FRIDAY, APR. 20: What is the difference between having a lesson and being coached?
The standard modus operandi of most golf instructors is to book a 30 minute lesson and have a look at your swing.
Now let’s compare that to any other sport, do you have a football lesson or a dancing lesson in 30 minutes — never!
Other sports seem to understand what golf seems to have forgotten in that a brief lesson will not achieve much of anything. So do you want a golf lesson or have golf coaching?
Golf coaches understand that playing great golf is about more than perfecting your golf swing. Golf coaches are committed to providing golfers with an alternative to the traditional teaching paradigm within which teaching professionals have unknowingly engaged in and perpetuated a flawed golf instruction model that has significant limitations:
- Promoting unrealistic learning and performance expectations. Can you really reduce your handicap with just the odd lesson?
- Inconsistent and infrequent contact with students. A quick lesson is just not going to make you better, coaching involves some supervised practice, periods of coaching needs time, sessions of at least 90 minutes are required to see genuine development. Group sessions focusing on a skill are an ideal scenario to improve
The fashion a few years ago used to be to go to ‘golf school’ where you would spend a few days with a pro and practise hard, but after the school, the contact is lost with the pro and two days is not really going to make a long term difference.
The answer is having coaching sessions with your local PGA professional, either sharing extended sessions with friends or asking the instructor to put a group together for you.
Understanding that quality coaching leads to lower scores.
The theme of taking coaching in a small group is especially powerful when it comes to working on an actual skill, like chipping and putting. The power of coaching is that it involves supervised practice, which is the most powerful way to develop skills and improve your golf.
Personally, I find any part of practice incredibly boring and having a scheduled session with an instructor which is part instruction and part practice would make me focus and would make the time exponentially more productive.
Paul Adams is the PGA director of Golf at Rosewood Tucker’s Point.