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To get or not to get golf lessons? - Page 2

post #19 of 68
Originally Posted by dmigolfer84 View Post

Hello everyone Im a 28 year old golfer, been playing about 7 years and the last two years Ive been playing about once a week. My usual scores are anywhere from about mid 90's to lower 100's. Im finally thinkin about getting lessons this year but was wondering just how much they will help. So far Ive been reading books, watching videos, and alot of time at the range. At then end of last year however it seemed like I took a huge step back ...

Evidently your self-help routine has not paid off as you had hoped.


If you can...

  • find a teaching pro who knows the game, and meshes with you personally
  • devote some practice time and play a few holes in the days following the lesson...


then lessons can benefit you. A good pro can accomplish more in 15 minutes than you can on your own over several weeks.


Also, look for someone who will use a video swing analysis, and give you a video clip lesson summary at the end. That way, you can play the lesson clip before your practice, or even load it to your iPhone and review it at the range. Seeing how your swing shapes up on split-screen - before and after - can help you get things grooved.


And take heed of meenman:

Just going to a lesson or 2 will not fix you unless you commit to it.

One golf pro I know won't let you schedule Lesson 2 until you call him and tell him what you did in the three practice sessions after Lesson 1.

post #20 of 68



I think that's the OTHER Fred Fields, from Oregon. The one who donated $150,000 or some other crazy number to some charity or golf course, or something. Believe me, That ain't me!!!. I have trouble donating $150.00 from my retirement income.


Why do you think I wrote the book???


I've lived in WV and in SC. Both states claimed the 49th ranked schools...Mississippi supposedly the 50th. Considering your math skills, me having admitted to age 76 (and the other Fred Fields being dead)...You must be from Mississippi!

post #21 of 68

I made a mistake. Fred W. Fields, who died last year in Oregon left 150 MILLION dollars to charity, a thousand times what I attributed to him.


I knew it was a big number---

post #22 of 68

lessons are a MUST,


Myself...i started playing a year ago,and I CANT GET ENOUGH OF THIS GAME, from the game itself to the buying of equipment shoes, clothing, memorabilia antiques... EVERYTHING, ...NOW  in MY VERY OWN CASE, I have learn a couple of things



1) WARNING: although i love the game I am by far any good my best round is 10 over par on a 9 hole round.


2) I had to remind myself that I AM NOT A PRO, and that  I AM NOT EVEN AN amateur, so i wont try to hit and move like one of them

3) i had to remind myself that although i am a lefty, I am not Bubba Watson, therefore i have no time to nor i can teach myself to play golf

4) One must be very careful of watching videos and or the Golf channel, unless you know the very basics of the game when it comes to swing, grip stand etc, you can't imitate pro's . In my case I watch old school, (Ben Hogan books and videos)

5) Lessons VIA video TV or books are good but  they are not looking at you in a way that they can appreciate every detail of your swing,, they do not know how you swing from every angle, therefore they don't know or  100% how to correct your flaws

6) a pro is right there with you and will be able to tell you first hand right there what is wrong.

post #23 of 68

WOW, Fred sorry it was a joke that I can only assume went over your head being as old as you are, I should not have done!

There is really no need to state that being from Mississippi is something bad and the people there are stupid. Contrary i am from Calif, but know a lot of very fine people from all three states that you listed.

Nothing more said!

post #24 of 68



Don't be upset. I was joking back. I have relatives in Mississippi, and love and respect them dearly. I read your bio. I knew you were from CA.


Getting back to the original subject,..Whether or not to take lessons.


There are certain fundamentals that a beginning golfer should learn about swinging a golf club, and almost any golf pro can teach these to you. After you master the basics, unless your goal is professional golf, I believe that you learn more by observation and the practice tee, and yes, even tips from fellow amateurs.


Example: Why do pros, when teaching how to grip the club always suggest V's pointing to the shoulder or counting your knuckles? The true relationship of the hands should be parallel to the face of the club. My limited experience with golf lessons is that the pro almost never mentions the relationship between the hands and the club face,


Example: Most pros teach delayed hand action. What is the biggest problem for most amateurs who can hit the ball regularly? Slicing! What causes slicing? Primarily the hands arriving too late...caused by delayed hand action!!!


And that's only two of the first, most obvious examples. In my opinion, golf is the worst taught enedavor in the entire civilized world. My justification for that belief? That fewer than 1/2 of all golfers, statistically, will ever break 100. I realize that golf is difficult. But if it were taught well, 95% of all golfers would play in the 80s and better.


PS. Watch the Golf Channel. I think those guys are more interested in selling gadgets than in lowering anyone's scores.

post #25 of 68

Thanks and again sorry we both seemed to have taken it bad. c2_beer.gif

But I totally agree with all you have said, what I always point out to my son is how the older guys and Lady's hit the ball. Very straight, most are short but they seem to hit par there is a reason for this. There short game and swing are very controlled and always the same. I wish I had all the advise of so many great golfers like what you find on the site, it sure would have made my many years more enjoyable. Probably would have helped keep me from quiting for so many years and then finding myself back in it only to be older and not able to have the flexibility i once had.

