Golf lessons can be a source of great debate among golfers.
Some people swear by golf lessons; others avoid them at all costs.
Some golfers will wait until they are completely frustrated and over it before signing up, and others start with lessons from day one.
So what makes a good golf lesson?
Are they worth all that money?
In this guide, we will break down for you whether or not golf lessons are worth it and some essential tips to make sure you get a great golf lesson.
How Much Do Golf Lessons Cost?
Golf lessons can vary in price depending on several factors.
Where you are located in the country, who is teaching the lesson, and how long the lesson is going to be are the three most significant variables.
Golf lessons in places like California, Florida, and even New York are going to be higher in price than other areas.
If you take a golf lesson at a private club, it will likely cost more than one at a public golf club.
If you take a golf lesson from an assistant golf professional, you will usually get a much different price than the head professional or director of instruction.
The head golf professional likely has much different credentials than the assistant, and that causes the change in price.
This is not to say that a lesson from an assistant professional can’t be just as good as one with a head professional.
Golf lessons will range in price from $30-$100 for a half-hour and from $60-250 for an hour.
For one lesson, this may not amount to much, but if you plan on taking one every Saturday morning, you will end up spending quite a bit of money.
Who Should Sign Up For A Golf Lesson?
Now that you have a general idea of what it will cost you for a golf lesson, it’s time to start determining whether or not you need one.
If you ask any PGA Professional, they will likely say a golf lesson is a great idea.
You may think that this is because they make money on teaching you, but that’s not the case.
The real reason that a golfer should take lessons at some point in their golfing career is so that they understand their own game.
There is nothing worse than being out on the thirteenth hole, and you start hooking everything.
You have no idea why it has happened and certainly don’t know what to do to fix it.
You end up struggling through the next few holes.
The next day the hook is gone, but is it gone?
Without the knowledge from a golf professional, you may never know when that shot will come back out.
Having some control over your own golf game is very valuable.
Here are the people that will benefit most from taking a golf lesson.
Sometimes beginners do not even know how to hold a golf club.
If you want to learn the proper way and get on the right track, golf lessons are worth it.
Beginners can take a lesson with an assistant professional or even sign up for a golf clinic.
In a clinic, you will likely have one golf professional with several students, but it is a great way to save money.
You can get some excellent tips in a clinic setting.
The Determined Golfer
Is this the year you plan to break 100, 90, 80?
If so, it may be time to take a golf lesson.
If you have been playing golf for 20 years and you have always shot 95, you may need another pair of eyes to help you see if breaking 90 is possible.
You need to ask yourself what your plan is going to be to get your golf scores lower.
We will touch more on this in a little while, but sometimes swing mechanics are not the only things taught in a lesson.
Many times golfers need to be taught how to score, how to aim, how to prepare for a shot mentally.
These are all things that can help you get to the next level, but you will likely need a lesson to do so.
The Lower Handicap Player
The lower handicap player is usually a student of the game.
This player will study golf, live golf, and breathe golf.
Having a lesson is more like a coaching session for the lower handicap player.
These golfers only need to make small tweaks in their game, and they can see significant results.
It takes a well-trained eye to notice flaws in the swing of a great golfer.
Lower handicap players will likely need a head professional or director of instruction to give their game a good look.
With a beginner, a pro may be able to implement a change that results in a six-stroke difference in their scores.
For the expert golfer, the changes will be subtle, and they will likely be much slower.
Lower handicap golfers even go for golf lessons when they are playing well.
They want their golf professionals to see what they are doing correctly; they want these motions to stay a part of their game.
Getting a great swing on video can be a great benefit when you need to compare to a bad swing should the golfer start having trouble.
What Can You Learn From A Golf Lesson?
If you have never had a golf lesson, you may think that they are all about swing mechanics.
Golf lessons go much deeper than this.
Of course, your golf professional will look at your setup, stance, and swing plane.
However, a good golf professional will become a coach of your overall game.
Great golf professionals and teachers will explain how to hit different types of shots.
They will teach you how to score.
They will take you on the golf course and explain how to make a par on that hole that always costs you a double bogey.
Sometimes golfers get so set in their ways they don’t see how detrimental they can be to their own golf game.
Golf lessons will teach you to think outside the box.
Another great benefit that a golf lesson can give you is the ability to self-correct.
It’s a terrible feeling not to understand your golf swing.
Especially when you pass from the beginner stage to the mid handicapper stage.
When you are out on the golf course feeling completely lost, barely able to advance the ball more than a hundred yards all of a sudden, you need knowledge.
Without taking golf lessons, you may not have this knowledge.
This is not to say that teaching yourself the game of golf is impossible.
It is entirely possible.
However, if you take this route, you should incorporate reading material, video of your swing, tons of practice, and some on course work as well.
Disadvantages To Taking A Golf Lesson
Just as with anything else in life, there is always going to be a downside to things.
There are several downsides to taking a golf lesson.
Golf lessons are expensive.
