What should be considered when choosing a golf instructor? How would you suggest a person find the right instructor for their needs?

20 Professionals Contributed |
Choosing a golf instructor most often comes from a personal referral - but how do you go about finding a golf instructor if you don't have a referral? What should you look for in a golf instructor? How do you know they will be the best teacher for you?

Do Some Research

You need to do some research. The best way is word of mouth from other golfers that you know and feel confident about their feedback.
Once you settle on someone plan on an hour for the first lesson–the instructor should interview you about your background, sports played, physical issues, your goals for your game, etc. Be sure to write down and ask all the questions you have. Be sure to make sure that you’ll be able to work on short game and putting as well as full swing.

Never sign up for a package of lessons after the first lesson and if you do sign up for a series down the road don’t ever do more than 5 at a time. Also don’t be afraid that you’ll hurt their feelings if you leave them for another instructor.

Sure signs that you’ve chosen wrongly:

1. Your instructor hits more balls during the lesson than you.
2. Their terminology is too complicated.
3. They say “let’s TRY this” a lot.
4. They don’t have any patience.
5. They don’t use video–it’s a must so you can see things and they have a record of where you were when you started with them. Not having a launch monitor is not as important but most good instructors will.

It’s a shame that I have to mention this but there are a lot of incompetent instructors out there. Find one with a good reputation, who understands how to find the root causes of your problems and can fix them, who communicates well and is patient.

Lastly I can’t imagine taking a lesson and not seeing ball flight. I’m sure there a lot of good instructors who teach indoors and a good instructor doesn’t fix ball flight they fix swing. But being able to see the ball fly is important not only during lessons but also during club fitting.

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Do Your Homework

Instructors like students who are committed to the process, because improving at golf is not often “take one lesson” type of situation. Often instructors like to see a student three or five times over the course of several months to continue to build and refine. So, it’s important to do your homework when choosing an instructor.

First, survey the landscape. Look around so you know who is even available. Look on the Internet, ask your friends. Ask other pros or good players who they see. Write down a list including where they teach, what you can find out about them, who they teach, what technology or facilities they have available to them, their prices, etc. Consider instructors up to a few hours away if you’re serious, but don’t assume that you have to travel to find a great instructor, either.

Next, look everyone on your list up on the Internet. Maybe someone prefers a style of swinging that you don’t particularly like. Or you don’t get a good vibe from their videos. Or maybe you do, and you think they put out a lot of good stuff. Start to sort your list based on these things, as well as the distance/cost/facility stuff from the first step. Rule out a few instructors if you want (just don’t perhaps rule out an instructor who doesn’t have an online presence – sometimes an instructor who is too busy coaching doesn’t have time to put out a lot online!).

Next, talk to your top three or five instructors. Email them, call them, or otherwise engage them in a brief but pointed conversation: what your goals are, what their philosophy or working style is, etc. Ask them open-ended questions and see how they respond. You’re not necessarily looking for “answers” but just how they communicate.

Finally, observe (or take!) a lesson. Many instructors will let you observe a lesson or two, and if they don’t but the instructor is on your short list, commit to one lesson to see how it goes, with the idea that you’ll just be evaluating them and their road map for consideration. For your own best interests, don’t do this for too many instructors – maybe narrow it down to three before you take a bunch of lessons from a bunch of people. 😀

PGA Professional
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3 things to know before taking a lesson

When looking for an instructor you need to know 3 things.

Your budget for lessons is number 1. At my facility we have instructors charging from $100-175 per hour with discounts for purchases of series of 3 hours or more. You may be looking for group instruction which is much cheaper.

Second on the list is look into the experience of the instructor. Go out on the internet and look at their bio, and even some reviews.

The third thing is to go and meet the instructor and if possible hit balls near by them and listen to a lesson or two. You want someone who gets to the root of the problem and isn’t stuck to a method. If you play golf and want to get better, you may not be prepared for a full make over, and a lot of instructors don’t know any other way.

