How To Get The
Most From A Golf Lesson
Before the Golf Lesson
Before you even schedule a lesson, identify what swing type, or style, you want to learn. If the goal is to make modest improvements to your current swing, you still need to identify what swing type your swing most closely matches. See my golf swing fundamentals page for an explanation as to why this is so important.
During the Golf lesson
Listen carefully and be sure that you understand what you are being asked to do. Ask questions! The most important thing about a lesson is that you understand the concept of what you are being taught. It is not about how well you can do it during the lesson!
Try your best to be able to visualize the movement because feel is unreliable (see Feel vs. Reality).
Be patient. Learning any part of the golf swing, whether you're a beginner or have played for 50 years, takes time. You will probably leave the golf lesson hitting the ball badly and will continue to do so for a while. The reason for this is simple—your brain is telling your body to do something it hasn't done before—assuming you're really making a change. At this point, you have little coordination with the new movement and you won't be developing any until you have practiced it for a long enough period (see my Muscle Memory page).
If you do start hitting the ball well immediately after a lesson, don't expect it to last. It's probably just a quick band-aide fix and not real swing improvement. Remember, change equals inconsistent ball striking!
Even the best golfers can only work on one new concept at a time so if your golf instructor has you trying to improve a number of things in a lesson, it's time to look for a new instructor.
After the Golf lesson
The best thing you can do after a golf lesson is practice your new technique without a golf ball for at least ten minutes every day (the more often and longer, the better). What you need to understand is that when you stand over a ball with the intention of hitting it, the body, not the conscious mind, controls the swing. Given any opportunity, the body will revert back to what it is most comfortable with, which happens to be your old swing.
The way to teach your body something new is to swing slowly and without a golf ball. You can also stop at the end of the movement you are trying to learn and go back and forth, focusing on that part of the swing so that you can show your body how it should be moving. Once the new movement is somewhat comfortable, you can put more emphasis on trying to learn the move while actually hitting balls.
When you do hit practice shots, make four practice swings for every ball you hit—you're still trying to teach your body what to do. You want to get conscious thought out of the act as soon as possible (again, see muscle memory).
Casey Eberting Golf Instruction
Tulsa / Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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