitations, and the communication style they will use with you.
It is extremely important that you have the time and are willing to practice in between lessons.
Before leaving the session, you should make sure that you understand the concepts and feel like you have an easy-to-implement plan with feedback for your practice sessions.
1. What Are Your Goals For Taking Golf Lessons
Most people take golf lessons with the hopes of lowering their scores. While this is a common goal, it is not the only one.
You may want to increase your distance off the tee, hit specific trouble shots, or just make solid contact with your irons.
Your instructor can help you achieve any of these goals, but you need to be clear about what you hope to accomplish.
Golf Lessons To Lower Your Score
No matter if you are trying to win your flight in the Club Championship or to complete professionally when you're looking for a golf coach, you want to shoot lower scores.
One way to do this is by finding a good golf coach that is using technology such as Trackman.
The Trackman will help your instructor get a better understanding of what you are currently doing in your swing and how they can help you make improvements.
In addition, it is important to spent time on the golf course with your coach. This allows them to improve your decision-making and course management.
Increase Distance With Your Driver Off The Tee
Most golfers want to hit the ball further, and with a driver, that is especially important.
With the use of a Trackman, you will be able to see information about your low point, angle of attack, club head speed, centeredness of contact, and spin rates.
After all of the data is collected, your coach will be able to help you understand what these terms mean and which variables need to change in order to hit your driver longer.
Hit Specific Trouble Shots
There are a few different shots that can cause problems for golfers.
Here are just a few of them:
Green-side Bunker Shots
This is when you hit your ball into the sand bunkers by the green.
Many amateurs do not understand why the professionals on TV oftentimes prefer to be in a green-side sand bunker as opposed to the rough, as they think it is a difficult shot.
The truth is that understanding the concepts or hitting a proper bunker shot, it is much easier than hitting a ball out of the thick rough.
This is why you will often see them purposely hitting an iron into a sand bunker after hitting their driver into trouble.
Hitting An Intentional Slice
What is an intentional slice?
An intentional slice is a shot that starts to the left of the target and then turns a lot to the right in the air back towards the target.
You may need this shot if your driver has taken you off-line and you find yourself behind a tree.
Hitting An Intentional Hook
What is an intentional hook?
An intentional hook is simply the opposite. The hook shot is a shot that starts to the right of the target and then turns a lot to the left in the air back towards the target.
You may need this shot if your driver has taken you off-line and you find yourself behind a tree.
Making Solid Contact With Your Irons
Making solid contact with your irons is key to playing well.
When you hit the ball solidly, you can better predict how far it will go and also hit a more predictable curve.
If you are hitting behind the ball or hitting on top of the ball, I don't need to tell you that golf can be hard.
Making solid contact with your irons is important if you want to have a good round and... it feels really good!
2. Do You Want To Take Private Lessons Or Group Classes or Clinics
There are several things you want to consider when deciding whether to take private lessons, group classes, or clinics.
Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of each option:
One-on-one instruction can help you focus on your own game and allow your coach to focus on helping you reach your goals. In addition, it can also be a great way for beginners to learn how to play the game properly from step one.
Start by taking a New Student Assessment so that you and your coach can create an improvement plan together.
Group Classes or Clinics:
These lessons are a great option when you would like a little bit of individual attention and a lot of guidance from a coach at the same
These sessions can be more expensive than group or clinic lessons.
Group classes and clinics can be more social and fun than private lessons.
Due to the number of students in a session, you will not have as much personal attention as you would in private lessons.
3. Do You Have Any Physical Challenges?
One of the questions that you need to ask yourself and be honest with your golf coach is if you have any physical challenges. Not only do they need to know what they are working with as well as to not injure you any further.
If you do have any physical limitations, it's important to find an instructor who understands how to work with those challenges and can help you overcome them.
With a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Golf Instructor, you're not only getting a well-trained golf instructor, but you're also gaining access to a network of sports medicine professionals and fitness trainers.
This is extremely important because they will be able to see your injuries and figure out how to treat them.
4. Does Your Coach Communicate In A Way That You Understand?
One of the most important questions you can ask yourself is how well your coach communicates with you.
If you don't understand something, you need to let them know and not be embarrassed about it. This is why you are there.
They need to be able to explain it in a way that you can understand. Otherwise, you're going to struggle to make the changes needed to improve your game.
Your coach should also have a plan for each lesson and be able to review what was covered at the end of each lesson.
This will help ensure that you're making progress between each lesson. In addition, the numbers on a Trackman should be improving against the baseline.
5. Do You Understand The Concepts That Your Golf Coach Is Explaining?
Coaches are there to help you improve your game, but you need to make sure that you are getting the most out of your lessons by asking the right questions.
Once your coach knows what you can and cannot do physically, you need to be able to understand the concepts that he or she is trying to communicate.
If you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again, chances are your coach has not communicated with you in a way that you understand. Myself included.
When leaving the lesson, do you feel like you have a good plan to make the needed changes?
If the answer is yes... then you are good to go and practice and self-organize the information and concepts.
If your answer is no... then you should be asking more questions until you are comfortable that you believe you understand.
6. Are You Going To Practice Between Golf Lessons?
One of the most important things that you can do to improve your golf game is to practice in between lessons.
Your coach can give you a plan to follow, but you need to be willing to put in the time and effort to see results.
Make sure that you have a practice area set up at home or when returning to the practice range so that you can work on the same moves and concepts that you were taught in your lesson.
Many players think that as long as they show up for their lesson, their golf swing will automatically improve. If it was only that easy... all of us would be better players.
A golf swing is a motor skill, like playing a musical instrument. If I sit you down at a piano, how long is it going to take for you to "get better?" One could even argue what that means.
Learning is not linear. No matter how slow you feel like you are progressing, as long as it is getting better... you are winning.
It is like when you have bought stock. It will go up and down but as long as it is trending upwards... you are winning.
What Other Golfers Are Saying...
7. Are You Willing To Take It To The Course As You Are Making The Changes
You have taken your golf lesson and had a couple of good practice sessions. It is now time to take it to the golf course.
It will be important to set your expectations before heading out. Not every single round should be all about scoring.
Many times I suggest keeping track of how well or poor you performed what you are working on by using a scale of 1-10. This will give you more references.
If you are learning to make changes at the lesson, it may take some time before you can see results on the golf course.
It is easy to get caught up in the "next best thing" when it comes to making golf swing changes.
Make sure that you are getting the most out of your lessons by asking the right questions.
Once your coach knows what you can and cannot do physically, they will explain concepts and it is up to you to keep asking questions until there's no confusion about the concept.
Remember, learning is not linear. You will have ups and downs. the important part is that it is improving over time.
When it comes to golf, it is easy to improve performance but actually learning a motor skill is very different.
It may take time before changes that are made during a lesson will show themselves on the golf course. But, if improvements are being seen against baseline measurements then progress is being made and lower scores are right around the corner!
Read More On How To Shoot Lower Scores...
Brad Myers, PGA