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How To Find A Golf Instructor

Jul 20, 2008
You want to learn how to play the game of golf. Now the questions come flooding through your mind. Do I need to take golf lessons & instruction? How do I find a qualified golf instructor? How long should the lessons be and how often should I take them? What should we be working on in my golf lessons and instruction sessions and how long until I improve? Eventually you will discuss all aspects of the game with your instructor including the full swing, putting, short game, golf fitness, mental game and golf club fitting.

Let's discuss the above questions.

Do I need to take golf lessons & instruction?
Technically no you do not have to take golf lessons & instruction. With this being said, it will take you longer to learn the game and could bring un-needed frustration to you. Especially as you begin to learn the game it is a good idea to take golf lessons & instruction.

Would you try to sky dive or ski without first having lessons or would you just try to figure it out? You will be able to learn the proper golf swing fundamentals from your golf instructor and this will give you a good foundation to build on as you learn to play the game.

How do I find a qualified golf instructor?
There are many ways to find a qualified golf instructor. It is a lot like finding a new doctor or accountant after re-locating to a new city. Ask your co-workers, friends and fellow golfing buddies for the experiences that they have had. You can locate a local golf instructor through PGA.com that is close to you. The PGA offers certifications in teaching and these instructors are few and far between. If you are close proximity to one you are lucky and should take that opportunity.

How long should the golf lessons & instruction session take and how often should I take them?
As you are starting with a new instructor, I would advise a 30 minute lesson. You will be receiving what will seem like a lot of information and will need to understand it all and digest it. This will take some time. How often you take them will depend on several factors such as: how much time you have to practice, how much you have to spend to learn the game and how much time you actually do practice.

I always suggest that if you go out and practice and it is horrible than go back. The information is clearly not understood by you or was not clearly explained by the instructor. I suggest taking a golf lesson & instruction session after you have been able to practice on your own twice.

What should we be working on in my golf lessons & instruction sessions and how long until I improve?
If you are an accomplished player you should have an idea of the weakest part of your game and start there. As a beginner, I would want my golf instructor to start with teaching me a putting stroke then a chip shot then a pitch shot and finally a full swing. Why this order? This order starts you closest to the hole and with a small stroke. As you become better you would go to the next step and learn a swing that is a little longer than the one before. This allows you to keep building on what you have learned.

The amount of time that it will take you to learn the game is the $64,000 question. The good news is that it mainly rests on your shoulders. You must consistently go to your golf lessons & instruction sessions as well as practicing in between sessions. In addition, it depends on if your goals are to just enjoy the game or to play the game at a high level.
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