Let’s pretend you are
getting ready to take a dream vacation and escape the dull, lifeless winter
that you all are experiencing at this very moment. As soon as you pick your destination,
the pen hits the paper and you make your checklist of places to see and
activities to accomplish.
When it comes to selecting a
"coach" to help your golf game improve, grab that same pen and paper and make a
list. Finding the right golf
teacher requires some planning, and having so many accomplished PGA Golf
Professionals in the Philadelphia
Section of the PGA is a blessing to your golf game.
What follows is a short list
of four key factors to consider when determining which instructor is right for
-- Do not be distracted by a
list of personal achievements. Just
because the local pro has been awarded "Top 100 Teacher" or "Teacher of the
Year" does not mean that the two of you will blend harmoniously like peanut
butter and jelly.
-- Comfort equals
complacency. Find a teacher who
teaches varying students, of all ages and all skill levels. A teacher who tends to stick to, say,
more accomplished golfers can often forget how challenging it can be to
communicate with a student who needs the basics of the game. I always try to schedule lessons so that
I have students of different skill levels mixed in throughout the day. Too much of the same thing can make a
-- A half-hour lesson does
not necessarily mean 30 minutes!
Yes there are days when the teacher has to stick to a tight schedule,
but often a good teacher will schedule 15 minutes or so between lessons. A teacher who wants to see you succeed
will often allow a quick lesson to run a bit long until he or she feels
comfortable with your improvement. Personally,
I feel a greater sense of fulfillment when my students succeed during a lesson
versus when it’s time for payment.
A 30-minute or 1-hour lesson simply implies to me how long you want to
be on the lesson tee. In no way
does it mean that I am going to sound a buzzer and kick you back to the locker
room when the clock tells me to.
-- Bobrovsky or
Boucher? Find something other than
golf in common with your teacher.
The best lessons that I give usually involve a student who is completely
comfortable with me. Whether it be
a favorite sports team or player in common, a type of music or even previous
sports that you each played, being able to talk about something other than golf
can prove very beneficial. If you
are always nervous and quiet when you take a lesson, maybe it’s time to look
Get started doing research
now before the season gets underway.
A great place to research PGA Golf Professionals is on Facebook or pga.com (click the
instruction tab on this page). Most
pros will give a brief description of their background and some personal
information. Don’t be afraid to
call ahead and ask questions...a great teacher for you will also be a great
communicator. Anyone need my
Ryan Gingrow is PGA teaching professional at Whitford
CC. His full bio is here.