Golf is one of the more difficult sports to master. It’s a sideways sport. Think about it –tennis, bowling, softball use similar swing motions, but at least you get to face your target head on. Many people successfully master these sports without ever taking a lesson. When it comes to golf, it’s wise to invest in good instruction right from the start to master the golf swing. To get the most out of your investment take these essential steps.
Do you have the time? Golf instructors can teach you the basics, but it will take some practice time between sessions to build and master the skills. Plan to dedicate at least 60 minutes a week to practice what you’ve learned. Sometimes just a club, tee and whiffle ball in the backyard is all you need to practice some drills.
What are you willing to spend? The golf industry had made a lot of noise to build programs and bring more women into the game. There is more emphasis today on programs for new and learning players. The more you are willing to spend, the more individualized instruction you will receive.
Private Lesson: ($75 to $200) Rates vary based on length of the lesson, use of training facilities, and the teaching professional’s reputation.
Semi Private Lesson: ($40 to $100) Sharing the cost with another person can be more fun and less intimidating.
Group Clinic: ($10 to $50) Clinics are typically 4 to 8 people with rates based on length of clinic and number of people. Look for free introductory clinics offered for new golfers.
Golf Schools: ($500 and up) Golf schools can range from one day to a full week and requires a greater degree of stamina. Prices will depending on length of school and extras such as meals and on course playing lessons
Do some research. Once you have decided on a lesson format, make a list of golf professionals that teach at times and places that are convenient and within your price range. For suggestions, visit the Women on Course local golf directory, ask other women and nearby golf courses and check the listings on the PGA and LPGA websites. Visit an individual’s website and see if their teaching philosophy matches up with your learning style. You should get a pretty good feel if the instructor enjoys teaching beginners and women from the content on the website.
- Ability to relate to your individual needs
- Teaching philosophy – simple vs. analytical? Do they teach one method or vary depending on the student?
- Did they ask about physical limitations? Do they address golf fitness?
- Teaching style – does it match your learning style: visual, auditory, feel?
- Do they use swing aids and video analysis?
- Do they give playing lessons or are lessons all on the practice range?
- Are golf clubs included if you don’t have a set?
Make the Choice. Arrive at least 30 minutes before your lesson to warmed up and pay your fee. Be open to what the instructor is telling you even if it feels awkward. A swing change can take up to three weeks to incorporate so practice, practice, practice. Most importantly, be patient with yourself.
- Did they start with an interview? Did you feel like they really understood you and your goals? Were they a good listener?
- Did they teach to your goals? Was the instruction clear? Did they use terms you understand? Did they talk to you at your level? Were they patient? Was information-overload avoided?
- Did they use a variety of teaching methods: verbal, visual, demonstration, and kinesthetic movement?
- Were you encouraged or did you experience ‘post-lesson depression’ and feel like you couldn’t do anything right?
- Do they cover every aspect of the game from warm-up, putting, short-game, and full-swing? Did they teach just the swing or including course management, mental strategies, rules, etiquette?
- Did he/she give you specific drills to practice? Did you see improvement in a relatively short period of time?
- How was the follow-up? Did they email you the video of your swing? Were they available for questions?
- Did they set mutual goals with you? How will they track your progress? Did they remember what you were working on?
- Were they passionate about the game?
If the majority of the answers were ‘yes’ then you found the right one! So stick with him or her, practice in between your sessions and you’ll be on your way to lower scores!
Take a lesson with our favorite Women on Course instructor Debbie Keller - WOC members have access to over 3 hours of video lessons. http://www.womenoncourse.com/video_lesson_preview.php