Christmas has come and gone. You’ve returned the clubs you got under the tree that were not even close to what you had asked for. Now you’re scrolling through all the new releases for the year with visions of a perfect swing and a low handicap.
It’s January. A time for new beginnings. A time to put your money where your swing is. A time to buy your golf game.
Yes, that’s right. I said it. It’s time to buy your game.
First though, you need to stop looking at all those new clubs. There is always great new technology coming out, but all the twisted faces in the world aren’t going to help your swing if you’re constantly shanking the ball 30 yards to the right.
You need to re-evaluate your game, not your bag.
You’ve heard the horror stories: “I paid 50 bucks for the pro to sell me a $15 grip and to hit balls for 30 minutes.” Yes, that would be a waste of your hard earned money. Here are a few ways to help ensure you’re getting a good instructor.
- Ask for recommendations from friends or members from your club
- We all have different learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). Find an instructor that fits your style. A great instructor will be able to assess the way each student learns and adjust their style to your needs.
- Cheap isn’t always bad and pricey isn’t always good
- Don’t judge a lesson by its price. Some instructors may be great players, but can be awful teachers. Look for a highly recommended instructor.
- Talk to the instructor before you take lessons
- Once you’ve found a possible instructor, ask them any questions you have about how the lessons work. Let them know what you’re looking for, and see if that’s what they’re offering.
- Try different instructors
- Different instructors are going to have different strengths. Look until you find the right one for you. You’ll be more successful switching out instructors than you will be switching out clubs.
- Practice between lessons
- Take what you learn from your lessons and practice on the range. It’s just like learning a language or an instrument. If you don’t practice, you will not improve.
- Hit more than just your driver at the range
- You use your driver less than your putter during an average round. When you’re at the range, practice as if you’re playing a hole. Start with your driver then move to a wood or an iron. It’s a lot more realistic than swinging your driver 100 times and leaving the rest of your clubs cold in the bag.
Get Out and Play
It’s time to put your hard work to the test. Golf is just as much of a mental game as it is skill. Get out and play. It’s one thing to swing when there are no strokes on the line, but it’s another when you’ve got a steak dinner riding on your score.
The point of lessons and practice is for you to enjoy the sport you love even more. Get out and play. Take a half day every other week and play a round. Wake up early on the weekends and get out with your friends and family and have fun.
If you have any other tips or tricks on how you found a great instructor, please leave them down in the comments below.