Are you thinking of using a Christmas gift certificate for golf lessons? Professional golf instruction is invaluable if you want to learn how to play the game right. Lessons speed improvement, boost learning and prevent you from ingraining bad habits. They also can help you tap into golf resources you might not have access to otherwise, like launch monitors and swing simulators.
But professional golf instruction doesn’t come cheap. Typical fees average about $50 or more for a 30-minute private lesson. While typical fees average from $75 to $90 for an hour-long session, often a better value. Group golf lessons are less expensive than individual sessions but lack the one-on-one instruction that supercharges learning.
Whatever the cost of golf lessons near, you want to get the most out of each golf instruction session. Doing that, however, is easier said than done. In fact, it can be quite challenging for both beginners and veterans. More importantly, you want to maximize your investment in each golf instruction session you take.
Below are seven golf tips that can help you squeeze the most out of every golf lesson:
1. Choose the right teacher
Finding a teacher that fits the way you learn supercharges progress. But people learn in different ways. Unfortunately, not all instructors can adapt to how every student learns. If you don’t feel like you’re getting your money’s worth or you feel confused after a few lessons, switch teachers. After all, it is your money. You want to get the most from it. Also, if you know how you learn best, let the teacher know.
- Ask for drills to ingrain a skill
Some players learn just by watching others do something. Most of us aren’t so lucky. We need to do something again and again and again to learn something. That’s where drills come in. They can help you ingrain skills that can boost your swing and your game. If you’re an analytical or detailed-oriented person, ask “why” the teacher wants you to do something. The answer can reinforce learning.
3. Ask a lot of questions
Ask a lot of questions, then listen to the teacher’s answers intently. Take notes if that’s how you learn. Also, ask how you can train yourself to ingrain this skill and how you can monitor practice to make sure you’re executing correctly. Monitoring provides instant feedback, which is essential to learning. It also eliminates any possibility that you’re just “feeling” like you’re doing things correctly.
4. Practice as much as you can
Practice the skills taught in golf instruction sessions as much as you can. If the pro says you need to make a big shoulder turn, work on this weakness until it’s ingrained. Then focus on another skill in your next lesson. This approach generates a feeling of progress, which encourages you to continue taking lessons. Also, it raises questions that you can ask at the next session.
5. Space out your lessons
Practicing your new skills is imperative. So, your best bet is to space out your lessons so that you have time to practice your new skills before the next golf instruction session. That will differ depending on the players. You might find that you have the time to take lessons every week and still have time to practice 3 to 4 times a week. Someone else might only have time to take a lesson and practice a sufficient amount of time once every two or three weeks. Find a schedule that fits your needs.
6. Expect to struggle at first
Some golfers expect to show real progress after just one lesson. But learning new habits is hard. Often, it takes two or three lessons to nail a swing change down. So, expect to struggle a bit at first. And don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t feel like you’re making progress. Instead, look for the little things that indicate you’re getting better. Eventually, you’ll do it right and remember how you did it.
7. Work on one thing at a time
Sometimes an instructor will cover more than one thing at a golf instruction session. Don’t focus on trying to learn everything in one practice session. Instead, pick out one thing, then work on that at that session. Then move on to the next skill. When finished, just hit some balls and see how you perform. Note items you still have trouble executing. Working on things you have trouble with is great. But don’t forget to work on things you do right, too. That refines the skill and helps you master it.
Professional golf instruction is invaluable. It teaches you how to play the game right. It also helps eliminate bad habits. But private golf instruction can be expensive. So, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck from each lesson. Keeping our seven golf tips in mind when taking lessons can help you do that.
Six Golf Tips on Chipping with a Hybrid
Traditional golf instruction says you should use lofted wedges to hit chips. That works for many players. But wedges are a bit risky. You can easily mis-hit these shots and run them off or over the green.
The same is true for longer irons, like the 7-iron or 6-iron. These clubs are a little safer than lofted wedges, but they still have an element of risk to them. The most reliable choice of all for chipping, however, might just be a hybrid.
Teachers don’t always mention chipping with a hybrid in golf instruction sessions. But it is an option. When hit well, a hybrid can help you save strokes when just off the green.
Below are five keys to chipping with a hybrid:
- Check your lie
- Use a putting grip
- Choke down on the club
- Play the ball forward
- Use a downward stroke
- Accelerate through impact
Hybrids are great for chipping because they allow you to keep the ball low and running on the ground. A hybrid also has a longer shaft than other clubs. That helps you generate higher clubhead speed with less effort.
Here are some golf tips on hitting a hybrid chip:
- Check your lie before hitting a hybrid chip. The ball needs to be sitting up on the grass to chip it close. If the ball is too deep in the rough, you’ll have difficulty hitting the chip accurately.
- Use a putting grip when chipping with a hybrid. That type of grip encourages a smooth pendulum stroke. Also, choke down on the shaft. That provides better ball control.
- Play the ball forward in your stance. That makes up for the club’s long shaft. Keep your head steady as you make the stroke, and let your wrists hinge back. Keep your spine angle constant for solid contact.
- Accelerate through impact and finish low. A low finish encourages a descending blow that can help you hit a pinpoint chip.
- Hit down on the ball. That helps you get the ball above the top of the grass and rolling forward. Aim for a spot that lets you bounce the ball once or twice and then run.
Golf instruction sessions on chipping don’t always feature hybrids as topics. But chipping with a hybrid is often a safer alternative than other clubs. Just make sure you practice this shot a bit before using it on the course.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Practice Sessions
Want to be the best you can be? Golf instruction videos can help. So, can golf lessons and golf books. You also need to practice the points covered in these tools. But practicing can be tedious. And that can prevent you from getting the most out of a practice session.
The key to getting the full benefit from a session is to practice the way you play. In other words, make practice as realistic as possible. Playing a game during a practice session can do that. Games ingrain skills, boost confidence, and enliven practice.
Below is a golf game that can help you refine your golf swing.
When practicing your full swing at the range, instead of hitting the same club to the same target, hit a different club to a different spot for each shot.
Pretend that you’re playing golf on your favorite course. Use the same club you would hit from the first tee, and, based on the result, choose your club for the approach shot and hit that club.
Play nine holes or play as many holes as you can in 30 minutes. Just make it interesting. If you have good targets on your range, try hitting ten balls to the same target seeing how many out of ten you can get within 20 feet of the target. Better yet, use alternate targets with the same objective.
Golf games like the one above can help you get the most out of practice and any golf instruction sessions you take. That, in turn, can help you become the best you can be on the course.