I love my job — giving golf lessons and sharing knowledge that helps golfers enjoy the game more. This game is supposed to be fun, and it’s more fun when you play well!
I’ve been lucky to learn from some great instructors, including my friend and mentor Mike Adams. A good teacher can make adjustments seem simple and obvious, but a good student can make sure they’re open to good advice when they get it. Here’s how to do exactly that:
1. Find the right teacher for you
There are lots of great golf instructors out there, but it’s most important that you find one that you can relate to. Look for one who has had success with similar students — if you’re a beginner, look for a coach who teaches lots of beginners. If you’re a junior, make sure their background is in the type of training that matches what you are.
Often, the best teachers are the busiest for a reason. You may need to wait for the right one, but it’ll be worth it.
2. There’s no pressure to perform.
I know this is easier said than done, but know that when you’re going to a lesson, your teacher is watching your ball and your swing. We don’t really care if you miss or struggle — in some ways we’re expecting it. By nature, teachers just want to help you improve and to stop struggling. So, try to relax as much as you can, and swing just like you normally do.
3. Warm up quickly and beforehand
Ideally, you should arrive a bit early before you lesson and warm up. Do the same stretches that you usually do. This should not be a practice session, you’re just trying to get your body ready for the lesson.
If you’re warmed up and ready to go when your teacher arrives, you can get right to it and spend most of your lesson getting the feedback you want.
4. Have all your clubs
You may be taking a short game lesson, or a driver lesson, or want to work on something else very specific. But even so, bring all your clubs. There have been plenty of lessons where I want to see a student’s full swing to understand how to best improve their short game. There may also be easier ways to accomplish your goals by using a different club than you might consider on your own. You don’t want to waste time chasing down a club you may need for it.
5. Know your least-favorite miss
It can be extremely helpful and time saving if you are able to communicate what your golf ball is doing when things go wrong. You don’t need to know what’s causing it — that’s my job. But if you have specific goals or know your miss, it can help your instructor get to the issue more directly. My students who arrive and know exactly the goal of the lesson helps me to structure the lesson time much more efficiently.
6. Ask questions
Don’t be shy in your lessons. They should be fun and never feel intimidating. It may be stressful if you are with a new teacher, but a great instructor should put you at ease. And if you don’t understand or need clarification, ask questions. The most effective lessons are when the student communicates freely throughout.
7. Put conclusions in your own words
Don’t ever be afraid to put things in your own words, because this self-discovery is super important. Just because I may say something one way does not mean it is the best way for you to say or feel it. Your own words are very important; you need to figure out your own way to apply the advice you’re getting
8. Write it down
When you complete your lesson, you should always write down what you learned so that when you go to practice, it you can review the details you might have missed. This allows you to step right back into improvement mode when you come back to practice, and if you keep notes, you can keep a record of how you improved when you had a specific issue.
9. Have fun
A good golf lesson should always result in better ball flight, or at the very least less of the predominant miss you came in for. It may feel different, but you should hit some ‘wow’ shots that you should really enjoy.
It’s ok to hit poor shots — that’s part of a lesson. Not every change your instructor asks you to make will be comfortable, but if you’re willing to try things that feel odd and different, you’ll start to see great improvement.
10. Keep in touch
Even when your lesson concludes and you have some time away from your teacher to practice, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your teacher with additional questions. We are generally happy to provide follow up feedback. I give video lessons on Skillest — a great platform that also provides a chat feature, which is one of my favorite parts of the app.
If you want a lesson, feel free to reach out to me right here!
Ready to dial in your swing? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf.