With Winter now in full swing, golfers are facing into the reality of frost delays, placing regulations and in some cases mats or dropping at the side of the fairway at their home course.
With daylight at a minimum, now is also the time when a large number of amateur players head for a golf lesson at their local range or with their club pro. In some cases, this is for the first time in a long time and rather than simply turning up and expecting a miracle, it’s important to consider how to make the most of the lesson and to prepare for it properly.
PGA Professional Donal Gleeson from Old Conna has a few tips:
“Lessons are my business and I always want people to get the maximum benefit out of them and see improvements. It doesn’t (always) happen overnight and while some things are possible to ‘quick fix’, most things require a degree of repetition and also commitment from the player to help them stick.
“Here are a few things for you to keep in mind when you’re taking a lesson and a few tips to help you make the most of it:
Arrive in time to warm up
There is no benefit to rushing in, putting on your shoes and hurriedly making a few practice swings. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes in advance, hit some warm up shots and be prepared in the same way as you would be for a game.
Golf lessons can sometimes feel intimidating. Remember, however bad you perceive your issue or your game to be, your pro has seen a lot worse. When working on swing changes, the ball is the least of your pro’s worries so commit to the change you are making and don’t react to hitting a bad shot.
Communicate what you are looking for
It’s your golf game! If you know what you’d like to change, then express exactly what you are looking for in your lesson. The tendency is for the professional to dictate what happens during a lesson but make sure your needs are being fulfilled.
Have a list of questions
Take some time ahead of the lesson and write down some questions that you want to ask. If you have them prepared beforehand, you are less likely to forget to ask them during the lesson. Your pro has a wealth of information on the various areas of the game so pick their brain. We enjoy a student who engages with us instead of going through the motions.
Most lessons these days come with video analysis but it’s never a bad idea to take some bullet point notes on what you have worked on during your lesson. You may struggle to do this during the lesson but take a few minutes before you leave to note down the key points.
Book your next lesson
Single lessons are great and can be a huge benefit but if you are committed to improving your game, you need a program, not a once-off. Plan a schedule with your pro and get organised!
If you’re not sure where to get lessons then check out the PGA professional at your club or your local driving range. Always look for a PGA pro and for more details, check out www.pga.info/find-a-golf-lesson
Donal Gleeson turned professional in 2001 and has been resident Club Professional at Old Conna Golf Club since 2008. He works with golfers of all standards from beginners to fellow Golf Professionals and was our TGI Cover Star for 2019. Donal has been victorious 21 times at professional level and has also competed on the European Tour. For lesson bookings or enquiries please see: www.donalgleeson.com.