How to find a golf instructor

Regardless of what level we want to advance to in golf, we need to make sure that the person who is going to be teaching us is an expert in the field.

Not all levels are created equal, so it is important that you first know what level you are at in order to enroll in a golf school or academy. For this reason, in this article, we would like to dedicate this post so that you know how to recognize the profile of a good golf instructor so that you know whether you are with the right golf instructor or are otherwise not going to study the way you really want.

Questions to ask in order to find a golf instructor

If you are a beginner, first think carefully about what you expect from your golf instructor and what you want and can do yourself. Important questions to ask are: How much time do you have to train? Are you sporty? Do you have previous experience with golf?

If you've already played golf, try to write down or document your strengths and weaknesses in the game so that you can communicate them to the pro. Helpful points:

  • Ball flight (e.g. draw, fade, slice, hook, high, flat)
  • Ball contact (ball-ground, rather fat or thin)
  • Hit on the clubface (center, heel, or point)
  • Grip (strong, weak)
  • The pace of swing (very fast or very slow)
  • Preferred playing position on the course (e.g. aggressive, conservative)
  • Impact (in front, behind)
  • Tempo (slow, fast)
  • Swing pattern (consistent or irregular)
  • Balance in the address and swing position (stable or unstable)
  • Address position (narrow stance, wide stance, balanced)

As an experienced golfer you probably already know what aspects of your game you need to improve. Now you just need to tell someone about it. Once in a while, we all find ourselves without a golf instructor so in this case, good friends will do who can provide honest feedback on your playing style and help you recognize mistakes both on and off the course. If you don't have such friends then try looking for junior tournaments which include amateur events where one can meet potential golf instructors.

To make the most of your golf coaching sessions, you need to know what is being explained to you each day. Pro golf instructor has to be flexible in all coaching sessions and repeat everything if necessary. 

It has to be noticed at all times that your golf instructor is a true professional and knows how to explain everything you ask him, from internal planning to external planning for all students. The ability to teach is most important because if he doesn't know how to describe the concepts, you will not get ahead in the sport.

It is therefore of great importance that your golf coach has a great understanding of the sport and the ability to explain the concepts in a simple but precise manner. It's not just about being a cool guy, it's also important to have a good career as an instructor. As expected from any other profession, you can not be hired if you do not have experience or references from previous students.

The following factors are some ideas for finding a high-quality golf coach:

  • Visit their website

When looking for a professional golf school on the Internet, it is essential that we take into account all personal data of our potential teachers. If they have some YouTube videos uploaded, then watch them carefully because there you will see how they teach their students and how they look.

  • Ask for references, then check them

Ask your golf coach if he has previous students that you can contact to ask about his experience with him. If you are lucky, you may even get in touch with some former students of this master. They will tell you their experiences and whether they managed to improve or not by following this teacher's advice.

  • Get ready for a practice session

The fact that your potential professional golfer should have enough patience to show you all the basics of golf training without pressure is also important. If he makes faces, appears anxious or seems very tiresome, it's worth looking for another pro! A good pro should be able to any student regardless of his or her experience.

  • Ask about their qualifications

In addition to having experience and good references, a golf instructor must have the appropriate qualifications for this type of sport. Some of these are: PGA (Professional Golfers' Association) membership, a National Teaching Certificate (NTC), or a European Tour Card. If your coach has any of these, it is most likely that he is a high-quality professional with loads of experience in the field.

  • Take into account their rates

This factor should not be taken lightly because there is always a budget we have to follow when hiring someone. Rates can vary greatly between instructors, so it is important that you find one that matches your financial possibilities without compromising the quality of the instruction.

  • Ask about their equipment

This is just as important as the first factor because it will help you determine whether he knows what his doing or not. Look for any kind of indication that says "I AM RIGHT" beforehand. If your golf instructor has a different club for each type of ball, watch out! That's not right at all. A good coach should have several clubs to handle several types of shots, but always with one length and one brand.

  • Use your instincts!

Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable talking to this professional golfer both before hiring him and during the first few lessons. If you find that the teacher is able to understand your weaknesses rather than approaching everything from his perspective, then he is someone you can work with and learn from. Remember, the most important thing is to find someone who makes you want to practice and improve your game.

When looking for a golf instructor, it is important to ask around and do your research before making a decision. By considering the factors mentioned above, you can be sure that you are hiring someone who is qualified and capable of helping you improve your game.

Finding a golf instructor with great personal skills

Sympathy is also important. Are you a sympathetic person? This point is very essential because it makes working together with your golf instructor much easier. 

Also, when you find a golf instructor, make sure he or she has patience. Not all of us learn at the same rate, and nor do we understand some things right away. It is therefore important that they can listen to you and put themselves in your shoes. That way they can help you anytime.

The last point that should be mentioned here is honesty. If you find a golf instructor who says he can make you play better, but in fact, his students don't seem to get any better, then this person is definitely not good for you. You need the truth from your coach and honesty as well as the right knowledge will be your ticket to success.

How do I know which golf school or academy is good?

There are many different factors that tell us whether a certain sports center is going to help us improve our game or not. Does it offer flexible hours? Are there affordable prices? Is it easy to reach by public transportation? We could go on and on about all factors related to choosing a professional sports school so we will try to give you an easy-to-understand overview.

