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I'm an amateur and I want to teach people how to golf. What are my options?


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You don't need to be scratch to teach someone to play. Even if at first my only qualification is that I'm obviously better than the really bad golfers, I can build on that when they see results.

You need some level of qualification and saying you self studied the golf swing for 1000's of hours doesn't qualify you to teach.  As a potential student I'd say if you know so much about the golf swing why aren't you a scratch golfer or better?  How do you defend yourself if someone gets hurt while you're instructing them?

It's one thing if you want to charge some friends for lessons, it's quite another to start a business where you're presenting yourself as an expert or instructor in a field.  The Dan Plan guy has over 5000 hours invested in golf and sub 3 handicap would you take lessons from him?

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Playing and teaching are two different things. Takes much more knowledge to effectively coach somebody than it does to play.

All too often somebody thinks they are automatically qualified to teach somebody that's not as good as they are. I've seen some pretty good players in several sports (including golf) that barely knew how their own mechanics worked, much less able diagnose somebody else's problems or know the best course of action to fix them.

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You can do whatever you want. Let people make that decision for them self.

This guy, Matt Edelman, owned a range down the street from me. He offered lessons cheap ($30/hr). I almost took one from him considering they were cheap and he made a few pro cuts back in his younger days. Then I watched him hit a golf ball. I laughed at him (his swing resembled that of Charles Barkley and had a snap hook), he got mad and told me to never come back, and I never came back. 4 months later, the FBI had seized his property as being involved in the trafficking methamphetamine and growing marijuana in the back of the property.

He probably made bad golfers worse, but he made some extra cash off of it. If you don't care about giving people honest lessons where they would actually benefit from it, then go ahead. You won't be the first or last to sell snake oil. It happens every day, we just know them as "Taylormade". You ever notice how they come out with "new and improved" technology every 4 months?

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I've been playing golf for a while, quit a couple of times because I never got better or achieved what I thought was my true potential and took lessons from scores of instructors and didn't know any better how to find good ones. For most of those instructors: I Want My Money Back. If you have a 6 handicap, can't hit any shape shot or any shot period on demand and haven't been mentored by a master instructor and haven't already worked with hundreds if not thousands of students and radar/video, I'm running, no, sprinting, far, far away from you. Dude, you have to pay me to listen to you after which I will zap myself with a wipe memory device.
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I call B.S. on needing to be a pro to teach people. I have had lessons and have also have had the nice older guy at a range while talking to my buddy about my issues offer to help. He explained some things that really clicked with me and 3 hrs later I was leaving the range. I offered to pay the guy for his time and he turned it down, said he just enjoys helping. Point being, I learned more in those 3 hrs with a joe blow am, then I did in the 3 lessons I took with a so called pro. Its like being a school teacher you can have all the degrees you want ,but if you can relate with the kids what good are those degrees? I'd say start telling people you know,that you are willing to give lesson cheap to start out. If those people are happy with the results they will tell other people. Players just wanna get better and if you can make that happen people will come to you. It will just be a slow process, But I dont think you need to label your self a pro. If you were a pro Id see you on tv . :D
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I call B.S. on needing to be a pro to teach people. I have had lessons and have also have had the nice older guy at a range while talking to my buddy about my issues offer to help. He explained some things that really clicked with me and 3 hrs later I was leaving the range. I offered to pay the guy for his time and he turned it down, said he just enjoys helping. Point being, I learned more in those 3 hrs with a joe blow am, then I did in the 3 lessons I took with a so called pro. Its like being a school teacher you can have all the degrees you want ,but if you can relate with the kids what good are those degrees? I'd say start telling people you know,that you are willing to give lesson cheap to start out. If those people are happy with the results they will tell other people. Players just wanna get better and if you can make that happen people will come to you. It will just be a slow process, But I dont think you need to label your self a pro. If you were a pro Id see you on tv . :D

Seriously? Would you teach knife defense classes if you can't defend against them yourself?

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Great story here Go do it life is short and if you feel like you can help than do it . Never listen to online comments do what you think is best thesis our online forums know one knows each other screw it and goe do it
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I hovered on this website for 2 years. Read everything my free hours allowed me. Finally joined. Just signed up for Evolvr. I guess IMHO in this time and day you have the advantage of truly understanding the methodology/knowledge/temperament and ensure they have some demonstrated proficiency before you entrust somebody with your swing. Any serious golfer should. I guess I could have gone to one or two local pros (very reputable) but really I feel I have to know them to understand where they are coming from. I also think I have to have enormous respect for them to have trust. I feel that now here on this site. But like I said, took a considerable time.

So really, where are you in your preparations? I hope you even vaguely fit the bill. Of course there is also the Sunday afternoon school teacher version which doesn't take much. I know you 'just want to know the rules' and sure, it is not life or death but in the least, I hope you appreciate the responsibility involved.

