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TussinMan

Possible to Take Too Many Lessons?

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Took a hiatus but want to get back into golf.

Was thinking about doing weekly lessons for the foreseeable future (I know golf is a complicated game and there's plenty to learn).

Have heard mixed things about lessons. I know the whole "figuring it out on my own" narrative is huge in golf but most of the high level golfers in my area are people that had years of coaching whether it's been through highschool/college or through years of building/practicing through an actual structured coach.

How much is too much ?

I have had a ton of self taught people tell me "you'll develop a natural feel yourself as you practice" or "oh we just read books and watch youtube videos" yet most of these teenage kids at my local course that have 2 years or less of coaching are out-scoring 95% of these people...... (it's like there narrative isn't matching reality).

I'm very green so that's why i'm leaning towards structure. I don't have a consistent plane, swing, grip, and don't really know much about golf besides a few group classes i've done. I know most people do lesson as needed but how does that work in my situation when I have no base skillset ? (I could see lessons monthly if your trying to polish your game but how do you do lessons when you literally do NOT have a game ?). 

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The frequency of lessons isn't the thing;  do you make effective use of your practice time between lessons?  It was learning how to practice (which is different from anything specific about the grip, or swing plane, or mental game, or whatever else) that made the big difference for me many years ago.  Lessons now tell me what to practice and can be good for quite some time.

If you haven't already, I highly encourage you to read the following article.  It should help you make the most of your time between lessons.  That's far more vital.

 

 

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Unless I am working on two different things, like full swing and say pitch shots. I will only upload videos to Evolvr every three or four weeks on average. I will send updates with the drills to make sure I am doing them correctly.

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If you take lessons too frequently and working in the same thing, you’re basically paying someone to watch you practice.

There is certainly a benefit to that, but you have to decide if that’s worth your money.

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Right now I'm averaging about one lesson every 4 weeks.

I go to the lesson, get two main priority pieces to focus on, typically one for my iron swing and one for my driver swing, and I practice 5-6x a week starting out with slow reps and increase the speed as I become more comfortable and used to the swing changes. Then once I can get to full speed while still implementing the new swing changes, I schedule another lesson to work on the next piece. 

Since you are just starting out, if you really want to do weekly lessons, I'd say the first couple weeks should be on different topics. Like one week can be irons, the next week could be chips and pitches, 3rd week could be driver, 4th week could be putting. That should give you a good base of fundamentals in most aspects. Then in the meantime you should have been practicing the priority pieces from the iron lesson, hopefully have gotten pretty used to them and executing them properly so you would (in theory) be ready for another iron lesson. This is obviously highly dependent on how much time you have available to practice. If you can only practice properly 1 hour a week, you should go longer in between lessons than someone who is practicing properly 10 hours per week.

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29 minutes ago, klineka said:

Right now I'm averaging about one lesson every 4 weeks.

Im jealous. Judging by your handicap decreases over the last year they are proving beneficial. I am doing 1-2 lessons a year right now. I know I would benefit from more often if I could make it happen...I am sure it would help my game. 

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I have posted on a few golf forums for a number of years, and find the opinion on the matter a little different either side of the pond. As well as this I think age has an affect on the opinion. If your young and starting up, a lesson every few weeks is probably advantageous, if your my age they probably won't do much to help. I am in my 60s and am happy to take the occasional tip from a friend. Sometimes these tips help, and sometimes they don't.  There comes a point where it is better to make what you do work, rather than try something different. The most important thing is to find a good pro, because in my experience there are far more bad instructors than there are good. 

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28 minutes ago, HJJ003 said:

Im jealous. Judging by your handicap decreases over the last year they are proving beneficial. I am doing 1-2 lessons a year right now. I know I would benefit from more often if I could make it happen...I am sure it would help my game. 

Thanks for noticing! Sometimes I get so focused on continually progressing I forget that 2 years ago I was shooting in the mid 90s. But yes getting lessons/seeing an instructor has completely changed my game and has made me much more confident on the course. 

If cost is prohibiting you from more frequent lessons, you could always try Evolvr.com . It's cheaper than traditional lessons. I did roughly two stints of 3-4 months with them and it was very helpful in getting the fundamentals down, part of the reason I didn't progress more when doing evolvr is because I wasn't practicing right, but that was my fault not the instructors.   

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One thing I noticed is l tend to focus on the full swing and don't dedicate the number of lessons I'd like to on putting, finesse wedges and distance wedges. So If you have the time for more lessons, I'd recommend dedicating some lessons to those aspects, and on course playing lessons as well, some stuff doesn't show up on the range that does on the course.

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10 hours ago, iacas said:

I often have people come for lessons every 3-6 weeks. Weekly is really often.

