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3 hours ago, Hardspoon said:

I don't think it's the specific duration that's the problem, whether it is "weekly" or "monthly" or "daily".

The main issue is that proper instruction should be progress-based, rather than time-based. Regularly-scheduled lessons seem to ignore the fact that different things will take different lengths of time to learn. 

The only (potential) value could be for someone who "works best on a deadline", and feels like having that lesson scheduled motivates them to practice and work to get to the next piece.

I was also going to say something about motivation and accountability.  Motivation and accountability may be more necessary for some than others.

Similar to weight loss, some have a hard time with motivation when working on their own.  But partner them up or add a counselor that they need to report in to and they have more success.

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4 hours ago, jkelley9 said:

I do agree with the original statement. My one caveat is (and this may only apply to me, and a small group of people) is that when deciding to start taking up golf, it's probably a good idea to get lessons at a higher frequency at the VERY beginning.

Yes, at the beginning. But those lessons should probably often be about 15-30 minutes long. New golfers can easily get overwhelmed, and limiting the lessons to a short time span helps the instructor as much as the student. Almost. ;-)

4 hours ago, jkelley9 said:

I think it would be really difficult for a complete beginner golfer to go the route of instructor B.

I agree. This post isn't really talking to the complete beginner. By and large, complete beginners aren't cruising websites reading about golf (though I would be… but I get obsessive over new things). :-)

4 hours ago, jkelley9 said:

Then I moved to instructor B which was MUCH BETTER, and has drastically improved my game. I have not seen my instructor in probably 6 months or more because I am still working on the things he taught me and I believe I still have a good handle of the scope of those lessons. However, I'm probably due to get another lesson from him to make sure there isn't some unknown area of my swing that has gone all cattywampus. 

Yes.

4 hours ago, VeryShagadelic said:

How does this apply to absolute beginners?

See above.

13 minutes ago, No Mulligans said:

I was also going to say something about motivation and accountability.  Motivation and accountability may be more necessary for some than others.

Similar to weight loss, some have a hard time with motivation when working on their own.  But partner them up or add a counselor that they need to report in to and they have more success.

Yes, there are some who need or want the "personal trainer" style. That's fine. I'm actually starting on November 8th with a guy who wants just that. Instead of four lessons in the normal pack at 45 minutes (not that my lessons ever finish in less than 50 or 55 minutes…), I'm giving him six for the same cost with the understanding that most will probably be 20-30 minutes after the first one which will be longer.

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I actually am following the B option right now, I've taken 4 lessons in about 6 months and a 5th coming soon. I definitely think that you need time to work on things, and it's nice being able to go to the range and chat with the pro there if they are out; and quickly see if something is drastically off. 

It's a tough balance though, which is why I've been thinking of doing some online lessons in between ( like Evolvr ) over the winter but it might be odd with having a pro for in person lessons then separately someone online. Would that be too much conflict of directions where they both things the swing would go? 

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I agree. This post isn't really talking to the complete beginner. By and large, complete beginners aren't cruising websites reading about golf (though I would be… but I get obsessive over new things). :-)

Haha I am the same way. I have already read hogans 5 principles, it was great. I have searched all over the internet for golf info (gold reddit is not bad, not very informative though) and this site is one of the better sources I have found. You guys have been great so far

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  • 1 month later...
9 hours ago, Rayrobinson said:

Lesson , 40 hours practice, lesson , 40 hours practice, lesson , so on and so on

That sounds pretty intense. How long does it take to get 40 hours in ?

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36 minutes ago, gregsandiego said:

That sounds pretty intense. How long does it take to get 40 hours in ?

For me that is one a month , but I should expand its 40 hours of practice not play as play can be for 6 hours with 70 shots ? , plus a lesson shouldn't last any longer than 30 minutes and should have one back swing focus and one downswing focus. Any longer than this and it's either too complicated or just over delivering the message .

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10 hours ago, Rayrobinson said:

Lesson , 40 hours practice, lesson , 40 hours practice, lesson , so on and so on

 

17 minutes ago, Rayrobinson said:

For me that is one a month , but I should expand its 40 hours of practice not play as play can be for 6 hours with 70 shots ? , plus a lesson shouldn't last any longer than 30 minutes and should have one back swing focus and one downswing focus. Any longer than this and it's either too complicated or just over delivering the message .

