Don’t tell your pro what’s wrong with your swing – I see this several times with new clients. They show up and say, “I need to slow my transition.” Or, “My left arm is stuck inside.” These are all things analysts say during televised golf broadcasts, and unless you frequently play on TV, they probably are not talking about you. I will understand what’s going on with your swing after you’ve hit as little as 3 or 4 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 have been 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 teaching pro will take in everything you’ve said and make up a plan 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 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 a grip, and yes, it won’t feel normal. But I’ll tell you the reasons why a new grip might help and ask you to trust it for a while. So give new ideas a try with an open mind.”
Be honest with your teacher – How much time do you have to practice? If the answer is never, then I may give you some drills you can 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.
Do your homework before selecting a teacher – Most people will take a golf lesson from anybody as they probably think they’re all the same. Trust me they’re not. So find out a little about your instructor and his methods and consider whether it would be a good fit for you. You could meet with or call the coach beforehand. Sometimes the first lesson is like making a new friend, so, it is important you connect with your teacher. The teacher also needs to make you comfortable. And the teacher 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 as usually, we have to coach in small pieces that will add up to a lot. For example, lots of people want to hit the ball further but they constantly hit a slice. However, when I fix the slice usually it is 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.