Who is the best golf teacher?
There are a few important issues and factors to take into consideration in determining who is the ‘best’ golf teacher.
First, is a particular instructor best for ‘you’
It almost doesn’t matter how ‘technically’ great a golf instructor is, if you don’t mesh well and get along with him/her, you likely won’t incorporate the directions and instruction s/he give you as quickly and/or as well as directions given to you from an instructor you like and mesh well with.
As an example, although my understanding of the golf-swing and the game is as advanced as any instructor in the world… I don’t believe I would get the improvement results I get with my golf-clients that I do, unless I meshed well with each golf client.
As a personal rule I follow, when I start working with a new golf-client, I try and get a feel as quickly as possible of the client’s personality and what they want from me. Does the new golf-client want me to take a little extra time and explain ‘why’ s/he needs to do certain things in their set-up and/or ‘why’ they need to swing through certain positions in the golf-swing? Or does the golf-client just want to be told exactly what to do in a quick and efficient manner and we move forward. Some people want or need to know how everything fits together, and they want me to take some extra time and explain ‘why’ I’m directing them to set-up a certain way and ‘why’ they need to swing through certain positions, while others don’t need to have everything explained to them. They just want to get the changes/improvements made as quickly as possible so they can start making swings to try and ‘ingrain’ the new positions as quickly as possible.
Both golf-client’s needs are correct. It’s my job to get on the same/correct page as my golf-clients as quickly as possible so they can start absorbing correct instruction as quickly as possible, so they can start improving as soon as possible.
2) Results and Improvement
This one is also extremely important, and I struggled with whether to put it first or second, but finally decided on making it 2nd. It doesn’t matter how ‘cheap’ (or ‘inexpensive’) an instructor is… or how well your personalities match, if the instructor’s not able to improve your swing and improve your game, every/any dollar is wasted. On the other hand, even if an instructor charges relatively more for his/her lessons, if the instructor gives you the correct directions and instruction to improve your game, the instructor is worth every penny.
If you already know the feeling of hitting a well-struck golf-shot, what would you pay in order to be able to have that feeling on almost every shot you hit on a golf-course in front of your friends/colleagues. Or, even if on a day your body might not be doing exactly what you want it to do on a particular day (because of fatigue or some other reason), but you still feel confident in exactly what you’re shooting for in your swing and game, that focus and confidence can be invaluable, versus the feeling of setting up to a golf-ball not knowing what you should be doing… or worse yet… not sure whether you’ll even make contact. That feeling is the worst.
Research – You should be able to look-up a golf-instructor’s REVIEWS on-line. See what some of his former students took the time to say about him/her. Or, if you go in-person and watch the instructor as s/he is giving a lesson, you might talk to someone that just finished ‘their’ lesson, and ask them what they thought of it, or what they think of the instructor.
Clarity and Video
Another factor to take into consideration in determining who is the best golf teacher is, how clear is the instructor in his/her directions, and does s/he use video during the lessons? Additionally, does the instructor provide you with video follow-up?
It has been said by many golfers, including Tiger Woods, that ‘feel’ and ‘real’ are almost always two different things. Meaning that, what the golfer him/her-self feels, or thinks, they are doing in their set-up or golf-swing, can be one way, but in reality, their set-up, or what they’re actually doing in their golf-swing, is different than what they thought, or ‘felt’.
And it is human nature to be skeptical. So, when an instructor merely ‘tells’ the golfer s/he is set-up a certain way, or doing certain things in their swing, it is human nature for the golfer to second-guess the instructor (especially an instructor they just started working with and maybe don’t fully trust yet). Therefore, it is vital that the instructor use video during the lesson to video the client so the instructor can show the golfer his/her golf-swing. This helps the instructor be more clear about explaining and showing the golfer exactly what they are ‘currently’ doing, show them an example of what they ‘should’ be doing (i.e. – show the golfer a video of a pro, or accomplished golfer with correct technique), and then, after the golfer has made the necessary changes, show the golfer their swing on video after the changes/improvements are made, so the golfer can ‘own’ and ‘take-hold’ of those needed changes/improvements as quickly as possible.
Over and above using video, since you are paying for your time with the instructor, the instructor’s ability to be articulate in explaining things is important also. Some instructors ramble around in their directions or instruction, which can burn-up valuable time. And some instructors may be too brief and not share ‘enough’ information about what needs to be done and why. In terms of how clear and concise an instructor is or isn’t, that might be something you might be able to pick-up on by talking with an instructor in person (or over the phone) before you choose him/her.
Personally, I’m more than happy to talk with prospective golf-clients and answer questions. I believe picking a golf-instructor is just as important as choosing a Dentist or Doctor or car repair shop. Once you chose (and start with) a Doctor or Dentist, it takes a lot of effort to change, so the initial decision is an important one.
Lastly, especially with beginners, the instructor’s patience is key. I (like Ben Hogan) believe, if the golfer gets correct instruction, and the golfer puts in a little bit of (correct) practice, every single golfer can score consistently in the high 70’s or low 80’s. It almost doesn’t matter the golfer’s level of coordination… it doesn’t matter how strong the golfer is… and it doesn’t matter how flexible, or how old, or what gender a golfer is. If the golfer is given the correct instruction, and works a bit to make the correct golf-swings in-line with that correct instruction, so s/he can ingrain that correct technique, the golfer will hit correctly-struck golf-shots more often and more consistently. And as a result, enjoy the game much more.
I hope this advice about “Who Is the Best Golf Teacher” helps. The game of golf is the best sport there is, and there are few better feelings than well-struck golf-shots.
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact me, either by phone at (619) 369-7777, or email at HassseyGolf@gmail.com