Finding a golf instructor

Golf can be a hard game to master. It sounds pretty easy – put a ball on the ground and hit it with the big end of a club. How hard could it be? The ball isn’t even moving!

Those of us who have played for a long time understand the logic and the frustration. Our advice is to find a golf instructor that can help. The golf swing is much more complicated than it looks, though not that difficult to master. A good golf instructor can help.

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There are many places to find someone. One of the best ways to find someone is to ask other golfers. Other players can give you an idea of how the instructor teaches. Are they experienced and patient with a new player, or not? A good instructor asks about the golfer’s goals for the game. If your goal is to win the statewide amateur tournament or make your college team, your instructor might focus on different drills and techniques than if you’re only trying to enjoy weekend play with your friends.

Every golf course has golf professionals on staff. If they don’t have a teaching pro available, they should be able to recommend someone. Local golf shops often know of several teachers in the area. If you prefer a golf school, the Internet is a great place to start the search. The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) has a list of certified instructors on its website.

In many cases, the decision is between group classes and private lessons. If you’re looking for some general direction or just starting out, a series of group lessons may give you the information that you need to get out and play your first round. Once you’ve decided to continue with the game, private lessons help by focusing on your specific abilities.

Once a teacher is found, be clear on what you hope to accomplish in the time together. Explain what the specific problem is so that the instructor can help solve that problem. When the lesson ends, you should have some drills or explanation of how to avoid or solve the problem.

The more you understand the game and learn to play it well, the more enjoyable the game becomes. Even the pros hire instructors to help them with their game. Why wouldn’t those of us who are playing for the enjoyment of it hire someone to help? Don’t continue to be frustrated – fix that problem and have a lot more fun on the course.

Rules changes for golf – is the game too hard?

Perusing the golf news and headlines this weekend, I ran into an interesting article here. In essence, Mr. Nicklaus is proposing making the game a bit easier and faster through a couple of changes.

  1. Making the hole 8 inches in diameter instead of 4 1/2 inches. This is intended to make putting easier and I would guess this would move the game along quicker as well. The golfing gal pals and I tend to spend time on making those putts.
  2. Reducing the number of holes played to 12 from 18. I can certainly agree to this. I love to play golf, but 18 holes can take the better part of an entire day. Many of us are busy folks with families. Nine holes often doesn’t seem like enough – maybe 12 would be the magic number
  3. Restricting the time for play to 2 1/2 hours and penalizing players one stroke for every five minutes over that 2 1/2 hour limit. Golf is one of the few sports that has no time restriction. For weekend play, this seems unlikely to be enforceable. Perhaps in tournaments a time limit is workable. I would think the networks would be in favor.

Mr. Nicklaus is holding tournaments at his Muirfield Village Club using these new rules to try to make the game more appealing to new golfers. I can see his point. I’ve known folks that quit playing because it takes too much time and is often just too hard to keep a level of competence if you don’t play at least once per week. Maybe some new variations on the game will bring out some new players.

How do you feel about these changes? What changes might be made in order to make the game a bit easier and maybe a bit quicker?