Whether you are a seasoned professional, an enthusiast, or have picked up the clubs for the first time in your life, golf lessons are important. By taking lessons, you can hone the skills you already have, or pick up new ones to perfect your form, swing, and follow-through.
But where to go to get lessons? A private club? A recreational gym? On-line videos?
The best approach to seeking out golf lessons is to tract the endeavor as if you were picking a college. If you are looking at places that offer golf lessons, you want to look at a number of factors – are the lessons private, or are the instructors teaching a whole group of people? If you are considering a class with a bunch of people, you might want to assess the ratio of class members to instructors. Some people prefer to learn in a group, because there is a sense of camaraderie, and the students can help one another. The downside to this is that, in a group, you might not get the individual attention you want or need in working on your stance and form, which will be noticeable in your performance in the golf course – by you and by others, and you may not know what you are doing wrong.
A private golf instructor, on the other hand, will be able to work with you in making sure your legs are spread too far apart, how you should be bent over the ball, how to hold your club, and the precise arc and angle to swing at the ball. A one-on-one lesson is more personal than in a group, and you want to learn from someone who knows what she or he is doing, rather than the potential trap of learning from fellow students who may be doing everything wrong in the first place.
Where to take golf lessons?
You may find out that one of the local community centers, or even a local community college may offer golf lessons. These are typically less expensive than most places, teach the basics of golf in a group setting, and adhere to a rigid schedule.
For more thorough lessons in golf, you might want to look around at the different golfing courses and clubs in your area. Here you may get the option of choosing a group setting, or personal one-on-one instruction. The rule of thumb to use here is that the more expensive the course or club, the more expensive the lessons will be.
Check your schedule
While it might seem nice, it might be a bit unwise to sign up for golf lessons that take place in the middle of your work day. Most golf instructors teach on the weekends, and occasionally in the early evening, but you should always check the times and days to make certain that your lessons do not interfere with other priorities.
Interview the potential instructors
When looking to take golf lessons, you may find that your list of potential possibilities consist of instructors who run the gamut from gym teacher to caddies to professional golfers with a few titles and tournaments under their belts. As with most things, just because someone looks good on paper does not mean you will be getting the golf instruction you need or want.
Meet with your potential instructors. Find out what their lessons cover, and if they will help you in a particular area of your golf game. You should also pay attention to see if the instructor works with you, personality-wise. You don’t necessarily want to take golf lessons from someone you don’t mesh with. That would be a waste of time and effort, and ultimate it could be a very frustrating endeavor for all parties involved.
Set a budget for yourself
If you have finally decided on what types of lessons you want, whether you want to learn in a group or have a private golf instructor, you need to figure out how much you want to spend on your golf lessons.
Remember, these lessons are not going to be free, and while you probably want golf lessons from someone who has spent a decent amount of time on the green, not everyone has the money to get Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods to come out every Saturday morning to teach you how to get out of a sand trap. If you are dedicated to learning how to improve your game, or even just your stance, you want to make sure that the level of golf instruction you get converges with the amount of money you are willing to spend.
One last word of advice
Before you even go out to your first session with a golfing instructor, get your own set of clubs. Yes, most ranges and golf courses have “house clubs” for people taking golf lessons, but ultimately it would end up making both your and the instructor’s efforts a complete waste of time. With your own set of clubs, you can be sure that they are weighted and the perfect length for your height and reach. This way, the golf lessons you get can be applied using tools that were designed for you. If you use the golf clubs available at the course, the odds are pretty good that you will be trying to learn from your instructor while using something that wasn’t made for you, and therefore will throw your game off even more. Bottom line: If you want to learn and improve your golf game, get your own clubs.