Don't Take Those Golf Lessons
You, like most golfers, may be disenchanted with golf instruction because you take lessons but don't improve. I'm sorry to say this may be as much your fault as it is due to poor instruction. Here are three possible reasons: 1) you didn't practice properly (most amateurs don't!), 2) you didn't practice enough, 3) you didn't make an effort to find a competent instructor—yes, getting poor instruction is on you for not properly vetting your instructor!
If you do take lessons, be sure you understand what it takes to improve (for starters, see Muscle Memory). If you're wanting to become a better golfer, then make an effort to find a good instructor, and no, it is probably not the golf professional at the course you usually play. Look for an instructor who has made an effort to not only learn what to teach, but also how to teach. Ask your potential instructor what they've done to develop an understanding of the variety of ways to swing a club—there are a number of swing types that can be very effective. If they can't answer your questions adequately, then you'll have to decide weather you think they are competent or not.
Beware, most instructors don't teach one complete swing style. Instead, many teach a combination of styles and most of them don't realize they are doing this. This type of teaching can be effective for some, but obviously it will be a poor choice for most!Now let's assume you're satisfied with your instructor. One of the most likely problems you will have is that you expect near instant results from your golf instruction. You don't stand a chance if you think you're going to get significant results within a week, or even a month! Of course, because most golfers want instant results, golf instructors try to give them what they want. This instant success expectation only encourages instructors to rely on short term Band-aid Golf Instruction. Band-aid instruction is possibly a good choice to help with an upcoming tournament you'll be playing within a few days, but ultimately does nothing to improve your golf swing and year after year, your handicap range will remain the same.
From my perspective as a Teaching Professional, if you aren't going to do it right, and by this I mean practicing properly (I have a number of pages regarding this), have the right expectations, and making sure you have at least a competent instructor, then don't take lessons—you'll only be wasting your time and money!
Casey Eberting Golf Instruction
Tulsa / Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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