You’ve made the decision to take a golf lesson and carefully selected your PGA or LPGA Professional. Now what can you expect from that lesson?
Your professional should ask you what goals you want to achieve from the lesson or series of lessons. He or she should ask about your playing history – how long you’ve been playing and if you prefer to be a casual golfer who plays a few times a season or if you have the desire to compete in events locally, regionally or nationally. A good professional will always ask if you have any physical limitations – do you have back, shoulder, hip or knee injuries, etc. that will prevent you for reaching your full potential with your golf swing.
You have hopefully engaged in friendly conversation with your professional so you feel comfortable with each other. Think of your instructor as your friend and treat him or her as you do your other friends and create a positive experience. If your goal is to get better, help the instructor understand what that means. We all want to hit the ball farther and straighter, but break it down to manageable things – so you want to stroke your putts better? Maybe you want to hit bunker shots better or hit pitch shots more crisp. Whatever your reason for asking for a lesson, it should be communicated to your professional.
You should be “moved forward” in your golf progress – meaning there should be and understanding of what causes problems in your golf swing and how to identify it and correct it. A good professional will work with your swing and not expect you to swing like someone else. He or she will also give you one or two things to concentrate on during the lesson and ask you to practice it on your own between lessons. Think back to grade school piano lessons: If you didn’t practice between lessons, you were just paying for the teacher to watch you play at each lesson. The same holds true with golf lessons – don’t let your precious time with your professional turn into “supervised practice.”
As we discussed in the article last week in “How to Select a Golf Professional,” your instructor should provide feedback that is not too technical (unless you like technical advice) and should listen to your comments and feedback as well.
You professional will help determine your learning style – if you are a visual learner or kinesthetic learner. You may be a visual learner who appreciates being shown how to swing with the help of mirrors, video or demonstrations. Perhaps you are a kinesthetic learner who benefits from how things feel and the use of teaching aids to help with how temp and timing feel.
Your lesson will end with the professional reminding you what you learned and what drills you can use during your practice sessions between lessons. Be willing to practice and take more than one lesson. This is an experience designed to help you improve and play your best, not a one-time, quick fix. Enjoy your time with your professional and learn as much as possible about the golf swing and playing this game.
(Photo credit: SuzyWhaleyGolf.com/Montana Pritchard)