Fact: Key aspects of your golf game get out of whack in the winter – our timing, our mechanics, our feel… It’s common when we fall out of practice. So, seeing that it’s March and we could still be a couple months out from outdoor golf, you’ve got to find a way to get your game up to par (er, birdie?) before the weather warms up.
Your only no-worries solution: Be truly prepared for the in-season by staying prepared through the off-season. Yes, that means these winter months are the best time to take golf lessons. When you think about other sports, off-season training is critical to maintaining quality, so no matter how impressive our golf game, lessons from a Pro over the winter should be part of our game plan.
Assuming you’re on board with that, let’s talk about how to make the most of that lesson – especially if lessons aren’t a regular thing for you. In essence, understanding HOW to take a golf lesson is as important for the golfer as it is for the Pro. Yes, that’s actually a thing: Knowing how to take a lesson, knowing how to take direction, knowing how to get the most out of an hour of instruction. Follow these recommendations to get the best ROI on every lesson.
Choose the right instructor.
You know how you research Realtors to list your home? Or how you interview contractors for a remodel? The same should go for researching your golf instructor options. Talk to people who’ve taken lessons from each instructor. In fact, 4 Seasons Indoor Golf Teaching Professional Tom Pomante says that 90% of his student base has been acquired by referrals – clients who have achieved improvement, lowered their scores and attributed their progress to their instructor and have told others about their experience.
Stretch, warm up, relax and clear your mind. Designate no less than 10 minutes for this. Sure, this hardly seems insightful, but it’s important because we all need the transition time from work week/family time/meeting-palooza/basketball game/whatever to decompress and refocus on your game.
Tell the pro what’s been going wrong (not how it’s going wrong).
As longtime golfers, we tend to self-diagnose. Now give yourself the opportunity for a second opinion. Instead of telling the teacher what’s wrong with your swing, tell your Pro what has been happening to your golf ball when you swing at it. One great way to do this is to walk him or her through a familiar course: What happens on a select few holes? Should the water hazard be named after you? Has your ball carved out a habitat for forest life thanks to an inevitable and consistent tree shot? Kidding – but seriously, your Pro just needs to know what is generally going on with your game, and what aspects of your game you’d like to improve. A good instructor will understand what’s going on with your swing after you’ve hit about three balls.
We’re putting a sentence here because all the other tips have qualifying sentences, but we’re pretty sure this one could go explanation-less.
Listen with an open mind. Be open to fresh perspectives and fresh ideas. Shut down the part of your brain that is silently disagreeing with the instructor. That’s really it for this one. Well, that, AND ask questions.
Set goals you can reach.
Every goal should be simple, singular and attainable. If you have a grand goal for your game like, say, “go pro by 2018,” break this bigger goal down into tidier, actionable goals like 1) improving body mechanics, 2) swing consistency, 3) more distance and 4) off-season training commitment, etc.
Questions? Give 4 Seasons Indoor Golf a call. Or swing by (pun intended).