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How Often Do You Take a Lesson?

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2 hours ago, Gary Payne said:

I have taken my first lesson and got a lot out of it.  I just retired and now really have time for golf.  My son bought me 4 lessons from a PGA pro, very well known here in the area.  I have the 2nd session schedule tomorrow, how much time should I allow between the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th lesson.  

I took several weeks between the 1st & 2nd lessons and worked hard on what I was taught. 

Any advice?  I have plenty of time to practice and play now.

Regards, Gary

 

It really depends on what you're working on and how quickly you pick it up, but in general I'd say about a month between lessons is good. @iacas wrote a good post about this some time ago:

 

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I have done a good number of activities in my life and have taken a lot of classes/lessons/training in each.

One item that a lot of people overlook is that lessons/training are there to show you what or how to practice/improve.  One does not improve from lessons.  One improves from practicing what is learned from the lessons.

To that end, for golf, I am in the same boat as you (started in the mid-high 30s and looking to get into the teens).  I take a 30 minute lesson about every other week.  But in between those lessons, I practice at least 30 minutes a day, trying to incorporate what was taught, or play at least 9 holes.

In 2 months my handicap has come down about 13 points and trending downward. 

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When do you know when you have had enough? Imo, if the lessons are from a quality instructor, that you both are on the same page with, there is no such thing as too much instruction.

As for 60-30 minute instructions, I'd go with more 30 minute instructions. 60 minutes get into the time zone of actual on course instruction with the instructor.

When I was lucky enough to have a very good instructor/club builder, I took one, sometimes two lessons a week, over a several month period. We even played practice rounds together. The majority of my instruction took place during the winter months, during his off season. 

For most golfers, time, and money available for "quality" instruction still dictates how much instruction they can handle.. Key words are "quality", "time", and "money".

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Typically I take a lesson when I get new clubs and when I feel I have reached a plateau and not improving from my last lesson.

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I think a certain instructor, with the initials DD, said something like he wants to see a video of your swing before scheduling another lesson, to make sure you did good work on what he told you to do before moving on to the next thing.

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3 minutes ago, nevets88 said:

I think a certain instructor, with the initials DD, said something like he wants to see a video of your swing before scheduling another lesson, to make sure you did good work on what he told you to before moving on to the next thing.

Ha, I wish I could ask that of some students. 😄

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Never have.   Now, don't take it the wrong way but I kind of get a sense of pride that I got to be fairly respectable golfer by reading books and digging deep into it on these discussion boards and watching golf channel (used to be Michael Breed back then) when I was learning the game.   I picked up the game later in life (mid-40's) so I know I'll never be a good golfer ...  I just like the challenge of doing my homework and learning things for myself ...

Edited by inthehole

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1 hour ago, inthehole said:

I just like the challenge of doing my homework and learning things for myself

I can appreciate what you’re saying but damn, it’s golf. Taking lessons sure as hell doesn’t take away the challenge of becoming even ‘respectable.’ Golf is hard.

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I took my first ever lesson about a month and a half ago.  Helped get me out of my rotating hands, shallow, behind myself type swing.  I got to a good point for a while there, but then I was so "scared" to go back to my old swing that I developed a lot of cheating habits which got me too loose and inconsistent the other way.  Yesterday I went back for a follow up, and we were able to find a middle ground between these two extremes, and because I was able to backtrack away from a big swing change to something more "comfortable" I was seeing an incredible amount of consistency that I've only seen on my best old days where everything synced up.  We were able to dial in some more minor things too which got me extremely excited and gave me the tools to self-diagnose faster after any mishit (I feel).

So ultimately, as I work on ingraining the best habits I've ever had, we'll see when I'll need my next lesson.  If I can keep up everything we've worked on, I might be able to reach my goal of a sub 5 handicap.  If I falter and plateau before that, then I'll see him again.  As is, I wish he was around sooner (he didn't teach in the area until this year) and I feel like giving myself that ~6 week period to work on the first lesson and kinda break myself to an extreme opposite to my first broken swing. 

