Some thoughts on being a Golf Teacher
Golf is a game
and it should be fun. The best advice given to any potential golf
teaching professional is to structure your golf lesson, regardless
of what facet of the game you are teaching, around the fact that
the game is meant to be enjoyed. The golf teacher that has the ability
to let his/her personality come out, loosen up their students, and
perhaps even get them to laugh a bit, is worth their weight in gold.
The most successful golf teaching professionals seem to be the ones
that have the most fun with their students.
Speaks for itself. As an ambassador of the game and the United
States Golf Teachers Federation, your personal appearance should
always be impeccable.
The USGTF firmly believes that most students are not capable of
ingesting too much information within a short time frame. Words
should be chosen carefully and information should be limited to
what matters. Therefore, when explaining the mechanics of a particular
facet of the game, regardless of your mastery of the language
you are teaching in, keep the explanation short, simple and to
the point. To quote Thomas Jefferson, “The most valuable
of all talents is that of never using two words when one will
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you explain something
to someone, follow it up with a demonstration, then have your
student try it. All explanations should be followed with a visual
golf teaching demonstration.
Go hand in hand. If you detect an error, a correction naturally
has to go along with it. Detection of errors should be chosen
wisely. For instance, if a student has a horrendous grip along
with all kinds of other problems, you would naturally want to
make a change with the grip right off the bat and not even mention
the other problems. Initially, if a student has a pretty good
grip, but perhaps an extremely narrow stance with a driver, along
with a multitude of other problems, you would want to key in on
correcting the stance initially: “The stance is a little
too narrow, try widening it a bit, Jim.” In one sentence
you have not only detected the error, you have corrected it as
well. Words should be chosen carefully, kept to a minimum and
limited to the task at hand.
As you know,
there are hundreds of golf drills and exercises that can help
the golf student. With this information available, it is very
important, when introducing a drill to explain not only what the
drill is, but also how it is going to help the student’s
particular problem area.
Because of the nature of the game of golf, the ability to encourage
a student is very important. People are more relaxed and able
to improve if they are consistently encouraged rather than criticized.
For every ‘error’ you may find in someone’s
golf swing, let them know of two things they are doing correctly.
My Golf Students Enjoy Themselves?
Try asking yourself this simple question at the end of each day.
If the result is positive, your reputation as a golf teacher will
soon become known and you will ultimately become more successful
at your profession…teaching golf.
on Teaching Golf
does not have to reach the expectations of the golf teaching professional
to feel successful at golf. Success is measured differently by different
people and your golf lesson will only be ‘good’ if the
student leaves with a positive feeling from the experience. The
following three headings are broad guidelines to help make your
golf lessons successful.
Learn your students’ names and use them. Find out something
about them and talk about their interests. Look at them when you
are talking to them. Make sure everyone gets some individual attention.
The students will expect to have their needs met, not necessarily
yours. You will be communicating with your behavior, too. A pleasant,
positive, enthusiastic manner will rub off and have positive effects
on your students. Remember that you are in the service industry
and the first mark of a golf teaching professional is respect for
It takes more patience to be a student than a golf teacher. Learning
can be frustrating at first; therefore one of your most important
jobs as a golf teaching professional is to reduce frustration so
that learning can continue. Be alert for those in the class that
are frustrated or embarrassed. Try to remember how you felt when
you were learning.
The most congenial golf teaching professional will have limited
success if he does not know what he is doing. Golf teachers need
to have considerable depth of knowledge to be able to analyze the
performance of their students and to give helpful, meaningful feedback.
to Remember Regarding Good Golf Lessons
In all golf lessons, the golf teaching professional must set achievable
goals, make progress with the student and leave the student with
a sense of accomplishment. A personable approach is important. Find
our about your students, what they want to learn, etc., and be a
good listener. The most successful golf teaching professionals are
organized, service orientated, and understand the concept of building
clientele. Teaching golf well is an art and can be a very rewarding
- Be brief
– keep information simple and direct. Use words your students
- Use humor
when teaching golf.
- Show, rather
than tell, at every opportunity during the golf lesson.
that fear of failure can be reinforced by paying too much attention
to mistakes. Most people become discouraged and less receptive
to learning if the lesson becomes a list of things they should
not be doing.
praise your students on any success they may achieve. Look just
as hard for the ‘right’ things as the ‘wrong’
things. This will create smiles and help eliminate frustration.
- When working
on a drill or exercise, immediately relate it to the part of the
swing that it was intended for.
- Errors are
a part of learning, emphasize the positive
- If someone
is not learning, someone is not teaching golf.
- If the student
is smiling, you are making progress.
- Every golf
lesson can be a learning experience for both the golf teacher
and the golf student.
is contagious- let yours show. A positive attitude can make the
golf lesson more rewarding for both the golf teacher and student.
Be fun to be with.
- Every effort
should be made to end the lesson on a positive note. Take a moment
to thank the student and give a few encouraging words. It will
be time well spent.