Do you really need golf lessons – part seven?

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“One reason golf is such an exasperating game is that a thing we learned is so easily forgotten, and we find ourselves struggling year after year with faults we had discovered and corrected time and again.”Bobby Jones

By Ian Hardie

During the first six parts of the Do you really need golf lessons? series of posts

(If you haven’t read all of them yet, you can find the links at the bottom of the page)

I started to answer the question by investigating what the actual point of golf lessons is

As a result I have managed to figure out that there are effectively

Only four main types of golf lesson given around the world

I’m sure the odd person might argue with that but in reality it’s true

The first type of golf lesson I classified as ‘information delivery’

Which is generally the sort of lesson that a golfer would get when first starting the game

‘Stand like this, grip it like that, this is the difference between a wood and an iron’

I call it ‘information delivery’ as there is very little feedback given by the golfer

It’s more about giving the golfer as much information as possible to enable them to

Start and learn the game of golf as easily and as quickly as possible

Due to the general nature of the information being given it’s easily done in groups

As well as normally being a fairly low cost option for new golfers

I then went on to the second type of lesson which I classified as ‘problem solving’

It’s the most common type of golf lesson given around the world

Due to the fact that not enough golfers take the first type of lessons

Or even if they have once they start playing regularly

They listen to the many other golfers who haven’t taken them

Most commonly these lessons follow a three step process

Firstly, to see exactly what the problem is with the golfer’s action

That causes either the poor shots or massive inconsistency in their game

The golf pro gets the golfer to hit a few shots and describe the problem that’s happening

Which then leads to the second part of a problem solving lesson

The golf pro after only a few minutes observing the golfer

Has to produce a diagnosis of exactly what is going wrong for the golfer

Which then must lead to a series of steps or actions that are undertaken to correct the issue

In simple terms it means that the success of virtually every golf lesson

That is aimed at solving a problem for a golfer is actually governed by one thing

Whether the golfer continues to do exactly what they were advised to

By the golf pro during the lesson or whether they go back to what’s comfortable for them

It’s a different story though when we get to the third most common type of golf lesson

Which I classified as a ‘player development’ lesson

These types of lesson are typified by a golfers desire to move

From their current performance level to a new higher level of performance

The example I gave was a 14 handicap golfer who wants to get to 9 handicap

Or a low single figure handicap golfer that has a desire to become a tournament professional

The reason I separated this type of lesson out from the first and second types of lesson

Is simply that most often the golfers technique is already sound and the difference

Between their current and desired performance levels will generally be more about

How they are able to control both themselves and the golf ball – than whether they will hit it

I then introduced what I consider is the fourth most common type of golf lesson

Which is commonly known as ‘a playing lesson’

Unfortunately this happens to be ‘the least taken’ golf lesson that I’ve seen over the years

Due to the way that most golf pros around the world structure them

Which I explained more about in Do you really need golf lessons – part six?

The common thread to these four types of golf lesson as you may have worked out by now

Is that their success – or failure in some cases – comes down to two things

The first of which is whether the golf pro has communicated the information

That is required to teach or help the golfer in an effective manner

So that the golfer can not only make sense of it but also apply it to their game

It also comes down to whether that golfer actually does apply it to their game

Or whether they choose to ignore it and continue with what they were doing before

A surprising thought when you consider that they are normally paying for that information

But something that is more common than you might think

Which I’m going to discuss more about in the final part of this series of posts

‘Do you really need golf lessons – part eight?’

Play well

Related Posts

Do you really need golf lessons?

Do you really need golf lessons – part two?

Do you really need golf lessons – part three?

Do you really need golf lessons – part four?

Do you really need golf lessons – part five?

Do you really need golf lessons – part six?