If there are thousands of golf instructors out there, why can't the average golfer break 100? Above and beyond the fact that golf is a very difficult game, I think there are multiple issues here. One, I think many people want to believe they know themselves better, so why should they listen to someone else. Two, many people think they can figure it out on their own. Three, the cost of hiring a golf instructor is certainly a factor for many people. Four, they fear losing the swing they have and ending up with compounded problems. And finally, the fear of spending the money on an instructor, only to be unsatisfied with the results.
First, you can't expect to hire a teacher and in one session, have all your problems fixed. However, not all instructors are good instructors. They may be great golfers, but can they convey the right things to you, so you can improve your swing? Another factor is the style of your instructor's swing. Every instructor is going to teach you their style golf swing, they couldn't possibly teach you anything else. So, if their swing is significantly different than yours, it's going to seem awkward to you at first. If you believe in this person, you have to be willing to give up your thinking and incorporate your instructor's style. I mean that in a fundamental way. No two people will ever swing a golf club exactly the same. Most importantly, a single lesson isn't enough. You have to be willing to spend some time at this and practice, practice, practice, what you've learned. Learning something new isn't instantaneous. It takes about 30 days of doing something over and over again until it sticks. Keep in mind, if you've been doing a particular thing for years and you know it's wrong, well guess what, if you don't change it now, when will you?
Having said all that, I do think it's important to put this in perspective. If you play golf on a regular basis, think about how much money you've spent on greens fees, range balls and the hours you've put into it. The simple fact is, all the pros on tour have instructors at their beck and call. In fact, I watched a tournament recently and the announcers were talking about Phil Mickelson calling his instructor on the phone, so they could work on his swing. All the touring pros are great golfers, partly because they all have great teachers. The truth is, feeling alone is fickle. You can't see yourself swinging, all you have to go on is feeling. Plus, the golf swing happens so fast, you couldn't possible know what you did for sure. How many times have you felt a certain thing that seemed to work, only to have it go away as fast as you discovered it? We all need help, even the pros. The difference is they're willing to acknowledge that fact, why shouldn't you? It's time to play better golf.
Mulligan's Corner: Looking for a great deal? Spruce Creek has a foursome special after noon for only $100 that includes greens fee and cart. Call for details (386) 756-6114.
Sal Martignetti is an independent golf coach and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (603) 986-3376. His free e-book is available at elusivegolfswing.weebly.com.