One of my favorite quotes in golf is “The most important information you get is the first information”. In a game where advice and swing tips are in abundance, getting quality information can be difficult. What we see and hear on TV or in magazines might apply to a PGA Tour player but have little to nothing to do with the average weekend golfer. Matter of fact, it could be the complete opposite of what you need and actually make you worse. Yes, not all golf tips are good! If your goal is to become the best player you can be, finding correct and timely information is vital.
The game of golf is blessed with hundreds of qualified teachers who are helping golfers all over the world. It is interesting however that there is no real “hierarchy” or ranking of teachers that the public can reference to find someone with the experience and qualifications needed to help them reach their goals. The PGA of America does a nice job of giving their members a baseline of information to begin teaching, but like any industry mastery takes time and experience.
So how does a golfer looking to begin work on his game find a qualified instructor? Here are five suggestions to get you pointed in the right direction. How to find a great instructor:
Ask around: People like to talk about their experiences both good and bad. Ask other golfers who they would recommend and if they have had any negative or positive experiences with instructors in your area.
Find a teacher who is busy: The best instructors have built a nice following and therefore will have busy lesson books. If you have to wait two weeks for the first opening, this is a good sign and you might have found your teacher.
Look for a teacher who believes in programs: The best instructors understand that learning the game of golf takes time and a consistent message. Look for a teacher that offers a minimum of a 4-6 month program.
Details, details, details: Golf is a game based on precision and repetition. Achieving these skills requires attention to detail. If you want to be a great golfer, find an instructor who pays attention to detail and requires the same from his students.
Results: The best teachers get results and their students improve. Before you begin working with an instructor, ask for a few examples of students they have taught. A quality instructor will be able to provide numerous examples where students have improved.
In the end, there are a variety of characteristics and skills you want to see in your golf instructor. The truth is that there is no magic formula that works for every student-instructor relationship. However, having a better understanding of what to look for will help you make a good decision and get your game headed in the right direction.
For more information on this topic, be sure to check out one of my favorite authors, Daniel Coyle and his excellent blog on this same topic…