If you don’t have the time to commit to getting better, you should not take lessons.
You will be spending money, having someone tell you what to do to improve your game, but you will have no time actually to improve your game.
Only take lessons if you are going to dedicate the time to implement the information from the lesson.
We hate to say it, but there are some bad teachers out there.
Some professionals only choose to teach one swing or method.
They get set on this path with a golf teaching method, and they won’t stray from it.
This is a real problem when they try and teach an 84-year-old man and a 24-year-old man the same swing.
Golf teachers should work with what a player has and help them improve from that point.
Starting from scratch or learning a “new swing” is not a fair or acceptable thing to do to a student.
Sometimes information overload is caused by the teacher, and other times it is caused by the student.
Some of the changes that you make in your golf swing will be small, and you will be able to implement them immediately.
Other changes will happen over months and will take hours of practice.
When you are given a tip from a golf professional, it should be simple.
You should have a feeling, or a swing thought that you could carry with you out to the golf course.
If you try to do too much at once, you can make yourself crazy.
Golfers ideally only want to have one swing thought at a time.
Some players can manage two, but it’s nearly impossible to manage more than that.
You will end up causing other issues in your game when you make things overly complicated.
If you don’t feel as though your golf teacher is making things clear for you, ask them for help.
Tell them that you only want one solid swing thought and ask what that thought should be.
People learn in all different ways, and until your teacher learns the way you absorb information, there could be some communication barriers.
The best thing you can do is be open and honest about what you understand and what you don’t understand.
How Often Does It Make Sense To Get A Golf Lesson?
As we mentioned earlier, some people love taking golf lessons, and others are scared of them.
If you don’t give yourself enough time between golf lessons, you will end up working on the same thing over and over again.
Truthfully, you could take a golf lesson every day if you wanted to, but you would have to practice all day as well.
You would need to implement the changes learned in the lesson and show up ready for new information the next day.
Although this situation could technically arise, it is quite rare.
Most people play golf every weekend with a quick practice session or nine-hole round one day during the week.
If this sounds like you, then a golf lesson every other week or once a month should be plenty.
If you are a retired person that gets to play golf several times a week, you may want to start looking at weekly golf lessons.
These lessons will help you stay on track and to make sure that you are not developing bad habits.
The one thing that you will not want to do is take a lesson each week and never work on practicing or changing your swing.
All you are doing then is donating to your golf professional.
Golf lessons are for people that want to improve their golf game or fix their golf game.
If this does not describe you, then don’t take a golf lesson.
Tips To Retain As Much Information As Possible During A Golf Lesson
Since golf lessons can get costly, you will want to retain as much of your lesson as possible.
Your teacher will be giving you valuable information that you need to remember and use moving forward.
There are several ways to make sure that you get the most out of your golf lesson.
Traditional Note Taking
This may seem a bit old fashioned for some people, but it works.
The concept of writing down a thought or tip during your lesson is beneficial.
You can then keep those tips in your golf bag if you need them during your next round.
If you want the help of your golf professional to help you write out the tips, they would probably be more than happy to help.
Many students will make themselves a little card with all of their best swing thoughts and keep it in the bag.
Pen and paper have not died!
Looking at the thoughts written down and physically keeping them with you genuinely works.
With today’s advanced technology, it is straightforward to get videos of your golf swing.
Have your golf professional take videos of your swing and compare them to players that you want to swing like.
You can take these swing comparisons and study them.
Sometimes just seeing your swing on a screen can help you implement some tremendous changes in your golf game.
Most golf professionals have some form of video technology, but if they do not, you can always take simple cell phone videos.
Your golf lesson is going to go by very quickly.
Before you know it, your golf teacher is going to be running down the range headed to their next lesson.
You will want to make sure that at the end of your lesson, you save time to recap what you learned.
Tell your golf professional this before the lesson starts and keep an eye on the time.
If you have a half-hour lesson, stop at the 25-minute mark and discuss what you learned.
Without this recap, you will likely be left asking yourself questions and wondering if you missed specific thoughts and concepts.
You may be quite tired immediately following your golf lesson.
This is very common.
However, if you can take a break, grab some lunch and head back out to the range, it can be beneficial.
While you have the new swing thoughts and concepts in your head, you will have an easier time putting them into action.
Even if you go back out to the range and hit thirty golf balls, it can make a world of difference when it comes to the effectiveness of your lesson.
Don’t overdo it and get yourself tired out; just spend some time thinking and practicing.
If you do this, you will end up much happier the next time you hit the golf course.
Final Answer: Are Golf Lessons Worth It?
Now that you have all of this information about golf lessons, you can make a better decision about if they are worth it.
The bottom line is, if you want to get better at golf, they are worth it.
If you just want to go and enjoy a Saturday with your friends regardless of what you shoot, forget the lesson.
Golf lessons are for people that are going to invest time and money into their game.
People that take golf lessons want to see strokes drop off their scorecard, and taking a lesson is a great way to have that happen.