 

I think that measuring lesson frequency by the amount of practice time in between is much more useful than simple duration (eg, "once a month").  For my recent pieces, that 40-hour number is pretty accurate, as well, if you consider only full-swing practice and not time actually playing.  Sadly, I'm only practicing about 2-3 hours or so per week, so it takes a while for me to absorb enough to be "ready" for the next lesson.

The time is also going to vary greatly based on what you're practicing.  During the first lesson I ever took, the instructor focused on proper stance, grip, and setup, and gave me one "piece" to work on (eliminating sway and keeping my head steady).  I was back within two weeks (maybe 6 hours of practice) for more.

The pieces I'm working on now are much more difficult to ingrain, so I'd expect that 40-hour time could easily go up.

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I have a range-practice card which allows me unlimited buckets of balls. At the range a couple of weeks ago, the pro walked by and offered each of us on the range a tip. Cool. We talked for a bit, and I suggested to him he take an hour a day, come out to the range, and give a group lesson to the first five golfers for $20. He immediately said he couldn't do it for that.

Two things:

1. I wouldn't take lessons from him. Too rigid. Not my type of teacher.

2. A hundred bucks, virtually guaranteed for an hour a day, isn't good money for him? This is the guy trying to drum up business by walking the line of golfers who are mostly here on the cheap? He's new, so the sooner he recognizes what he has always thought was correct isn't and he's going to have to change his mind.

Three things. Not two. Three.

3. See Number 1.

While the golf pros disagree with the ski pros, I know group lessons are an efficient way to teach--almost any level in golf, more than skiing--and are also plenty profitable. They are a good business practice not used often enough in golf, imho. The club jacket might be a straight-jacket? I'm just sayin'.

My standard disclaimer: I'm not disagreeing or dissing, only pointing out a different perspective. Those who won't change won't listen. I like people who listen to me.

:) 

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46 minutes ago, Blackjack Don said:

While the golf pros disagree with the ski pros, I know group lessons are an efficient way to teach--almost any level in golf, more than skiing--and are also plenty profitable. They are a good business practice not used often enough in golf, imho. The club jacket might be a straight-jacket? I'm just sayin'.

Group lessons are fine for beginners, but for anything other than that it's almost not worth the money - to do a good job your work your ass off with decent to good players, and for those players, they're not getting their money's worth even if they're paying a fraction of what they'd normally pay.

Let's say an hour with a guy is $100. Normally for a group of two the pro might charge $130 or something. For five, he'd have to get closer to $200 and NONE of those people are getting $40 worth of instruction if they're intermediate to advanced golfers.

Skiing is several orders of magnitude different than golf. There's only really one "method" or way to ski.

What can be efficient is a "supervised practice" session. For $10 or $20 (above the cost of balls) if a pro can get 5-10 students out there practicing for an hour under his eye, and jumping in to say "yeah, you're doing that drill properly" or "no, here, a bit more like this…" then that can be worth it to the pro and the students. The pro still works his butt off (not as much as the group instructional stuff, but a bit more so than during his $100 lesson), but the students aren't paying a bunch and they're not expecting a lesson, simply reinforcement of what they had previously learned in a lesson.

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21 hours ago, Blackjack Don said:

I have a range-practice card which allows me unlimited buckets of balls. At the range a couple of weeks ago, the pro walked by and offered each of us on the range a tip. Cool. We talked for a bit, and I suggested to him he take an hour a day, come out to the range, and give a group lesson to the first five golfers for $20. He immediately said he couldn't do it for that.

Two things:

1. I wouldn't take lessons from him. Too rigid. Not my type of teacher.

2. A hundred bucks, virtually guaranteed for an hour a day, isn't good money for him? This is the guy trying to drum up business by walking the line of golfers who are mostly here on the cheap? He's new, so the sooner he recognizes what he has always thought was correct isn't and he's going to have to change his mind.

Three things. Not two. Three.