The Golf Center at the Highlands
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It’s a big decision get it right

Choosing the right golf coach is a really big decision. If I were doing it I would begin my search with finding a coach who continues his/her education with certifications. Being a “good player” has little or nothing to do with it. Finding a coach who is certified in plane truth, stack and tilt, A swing, some form of continuing education. They need to be simple not complicated. Most coaches are far too technical because they want to impress you with how “smart” they are. Most of my clients are far “smarter” than me. In my opinion the most important traits of an elite instructor is they put their hands on you! As humans we learn visually, verbally and kinesthetically. An elite coach uses all 3 of these in your lesson and illuminates the path from where you are now to where you want to go.

I also recommend finding a coach who has worked under or with elite instructors. I hope that helps and remember the advice you get is generally worth what you paid for it!

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Interview them!

When you were in school, what classes did you get good grades in? Not just the subject, but probably because you liked the teacher.
First, you can search for reviews. Then through a phone conversation, email, or in person, ask questions. Such as;

What is your teaching philosophy?

What type of learner are you? Analytical or kinesthetic? Match same type to yourself.

Are you right or left handed?

Be comfortable with them, so you will have fun & learn.

Brookshire Golf Club
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How To Find The Right Teacher For You

I have taken more lessons than most people. I always did my research prior to taking a lesson. I always wanted to know the instructors teaching philosophy and who they have taught. The most important thing for me was observing the instructor and listening/watching how they communicated information. You should be able to relate/build a rapport with the instructor and feel comfortable with how they help you understand and incorporate the changes needed to accomplish an improved ball flight. A person should ultimately see improvements in a short period of time and have more fun playing golf. It’s not about playing golf swing, but rather playing golf.

PGA Golf Pro
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Find the best golf instructor for you!

It is important that when you choose the best golf instructor for yourself you get to know the person. Make sure they match your personality and have common goals for your game. When new students come to see me the first lesson is about getting to know their “language”. Which side is their dominate side, what terms to they understand, what goals do they have for their game. Do not always assume the most expensive instructor is the best instructor.

I would encourage you to ask for an interview before you sign up for a series of lessons so that you know that this person is compatible with yourself. Also remember, that not every instructor wants to teach every level of players. Some people only want to work with experienced players while others like beginning players. Ask what the instructors greatest accomplishments are.

PGA Golf Pro
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Choose the right Swing Doctor

Choosing your golf instructor is almost like choosing your doctor! You need to do some research, you need to be aware of their teaching philosophies and methods. It is a great idea to find an instructor that teaches full-time. In other words, they only teach golf and have no other responsibilities at the facility. Often times, if your instructor has other duties within the golf facility such as food and beverage or staffing, their mind may be in other places other than teaching you how to play golf.

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How to find a Golf Pro

When choosing a golf instructor consider if their style and personality fits yours. To find a golf instructor I recommend asking your friends if they had somebody they thought was good, look up pros in your area online and study how they teach, try to contact them by phone or email to discuss how they teach. Sometimes reviews by students can be informative. Call the golf course or driving range where they teach and tell them about your game and ask who they recommend. After you do your research schedule a lesson and see if you think they are good for you and your game.

Links at Mariners Point
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Word of mouth

Three things that I would look for are basic swing knowledge, experience in teaching, and communication skills. The last one may be the most important of all assuming a sound knowledge of the first two.

In my experience word of mouth and referrals have provided me with more students than any advertising videos marketing gimmicks, etc.

Usually the first lesson will Supply enough information to make a determination whether to proceed with this instructor or not. A good instructor can tell you 15 ways how to do one thing and that usually comes from experience.

Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions in your first lesson And good luck finding the best instructor you can.

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Find one who can beat you!

When I was young learning to play I was lucky to have a fantastic instructor. He taught me solid fundamentals and on course instruction to become my own best coach. I was referred to him by the best players from my area. I suggest you ask the better players in your area who to work with.

For better players, I think it’s important to find an instructor with successful competitive playing experience. How could someone teach the skills to win tournaments if they haven’t done it? There is so much to the game other than hitting 7 irons and drivers. Winning requires short game versatility and solid mental skills.

As a full time instructor for the past 28 years I have continued to compete and work to improve not only for myself, but for the benefit of my students. I chose many years ago to be a member of the Metropolitan PGA because of the strong tournament competition and fantastic history of great golf professionals. Although not as often as I would like, I have had multiple wins.

