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Does anybody have any experience with on course instruction?  Did you feel like there was a real benefit going out and playing golf with the instructor, some things that you wouldn't get during a lesson on a range or simulator?  There are a few courses around me that the pros offer on course lessons and I've been kicking around the idea of taking one.  Wanted to get some thoughts on what to expect and maybe some positive/negatives with others' experiences.  

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7 minutes ago, campbellj21 said:

Does anybody have any experience with on course instruction?  Did you feel like there was a real benefit going out and playing golf with the instructor, some things that you wouldn't get during a lesson on a range or simulator?  There are a few courses around me that the pros offer on course lessons and I've been kicking around the idea of taking one.  Wanted to get some thoughts on what to expect and maybe some positive/negatives with others' experiences.  

I would do range lessons with the guy first.  Then go on course.  On the course he may still tweak your swing based on lies and elevations but more importantly course strategy, club selection and round management is stressed.

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I think on-course lessons are often a waste of time. So much time spent driving around, not much time hitting shots, almost none of it filmed, etc.

On-course or playing lessons are valuable in two or three instances:

  • A serious student who is spending a good chunk of time (and often $) on his golf game, as a part of an ongoing or regular lesson series. It's good to just see how the lessons are being applied in the "real world" and not just on the range.
  • A newer player or a player who is really improving, but who has no idea how to play certain kinds of shots. This is often at a course with a lot of variety and unique shots - sidehill lies, deep bunkers, fast greens, whatever. People might not understand the different types of shots you can hit, or how to strategize and choose shots on the course.
  • The third is when a student is doing well on the range but can't seem to take it to the course. Often this is one of two things: a) alignment, or b) a mental issue. Finding out which can be quite valuable.

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29 minutes ago, iacas said:
  • The third is when a student is doing well on the range but can't seem to take it to the course. Often this is one of two things: a) alignment, or b) a mental issue. Finding out which can be quite valuable.

Or...uhh...both. :whistle:

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14 minutes ago, iacas said:

The third is when a student is doing well on the range but can't seem to take it to the course. Often this is one of two things: a) alignment, or b) a mental issue. Finding out which can be quite valuable.

I'm considering a playing lesson for these exact reasons. In a lesson I explained some of my common misses but my teacher couldn't really find anything definitive on film/launch monitor to explain the misses I was describing. After discussing for awhile, she suggested a playing lesson to see if we could identify something that doesn't present itself in the indoor practice/lesson facility.

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14 hours ago, Darkfrog said:

. After discussing for awhile, she suggested a playing lesson to see if we could identify something that doesn't present itself in the indoor practice/lesson facility.

Hitting off mats can be vastly different from hitting off turf to begin with...

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17 hours ago, iacas said:

I think on-course lessons are often a waste of time. So much time spent driving around, not much time hitting shots, almost none of it filmed, etc.

On-course or playing lessons are valuable in two or three instances:

  • A serious student who is spending a good chunk of time (and often $) on his golf game, as a part of an ongoing or regular lesson series. It's good to just see how the lessons are being applied in the "real world" and not just on the range.
  • A newer player or a player who is really improving, but who has no idea how to play certain kinds of shots. This is often at a course with a lot of variety and unique shots - sidehill lies, deep bunkers, fast greens, whatever. People might not understand the different types of shots you can hit, or how to strategize and choose shots on the course.
  • The third is when a student is doing well on the range but can't seem to take it to the course. Often this is one of two things: a) alignment, or b) a mental issue. Finding out which can be quite valuable.

I would say I fit more into #3.  I'm also looking to start getting more instruction anyway, I've only ever had two lessons, most of my learning has been through online content and then a painful process of trial and error with that content.  I'm looking to start getting more personalized focused instruction, hopefully this will be in the form of a series of lessons with the same pro.

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This season I took a lesson on the course, for 2 reasons.  

1) My new Home Course was just that new to me and presented so many different types of shots that I was getting overwhelmed.  Over thinking. He simplified my approach and got my mind to stop over thinking.

2) It gave me time to just talk away from the Practice Range and learn about a new potential teacher. I felt that was invaluable and we really hit if off together.  

After that my lessons with this Teaching Pro have been at the Range and very productive.  

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3 hours ago, David in FL said:

Hitting off mats can be vastly different from hitting off turf to begin with...

The artificial hitting surfaces at my lesson/practice facility are state of the art (I'm told), and are much better than a normal range mats. But it can't simulate uphill, downhill, and side hill lies, and my golf course is VERY hilly. Also the way the hitting bay is configured practically ensures perfect alignment every swing. So these are things that can only be practiced on course.

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On 8/31/2020 at 4:04 PM, campbellj21 said:

Does anybody have any experience with on course instruction?  Did you feel like there was a real benefit going out and playing golf with the instructor, some things that you wouldn't get during a lesson on a range or simulator?  There are a few courses around me that the pros offer on course lessons and I've been kicking around the idea of taking one.  Wanted to get some thoughts on what to expect and maybe some positive/negatives with others' experiences.  

I have found that most people that try to practice on the course, really are not practicing. It seems like even when trying to practice on the course, people still tend to try and shoot a score. If I am really trying to practice, I do it on the range...

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On 9/1/2020 at 9:11 AM, Darkfrog said:

The artificial hitting surfaces at my lesson/practice facility are state of the art (I'm told), and are much better than a normal range mats. But it can't simulate uphill, downhill, and side hill lies, and my golf course is VERY hilly. Also the way the hitting bay is configured practically ensures perfect alignment every swing. So these are things that can only be practiced on course.

At the far end of my range there is a place that I can practice hitting out of the trees and bushes.

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I have taken many lessons in the last 4 years but only 3 were playing lessons. The first one was to get me off the range to get a taste of real golf v. hitting balls. The second one was to learn how to play - etiquette, basic rules, club choice, etc. The third was when I switched course and wanted to learn course management to stay out/get out of trouble specific to my course.

The most helpful lessons I have ever had were all taken indoors, on a mat with a simulator. But my instructor could take the lesson outside if needed. My chipping/pitching lessons were done at a real practice range and he found a slope off the side to teach me about uneven lies (ball below/above feet, slope left/right, etc.).

For me, the playing lesson was helpful when I had specific questions or situations on a particular course that were repeatable and I wanted to fix.  I probably wouldn’t take a playing lesson randomly if I don’t have anything in mind to ask. 

Edited by FlyingAce

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Preferably, I like to do half and half.  Half on range to find priority piece and do several drills. Other half to apply to on course situations.  By seeing the on course, it also helps me see where else the student may need help.  Many times they say they are fine in one area, when they are not.  When on course, we are typically not playing a hole with one ball.  We drop about 5 balls or more at each location down the length.

Doing half and half at my facility is difficult depending on time of day.  So, I find other ways to apply the pieces.

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