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Ian Grant: Golf instructors should know what's going well, what needs work

Published: Friday, July 11, 2014 9:45 a.m. CDT

Thanks to a long, cold winter, the golf season was slow in arriving this year.  The Masters came and went and while area courses were relatively quiet, but now that summer has firmly arrived, it is back to business.

Let’s discuss an instruction primer for those of you that have instructors. What I do with my students that have been with me for a year or so and are playing competitively is ask them three questions at the start of each lesson.

First question: What did you do well in that last round? Answers to that could be many things. Maybe they managed their game well and didn’t make any big mistakes. Maybe they hit driver well or putted well or hit their chips well. Go over that with your instructor and cite examples so he or she can get an idea about your how things are going.

Second question: What do you think you could have done better in that round? Similarly many answers could be expected along the lines of the first question. “I had six three-putt greens.” “I couldn’t find a fairway with my driver.” Both are typical answers and I have heard them more than once.

The last question is simple: How could you make these areas better? This sets the scene for the lesson and gives you an area or areas on which you can focus the instruction for the lesson.

All instructors will appreciate this approach because it focuses the lesson where it needs to be at that time. Next lesson, ask your instructor if they have heard about this approach and try it out if they think it is a good idea.

Ian Grant is a PGA teaching professional and a member of the teaching faculty of the PGA of America. He can be contacted at Oak Brook Golf Club 630-990-3032 in the summer and White Pines Golf Dome in Bensenville 630-422-1060 in the winter. You can contact Ian directly at 708-917-8951, or at Iansgolf@aol.com.

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