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Kalipari

Getting the most out of your golf lessons

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I have been taking a series of golf lessons with an instructor I really like. I would like to hear from the teaching professionals and players who are currently taking lessons - How can a student get the most out of their lessons? I want to maximize my gains with the investment I am making into my golf game. What reccommendations would you have for me?

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Ask a lot of questions, and listen carefully to the answers. If he says you need to turn your shoulders more, ask him how to train yourself to turn more, how much turn is too much turn, and how you can monitor your practice to make sure you're actually turning correctly and not just feeling like you're turning better. Ask him if the larger turn will have ripple effects to other aspects of your swing, and if there are pitfalls to watch out for. Ask whether you need to feel less wrist hinge or concentrate more on keeping the left elbow straight, now that you're turning more, to guard against an overswing.

And then practice as much as you can between lessons. Work hard to incorporate that shoulder turn, so that next lesson you can focus on your spine angle, instead of spending a second lesson working on your shoulder turn. Also, during practice you'll discover new questions that you need to ask in your next lesson.

-Andrew

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I am a big "drills" guy when trying to learn new things. If your teacher says you have an OTT swing, but gives you no drills to change this, it can be very difficult for some students. Some can change just by watching, and some need drills to change.

I also ask a lot of "why" questions when asked to change something - I am a very analytical/detailed person when it comes to sport execution.

Then there is the practice you need to do after a lesson. And it is proper practice, not just hitting balls. Many repetitions are required to learn a new skill, but only a few bad repetitions can take you right back to where you were (it feels right doing something the old way).

Another note I would like to make is one teacher may get along just fine with one student, yet another may not mesh well with them. If you feel you are not getting the most out of your lessons, or feel totally confused about what you are being taught, find another teacher. Sometimes it takes awhile to find the right person who can relate to you and how your learn. The really great teachers adapt to their students and their learning needs.

One thing that I feel can help students is knowing what type of person or category they fall into with learning. Some learn through pictures, some learn through watching, etc.

For teaching students, one of the worse ways is people sitting around in a room while the instructor just talks and talks and talks. Interaction is the key to proper learning. And again each individual learns differently, which a good teacher or instructor will notice and integrate into their teachings.

Here is a great link on how people learn, and understanding how you learn and passing that on to your instructor, can really help in your process.

http://www.funderstanding.com/about-learning

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I found that I benefitted from spacing out the lessons so I'd have more time to practice what we covered in the lesson. I started going every week, and would practice 3-4 times per week, but found that wasn't always enough. I spread the lessons out to every 2-3 weeks and started to see much better results and the lessons were more productive.

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I found that I benefitted from spacing out the lessons so I'd have more time to practice what we covered in the lesson. I started going every week, and would practice 3-4 times per week, but found that wasn't always enough. I spread the lessons out to every 2-3 weeks and started to see much better results and the lessons were more productive.

I agree with this.

When I went back to my instructor with very little time between my last session, I hadn't fully changed my habits yet from the last session. Give yourself some time to really work on it before you go back so you aren't wasting time with the instructor further telling you to fix a flaw you already know you have.

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There's a theory about consolidation, where when learning something new, you have to literally sleep on it to learn something well. That fits with spacing out your lessons. Schedule a lesson when you think you're ready at your pace.

The temptation is to schedule a lesson when things start going wrong. I think you have to struggle a little on your own and figure things out as much as you can. After a couple of tries and you feel like you exhausted all possibilities, then you schedule a lesson. I know I need time to digest what an instructor says and the feelings of the movements he's describing.

With me, with a good instructor, I sometimes struggle, sometimes not, but eventually things start to click and hopefully the next lesson you schedule, you'll move onto something new. It's not an eureka moment, but many less intense eureka moments, spaced out. Eventually, you hit a good shot and you try and remember what you did and reproduce.

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I found that I benefitted from spacing out the lessons so I'd have more time to practice what we covered in the lesson. I started going every week, and would practice 3-4 times per week, but found that wasn't always enough. I spread the lessons out to every 2-3 weeks and started to see much better results and the lessons were more productive.

This is what I have done over the last 5 months. Ideally, you want to practice a concept daily to ingrain it and return to refine and move on to the next concept. I spaced my lessons out and made sure to include the short game. I just finished with the 12th lesson and I have walked away with a better understanding of my habits and tendencies under pressure, the ways to avoid these tendencies, the ideal, and a better understanding of fundamentals and what it all should feel like. I am now going to keep working on my own for a while and wait a month or so before going back. My goal (and I think you should have one) is to be a solid 5 by next summer and I have a plan.