First of all, it is important that your golf school has professional equipment so that you can use it without problems and get the most out of your practice sessions. It is also important that there is personnel around who knows the game well enough to help you with anything you might need. The last thing that any coach or instructor can ever forget is discretion, meaning that he or she should keep all information about his students secret for them only.

Some people prefer private lessons while others do not; however, if it were up to me (which usually doesn't happen), I would always opt for group courses. Why? Because when I see other people practicing next to me, I feel more obliged to do better. Plus, group courses are usually cheaper and last longer. If you're still not sure whether group or private lessons are for you, check out this table below which should make it a little easier for you to decide:               

Type of Instruction

Private

Advantages:

  • You get more personalized attention.
  • The instructor can focus exclusively on you and your needs.
  • The pace of the instruction can be customized to fit your needs.

Disadvantages:

  • They can be expensive.
  • If the instructor is not good, you might not learn anything.

Group

Advantages:

  • It's cheaper than private lessons.
  • You can learn from other students' mistakes.
  • The instructor can help more people at once.

Disadvantages:

  • You might not get as much individualized attention as you would with private lessons.

No matter type of instruction you choose, always make sure the golf instructor is certified by the PGA. The PGA is the most respected golfing authority in the world, so having their certification means that your instructor has met rigorous standards and is qualified to teach you the game.

Finally, try to find an instructor who makes you feel comfortable. This person will be with you for a long time, so it's important that you get along well. Remember, the most important thing is to find someone who makes you want to practice and improve your game. Finding a golf instructor with great personal skills Sympathy is also important. Are you a sympathetic person? This point is very essential because it makes working together with your golf instructor much easier. Also, when you find a golf instructor, make sure you know how much it costs for lessons, and ask about additional fees such as green fees or equipment rentals.

There are some basic steps that anyone can take in order to find the best golf instructor for their needs:

  1. Ask friends and family members who they recommend. Word-of-mouth recommendations are often the best way to find a good service or professional.
  2. Look for an instructor who has experience working with players of your skill level. You don't want someone who is teaching beginners how to swing when you are already an experienced golfer.
  3. Make sure that the instructor has the proper qualifications. All professional golf instructors should have some sort of certification from a recognized organization.
  4. Meet with potential instructors and ask them questions about their teaching methods and how they would help you improve your game. This is a very important step, as you want to be sure that the instructor's philosophies align with your own.
  5. Get feedback from other students who have worked with the instructor. This will give you a better idea of what to expect from lessons with this particular instructor.
  6. Ask about the instructor's rates and whether he or she offers discounts for multiple lessons or package deals. You don't want to break the bank paying for golf lessons.
  7. Go with your gut feeling. If you don't feel comfortable with an instructor, it's probably not the right one for you. Trust your instincts and keep looking until you find someone who makes you feel at ease and can help improve your game.

So, if you're looking for a golf instructor, keep these important factors in mind.

Organization of your learning journey

Here, too, you should be on a common denominator. If you are very structured, you will probably have a hard time with an ingenious but very chaotic golf instructor. Age can also be relevant with regard to the use of technical aids and communication tools.

First assessment

It is a good sign when the golf instructor asks what you actually want to achieve and not just examines a few of your turns and then begins to want to change everything. Relevant questions should be:

  • How often do you play?
  • How much time do you want to spend on independent training?
  • Do you have enough time for coaching? 
  • Are you willing to pay for regular coaching lessons?
  • What do you want to achieve? It could be a better handicap, better ball contact, more length, special strokes, etc.

Didactics vs. demonstration

Your golf instructor can certainly teach in different ways. Finding a golf instructor whose teaching methodology you like is important. To do this, you have to find out how you can best learn yourself: through linguistic input, visual comparisons (books, videos), or by demonstrating and imitating. The only thing that helps here is usually to try it out.

Apart from having an advanced level or the required level to teach certain classes. You must have all the knowledge of the sport. It has to be complete so that your golf instructor can explain every step and every stroke well.

Performance

How well does the coach actually have to play? It certainly helps if the pro himself can show a sensible punch. But whether he had a handicap of -4 or +3 before he switched to teaching is not relevant in most cases. So don't be too impressed by laps in the 60s. 

But you should definitely have the feeling that you find a golf instructor who is an expert. It is also crucial that you choose a qualified PGA professional who has really learned the trade. Here you have to differentiate: There are pros in training and finished PGA professionals, who in turn have different levels of advanced training. Inquire about the training of the golf coach you have chosen.

Use of technology

A quick reproduction of the swing via a video image is now actually mandatory. Because this enables quick feedback for the student. Feeling and actual movement are often two different things in golf. Whether videos are recorded and played by the camera, tablet or smartphone is a matter of taste.

Advanced golf teaching aids

Do you need systems like Scope, SAM Putt-Lab, or a launch monitor? It depends. For very good players (from a low, single-digit handicap, for example) these technical aids, which measure various parameters exactly and almost in real-time, are definitely an advantage. For the rest, they are rather confusing. It depends on whether the pro can then communicate the data to the student really simply and to the point.

Conclusion

Always a quality feature of good pros: The summary of the most important points at the end of the lesson. Either for recording with the smartphone by the student or in writing by the trainer (e.g. by email). One or two drills or exercises that help you implement what you have learned are also good.

It is important that you have carefully analyzed these points so that you know from the first minute what a good coach is and what is not. With this information, you can be sure which golf instructor really knows the stuff and from whom you can learn the most about this sport.