Jane Chanik, P.G.A. Head Golf Professional, HOA-1, conducting a lesson.

Most people are nothing, if not lazy, when it comes to practicing golf. Further, people are somewhat lackadaisical when it comes to taking lessons to improve their game. What is the point, they think, as they see their friends on the driving range with a pro. But perhaps their friends know something they don’t know. So, exploring why golf lessons are important is in order here. Here are some stats:

The National Golf Foundation estimates that, in 2021, more than 25 million people were on the golf course, while more than 12 million were at a driving range, at a simulator or at a golf entertainment venue. However, only 17 percent of golfers take lessons for the game!

If you are considering being a part of this 17 percent here are some considerations:

It is important to ask yourself what are my goals for taking lessons, and should I take private or group classes or clinics? In addition, do I have any physical challenges of which my golf instructor needs to be aware?

And to be sure, during, and then after, your lesson, ask yourself:

Is my golf instructor communicating in a way that I understand? If not, ask for clarification.

Am I understanding the concepts he/she is explaining? Again, ask that the concepts be clarified.

Am I going to practice between golf lessons?

Am I willing to take my new golf tips onto the course?

But, the bottom line, if you are struggling with a specific issue your golf pro can help. Further, your golf pro can help with course management, mental game strategies, putting and short game issues. Ostensibly, a weak mental game or a weak short game can lead to high scores. But, of course, all of the parts of one’s golf game have to come together in order to play one’s best.

So, if you are a beginner, or a seasoned player, keep these tidbits in mind (according to Ball Flight Academy):

Golf lessons build confidence.

Learning the rules of golf is essential.

Pay attention to unwritten rules (e.g., quiet please, etc.).

“Build” your bag – or tailor your bag—with the clubs with which you will be playing (max: 14!).

Have confidence in your golf pro (re: swing style, club choice, grip, etc.), as small changes can work results!

Try to avoid, or, at the very least, correct bad habits!

Practice makes perfect!

Some Additional Advice

Data is showing that players—at all skill levels—can lower their handicap by taking at least three lessons per year.

Taking golf lessons is like going to the gym. It’s going to feel uncomfortable until it feels comfortable.

Learning is not linear—there will be ups and downs.

But, remember, the swing’s the thing!

This I have learned. . .

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