Finding an Instructor

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By Cris M

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  • 12 Replies
  1. 0 Posts

    Apologies if there is already a thread for this. I just returned to golf after a 5 year layoff. Before the break, I was down to a 10 HDCP and will hopefully get back there; but I really want to get to the single digits this time around. I know this won't be possible without a lot of patience and work. My question is this: How do you find an instructor that is right for you; someone you want to work with "long-term"? There are a ton of instructors out there, but I really want to avoid taking a lesson with with who knows how many different instructors until I find a good fit.

  2. CoolBreeze
    Sudbury, MA

    0 Posts

    You can always call them to get a feel of how they interact with you over the phone and ask them questions about their teaching philosophy and style. Do an internet check on them to try and find them on LinkedIn or other social media platforms to find recommendations and reviews. People call me all the time and I just give them who I am over the phone and then give them everything I've got during the lesson based on how well the progress during the lesson. Teaching is fun and it should be fun and engaging for the student. I don't think of teaching as teaching, rather than coaching a player from point A to point b or where ever they want to achieve.
  3. Don O
    Madison, WI

    0 Posts

    On my personal observation, there are some chains with indoor fittings/training. It was fun at a golf show to "get wired" into harnesses, but eventually, the training tended to require me to hit certain degrees of motion, and then compared me to Tiger and Phil. As a 67 year old that started at 59, this eventually felt like a 1 size fits all, and I'm not all. What has worked well is being able to coordinate between a coach that will work on making me the best me and a TPI instructor that did an assessment and worked on areas where I needed better flexibility. In my case, I should/could have started with the TPI so the coach would have had better material to start with. My first instructor didn't work out well, and my second might have worked if I had started with TPI. Third time was the charm.
  4. Gabe B
    Kansas City, Missouri

    0 Posts

    You need to call around and talk to the individual instructors near you and find one that is willing to listen to your goals and you feel is willing to help you get there. You may find a couple that seems to work and then take a lesson from one and finds out.
  5. Titleist Professional
    United Kingdom

    0 Posts

    Hello
    I work at a golf pro shop and the top tips is the following
    1. Contact them and see what the professional can do to help you
    2. Ask them to do bag mapping for you to find your perfect specs
    3. Trial different clubs to find the perfect one
    4. If your not happy with the style of their teaching tell them as The most common thing I see on a daily basis is people just going along with what the professional says if your not happy tell them because there here to help
    5. As I always say practice makes permanent if you practice something you you will know it to be right so ask for help if needed and practice the way the pro says there here to help

    Hope this helps
    Thanks
    Dylan :)
  6. Jerry M
    Dallas, TX

    0 Posts

    DonO has a good point on being TPI assessed. You need to get in as good a shape as possible for the instructor so they can do a good job teaching you. His term "would have had better material to start with" is so true. Flexibility in golf is a key component in having a good golf game. (Not the only thing but it helps). Good luck!
  7. 0 Posts

    Thanks. I agree on the flexibility point and appreciate the advice; but fitness isn't really a concern for me. My 5 year absence from golf was spent training for and racing triathlons. Re-finding a consistent swing and finding some semblance of a short game are what I really need help with. If I don't hit the green, I am pretty much doomed. Heck, even if I hit the green there is no guarantee I can 2 putt.
  8. Dino J
    Burnaby, BC

    0 Posts

    Cris M said:

    Thanks. I agree on the flexibility point and appreciate the advice; but fitness isn't really a concern for me. My 5 year absence from golf was spent training for and racing triathlons. Re-finding a consistent swing and finding some semblance of a short game are what I really need help with. If I don't hit the green, I am pretty much doomed. Heck, even if I hit the green there is no guarantee I can 2 putt.

    I spent several years in the gym, training and preparing for 2-day cycling events before I came back to golf too.
    I would strongly suggest that you go to a TPI Fitness Professional and go through the TPI assessment. It's a great starting point for you in terms of connecting with a Teaching Professional.

    I work with a TPI Teaching Professional and its been pretty good - but the good ones want to make sure that the TPI assessment shows what your range of motion, balance and core strength capabilities are. This allows them to teach in a manner that is consistent with your physical capabilities.

    From my personal experience, it was well worth it and continues to be. My handicap is now back down to mid single digits again and I am glad that I went through this process after bouncing around from coach to coach for a couple of years. Anyway Chris ... just some food for thought from my own experience. Hopefully there is something that you might find useful.
  9. 0 Posts

    Chris, I had stopped playing for a long time and when I started again I got a copy of Ben Hogans 5 lessons book. I was of immense help in getting off on the right grip and fundamentals. Then I asked some folks who they would recommend in our area, then I went and watched and listened to the PGA professional give lessons. Some were trying to tear apart a swing others were able to work with the fundamental swing people had. Finding an instructor is a personal matter, you need someone who you trust and you will listen to. It worked for me finding someone who would work with me and the basic turn and mobility I have and the Pro has a personal interaction with me that I like and enjoy the lesson. My advise is to spend the time to investigate the Pro and talk with them about their approach in lessons, taking the time upfront is worthwhile.
  10. Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    0 Posts

    Good question Cris. I guess its trial and error. I was lucky to find a friend that was also a PGA Professional in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I don't know where you live but if in the DFW area, you might try out Paul Norris. He helps coach the Texas Wesleyan University golf team. What i like most about Paul's method is that he concentrates on fixing the worst flaw and does not overload me on things to change. Its a slower process but one i prefer.
  11. 0 Posts

    In addition to the good advice already given, another possibility is trying to either observe lessons to get a feel for the teaching style (might not be a possibility for some, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to ask), and/or talk to current students to see what they like/dislike about that particular pro.
  12. 0 Posts

    Well, after much research and talking with a couple people, I think I have found someone. Unfortunately, he is off conducting kids clinics for a few weeks but hopefully this will be what I need. Right now I can't make two good swings in a row on the range. And he is TP Certified so I will have that looked at as well.
  13. 0 Posts

    I definitely mad the right decision. No band aid fixes. Just education on what is causing my swing faults and what I need to work on to correct them. And for those who recommended TPI, you were right. Although my biggest issue is related to arm rotation on the back swing, a lack of hip flexibility is compounding the issue.

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