I love Lee Trevino’s famous quote, “I don’t have a teacher because I haven’t found one that could beat me.”

Rockville Links Club
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Finding an instructor

One important aspect to consider when choosing a golf instructor is what your goals are or what the state of your game is.
Golf instructors have grown in numbers over the last twenty years, and many specialize in different areas of the game. Beginner golfers can benefit from most all PGA professionals.

On the other hand, a top junior , amateur or even an aspiring professional might want to seek help from a PGA professional who has proven success working with others with same goals or competes regularly themselves.

Another is some coaches teach a certain “method” and this method may require the student to spend several months grinding on the range. And if you do not have the time, it may not work too well.

All in all, it is a journey. Most golfers can learn a little something from all pros.

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Find Experience and PGA Certified

There are so many great golf instructors in our world but finding the right one can be tough. Word of mouth from someone that has taken lessons from a person you are interested in would be great but here are my two keys. First of all, how long has the person taught golf and do they have an awards, etc for their achievements? Second , is the person in the PGA, if so they have had some type of training in this field which should be reassuring to any student. Experience and PGA and you can’t go wrong, now get out there and practice the information they have given you!!

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PGA.coach is the way to go!!!

When looking for an instructor comfort is the key. Typically male vs female is one of the biggest factors. With the PGA of America launching PGA.coach finding an instructor has never been easier.

Canyon Springs Golf Course
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Finding Mr. or Ms. Right

Just like doctors clients should do there research on line. Then ask friends who they have taken lessons from. Go watch someone teach in person. Ask for the instructor to call you back to answer your questions and see if they have an email to ask questions. What are his or her teaching approach??

Fox Hollow Golf Club
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Choosing an instructor

The truth is that the answer is simple: trial and error. You need to find a quality teacher whose teaching style connects with your learning capabilities. But don’t expect any teacher to improve your game by ten shots, because that is not their job–it’s yours! Their job is to analyze your game, determine what tools you need to advance as you seek, give you those tools, and monitor progress.

Unfortunately, too many don’t understand the importance of the last step–monitoring progress–and never get the improvement we seek due to lack of feedback. Why? Because we all filter the information we are given through past experience and attempts at learning and misinterpret what we are told the first time. We need the follow up sessions to clarify, redirect, and refocus. Without that, we are shoveling smoke with a pitchfork. So don’t be afraid to invest in the process of trying a few, and selecting an instructor who is a match for you.

Moses Lake Golf Club
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There has to be a connection between the PGA Professional and their student. There’s nothing proprietary about what we teach. However, we all presented in a different manner. Finding an instructor that presents the material in a way you understand it is crucial to having success in learning this great sport. I always encourage my students to take lessons from other instructors if they’re struggling with a theory as my ultimate goal is for them to understand and improve. Often times they come back, but not always.

Again, the key is working with an instructor with whom you understand the material in the way they are presenting it. Connection is everything!

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Pick a PGA Pro

Choose your golf instructor based on your geographic location. Always select a certified PGA Professional. A pro who is close to home will be convenient for you to visit regularly. And, that’s what it takes for you to successfully improve your golf game! See your teacher once a week!

The Country Club of Virginia
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Getting along

Find someone that you can connect with. Find out if they are more technical or feel based and decide which is best for your mindset

Frosty Valley Golf Links
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PGA all the way.........

Make very sure they are a PGA member…No exception!!!

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TLDR: What our Backswing professionals have to say on the topic “How to Choose a Golf Instructor”:

  1. “Look for a qualified instructor with appropriate certifications and experience in teaching golf.”
  2. “Consider the instructor’s teaching style and communication skills to ensure compatibility and effective learning.”
  3. “Seek recommendations or read reviews to gauge the instructor’s reputation and track record of student improvement.”
  4. “Evaluate the instructor’s knowledge and expertise in areas relevant to your specific needs and goals.”
  5. “Take advantage of trial lessons or introductory sessions to assess the instructor’s teaching approach and effectiveness.”

Choosing a golf instructor requires considering factors such as qualifications, teaching style, reputation, expertise, and personal compatibility. By conducting thorough research, seeking recommendations, and experiencing trial lessons, you can find an instructor who can effectively guide you toward improvement and success in your golf game.

The Professionals in this Roundup

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