Even fighting now needing graphite that I really do not like, so to all the new guys ask questions read the post on this site. You will find some very wonderful and informative advise from players that really enjoy the game and truly want to help. If you pick the best of what is said that fits your game will sure be more enjoyable.


So to all you guys and Lady's on the site thank you for the time you spend giving us your best!

post #26 of 68


When I was younger, I tested my golf theory about distance. I took every club longer than a 5 iron out of the bag. The 5 was my 150 yard club. I played 9 holes and shot 43. I realized, in the fairway is better than distance.


Talking about lessons...I'll bet that 9 months out of 12, the golf magazines feature "Power Golf" and "Hitting for Distance" as their lead story on the cover.. That's another example of how golf is badly taught.


Tiger's last major win, the Open where he played Rocco Mediate in a playoff, and they were even after the playoff (after 90 holes).Tiger was outhitting Rocco by 40 yards off the tee. You don't have to be a big hitter.


Some short hitters you may know...Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins, and some REALLY short hitters (averaged 240-245 off the tee in their playing days on the Tour) Calvin Peete (who won the Vardon Trophy for lowest average score for the year, and was in the top 4 money winners 3 times in his 12 years on the Tour) And Mike Reid, who was a winner on the big Tour and has won over $4,000,000 on the Senior Tour.


Us old guys can still play well if we use out heads.

post #27 of 68

I am confused here Mr Fields.  You have generalized about golf teachers, and the awful things they teach to their students.  You criticize the golf magazines for their emphasis on power (probably some truth to that) and the Golf Channel wanting to sell golf gadgets (they do have to have commercials, that's true).  So basically, everyone is teaching golf wrong, am I correct?


But wait - I google your name, as you suggested in an earlier post, and what do I find?  Why, it's an e-book that you have written about how to play golf!


I'm not an instructor, so your critiques don't affect my income. And if your instruction produces improvements for the people that have read your e-book, great! You are providing a service that some people feel is worth paying for. But you shouldn't feel the need to make blanket generalities about the poor quality of other golf instruction.  It does not give you more credibility, and I doubt it would increase your sales.

post #28 of 68


You're right. This is a site for opinions and I've got dozens of them. Where golf is concerned, I disagree with the way it is taught...very vociferously.


As I said above. If golf were taught better, golfers would score better. As for your specific comments.


I appreciate The Golf Channel's commercials advertising and selling golf miscellany, cars, beer, etc. That allows me to watch it free. The gadgets I was referring to were the gadgets the swing instructors push during the swing instruction shows. That's unnecessary and more or less useless junk.


I can't speak for the entire professional golf industry, but yes, I believe very strongly that golf is taught very badly as a general rule. Your average PGA Tour golf pro hits about a quarter of a million practice balls every year to make his swing work. Do you know any weekend golfers who practice at all, or anywhere near that rate? Yet Hank Haney, Bob Toski, etc. and your local golf pro have been teaching that golf swing since Old Tom Morris' days.


What they should be teaching weekend golfers is a simplified, practical, easy to use swing that doesn't require all that manipulation, and precise timing,  and with the complicated, unnatural moves.


My criticism is that golf instruction is universally standard, and the standard is not effective. I'm saying that we need a new standard of instruction:

1. A simpler, more natural, easier to use swing

2. At least SOME attempt by the teacher to teach golf strategy...How to play the game.


Most weekend golfers learn strategy watching the PGA Tour on the weekends. They don't realize that the Tour player's strategy is actually HURTING their scores, because they don't have the golf swing to play that strategy.


And yes, I think that most golfers don't use their brains on the golf course. If they did, they'd recognize that the putt is the most important shot in the game...36 of 72 strokes to par are putts...the easiest shot to hit and the easiest to improve. Two putts per hole is playing half the game at even par. Three shots to every green, even the par 3's, would be a score of 90. Yet because Tiger gets suicidal at hitting a bogey, weekend golfers think bogey is bad. Bogey should be their goal! They should leave the birdies to Tiger.


I have already made this rant too long. Probably nobody will read it. But yes, I've written a book that I think solves these problems; that, simplifies the golf swing, and that teaches a basic strategy that will help the average golfer scoring 100-110  learn how to score in the 80s almost without regard to his or her personal athletic ability.


Will your golf pro teach you that? No! That's the foundation of my whole argument.

post #29 of 68
I believe lessons are extremely valuable and necessary to become a better golfer. I've been playing for over 10 years and I've had 3 lessons. Each time I had a lesson I needed one to fix something and each time the pro that taught me picked out my swing flaws in less than 4 swings, corrected it and showed me how to fix what was wrong with my swing, not teach me the standard. If you're serious about this game I suggest you at least get fitted for clubs at very least driver and irons, you will see a big difference in your game... This is only if your swing is good and the pro recommends a fitting, some people need a few lessons to get their swing consistent before getting a fitting. I also read a lot of articles, books, etc. A lesson from a pro will def improve your game but as others have already commented you will have to out in some practice time and the change will feel awkward at first esp if it is a grip issue like mine was. I went from mid to high 90's to mid 80's-low 90's after my lesson dropped about 10 strokes and this year with the new clubs and some short game work I hope to be consistently in the 80's. good luck!
post #30 of 68

Golf Junky,


You've got the problem solved. Three lessons in 10 years, and those to fix a swing gone bad. I agree with you 100%. If you have a specific problem, your local pro, if he or she is any good, very well can help you solve it.