I could see that frequency if you already have a base but since i'm new that seems to long. Seems like that would give me too long of a period to be practicing wrong or doing bad habits (EX: see the coach 4 weeks later and he goes "man you've been practing those 2 drills I gave you wrong for the entire month and now i have to spend this entire lessons fixing it") 

9 hours ago, Shindig said:

The frequency of lessons isn't the thing;  do you make effective use of your practice time between lessons?  It was learning how to practice (which is different from anything specific about the grip, or swing plane, or mental game, or whatever else) that made the big difference for me many years ago.  Lessons now tell me what to practice and can be good for quite some time.

That's kinda why I'm leaning towards a more high-school type coach. Learning how to actually practice. I don't want to be one of those people that just goes to the range and plinks balls with not purpose or goal 

Also since I'm knew there's a good chance if I space the lessons out too far i'm gonna be practing wrong for a long period of time (seems like I would rather have someone check in on me frequently to make sure i'm doing it right or more importantly that I actually grasp what i'm doing) 

50 minutes ago, Mr Puddle said:

I have posted on a few golf forums for a number of years, and find the opinion on the matter a little different either side of the pond. As well as this I think age has an affect on the opinion. If your young and starting up, a lesson every few weeks is probably advantageous, if your my age they probably won't do much to help. I am in my 60s and am happy to take the occasional tip from a friend. Sometimes these tips help, and sometimes they don't.  There comes a point where it is better to make what you do work, rather than try something different. The most important thing is to find a good pro, because in my experience there are far more bad instructors than there are good. 

Agreed. Gonna find someone good. I'm still very young so the coach i'm currently eyeballing is one that works alot with juniors and highschool kids. He has great success building them from scratch with a fair amount of them getting D1 offers. 

24 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

One thing I noticed is l tend to focus on the full swing and don't dedicate the number of lessons I'd like to on putting, finesse wedges and distance wedges. So If you have the time for more lessons, I'd recommend dedicating some lessons to those aspects, and on course playing lessons as well, some stuff doesn't show up on the range that does on the course.

That's kinda why i'm suprised lessons aren't more frequent. Theres plenty to go over (one week could be swing plane/grips/basic chipping, next week pitching and sand play, 3rd week could be course management and applying some basic drills/showing what to look for.....ect) 

Edited by TussinMan

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Too many lessons can be a bad thing, especially if the lessons are poor, or multiple instructors are used. 

Also as mentioned above, too many (different) lessons can be bad as they don't allow the student enough time to learn the different parts of the overall lessons. 

I took lessons from the same guy for several years. Probably averaged two lessons a month. Some of those lessons took more than a month, before I was ready to move on to the nest lesson. 

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I would say a lot depends on what your overall golf goal is.

Tour player, Local tournaments, socialize with a few friends, League, or just get out and enjoy getting out of the house.

Lessons typically will not hurt.  You can go out to the range on your own daily, but, if you are practicing poor technique, you will get really good at doing things poorly and will make it more difficult to fix in the future.  Frequency of lessons would depend on your goals, affordability, and your understanding and practice of each lesson.

Just as important, is finding the right coach that fits you.  Kind of like giving a job interview...…  LOL

Good Luck

 

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Depends on the quality of the lessons and how you are using that information to help your game/practice. I took weekly lessons when I first started. Once I started to develop a swing, it became twice a month. Even when I was playing really well, I still went in once a month for swing checks.

I am now on winter break until May and I can’t practice/play, so I see my instructor every other week just to hit my driver.  I purchased a bunch of lessons from Golftec during their end of summer sale so sometimes I book an hour lesson to play a few holes on their simulator. 

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How about taking one on one lessons every 3-6 weeks and group coaching weekly to keep you on track?  At least group sessions for coaching will help keep the cost down.

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I used to run a local proshop part time and got the chance to play with 2 different teaching pros who worked at that course. Each of them had different thoughts on my swing. I didn't have actual lessons from either one of them, but what it did make me think of is, lessons can be effective if you go to the right pro, one who can help you correct your faults. The opposite side is, there are some pros who only teach you to emulate the one swing they can teach without any real personalization to your specific swing.

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I'm by no means an expert compared to the people here who have already responded, but figured one more perspective may not hurt.

When I'm in a routine where I can practice every day, I have found that more frequent lessons (roughly every other week) are helpful, mainly to keep me on track (receive feedback).  One of the difficulties I have is getting meaningful feedback; obviously we know when we hit it poorly, but I often don't know what I've done wrong.  So having a professional take a look and point it out has been helpful.

That being said, I may be an uncommon scenario; I have reinforced a swing with some poor characteristics that have been difficult to shake.  Sometimes it takes a teacher showing me multiple times to change something before it sticks.  I took two weeks practicing my take-away only to have the teacher show me (for the third time) how I was practicing it wrong the whole time.

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