Over the winter months I usually add a few new students. Mostly, these referrals are word of mouth, and this is the best testimony to my teaching ability that there is. Almost all become regular students over the next season and improve as players and ball strikers. But what if you are looking for an instructor and don’t know where to start?
Here are a few tips and some more information on how to take a lesson.
One of the easiest ways to start is by going on www.pga.com and looking for an instructor in your area. PGA certified teachers have gone through at least three years of training and are examined in their knowledge base. I know – I was one of the teachers and examiners. Pick one or two and give them a call. You should be able to get a feel for their teaching style by just chatting. Tell them your goals and how you want to get there. Most teaching pros will be able to formulate a plan or outline in that first phone call.
Another way to start is by asking your buddies who are better players if they take golf instruction and if they do, who do they work with. The phone call approach above should work equally well here. This works the same if you are looking for instruction for your kids.
Another way is to contact your local golf course and ask if they have any PGA teaching professionals on staff. You may want to ask the golf shop staff for suggestions. Get some details and call them up.
Once you have set up your first appointment, show up a short time before the start and try to warm up. That will make it easier to get under way at the start of the lesson and not ten minutes into it. A competent professional will do an interview before he or she watches you hit a ball or in my case, while you are hitting some balls. Areas that the interview should cover include sporting background, golf history, favorite players, what clubs you like to hit and hate to hit and your goals in the first lesson as well as in the future. Remember if you go in with no plan it is even harder for the teaching professional to help. It can be as simple as becoming a better putter or as complicated as course management during tournament play. Just be sure you know what you want to accomplish.
Next week – things to do during and after the lesson.
A PGA of America member, Ian has been teaching golf (from youth players to pros) for 15 years, including time at both Medinah Country Club and La Grange Country Club.