3. See Number 1.

While the golf pros disagree with the ski pros, I know group lessons are an efficient way to teach--almost any level in golf, more than skiing--and are also plenty profitable. They are a good business practice not used often enough in golf, imho. The club jacket might be a straight-jacket? I'm just sayin'.

My standard disclaimer: I'm not disagreeing or dissing, only pointing out a different perspective. Those who won't change won't listen. I like people who listen to me.

:) 

I agree with you on this particular guy - too rigid. Actually kind of weird if you ask me, that walking by offering tips thing would have annoyed me.

 

That being said I agree with @iacas that group lessons are best for beginners. There is a golfer in my group that made the comment to me "I didn't learn a thing from those group lessons" that woke me up.

It was true. I didn't improve until i took private lessons.

With group they instructor will make a comment then walk away. after 5 mnins.

With private the instructor will stand there until you do it right. That's a huge difference.

Edited by gregsandiego
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  • 4 weeks later...

Doing the Instructor B thing. I have had one lesson, we addressed issues, she gave me drills to work on. I will see her again next month. As a physical therapist I often prescribe a home exercise program with not too many exercises to do. People will adhere to do more of it when it has less content, otherwise, its too overwhelming and you more often than not drop the whole thing. I feel that way with my own golf instruction. Focus on less, will help me more.

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I got lucky.Knew nothing  different, bought ten lessons with a recommended instructor. We planned on a weekly half hour. He didn't try to give me a new swing, just tweaked parts of my swing each week, starting from grip to back swing. He was a wonderful man. I could only handle 6 lessons. That was enough info for my old brain. 

We were going to take an on course game lesson this year. So sad. He passed away at 47

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On 12/17/2016 at 3:35 PM, iacas said:

Group lessons are fine for beginners, but for anything other than that it's almost not worth the money - to do a good job your work your ass off with decent to good players, and for those players, they're not getting their money's worth even if they're paying a fraction of what they'd normally pay.

Let's say an hour with a guy is $100. Normally for a group of two the pro might charge $130 or something. For five, he'd have to get closer to $200 and NONE of those people are getting $40 worth of instruction if they're intermediate to advanced golfers.

Skiing is several orders of magnitude different than golf. There's only really one "method" or way to ski.

What can be efficient is a "supervised practice" session. For $10 or $20 (above the cost of balls) if a pro can get 5-10 students out there practicing for an hour under his eye, and jumping in to say "yeah, you're doing that drill properly" or "no, here, a bit more like this…" then that can be worth it to the pro and the students. The pro still works his butt off (not as much as the group instructional stuff, but a bit more so than during his $100 lesson), but the students aren't paying a bunch and they're not expecting a lesson, simply reinforcement of what they had previously learned in a lesson.

I send my pro videos once a week or so, he's too far to get to for supervised practice. The tips I've gotten to stay on track have been incredibly useful and definitely would pay extra for this, dunno what you'd call it, texting tips via remote video supervision. Wouldn't be surprised if that's a thing in the future. I heard some pros won't give another lesson until they see a video proving that the student has grasped the tenets of the previous lesson.

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  • 2 months later...

To me golf instruction can be very frustrating.  It's like packing too much in your luggage.  Say the lid does not close; its bulging out on the left side.  Its easy to fix.  So you go over and push it in.  But now clothing is hanging out on the right side.  You go back and forth never making any real progress.

However, I like this (your) way of learning.

For me I like video lessons, because I am not an auditory learner.  I can learn by hearing the instructors words, but its better if I can listen to it several times before the full intent sinks in.  Also seeing visual demonstrations of some drill, or concept, work very well with me.

Then as you say go back and work on that drill until the problem is corrected.

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26 minutes ago, Howling Coyote said:

To me golf instruction can be very frustrating.  It's like packing too much in your luggage.  Say the lid does not close; its bulging out on the left side.  Its easy to fix.  So you go over and push it in.  But now clothing is hanging out on the right side.  You go back and forth never making any real progress.

That sounds like a bad lesson, but not every lesson is like that.

I focus on the one thing that the golfer needs most at that moment. Just one thing. Not a packed suitcase.

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