Don’t tell me what’s wrong with your swing – I see this several times with new clients. They show up and say, “I need to slow my swing.” Or, “My left arm is bent.” These are all things analysts say during televised golf broadcasts or You Tube video tutorials. Unless you frequently play on TV, or, the You Tube Expert knows your personal swing and ball striking issues, I can guarantee they’re not talking about you. I will probably understand and be fairly confident what’s going on with your swing/ball striking after I’ve watched you hit as little as 4 or 5 shots.
Be specific based on your game – At the beginning of a lesson there is other information that I find much more useful such as what’s been going wrong. There is a big difference between telling me what’s wrong with your swing and what has been happening to your golf ball. It is helpful to hear that most shots are going too much right to left or way right etc etc. Couple this with a brief description of your typical game and we’re already on the way to planning your improvements.
Listen – People are used to talking, but they often aren’t very good listeners. A good coach will take in everything you’ve said then find solutions to help you. But, although some times difficult to accept, try to hear the message, understand the solution and understand why it will work.
Ask loads of questions- If you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask me lots of questions as there is lots of ways of explaining the same thing.
Be open to new ideas – Try not to get too defensive, I might change your grip, and yes, it won’t feel normal. But I’ll tell you the reasons why it might help and ask you to trust it for a while. So give new ideas a try with an open mind.
Be honest with me – How much time do you have to practice? If the answer is never, then I may give you some drills to do in front of a mirror at home or during a break at work. And if, say, you’re a terrible putter, chipper etc, say so. Don’t say you’re O.K. because you think you can fix it yourself. If you haven’t fixed it by now, you probably need some help.
Be careful…Most people will take a golf lesson from anybody as they probably think they’re all the same. Trust me they’re not. Sometimes the first lesson is like making a new friend, so, it is important you connect with your coach. The coach also needs to make you comfortable and also importantly needs to adjust to you; it’s certainly not the other way around. You should make sure that this is the kind of coach you’re getting. It’s gotta be enjoyable!
Finally, set achievable goals.- Because one lesson won’t overhaul your game, try not to, as some people do, expect miracles. Usually, I have to coach in small pieces that will add up to a lot. For example, you might want to hit the ball further but constantly hit a slice. However, when I fix your slice usually it’s going to naturally go further. One thing at a time!!
Even Lee Trevino, whom some consider self taught, once said “A good golf lesson is worth 1,000 range balls.”With a little thought and patience, you could make it worth even more.