Every golfer has asked at one time or another, “Should I get golf lessons? Are golf lessons worth it?”
For some of us, this happens early on in the golf journey. For others, it’s not until things are going bad and you’re at the driving range clueless on what to work on.
Getting lessons early on in your journey can help build solid foundations and hopefully avoid some common bad habits. But a lot of golfers, especially male, tend to “swing their swing” and get tune up lessons with golf professionals vs. building a fundamentally sound swing.
Today we’ll cover everything you need to know about getting golf lessons and how to find an instructor.
Should I Get Golf Lessons? Should I Hire a Golf Instructor?
In 25 years of playing golf I’ve had all types of golf lessons. From full swing, short game, course management, and mental game lessons (such as hypnotherapy).
I can say without a doubt, golf lessons can definitely help you speed up the learning process in golf. But lessons are not for all types of players. Plus, they aren’t cheap sometimes so it’s best to make sure you’re in the right place in your journey to ask someone for help.
Keep reading to see if you fit the criteria for a few lessons or if you should stick to tips on YouTube University for now.
Key Takeaways on Taking Golf Lessons
- A golf lesson can happen remotely or in person at the course or driving range.
- Golf lessons cost anywhere from $50 to $500 per hour depending on your coach.
- A golf coach can help you learn the fundamentals of golf and create good habits.
- Instructors can help with more than just the swing including short game, putting, and course management. Plus, you can play golf with them for an “on course” lesson.
Keep reading to figure out if you’re the type of person who should get golf lessons or should wait until a late date.
You’re a Committed Golfer
Some golfers are happy shooting in the 100s and having fun. While others fall in love with golf and want to break 100, then break 90, then break 80, or even become a scratch golfer.
If you’re the type of person who loves learning about the game and truly wants to get better at golf, an instructor can help. This is even more important in the beginning of your journey as an instructor can help with golf etiquette, find the right golf ball, and more.
You Have Your Own Golf Clubs
Going hand in hand with being committed is making sure you have your own set of golf clubs. If you need to borrow a set to go to your first golf lesson it’s not a great idea for instruction (yet).
Instead, make sure you have your own set of beginner golf clubs and have used them before getting lessons. If you have some “data” about your swing (ex. Missing it left, topping shots, etc.) it can make things easier for your instructor. So make sure to invest in your own golf clubs before signing up for help.
Click below to check out some of our favorite beginner clubs before you start golf instruction.
You’re Open to New Ideas
One of my first golf coaches said during a lesson, “If it doesn’t feel awkward, you aren’t doing it right.” When you hire a golf pro to help your swing, uncomfortableness is part of the lesson.
You’ll have to try different practice drills, swings, training aids, and grips to learn the lesson your coach is trying to teach. Plus, they have to figure out what style works best for you to actually get results.
This means failing your way to success. Sort of like going to a gym, it’s going to feel uncomfortable before it feels comfortable.
With golf, you will hit a lot of bad shots in the process of becoming a consistent golfer. That also might mean some setbacks and slumps along the way.
But as long as you have a good attitude and are open to new ideas, an instructor can help a ton. They will help build a solid foundation, improve swing mechanics, and address common swing faults early in your journey.
You Have Enough Time
Golf lessons can help you speed up the steep learning curve of golf from your first lesson. But lessons are only the start of the golfing journey, you still need to put in the work and practice regularly.
Think about golf lessons like hiring a trainer in the gym. You might work with them once per week but you still need to train the rest of the week and eat healthy to see results.
The same goes with golf – you must put in the reps in practice to see results. One of the biggest mistakes most golfers make is thinking that lessons create a great swing. While they can guide you in the right direction and promote good habits, the real work is done outside of practice.
Repetition is the mother of all mastery – especially in golf. You will need to hit dozens of buckets of balls at the driving range to make your swing consistent. So if you have time to practice between lessons semi-frequently, then a coach can help and is worth the money.
You Need Help With a Swing Issue
While some golfers go to a local pro early on, a lot of golfers wait years (or decades) before seeing an instructor. But if you’re struggling with a specific issue like pop up shots, ball flight issues (pushes/pulls), or something else, an instructor can help.
Plus, don’t forget that instructors can also help with course management, mental game strategies, and short game lessons too. These are very important even if you have a good swing because a weak mental or short game can lead to high scores.
With golf, you have to put it all together and make good decisions to play your best. Even if you don’t need a full swing lesson, don’t be afraid to get help on other parts of the game too.