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There are some excellent points made here.

One thing you have to remember as you are practicing your new skills from your instructor. Follow the drills or skills to the letter and do not get off path onto something you "think" you should do. Otherwise you may be heading down the wrong path and creating more issues with your game then improving it.

Everyone wants to improve and improve quickly. Trouble is each of us learns at a different pace depending on the skill needed. Something like a grip change is easy to look at and duplicate from the instructor and if you are not gripping the way you were taught, then maybe you are not paying attention to it. It feels new, it feels wrong, it causes you to not hit shots well. But then as someone else mentioned, one day it clicks and starts to work for you.

Depending on the number of things an instructor throws at you, you need to work on one thing at a time when at the range for 10-20 balls, then move on to the next item. At then end you should clear your head (sing a song, think of your favorite ice creme sundae, etc.) and just hit balls and see how you perform, noting items you are still struggling with. Note these items as ones you need to work on more. We all need more work on the things we do wrong, but do not forget to also give some time to things you are doing right.

Learning new things is hard and it takes time, effort, and dedication. Wanting it quicker and thinking if you hit two large buckets instead of just one will improve you faster is completely wrong. Shorter good practice is far superior to longer bad practice.

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In an ideal world, you are matched up with the instructor that's right for you and is teaching a method/system/philosophy that you agree with and fits you. When you're a rank beginner, that's hard to figure out. If you're getting taught by someone who's not that good, no amount practice is going to help.

When practicing, ideally, there would be an HD monitor in your booth that recorded your swing and could bring up videos of your past lesson where you made the correct moves according to your instructor and you could compare and contrast your practice swing with the model swing. So you could say to the voice recognition, "play back swing with lesson swing side by side in slow motion" and the video would show and you could switch views and pause, step through to analyze. This way, you won't veer off from your instructor's directions.

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Visuals are the best for me, as well as little things that get you to feel whats right. For example, i kept falling forward after impact, loosing my balance. We figured that i had to much weight on my toes at address, so the pro i go to has this little wooden wedge, like a door stop. He put it under my left toe, so i kept my weight off my toes and more on the balls of my feet and the heel (trying to get that 50/50). He did that, and it took a while for me to get use to it, besides messing with a grip, mess with someones balance, its tough. I finally figured out a good set up for me that allowed me to get good balance. Those little things help. Video cameras are nice as well, especially if you take lessons in the north in the winter, indoor hitting range + camera, big plus

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1. When the pro is talking, listen. Trading ideas doesn't move you forward.
2. When the pro says, do "this", then do "this" to the best of your ability even if it's uncomfortable. Comfortable only means it's what you're used to, not that it's right.
3. Don't add anything of your own to what the pro wants you to do.
4. If you don't understand what to do, ask for another explanation or a demonstration.
5. Don't worry about the clinkers you're likely to hit. It's up to the pro to judge how you're doing.
6. When the lesson is nearly over, ask for some drills to practice the points you've been working on.
7. Hit the balls that are left, and work on nothing but what you were taught.
8. Practice, practice, practice.

Most important: Have something specific you want to learn. "I want to improve my swing" isn't specific. "I'm hitting shots that go way right every so often and they just come out of nowhere" is.

Remember that the pro just points the way. The person responsible for your improvement is you.

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I get a lot of info when during my lessons. I work through them all at the range and take 1 or 2 of the tips/adjustments to the course. I will also try to remember what doesn't work for me so he can teach a technique to me in a different way or throw it out the window and try something different. My guy is serviceable and understands what I want out of the game. At first he wanted me to swing like a pro. Well, my body doesn't move like a pro so we have made adjustments this year to account for that.

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I suggest getting a notebook for golf and writing down what you learned right after the lesson. It's amazing how you will forget little details in as short as a week. I still refer back to information on lessons I took three years ago to pick up on little details I have forgotten.

As others have said, practice, practice, practice. Don't be surprised if you all of a sudden start hitting the ball worse too. I always seem to have a great practice day right after the lesson and then have a horrible day. It comes back better though, so stick with it and trust what you have learned. A lot of people don't practice and your body wants to revert back to the old way because it is comfortable.

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Ditto... write down the things you are asked to do. It does not matter if you are a visual learner or not, technical or not, write stuff down.

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Note: This thread is 3255 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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