Why should I take a golf lesson?
Excellent question! Your golf coach is knowledgeable in all aspects of the game of golf, and can help speed up the learning process and make the game more enjoyable. Without a doubt, golf is very challenging game! But remember, golf is a GAME, and games are supposed to be FUN. Golf can be a very rewarding game, but also a very frustrating one! There is also an awful lot to learn about the many different aspects of the game. The golf swing can be very complicated. The ‘full power’ golf swing that hits a golf ball far, straight and up in the air is a combination of many intricate, intertwined and inter-related components that hopefully work together and produce the result that we are looking for. The game of golf also involves many shots that do not involve full power – called ‘finesse shots’. Putting is a different game in itself – some call it an ‘art’. Then there is the ‘mental’ aspect of the game – perhaps the most challenging aspect of all! Even the best players in the world will NEVER fully master the game after many years of trying.
What should I expect during my golf lesson?
You should expect to learn something new, something that may not have experienced or felt before, perhaps feels awkward at first, and may take time to feel comfortable. Such changes will ONLY feel comfortable through MANY repetitions. Remember, you’ve made the decision to take a lesson for one of many reasons: you are a beginner, just starting out. Maybe you have played a little, but have made the commitment to yourself that you want to improve. Maybe you play often, but may have ‘lost the feel’ and need assistance to get your swing back. In other words, what you are doing right now is not working and you may not know what needs to be changed. Your golf coach can quickly determine the changes, and offer a plan to make these changes into long-lasting improvements.
How do I get the most out of my golf lesson?
Arrive early. Stretch, loosen up, and hit some warm-up shots.
Your instruction time is usually limited. If you use your lesson time as your warm up & to regain your timing, you are wasting valuable time. Some days, it only takes a few warm up shots to ‘get into the groove’. Other days, it can take quite a few, if at all.
Practice in-between lessons!
As simple as this sounds, and for many different reasons, many golfers DON’T practice in between lessons! Practice on the driving range, or on the golf course. Practice the swing drills at home that your coach showed you.
As your instructor /coach, within the first few swings, I can usually see several parts of your swing that will need attention. Most often, we can’t ‘fix’ everything in one session. We probably should only work on one change at a time – otherwise it can be too overwhelming and confusing. Within those first few swings, I can determine what we have to work on today, next time, and probably the time after that. I also know which practice drills should be your homework.
Realize that changes that lead to long-lasting improvements to your golf swing will probably take time to gel.
Why does my performance seem to go down after taking a lesson?
Excellent question, and one of the most frequently asked! Only through repetition will any changes to your golf swing start to feel comfortable. Some changes are minor in nature and take little time to soak in. Other changes are major changes that will require substantial effort, practice and repetition to yield the improvements that we are looking for. This is commonly known as the ‘J curve’. When you draw the letter ‘J’, you start by going down, get to the bottom and then make a turn back going upwards. During this ‘transition period’ from feeling awkward to feeling comfortable, it is quite common to see your performance go down.
How can I tell if I’m improving?
Another excellent question! If your ‘best’ shot that you hit today is better than the ‘best’ shot that you hit before, then you ARE making a step forward. Once again, remember that some changes may take time to feel comfortable, through repetition and practice. Golf shots hit during the transition period can vary widely from very good to awful. Initially, you may start out your practice sessions averaging only 1 or 2 good shots out of 10, 3 or 4 mediocre ones and 3 to 4 lousy shots! Through hard work and practice, you MAY improve to 3 to 4 good shots out of 10. With more time and practice, you may further improve to 4 or 5 good shots. The best way to determine if you are making an improvement is to assess your ‘best’ shot of that particular practice session.
How often should I take a lesson?
A lesson once a week usually offers the most productive results – assuming that the golfer has an opportunity to practice in between lessons. Most golf instruction is cumulative – meaning that any changes / improvements that we need to make NEXT time are dependent of understanding / feeling comfortable / getting used to the changes we make TODAY. Long lasting improvement comes from making many small, manageable changes. We usually can’t ‘fix’ everything in one session. How quickly that these changes feel comfortable depends on the individual golfer, and how much effort is put in.
Should I take one lesson, or a series of lessons?
Once again, that depends on the individual. For beginners, we recommend a series of lessons. Your coach can then ‘map’ out a plan of instruction, and offer that instruction in manageable bites. For experienced golfers with established golf games, one or two single lessons may be sufficient.
Is a videotape lesson valuable?
Absolutely! A picture is worth 1,000 words. Video analysis of the golf swing is a very powerful tool and can present a very clear, concise picture to the golfer. Quite often, what you FEEL you are doing in your golf swing compared to what you are ACTUALLY doing in your golf swing are widely different. Research has also shown that visual learning (by the use of videotape analysis) can be more effective than verbal learning (your golf coach simply talk, talk, talking). Once the golfer has a visual picture of his golf swing in his mind, then the verbal instruction and accompanying swing drills can offer much better results.
How can I become more consistent?
The definition of ‘consistent’ is ‘repeating the same thing every time’. Golfers often say: “I can hit some really good shots, but also can hit some really bad shots.” The quest for consistency usually leads to the questions: how often do you practice, how effective is your technique, do you have a consistent routine that you use to get prepared to make a golf shot, or does your routine vary, depending on your mood, emotion, or circumstances?
What actually happens during the golf swing?
No doubt about it, the golf swing is a very complicated series of athletic movements. The golf swing is all about ‘timing’. Timing of the many intricate parts coming together at that brief moment when the golf clubhead makes contact with the golf ball. As the golfer watches the ball, hands are gripping, arms are moving, shoulders are turning, legs are supporting, knees are flexing, wrists are hinging, unhinging and hinging again, weight is shifting, and the body is rotating. The actual physics of a golf clubhead striking a golf ball at a high rate of speed is very exacting. The clubhead can be traveling at speeds of over 100 mph when it makes contact with the golf ball - the moment of impact. The clubhead travels in a circle around the body, and is rotating counter-clockwise very quickly as it approaches the ball. The clubhead also travels in an arc: on the ground at the start, upwards to a high point at the top of the backswing, back down to a low point at impact, and then up high again at the finish. Correct timing results in the golf ball flying straight and true!