Private golf Lessons

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced golfer, private lessons can help you shave strokes off your game. Professional golfers continue to work with “swing doctors” because even they know you can always make an improvement that can pay big dividends on the course.

The key to getting the most out of private lessons is to make sure you provide your instructor with the right information about your game, instead of waiting for him to give you advice.

Tell Your Golf Instructor Your Playing Goals

Before you begin any private golf lesson, talk to your pro about your playing goals. Be specific. This means you need to tell your pro one playing problem you have and then use the lesson to work on that one problem. For example, if you need to work on your chipping, your chip probably results in one main playing problem. This main problem could be one of the following:

  • Hitting too far
  • Hitting too short
  • Slicing
  • Popping the ball up too high
  • No backspin
  • Taking too big a divot
  • Topping the ball

If you tell your instructor how your chipping is affecting your playing, then she will know what your likely technique problem is and can help you fix your problem.

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions during a golf lesson. People learn using visual cues (watching the pro demonstrate a technique), kinesthetically (by hitting balls and making adjustments based on where the ball lands), and by information processing (thinking about advice and feedback). Make sure you understand why your golf pro is telling you to keep your elbows in or your head down by asking for more explanation than just “do this.” He might give you a completely different reason than you thought, helping you add this important technique change to you swing in a more effective way.

Request Practice Suggestions

After each lesson, ask your instructor to lay out a practice routine for you. If you’re going to the driving range, your practice for a long iron should be different than your practice for a driver, even though both shots require a full swing. Hitting the ball with the same club from the same lie 100 times isn’t a good way to practice. That never happens on the course, so in order to create a realistic golf practice, you’ll need to finish each lesson practicing your new swing technique just as you would on the course. That means hitting a drive, a long second shot, and then a pitch and a chip. Make sure you understand how your coach wants you to begin and end each lesson, and what she wants you to do in between.

Follow Up

Your private golf lesson doesn’t end when you leave the driving range. It’s important to let your pro know how your practice went and what happened on the course the next time you played a round. Remember, you’re paying your instructor to help you play better, and he can’t do that unless you let him know what happened after the lesson. Don’t expect a free 15- or 30-minute discussion with your pro, but a quick email or phone call to share feedback will help your pro make sure his lesson helped you improve.

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