There are golf pros and there are golf amateurs. And fortunately, the twain can and do meet, with very pleasant results for both parties.
Many would protest to the idea that golf is a game that should be enjoyed for its own sake and that measures such as hiring a pro to teach you the game defeats the purpose of the game as leisure and recreation.
But while (in the States alone) over 26 million people play golf, most of them hardly or ever get to break a score of 100. Many complain not only over a game less than exemplary but also of body aches and pains after playing.
Mastering the game by playing on one’s own may work for some people, but perhaps not as efficiently as getting someone more knowledgeable (like a coach) to help you. Besides, getting to be good at golf AND enjoying it at the same time can only double the enjoyment the game already brings you.
The decision to get a golf coach is about as important as choosing your golf equipment. You’d need to know what your goals are, to what extent you’re willing to pursue those and how much money can you put into the activity. Here are some things you may want to know about getting a pro to teach you.
- A big advantage in hiring a coach is that your specific weaknesses are addressed. Having identified these, your coach will be able to prescribe exercises to correct these and see to it that you’re doing it right.
- A golf coach should also help you take away some nasty playing habits that result to painful injuries such as the golfer elbow. He/she should also be able to lead you through a warm-up routine. This is by far the biggest advantage as the help you get goes beyond mere play and helps relieve pains you might not have to live with at all.
- Talk to the prospective coach on their take in playing and teaching golf. A pro worth his salt should readily tell you that they would build on the basics of golf and not go with the latest fads and quick-fix methods. A reply such as the latter may get you faster results. But more often than not, as soon as you stop working with them, your performance dwindles back to what you were before. The tried and tested fundamentals may take a while to learn but the results are more long-lasting.
- The average rate for a one-on-one lesson with a golf pro is about $75 for an hour’s lesson. Of course, the price can vary with the pro you’ll be working with and with the golf club or school you’ll be taking your lessons at.
- If the rates for an exclusive one-on-one lesson are too expensive for you, you may opt to go with a group of other golfers to share the expenses. However, try to go with a class that is no bigger than 4 students to a coach. That way, you get as much attention as a one-on-one session without spending too much. A one-hour group lesson for 4 people would cost about $120.
- An important thing you should also remember when working with a pro is going for quality rather than quantity. After all, this is the reason you hired them in the first place. With a limited number of lessons, go for the goal of being excellent at a few good techniques than knowing so many but being unable to execute them properly.
- A good coach will teach you things you can eventually do on your own even without his/her supervision. The idea, after all, is so that you can play a better game on your own. That includes not only the playing proper but also your warm-up and stretching routine as well.
- Finally, even after your lessons and (hopefully) seen improvements in your game, it is still a good thing to come back to your coach at least once a year for him/her to check up your game and see if there are things you need to work on again. There’s always room for improvement, so as long as you can play you might as well play better.