HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT COACH
If you’re a newcomer to golf it can seem intimidating to book a lesson with a golf pro, with all the dos and don’ts, etiquette and general stuffiness that sometimes pervades golf courses.
This GolfBox beginner's guide spills the beans on how to navigate your first lesson, so you can calm your nerves and get your game off to a flying start.
WHERE TO FIND A GOLF COACH
An obvious place to start the search is your local golf course, which usually has a team of teaching professionals on hand that provide lessons using the practice facilities.
But there are other options such as standalone driving ranges and indoor teaching academies that offer innovative methods of coaching using technology such as Trackman or Flightscope (more on that later).
To find teaching professionals near you, check out the PGA Australia website: https://www.pga.org.au/find-a-pga-pro
Taking one-on-one lessons is probably the go to improve rapidly, simply because of the undivided attention you’ll receive.
However, joining a clinic or group lesson alongside other golfers is an option if you prefer something more social. The sessions won’t be as intensive as a solo lesson but are often organised according to skill level, catering for complete beginners through to slightly more skilled players.
You can find clinics and group lessons at most golf courses and it’s also a great way to meet some playing partners for when the time comes to hit the course for real.
LESSONS BEFORE AND AFTER WORK
If you’re slugging it out working a full-time 9-to-5 gig, it makes it somewhat problematic to have a lesson on a weekday.
However, don’t despair because some professionals offer lessons before or after work hours. Just enquire about availability – most pros can slot you in if you’re dead keen for a lesson.
Weekend lessons are another option, but book ahead because they are always in high demand.
If you’re keen to get some teaching out on the course, some professionals will even play 9 holes with you and offer advice on every aspect of your game.
If you suffer from an ailment and assume it’s hardly worth having a lesson because of your limitations, then think again.
A golf pro can tailor a lesson and drills that take into account your restricted movement, to ultimately get you swinging it better and enjoying the game more.
WHICH COACH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
It’s important to find a golf coach who you feel comfortable with and, most importantly, will enjoy taking lessons from. A one hour lesson will soon tell you if their coaching approach, style and methods will suit you.
Some coaches employ digital swing analysis technology, such as Trackman or Flightscope, that monitor key variables of your swing. A coach who is well-versed with the technology can interpret the ream of information to pinpoint where you need to improve.
Other coaches take a more organic approach to coaching, teaching by feel rather than looking at the stats.
Different approaches will suit different golfers, so don’t feel like you’re locked in after the first lesson. Ultimately, the choice is yours.