If you want to play your best golf, you've got to invest in the game.
For some, that means purchasing a new club, upgrading to something more forgiving, more modern and probably a little longer. However, new equipment cannot mask glaring flaws in your mechanics. That's why investing in golf lessons is the best way to improve your game long term.
Finding the right golf instructor for you is not a simple matter of a Google search or a phone call to your local course. You're forging a relationship with someone who is charged with being your sherpa to better golf.
So, before you pick your new teacher, here are five questions to answer.
1. What are your goals? Don't enter into a relationship with a new golf instructor without some sense of what you want to accomplish. It could improving a specific facet of your game or simply getting better enough to break 100, 90 or 80. Identify what success looks like because that will inform what you ask and expect of your teacher.
2. How much are you willing to change? Before you start taking golf lessons, you need to decide how much you're willing to change your mechanics and approach. Some instructors will tear you completely down to build you back up, meaning your golf may suffer in the short-term for long-term success. Some instructors are happy to fix small flaws with slight adjustments to help you achieve specific goals (hitting it further, not hooking or slicing it, etc.). If committing time to practicing changes are a problem, look for a teacher who can work in small changes over time.
3. How much are you willing to spend? There are plenty of good PGA of America and LPGA instructors to fit most every budget. However, expensive instructors could have limited availability. Lower-priced teachers may have a good set of eyes and good theory, but may struggle to communicate well. You should also decide if one-on-one golf instruction is for you or if you think taking group golf classes makes sense for you and your budget.
4. How do you learn best? Everyone learns differently, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to golf instruction. Some prefer to see once and then practice until perfect. Some need hands-on golf instruction. Video and launch-monitor technology can be huge assets, but may be information overload for some players. Know how you best consume potentially complicated information before you try to process it.
5. Where will you practice what you're working on with your instructor? If your teacher is stationed at your club or regular course or driving range, then that place will likely double as where you work on your game. However, if you're driving out of your way or have traveled to a destination to get instruction, make sure you know where you can work on your game when the lessons are finished.
For more information on world-class golf instruction, visit Bird Golf Academy.