Did he give you any tips on reducing your score other than "This will help you hit the ball better." Because hitting the ball is not the only thing you need to know to improve your scores.


Every golfer wants to improve his scores. But almost none know how to do it, except to take a lesson. The real answer is, you need to have a strategy to help you get around the course in less strokes.


Tommy Armour wrote a book, "A Round of Golf With Tommy Armour". It is all about how he played a 9 hole round with one of his club members. In the book, he tells the member what club to hit and identifies the target for each shot. The member argues with him all the way, over practically every shot. Tommy gives no other instruction than what club and the target. The club member scores his best round ever using the same clubs, the same swing, only using Tommy's strategies.  


That's what I'm talking about.

post #31 of 68
Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

Did he give you any tips on reducing your score other than "This will help you hit the ball better." Because hitting the ball is not the only thing you need to know to improve your scores.


The fact remains hitting the ball better is a good part of scoring better.


Not the only part, no. But the main part, yes. And the part that takes up a LOT more time, requires a LOT more effort, etc.


Originally Posted by Fred Fields View Post

Tommy Armour wrote a book, "A Round of Golf With Tommy Armour". It is all about how he played a 9 hole round with one of his club members. In the book, he tells the member what club to hit and identifies the target for each shot. The member argues with him all the way, over practically every shot. Tommy gives no other instruction than what club and the target. The club member scores his best round ever using the same clubs, the same swing, only using Tommy's strategies.


The fact remains a guy with a lousy swing isn't shooting 75 just by doing this. And though we agree golf isn't taught exactly very well by many, you're casting a VERY wide net, and good luck to you.


We had a guy on here who pointed out that if you could hit the ball 150 yards and straight every time you could shoot something like 85. The point remained that to shoot 85 required you to play a course with no carries over 150 yards. It required you to putt much better. And it required you to hit your 7-iron or whatever you hit 150 yards pretty darn accurately EVERY time, never get in a bunker, never hit it on a sidehill lie that caused a weird problem, etc. And it limited you to shooting 85 on your best days or so.




Course strategy is fine. But Fred, let me be clear: you either share here or you leave. You don't get to plug your site or books for free - share, actual information, not just these teasing little posts hoping someone Googles you and finds your site where you hope to convince them to buy an eBook or something.

post #32 of 68
Yes, he told me that if I got a lesson on my short game, that this too would also help my game considerably. I have not gone back only because I'm still working on the last lesson but in the spring I will take another. As far as the short game, I've ordered 2 books from amazon Dave pelz short game bible and Stan utleys short game book. No I don't have it all figured out, but for a wkd golfer who was practically self taught I do think a pro player can def help with a lesson. I also believe its got to be the right guy, some out there are just in it for the money. Stu ingraham from delco pa., highly recommended... And you have to do your research just like anything else. I had 7 roof estimates before I found the right contractor, if you ask around and do your research you can find a good instructor who will actually help you with your swing. Another note, how to break 90... After reading this book I learned course management, which helped me drop a lot of strokes and yes the golf pro I worked with did mention a lot of other info non related to my swing which would help me score.
post #33 of 68

You need a second set of eyes on your golf swing at some point.  "Feel isn't real" so to know what you are actually doing and to know how your swing compares to the ideal swing model requires a second set of eyes (which can include video).  The  best 2nd set of eyes is that of a competent instructor who can interpret what they see.  Some say lessons without practice is a waste of money and although I would agree it isn't the most ideal way to spend money there is still value in the knowledge gained.  Just my 2 cents. 

post #34 of 68

Get them.  You'll (hopefully) drop 5 points off your index in a couple months of play... I did.  (Actually from an 18 to an 11 in a spring/summer/fall season).


Once an instructor helps you correct your swing, you end up with an internal idea of the swing process that you can take to the course.

post #35 of 68

As I said some great info and discussion on this site from so many. Like taking lessons you take what you need incorporate it to your game and work on your weakness. I have picked up more information from you all, watching others, taking a few lessons then I ever had before. Going from a 30 HK to a 10 at one point to who knows right now, I just enjoy the game.

So I think to sum it up, you need to find a good instructor that fits you, I think we all agree helps, whether you need then all the time some of the time? Look, listen and learn, play and be grateful for every shot you make they are a gift that you learn from.

This is just my opinion of course that helps me.

post #36 of 68

To the OP,


This is easy, do evolvr.  You won't regret it.  You're going to get good information, and when you're ready to upload a new video, you do it.  It's easy, affordable, and very informative. 

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