When it comes to the game of golf, it takes a few things to improve: time, patience, focus . . . and often you’ll want to include a good teacher. Sometimes that teacher is a friend or family member, and other times you need to call in the pros!
Working with a skilled instructor can help you in a number of ways, including:
- Improving your skill in specific areas of golf
- Lowering your score
- Improving your understanding of the game
- Having more fun because of less frustration
There’s no right or wrong time to work with an instructor, so whether you’re new to the game, looking to be more competitive, or somewhere in between, a professional instructor can help you improve.
What may be more important than when you get started is to consider who you start with. You may live in an area where there aren’t a lot of options for golf instructors, but if you have the luxury of a number of instructors to choose from (even if you need to go to a different course), here are three questions to consider to help you find an instructor who is right for you.
What is your learning style?
When it comes to learning, we all have a way we learn best: if you’re a visual learner, you learn by watching someone do what you’re trying to; a verbal learning learns by listening to instructions; a kinesthetic learner will learn by doing and by being physically shown how to execute. Chances are, a combination of learning styles will help, but if you know you have a dominant style, check in with potential instructors about how they prefer to teach.
What are your goals?
Maybe you feel your short-game is lacking or you’re shanking shots off the tee. If you’re aware of your opportunities for improvement, and want to focus on a certain area, talk with prospective instructors about their areas of expertise. Finding a perfect match isn’t necessary but instructors may have their areas of specialty, and you’ll benefit from finding a match.
What feedback style works well for you?
Your instructor is helping you learn and improve. Some will get to the point right away and others can be a bit softer in their delivery. Consider where you are with your game, how much support you want as you learn, and discuss how your potential instructor likes to give feedback. When you’re spending money on lessons, you don’t want to find yourself feeling defeated after feedback or wishing your instructor would just get to the point.
When you’re doing your research, you may be able to find answers to some of these questions on a website, or through asking other golfers. Gathering information is a great place to start, but also aim to get the person on the phone so you can have a chat about these types of questions and to get a sense of your chemistry with that instructor.
If you decide to move forward with lessons, remember that it may not feel like a perfect fit right away. Give yourself time to get into a groove with your new instructor. However, if, after a bit of time, you’re finding it feels like a mismatch, then don’t be afraid to try another instructor.
Putting time, energy, and finances into working with an instructor can help level up your game, so take the time to find a good fit, and use these three questions to help you find the instructor who is right for you.