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If you feel like you can help people out, go for it! I'm not sure about amateur rules and what not, but I'm sure there's a way to dabble in giving lessons to see if it's what you really want. I am a high school coach. I've coached three different sports in my career, two of which I have never played. While I did play football through high school, I wasn't a very good player. However, I am a good football coach and I'm a pretty good soccer coach too. Just because I'm not a great athlete, doesn't mean I can't teach some one else. Doesn't the old saying follow: "Those who can't do, teach." So if you want to teach people, do it. If you're not any good, they'll quit paying you. If you are good, they'll keep paying you. I don't really even see the issue.
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If you feel like you can help people out, go for it! I'm not sure about amateur rules and what not, but I'm sure there's a way to dabble in giving lessons to see if it's what you really want. I am a high school coach. I've coached three different sports in my career, two of which I have never played. While I did play football through high school, I wasn't a very good player. However, I am a good football coach and I'm a pretty good soccer coach too. Just because I'm not a great athlete, doesn't mean I can't teach some one else. Doesn't the old saying follow: "Those who can't do, teach." So if you want to teach people, do it. If you're not any good, they'll quit paying you. If you are good, they'll keep paying you. I don't really even see the issue.

So caveat emptor, or there's a sucker born every minute...... To which do you subscribe? Or is it both? You have no problem with someone unqualified for a given job representing themselves as an expert in order to separate people from their money? I'm a big fan of the free market, but my admiration stops at professional misrepresentation and fraud. But maybe that's just me.

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So caveat emptor, or there's a sucker born every minute...... To which do you subscribe? Or is it both? You have no problem with someone unqualified for a given job representing themselves as an expert in order to separate people from their money? I'm a big fan of the free market, but my admiration stops at professional misrepresentation and fraud. But maybe that's just me.

Who said anything about professional misrepresentation? I'm saying that just because he may not be a great player doesn't mean he can't be a good teacher. And if there's a little fraud, I don't like it, but the free market will in fact take care of it.

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I think you may be able to give basic instruction/tips. Proper grip/stance/takeaway, of course these are all things people should be able to learn on their own these days via the internet. The detailed fixes, like you see posted in the member swing area where they measure angles and show specific areas of the swing which are not correct and small tweaks to fix them are things you probably wouldn't know how to do. I do agree with the fact that you don't necessarily have to be able to do something to be able to explain how it's done. I mean, I know how to throw a curve ball but that doesn't mean I can actually throw a curve ball.

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Don't do it ( yet ). It's that simple.

You do not have what it takes right now at this point in time. If you want to start teaching at some point in the future and you are considering some type of "career change", I would highly recommend that you begin putting in the necessary work. Make sure you have proper finances set aside because if you're putting in the work properly from this stage, you shouldn't expect to receive a dime from a client for a very long time.

If this is something that you really want to do in the future, your reputation is going to be everything and you don't want to tarnish it by thinking you can take a complete hack and turn them into a 15hc or something. These are the instructors that wind up like Chubbs - sitting at a driving range behind a client who is duffing and hacking all over the place, while they're reading a Golf Digest magazine and repeating "yeahhh... nicceeee and easyy.... yep. It's allll in the hips. Wrist flat... gooooood".

I love food and I love cooking on my grill. Hell, people joke an call me Master Chef, Grill Master, Gordon Ramsay, etc. I can tell you how far out a steak is by texture, look and feel without ever looking at a clock. But, I sure as hell couldn't run the grill in a professional setting without learning a whole lot more.

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You'd be surprised… There are some awfully busy lousy golf instructors out there.

That's a pretty good point. I still don't think not being a great golfer disqualifies some one from being a great golf instructor though. How could a beginner tell if an instructor, who is just starting off, is good or not? Obviously to find a reputable instructor would be ideal, but let's say that for some reason an instructor that pretty new is the most convenient choice.

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That's a pretty good point. I still don't think not being a great golfer disqualifies some one from being a great golf instructor though. How could a beginner tell if an instructor, who is just starting off, is good or not? Obviously to find a reputable instructor would be ideal, but let's say that for some reason an instructor that pretty new is the most convenient choice.

I've often wonder about this. I have really nothing to add to what's already been said but I'm always looking for a solution or a way to mitigate the situation that exists now. It's pretty much a crapshoot unless you luck out and know someone who really knows his/her stuff and has been around the block.

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  • 1 year later...


I felt the same way but decided to get Professional Certification. To become a PGA approved Teacher/Instructor requires 2 years in a program plus working full time at a golf course. I was/unable to go that route so searched for another "approved/recognized" vehicle and came across the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America (PGTAA). They use the exact curriculum directly from the PGA and require PTA scoring, etc. I became a Certified Class A Master Instructor several months ago. I found a golf course that allows me to teach on their range. Getting students isn't easy when money is involved no matter how good or how many years you've been a Teaching Pro. I end up teaching people for free as I just really want to help. However now I find I cannot compete in all the great Amateur Events/Tours despite not earning a dime teaching. I'm 63 with a 2 handicap but don't have the years of experience in golf and golf teaching as 99% of the Pros around and finally realize that being Certified doesn't overcome ignorance and I don't know jack other than being a decent amateur golfer.

I suggest keep helping those who "want" help and forget making money.

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The problem you are most likely going to have is where you would do it. Ranges and courses usually have professionals of their own. You can't just rock up somewhere and start teaching. Unless you have your own driving range or course. :-)

I haven't met him yet but someone gave me his card. There is a man in my area who fits and custom makes clubs for people and also teaches people how to play in his backyard. He has one hole set up. The only thing about any credentials mentioned was that he is 81 and he still scores in the eighties. He charges ten bucks a lesson.

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