Your Options For Lessons
Do you really need golf instruction? Yes, you didn’t plunge into traffic without someone showing you how to operate the car and explaining traffic rules either, did you?
Many of us get our first lessons from a friend who has been playing for a while. It’s a great way to get a taste of the game. The danger however, is that you easily pick up someone else’s bad habits. Golf instruction from a pro will teach you the right habits from the start and save you frustration later.
Tips to find the right golf pro
Picking a golf pro is a little like choosing a doctor: you need to trust him or her in order to get the most out of your golf lessons. The good news: more and more female pro golfers are arriving on the scene! So talk and ask questions before you decide who will provide you with your golf instruction.
The best place to start is your local course or the yellow pages. Talk to the golf pro and explain what you are looking for.
- Are you a complete beginner or a more experienced player looking for some fine tuning?
- What is your preferred way of learning – visual, auditory or kinetic – and can the pro accommodate that?
- Does the pro mostly work with young people, like high school or college team players or older players?
A pro can give golf instruction to anyone, but these factors will determine whether it’s a “natural fit”. If it doesn’t feel right, go look elsewhere. But if it’s a match, pull out your date book and set a schedule. Then commit to a series of lessons and do the work!
Solo or Group?
Keep in mind that you’re not the first person the pro has seen miss the ball, but if you’re not comfortable with being the center of attention for 30 minutes to an hour, there are some other options. Beginners often feel more comfortable in group lessons where everybody has the same problems.
- Clinics: Many courses offer golf instruction through “clinics”. They are walk-on learning opportunities, usually held on the driving range. The focus is on 1 aspect of the game. The groups can be rather large, but the pro will keep an eye on everyone, although you won’t get much one-on-one time. Clinics are by far the most economical option.
- Set Group Lessons: Some courses offer group lessons, scheduled over several weeks. These sessions are more in-dept and complete than clinics, with more individual attention from the pro. Before signing up, check the student/teacher ratio. This should not exceed 4-to-1. This option is more expensive than a clinic, but you get a lot more instruction for your money.
- Multi-day Golf Schools: If you want to completely immerse yourself and learn a lot in a short amount of time, a stay at a residential golf school is the way to go. You will learn all aspects of the game, get on-course instruction and often a video session of your swing will be included. Several golf schools offer women-only sessions where you can learn with likeminded people.
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