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Just had a lesson. Thoughts?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I just had a lesson for the first time, and I got given a couple of changes to make. Hit some nice balls. But I couldnt help feel like a fool. It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest. It's like they give you a piece of candy and then say come back next time for the bag.

 

Am I being a bit harsh?

 

 

post #2 of 21

Normally, ask what you want to be able to do.

they then either start with set up, posture and take away to make that happen.

 

I always check if they have good students.

and are fun to work with.

 

post #3 of 21

If you walk away from a lesson thinking, "It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest." it's likely you won't bother working on anything you've been taught. Add to that, "I couldnt help feel like a fool" and you definitely won't.

 

One of the most important things when working with a pro (along with trusting that they're working to help your game) is that you need to be able to enjoy working with them and go away happy and focussed on getting better using what you learned in the lesson.

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon View Post

If you walk away from a lesson thinking, "It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest." it's likely you won't bother working on anything you've been taught. Add to that, "I couldnt help feel like a fool" and you definitely won't.

 

One of the most important things when working with a pro (along with trusting that they're working to help your game) is that you need to be able to enjoy working with them and go away happy and focussed on getting better using what you learned in the lesson.



Dont get me wrong, the changes I made immediately paid dividends. I am not one of the people who expects 1 lesson to make me a scratch golfer either. In all the sports i have done well in I worked for the results, never been a naturally gifted athlete. The guy was nice fellow too, but just some of the things he said, I was thinking i bet he tells all the students that one.

 

Looking forward to the next few weeks of practice thats for sure.

post #5 of 21

Well it seems you have your head screwed-on correctly so that's always a good sign. haha

 

What I'd say is work on what you learned for as long as it takes you to 'get it' and for it to be a natural part of your swing and if you're swinging it better go back and see him again and see if you improve again. As long as you're happy with your progression and enjoyment of the game I can't see a reason to change coach; especially as a lot of coaches will want to take you back a few steps to correct something which in their mind is incorrect)

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by binga7 View PostIt's like they give you a piece of candy and then say come back next time for the bag.

 

Am I being a bit harsh?

 

 



Perhaps.  Thats kind of how lessons work though.  As for it sounded like a sales pitch, it kind of is.  They want you to keep coming back for lessons.  Thats not to say that you wont get better but everyone, especially at first needs a bit of a sales pitch in order to sell them on lessons.

post #7 of 21

None of them are perfect, so sometimes you have to put up with some crap to get substance. A doctor that can fix a hole in your heart might have a horrible bed-side manner, but you’ll put up with that to get the hole in your heart fixed. All the pros I’ve been to gave a sales pitch. They can’t survive on one-timers ‘cause there aren’t enough one-timers who’ll fork over dollars for lessons. And usually they’re working on a plan based on what they see you do. You might think they’re trying to hook you by feeding you a little at a time but I read once that there are 28 things you have to do right to hit a golf ball with a 7-iron and if a pro gave you 28 things to work on in one lesson you know very well how that would turn out. But there are limits and I understand that.

 

Thinking back, I’ve been to 3 kinds of pros.

 

One knew what needed to be done but couldn’t explain it so that I could understand it. So he grabbed a club and said “like this” and hit the ball. But if I could look at someone else and do what they do I’d just watch Tiger Woods and not have to pay a pro. It doesn’t matter if the miscommunication is his problem or mine, if we don’t connect so that he can communicate to me what I need to do so that I can do what he just did, I’m wasting my time so I don’t go back.

 

Another was condescending. I don’t put up with that. He goes home and tries to feed beets to his 2-year-old by saying “open the tunnel here comes the choo-choo” and he comes to my lesson and tries the same crap on me to get me to swing a club. Not me. I’m outta here. It sounds like you may have had some of that.

 

Best pro I ever went to was a driving range pro in Dallas. He had a rough tee-side manner but had me playing well enough to enjoy the game. I was 42 and he was about 80. I will never forget casting because it went like this:

 

I swung at the ball. I don’t remember if I hit it or not.

