How Many Golf Lessons Is Enough?
With many things, we know the right number. When you have a headache, you take two aspirin. You should get eight hours of sleep a night and drink eight glasses of water a day.
But how many golf lessons should you take? Is there a simple answer? In this post, I’ll take on those questions.
This Lesson Is For You If:
You’re considering taking golf lessons or working to improve your game
There Is No Simple Answer
If you’re a regular reader, you knew that was coming. I’m not a believer in one-size-fits-all answers. So let’s think about an answer that makes sense for you.
The primary question you need to consider is, “What are my goals?” Be honest with yourself about the commitment you can make, and be specific about what you want to achieve.
A few other things to consider: Is your score really what you care about? Are you willing to change whatever your coach recommends to get to that score? Will your job/family/other commitments allow you to put in the time for a complete swing overhaul? Are you willing to struggle on the course to make a big change?
There are endless situations that I could discuss, but I’ll spend the remainder of this lesson looking at three common golfer types and giving my recommendation for how many lessons they should take.
Getting Out of the Dark
Sometimes you’re in a slump – can’t find the bottom of the cup with both hands, can’t keep your drive on the planet, etc. If your goal is to fix a little something so you can go back to enjoying your normal level of golf, one lesson may be all you need.
If this is all you’re looking to get out of a lesson, be up front with your coach. This holds true regardless of your goals, but is especially important for this type of player. If you need an infusion of confidence (and competence) in your driver, but aren’t looking to tear your swing down to the studs, say so. The instructor may not be interested in putting a band aid on a bullet hole, and that’s ok, call around until you find someone who will give you the lesson you’re looking for.
The next step up is the player who wants to improve their game in a meaningful way but doesn’t want a total rebuild. If you want to see your scores go from 89 to 84 and don’t care how it happens, this could be you. Book a playing lesson and five follow ups, and let the coach do their job. You’ll probably head straight to the short game area, clean up your putting and chipping, learn how to get out of a bunker.
In this category, you might also find a player who wants to make a specific change to their swing. If you hit a lot of acceptable iron shots, but dig out beaver pelts a little too often, you might be in this middle range. Again, be clear with your coach about your goals, and ask them for a timeline and what kind of practice regimen you should expect.
Get Better Every Week
In response to the question, “How many lessons should I take?” one of my favorite golf teachers often replies, “I don’t know, but I know Tiger has one this week.”
For the golfer who wants to consistently strive for better, weekly or bi-weekly lessons on an ongoing basis are the way to go. There’s no better way to develop a relationship with a coach than being in front of them regularly. They’ll learn your swing, your work habits, your personality, and adjust their program to fit you. You’ll be able to take on swing changes in a way that fits your golfing schedule, and no one will feel tied to potentially unrealistic deadlines.
Regardless of which type of player you are, what your level of commitment is, or what kind of time you have available, being honest and up front with your coach is a must. Second to that is trusting your coach. If you don’t trust your coach to give you A) the right advice and B) a realistic timeline for getting there, find a new coach.