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The Ideal Golf Lesson
Golfing Magazine Staff
By Golfing Magazine Staff
Published on 04/27/2011

The Ideal Golf Lesson
This will surprise you:  I believe that it only takes ONE lesson to show a student how to play each shot.  In other sports, as well as other aspects of life, you are told how to do something once, and are then expected to know how it’s done.  This is not the case in golf, where you can take 20 lessons on how to move your putter back and forth one foot.  You can also take 20 lessons on how to chip a ball, with your arms only moving two feet.  To be honest, the movement involved in picking up a fork, piercing a piece of steak and putting it in your mouth is more complicated than these various golf moves.

I believe all these simple movements (putting, chipping, pitching, bunkers, and full swing) should be taught in one lesson, and it should relate to how you think it should be done. Now if a student feels he or she needs more help after being taught, the teacher then becomes the coach.  Teaching a student how to do something is followed by coaching them to make sure it is being done correctly.  In other words, you do not keep teaching new things about the same move or shot.  

In the lessons my fellow professionals and I have given, the most disappointing thing we see is the fact that what is learned by our pupils in a lesson doesn’t last a day.  I’ve always said that if my student played a round of golf right after a lesson, the things learned in that lesson would disappear by the 7th hole.  When questioned as to why this happens, the answer is usually something like, “I couldn’t use what I learned in the match.”  Meanwhile, they might give it a try the next day… but then, someone else invariably ‘teaches’ them a new move, and it’s goodbye Charlie.  They have just wasted their money, not to mention hurting their golf pro’s reputation.

Notice that no where did I say golf is simple.  We all know better.  But just because the game is difficult doesn’t mean the learning process also needs to be difficult.  Your local golf pro’s have invested their love of the game, pride in teaching, and future in the golf business in your lesson.  They are giving you everything they have to make you a better player.  Do them a favor and give them a chance.  In other words, when you are taught a move, let your pro see you doing it the next time you cross paths.  You might just see some improvement.