 

“You’re casting,” says he.

“What does that mean?” says me.

Make a swing like you’re trying to hit a baseball,” says he.

 

I swung at an imaginary baseball.

 

"Somewhere in that swing you experienced maximum inertia that tried to pull the club from your hands. Where was that?” says he.

 

I held the club out front somewhere.

 

“Exactly. When you cast the club, that maximum inertia point is somewhere behind you. By the time the club head gets to the ball the swing is over. You might as well put the damned club down and kick the damned ball. You’ll play better golf. Now swing again like you’re swinging at a baseball only this time swing down and make sure the golf ball gets in the way.”

 

I set up.

 

“And don’t move your feet,” says he.

 

“What?” says me.

 

“Do I stutter? You heard me. Don’t move your damned feet. You’re lifting your left heel. Don’t do that. And don’t move your damned head, either. This is golf, not baseball.” says he.

 

The session went like that and by the end he had explained damned feet and damned legs and damned hips and damned sway and all that and I was hitting my 5-iron 180 yards straight down range. That lesson had substance. I took 5 lessons from him. I wish he was here in Florida today.

 

So the question is, did the things your pro gave you to work on have substance enough that you are willing to put up with his mannerisms? If not, move on. Regardless of substance, if his tee-side manner was uncomfortable to you then you won’t take him seriously or you won’t look forward to the next lesson. That’s why I bail on condescension. Wherever you are there are other pros in your area, so find one. It’s your money and you worked hard for it so when you spend it get value in return. 

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by binga7 View Post

I just had a lesson for the first time, and I got given a couple of changes to make. Hit some nice balls. But I couldnt help feel like a fool. It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest. It's like they give you a piece of candy and then say come back next time for the bag.

 

Am I being a bit harsh?

 

 

 

 

What did he teach you and what is he having you work on?
 

 

post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by binga7 View Post

I just had a lesson for the first time, and I got given a couple of changes to make. Hit some nice balls. But I couldnt help feel like a fool. It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest. It's like they give you a piece of candy and then say come back next time for the bag.

 

Am I being a bit harsh?

 

 


Whether you're being a bit harsh depends on specifically why you're saying this; what did he actually say or do that turned you off?

 

As others have stated, you have to put up with a bit of sales pitch; they make their living by selling lessons.  The question is did it get in the way of the instruction, and was the instruction on-point, correct, and useful?

 

-Andrew

post #10 of 21


Sounds like you went to GolfTeca3_biggrin.gif  I liked part of their swing evaluation (had a groupon) but the last half was the guy suggesting I really need to sign up for their 2400 plan but I might be able to get by with the 1200 dollar one. Granted that is probably a pretty fair assessment of my game but the fact that wanted to be paid up front rather than a long the way made me feel like they had no faith in their product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by binga7 View Post

I just had a lesson for the first time, and I got given a couple of changes to make. Hit some nice balls. But I couldnt help feel like a fool. It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest. It's like they give you a piece of candy and then say come back next time for the bag.

 

Am I being a bit harsh?

 

 



 

post #11 of 21

They of course are selling you some, but they are trying to sell you on your own confidence.  An example is I had my first lesson of the year, from a guy who I had one with right before the season ended.  He told me in my first lesson that I have a decent swing and that he feels that I can get into the 70's.  Well, deep down, when I hit it well, I know I can too.  However, you have to let your guard down and do what they tell you.  From what I've gathered, is they work on things which can be described about 1000 different ways.  I like my guy, because he keeps throwing out different analogies until something clicks with me.

 

At the same time, it's great to have somebody break you down.  I hit decent shots the hard way and we worked on me using my left side to start and turn rather than drop and turn with my right.  What a difference.  Now it's up to me to implement it.

 

Basically, they are all going to sell you because they have to have students to make a living.  Just figure out if you two mesh and you can relate.

 

Good Luck.

