The Value of Golf Lessons

The first thing I did when I took up golf some 26 years ago was to make a critical error in judgment.

I thought I could learn the golf swing from a book. It was all downhill from there.

I would spend hours at the range beating balls badly and cursing the golf gods loudly.

My results on the course were no better.

Not knowing what I was doing wrong, I merely bought another book and, when video instruction became popular, I began to buy instructional tapes, too. Same result: a complete LACK of results.

And so I wasted many years playing bad golf when, if I had done one thing, I could have been playing good golf.

What is that “one thing”? Take lessons. Now, to be clear, I did take lessons – about 3 over 20 years. It’s a testament to the true addictive powers of golf that I stuck with the game all that time…

What I’m talking about now is taking a series of lessons. From the same teaching pro. Don’t make the mistake of bouncing from one teacher to another. It’s the same waste of money as buying one book or swing gimmick after another. Stick with one teacher. Get to know his or her style and let your teacher get to know your swing.

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I have learned that lessons with a good teaching pro are worth their weight in gold. And I’m sure many of you will agree.

If you’re new to the game, TAKE LESSONS. If you’re a long time player, TAKE LESSONS. If the pros continue to pay big bucks to big-name instructors, then what more proof does a weed whacking hacker need?

How do you find a teacher? I learned about my swing instructor, Mark Greenwood, Director of Swing Machine Golf Canada through the woman who is now my wife (see, ladies? There can be a payoff!).

So, word of mouth is one way. Calling your local golf association (PGA, etc.) and asking for a recommendation is another method. You can search online or check the yellow pages. Ask your golfing buddies.

And when you find that teacher, how can you tell if he or she is worth the money? By how well they explain and demonstrate and how easily you absorb their methods. It’s not enough to simply accept that they have a certification credential of some kind. That just means they took the course and passed the exam.

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A good teaching pro is one who communicates effectively and works with your swing and your body.

Another sign of a committed teacher is how long they spend with you, their student and client. Most teachers charge by the half hour or hour. If they go over the allotted time with you to make sure that you are “getting it” and they don’t charge you for the “overtime”, then you’ve found your instructor!

Now you’re putting your money to good use! Get out and practice those fundamentals!

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by Chris Henry