I guess that means the simple answer for me is I go back as often as I need to, if I can't immediately figure out what I'm doing on my own.  And the more that I learn from my instructor, the more I realize I didn't know.  I thought I could get to a good playing level on my own, but after the lessons I never would've made the changes that he made and I'm better for having him be around.

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I used to have a couple lessons at the beginning of every season when I was growing up in Kentucky. That was something I learned from reading books by Jack Nicklaus, where he said he went to Jack Grout before every season to set himself up properly. It sounded like good advice back then.

Now that I live in the sunshine and can play all year long, I take an occasional lesson when I realize I'm consistently doing something wrong. I recently went to my pro over hitting so many chunked, fat shots. He fixed me pretty quickly. (My swing must have looked really ugly)  Now, I realize I've bladed a lot of shot chip shots and I'm about to go talk to him again.

Edited by DennisMiller

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I think apps like CoachNow, what’d use to be, Edufii? Whatever, these apps assuming your pro is responsive, help figure out when is a good time. Or just text your pro a video if you think you think something has clicked and he might be like, OK, time for the next piece.

Another thing, some coaches are so in demand, you should just blind schedule something ASAP because otherwise you’ll have to wait months. 

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I had a handful of lessons when I first picked up a club at 14-15 years old but thats it.  Not that I wouldnt like a lesson, but I don't trust the majority of teachers I see at the local ranges because of the kinda cookie cutter stuff I see them teaching people. a truly good teacher that can help a lower handicap player is hard to find.  most can really just teach the basic swing model to new students. 

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Lessons are one of the most controversial subjects amongst golfers. Firstly, to everyone one good teacher there are probably half a dozen poor ones. I have had lessons from three different pro's, and two of them were hopeless. I am nearly 62 years old, and not very flexible, and the last pro to give me a lesson got frustrated because I couldn't swing like a 20 year old. Another pro thought it was a good idea to let me get on with what ever I did and just give me encouragement. The first pro to give me a lesson was brilliant. He gave me enough information to allow me to develop, but not to much to confuse me. You also have to consider your age and where you are in your golfing life. To be honest I don't care if I don't get better, but I would like to stay as good or as bad as I am at present. The only way I am going to be able to do this is to make what I do work. Of course, all the time I am looking for little changes in my swing or my putting technique etc to keep my shots down. Lessons can be a great thing, but they have to be for the right person, and given by the right pro

Edited by Mr Puddle

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Never have.  I like figuring things out myself.  I also like to tinker with mechanical things like cars, motorcycles, radios, computers, etc.

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On 7/19/2018 at 12:59 PM, millsan1 said:

One item that a lot of people overlook is that lessons/training are there to show you what or how to practice/improve.  One does not improve from lessons.  One improves from practicing what is learned from the lessons.

This is extremely overlooked and a great post by you. 

I can't tell you how many people I see just plinking balls at the range with no idea on what to look for, what to practice, or specific drills (basically just killing time not improving). 

Not a big fan of the macho "ohh i'm a man I figure stuff out on my own". I'd rather get proper coaching for 2 years and actually be good then spend 10 years being a hacker. 

Alot of coaches run into these "oh i'm a man I can figure it out" and unfortunately it's harder to coach them at this point because they've essentially become good at being bad.  

One last point just because you get lessons doesn't mean there isn't tons of stuff you can't figure out or tinker during practice. Guitar lessons for example you have a coach teaching you basic cords, progressions, intro to reading music, how to strum but you still technically have to figure out how to blend it all together and how to incorporate other aspects into it as well. Same with golf lessons it's more guiding you into the right direction but at the end of the day you still have to figure some of it out/practice 

 

 

 

Edited by TussinMan

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I have had three lessons in the 57 years I have been playing.  The first one was not worth the price. The second one got me down to between a 5-7 for 15 years. The last one did not do a thing for me and the pro would not accept money because he knew he did not help me. I would not take one today as I just  play for my enjoyment and for the exercise of a good walk with my wife. 

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I have taken a number of lessons in the past but with the body of a 67 year old with a bad back and bum hip I have learned to swing in a manner that stops me from breaking something.  I do believe a good teacher can help you greatly if you have the agility and basic skills required.

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