Maybe you or a friend had a negative experience with an instructor. It could have been a personality conflict or some other problem. Golf instructors are like college professors. Good teachers have the knowledge, but great teachers can explain it in a simple yet fascinating way. If you took a lesson in the past and didn't see immediate results, try a different instructor. Not all problems are easy to fix, but you should get a firm understanding of what you are doing wrong, why you are changing it, and what you need to do.
It is also possible that you just don't take the game serious enough. You might be perfectly happy with your game and just don't have the time to improve. Besides, golf is just a game. If you don't put in the time, you have no right to get upset, throw clubs, and embarrass yourself. Simply put, if you are confused or frustrated you are ready for instruction.
Private Lessons vs. Golf Schools
Let's just say that I've managed to peak your curiosity about golf lessons. There are several ways to go about it. If you have a lot of time and would like to stretch out the learning process, take private lessons.
A typical series of private lessons works like this: You take one private lesson every two weeks. By the end of a series, you hope to have your swing down and be able to try it on the course. This could be two months later, or a shorter or longer period of time depending on your schedule and dedication to the process
I'm not against private instruction. In fact I teach hundreds of private lessons a year. It's just not the fastest way to learn the game. This is because what you usually get from a traditional golf lesson is a swing lesson. And a swing lesson can be great. It can be the difference between quitting the game and playing it forever. But after a few of these swing lessons we get trapped into thinking our swing is why we are not doing very well.
The reality is that the game is more than having a good golf swing. The game is assessing the lie, the wind and the terrain; it's selecting the right club, course management, pre-shot routine, trouble shots, rules, etiquette, scoring, and the camaraderie of others. These are all parts of the game not usually covered in a traditional golf lesson. Trust me, PGA Tour players are not taking traditional golf lessons. They are looking for a lesson that evaluates their entire game. For a full game evaluation, sign-up for a one-day golf school. Like many golf instructors, I offer them in two formats. A "New Golfer School" and a "One Day School."
New Golfer School
A New Golfer School is the best and quickest way to learn to play golf. You will learn all of the basic techniques for golf, and how to apply them on the course. In this small group setting, you will have plenty of one-on-one instruction and the camaraderie of others. We will start a relationship that will last long after the day is over.
During a New Golfer School you will learn how to safely play the game and how to avoid embarrassment. O.K. I can't guarantee all of the embarrassment part. You will learn the rules, etiquette, safety, dress code, pre-round and post-round duties. We will be on the course experiencing many situations that happen in golf. You will leave with the confidence to entertain clients, and learn the proper attire and lingo to fit in with the culture of golfers. I'll admit your game will not be perfect, but at least you will know how to play the game and what to expect. And you will learn it all in a day!
1 Day School
A One Day School is for intermediate and advanced golfers. These are players who have been playing golf for a while but are frustrated or would like to take their game to the next level. In this small group setting you will have plenty of one-on-one instruction and the camaraderie of others. We will cover several facets of the game, have lunch, and spend the afternoon on the golf course. On the course, I can see how you play and will have a clear understanding of what is really holding you back.
In My Opinion
I'm not always right, but I'm never in doubt. I feel the best way to take instruction is to take a series of lessons that focus on basic technique. Learn basic techniques for putting, chipping, pitching, bunker play and the fullswing. Then, at some point during the series, you need an evaluation of your ability to play the game. Take an on-course private lesson or join a One Day Golf School. On-course instruction is very beneficial, and could be the best way to increase your fun meter!
Perry Andrisen is a PGA Teaching Professional at The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon, California. He teaches over 2,000 lessons a year. He has previously worked at Montreux Golf Club and Hazeltine National Golf Club. Perry has coached players from the PGA Tour, Nationwide, Hooters, Teardrop, Spanos, Pepsi, Dakotas, and Golden State golf tours. Among his PGA Tour clients is his former college teammate Aaron Barber. Perry has found a Profession that he absolutely loves, and it shows in every lesson he gives. For more information, visit Perry's Web site at http://www.perryandrisen.com