Finding a Golf Coach
If you have decided it’s time to get lessons to improve your golf game, it’s time to find a coach. While there are tons of coaches available, you need to do some research and not rush the decision. Because ideally, you will work together for a continued amount of time to get the best results.
One of the worst things you can do is jump around from coach to coach. It’s inevitable that one coach will conflict with the other about grip, takeaway, or something else and leave you feeling confused.
Too much information isn’t a good thing in golf!
When it comes to hiring a coach here are some things to think about:
- Remote vs. in-person: Do you want to work with this person at your local golf club or take videos of your swing and send it to an online instructor? Some golfers like “figuring it out themselves” and prefer the flexibility of remote lessons. While other golfers like the 1:1 interaction and learn better in person.
- Group vs. 1:1 lessons: Another thing to think about is getting a group lesson as opposed to a one on one lesson. Group lessons are cheaper and great for beginners to learn the fundamentals like grip, stance, posture, takeaway, etc. Plus, it’s a good way to learn with a friend and hold each other accountable in practice.
These are just a few factors when it comes to picking a golf coach. To learn more and find the right instructor for your game, make sure to read, “How to Pick a Golf Coach” now.
FAQs About Golf Lessons and Instructors
Do you have more questions about getting golf lessons or finding an instructor for your game? If so, keep reading to learn more now.
How many golf lessons does it take to get good at golf?
Golf lessons can help build a strong foundation for your swing and avoid common bad habits early in your journey. But more lessons doesn’t automatically mean better golf or faster results.
It’s what you do outside of your lesson time that matters most. This is why we suggest only hiring an instructor if you have time to work on your game in between lessons. Otherwise, it’s not the best way to spend your money.
Should I get golf lessons or club fitting first?
Think of them as a 1-2 punch. Golf swing changes can take a long time to become automatic so don’t be afraid of getting fit and taking lessons at the same time. It’s very unlikely that your game will change so quickly that you need new clubs (if only it was that easy).
But custom fit clubs definitely make the game easier. If your clubs have the right shafts, lie angle, and other settings it will make your misses better and help shoot lower scores. Don’t make golf courses harder with hard to hit equipment!
Can you get better at golf without lessons?
Yes, some of the most successful golfers on the planet are self-taught including Bubba Watson and John Daly. While other successful golfers like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Justin Thomas regularly get lessons or tune ups with a coach.
What percentage of golfers take lessons?
Not as many golfers as you might think. According to the National Golf Foundation, four million golfers took lessons in 2018.
That represents about 17% of all golfers!
The study found that, “More than 75 percent of golfers who took instruction did so through a certified PGA professional (PGA of America member), the recognized teachers and leaders of the industry’s effort to develop and retain golfers, promote the game and make it more fun.”
The study also found that:
- 64% of golfers watch instruction online from Instagram, YouTube videos, and other social media platforms.
- Males represent 77% of all golfers and represent the majority of people who take lessons. However, women are more likely to take lessons than men (can’t say I’m surprised there as men tend to be more stubborn).
- Women are more inclined to take part in group lessons while males prefer 1:1 lessons.
- Group lessons account for 25% of all lessons given.
How much should I spend on golf lessons?
It depends on a few things including; remote vs. in-person, 1:1 vs. group lessons, playing lessons vs. range lessons, and more. But if you sign up for a 45-60 minute lesson prices can range from $50 to $500 depending on your location and instructor.
If a coach works with PGA players and a lot of elite amateurs except those lessons to be north of $300. But if you find a local pro at a driving range they might be $50-$100. And a club pro at a country club is usually in between the two.
Final Thoughts on Golf Lessons to Improve Your Game
So, are they worth the money?
Yes, golf lessons can make this complex game a little easier, especially if you’re a beginner golfer. Not to mention help you get out of a golf slump if you’re struggling with a certain miss on the golf course.
While golf lessons are great, they are not for everyone. Start looking for instructors if you meet the following criteria:
- Have your own clubs.
- Committed to improving.
- Open to learning new methods.
- Want to improve your mental or short game.
- Are willing to stick to the same instructor to avoid information overload.
- Have enough time in your schedule to practice the drills and tips between lessons.
Hopefully, these lesson tips will help you find the right instructor and take your game to the next level.
Do you get regular lessons? Or, did you get lessons at the beginning of your golf journey to get on the right track?
Let us know in the comments below. Ready to improve right now? Check out some of our most popular articles below: