10 May Why you need a golf coach… and how to find a good one
Whenever I have the opportunity to advise an amateur golfer on their game, I always make the same recommendation: if you’re serious about improving your level and becoming a better player, you need to find a good teacher. It’s important to have an expert pair of eyes analyse your game, and the best way to do this is through private golf lessons. A good coach will give you the keys to unlock your golf performance, lower your score, and have more fun with higher quality shots.
The question now is how to find a teacher who effectively helps you and offers a professional service? In this post, I’ll provide you with some useful points to help you with the task.
Firstly, the coach does not need to be a great player; but they must be a skilled teacher who can help us improve. For this, communication is key. They must be able to handle theoretical concepts and abstract principles and effectively explain and implement them. In short, our golf instructor must be an open and effective communicator.
Professionalism, dedication and passion are essential. During your golf lessons, mobile phones should be switched off to allow the class to be a time of sacred dedication for both teacher and student. Whether it’s implementing a high-performance program or beginner lessons, the instructor will want to assess these positions: front, target line, body line, and back. They will then give you objectives and outline a strategy on how to achieve them.
It is also crucial to have a good relationship and connection with your teacher if you want to improve your golf performance.
Although our coach doesn’t need to be an excellent golfer, they must have the basic skills to be able to demonstrate what they are trying to explain. Watching demos is extremely useful, as visual stimulation is often much more important than oral stimulation. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Through my experience working with children at our Black Iron Golf Academy on the Costa del Sol, I’ve discovered that kids sometimes struggle to understand verbal explanations. That’s why the instructor should have a good swing. Children’s eyes are like cameras, and they repeat everything they see.
Another important point is technology. A good golf teacher should use up-to-date technology. A slow-motion camera that records our swing and a program to analyse it can reveal movements unseen by the naked eye. This technology is not difficult to use or very expensive – there is free swing analysis software on the internet. New research and discoveries about golf performance are being made all the time. Technological advances, like the Trackman, have revolutionised what we know about the golf swing and the flight of the ball.
It’s a bonus if the professional in question has some kind of training from outside the world of golf. This is a complex area, and their past experience can be very different from playing golf. For example, if the coach will be running a children’s golf camp, it’s preferable if they have a background as an educator and experience working with children.
Also, If the price of a class is not worth what a true professional would charge, it’s likely the service they are going to provide will not be up to par.
Last but not least, let results speak for themselves. If you see other golfers of your level improving, ask them who is helping them. Also, ask expert players who they trust to advise them. If you start to hear a name frequently, you may be on the right track.
Once you have a name, you can make an appointment with him or her and discuss your needs. They should be interested in your goals and propose a work plan. Ask them about what methods and techniques they use. If you agree with their suggestions and their personal and professional profile fits with you, you may have found the right person to take your golf performance to the next level.
Don’t forget that in a discipline as complex as golf, nobody can guarantee immediate success. Be patient! Your development will depend on your available time to practice, your skills and your dedication.