With the advent of YouTube and the vast amount of golf-related information available in books, magazines, and the Internet, golfers are overwhelmed with instructional information and tips to improve their golf games. The best approach, of course, is to seek professional instruction from your local PGA Professional. Even then, taking lessons does not necessarily guarantee improvement as quickly as most golfers wish. If you do take lessons, Dr. Gary Wiren, PGA Master Professional, offers seven tips in Chapter 12 of his PGA Teaching Manual, The Art and Science of Golf Instruction:
- Agree on instructional objectives with your professional – Set a goal, put a time frame on it, consider your ability and how much time and effort you will devote to the undertaking.
- Be an active learner – Ask questions. Learning is the learner’s responsibility.
- Find a comfortable matchup of teaching style and your learning style – To do this, ask yourself the following: How do you best learn? Do you like detail or the big picture? Are you a better learner with words, pictures, or feel? Can you handle criticism or do you need praise? Find a teacher who either fits your style or communicate your preferred style to the teacher you have.
- Avoid false modesty, but beware of pride and ego – Be objective and honest when the professional asks you questions about your game. Don’t hide weaknesses, including health or physical problems, or exaggerate strengths. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand.
- Avoid noncompliance – When you get a prescription, take it, give it a chance.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Failure to practice or letting your practice become aimless and disorganized not only wastes the practice time, but the lesson time as well.
- Patience, Patience, Patience – Don’t expect miracle cures. Improvement takes time. Swing patterns are habits, and habits don’t change quickly.
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