 

 

post #12 of 21

Ya it does sound like you went to GolfTec. I went there about 3 years ago, got a free 1h session when I bought my irons. They tried to sell me hundreds of hours of lessons. I didn't go back.

 

This year I met a pro at my local golf course. We talked, and he had very reasonable rates. A lot cheaper than GolfTec. So I decided I'm gonna start a few lessons with him.

post #13 of 21

I have had this feeling a few times, but when I found a good coach...who turned into a friend, i got some insight.

 

imagine youre a teaching pro and a guy comes to you for a single lesson. teaching and golf are your passions and your job, and you like to see people get better. so a player comes in, and the teacher sees there are quite a few things the player needs to work on, that will take more than a 30 minute session. the pro now has a couple options, throw everything they possibly can at you and hope it all sticks, give you the most important piece----and hope it fixes a few other things along the way, or be honest with you, help you understand what it is in your swing that could use work, prioritize and provide you with options.

 

granted, guys who exclusively teach....well they HAVE to be salesmen...you cant blame them for that, but many of these guys mean well and just know that a 30 minute lesson isnt a fix-all period and that having a consistent coach will benefit you

post #14 of 21

I don't ever remember feeling like I was being sold on lessons or clubs or anything during my lessons. Maybe when he saw my junky old bag of sticks he knew it would be a waste of time?!?

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by binga7 View Post



Dont get me wrong, the changes I made immediately paid dividends.

I was thinking i bet he tells all the students that one.

 


It sounds like he was doing his job. Good posture, tempo and the correct grip are items every new beginner should be focusing on. The fundamentals are key.

The inverse is the guy who walks away from a lesson feeling as if their instructor regurgitated so much on them in one lesson that they walked away from the lesson with zero. The building block method exists in all walks of life for a reason. Because, it works.

If you want more, dig through the books section and go to town. Stick with th lessons. They work.
post #16 of 21

I don't necessarily agree that a heavy sales pitch is necessary.

 

We might point out to someone that they have a few things going on, but the #1 priority piece right now is this (or #1 and #2 if they're related and/or simpler things), and that's what we'll tackle.

 

The golfer gets better, and getting better is addicting.

 

That's our sales pitch: make them better in the first lesson and they'll want to come back on their own. In fact, we almost never schedule our next lesson with someone - we let them call us. No regurgitation of "everything" they do wrong - they wouldn't get better if they heard or tried to think about a bunch of crap like that.

post #17 of 21
Quote:

Originally Posted by MackJL06 View Post

 

 

....well they HAVE to be salesmen...you cant blame them for that, but many of these guys mean well and just know that a 30 minute lesson isnt a fix-all period and that having a consistent coach will benefit you


I was in Scotland for 15 years and I agree that the pros there have to be good salesmen. The typical Scot will take a half hour lesson every 2 years and expects miracles from it. If that pro isn't selling well from his shop, he's not going to make a living. Clubs, balls, tees, gloves even candy bars, they got to sell them. This was my experience anyway.

 

By the way the Scots have ugly swings but they are very effective and they talk a good game.

 

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by binga7 View Post

I just had a lesson for the first time, and I got given a couple of changes to make. Hit some nice balls. But I couldnt help feel like a fool. It all felt like a bit of a sales pitch to be honest. It's like they give you a piece of candy and then say come back next time for the bag.

 

Am I being a bit harsh?

 

 



I think so, as others have pointed out.

 

You can really only work on 1 change (possibly two if the student nails the first one quickly) during a lesson. More than that and the student simply won't be able to cope. If you are worried about getting a piece of candy at a time, don't. It is perfectly nornal and the most effective way for you to get better quickly. Take 30 mins lesson, work on the change and don't go back for another lesson until that change is done or at least very close.

 

Another suggestion, and I do this with some of my students (usually those that buy a 5 or 10 lesson package), is to spend time during the first lesson giving them a swing analysis so they know the situation and where I would like to take them. Then I thrash out a plan with them going over what we will work on first, second, third etc.

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