Well, as you're on my website and maybe looking for lessons, then I hope you think they do or would!
However, only 15% of golfers (players that play once per month) actually have lessons. Why? The top reason, before affordability, time etc is... most people think you'll go backwards before you go forwards.
This is a myth, worst case scenario after one lesson is you'll leave with a better understanding of how to improve. On almost every occasion, players will leave a lesson with an improvement in ball flight, strike etc.
What happens next however, is the reason players believe lessons don't work...
If from a 60 minute lesson, you think a technical change will stick when you play on the course the following day, it wont. You'll go back to default. Depending how that round goes I'll get one of the following messages...
"Oli, changes worked great! shot the lowest round of the year so far!"
"Implemented the changes from the lesson on the course and it wasn't working."
"Thanks again for the lesson, really enjoyed it and looking forward to starting the programme. I played a round Friday that went really well! Then again Sunday which was awful!"
In both situations, 99% of the time there would have been no change in the swing technically.
What can change instantly; decision making, expectations, understanding. All of which would improve your scores. The technical changes usually take longer.
Interviewer: So what have you been working on with Colin (Morikawa)?
Rick Sessinghaus (coach): Well, kinda the same thing for the last 3 years
3 years! Best ball striker in the world is still working on technical improvements. Check out JTs comment below!
So when you see coaches (including myself), post 'before and after' swings from the same lesson. Even if this isn't a drill, its been done in a very sterile environment, not the course in an event. Big difference!
Technical changes take time! But, there is some good news! While working on technical changes, you can develop other parts of your game to improve!
Lessons and practice (when competent) should include an aspect of skill development. Improving your skill can also help change technique and if this is a change in technique that was created by the player, it's usually a quicker change that will last longer.
GAME MANAGEMENT AND EXPECTATIONS
Most players would instantly save shots if they were realistic with yardages and accepted their miss. Measure your practice and dont assume you'll hit your best 150 yards baby fade with your 7 iron each shot. Remember, you've also got a 120 weak slice as part of your shot pattern.
So yes, lessons do work but they should include skill development, game management as well as just drills for technical changes. Regular feedback between coach and player is also crucial to help ensure nothing slips back to default. This can be done online between lessons and if you're down at Tee Box, all your practice is recorded!
Lesson programmes work, one off quick tips don't.
What’s your go to club after a quick warm up on the range? 7 iron?
Are you one of those who likes to ‘work your way though the bag'?’
Training well should be easier than ever these days. Lots of technology available on the range to test and measure your skills.
However, if you don’t know what to work on, how will you improve?
Monitoring your progress on and off the course will save you so many shots!
To get started, I’ve recommended the TaylorMade My Round Pro App and Arccos. However, if you’d like to take part in a free trial on a new app, click here
In the meantime, here is an example of how you can use your lessons and stats to start to train better!
Tee Box London - Leadenhall . NOW OPEN
The biggest indoor centre in the city complete with 10 Trackman 4 bays and a zen putting green to come.
Want to check out the impressive new venue? Click here for a free swing evaluation
Been a loads of great golf to start the year on the @europeantouretd . @tyrrellhatton didn’t have the best time on the 18th at @yaslinksad in a couple of rounds.
Safe to say the entertaining, out-spoken Tyrrell was going to share his thoughts…
“It must be one of the worst par 5s that I’ve ever seen in my life and, over the last two days, I’ve clearly played it about as well as it was designed,” Hatton said on Saturday. “What’s wrong with it? Where do you start? It shouldn’t have a bunker in the middle of the fairway, and it shouldn’t be over 600 yards from a forward tee. If you hit a good drive as a pro you should have at least a chance to go for the green in two, otherwise the hole becomes a par 3 and that’s if you play it well.”
“That I would love for a bomb to drop on it and blow it up to oblivion to be honest,” he said. “It's just such a terrible finishing hole. And the fact that they moved the tee back today is ridiculous. I hit a really good tee shot and still got 290 front. I could peg-up driver up and still not get there. It would be a much better finishing hole if you're actually rewarded for hitting the fairway, which as it stands, you're not.”
What's the worst hole you've played?
Is there a better sight than this on the golf course?!
Tiger Woods swinging a club again!
If he does make another comeback, that will be some ticket to have!
When he does finally leave the game though, is there another player that will have an impact close to Tiger?
Bryson is changing the game in is own way and Rory may be finding some form and showing some passion.
But will anyone have the same impact as Tiger?
You may know some of his obvious career achievements, but here are my favourite lesser know but still as ridiculous stats:
I said this in Rio and Justin Rose certainly agreed, Golf is great for the olympics!
Rory 5 years ago in my opinion didn't help the game, and although not going for health concerns could have said more about the inclusion. Different story in Tokyo!
An amazing field and Xander winning by one shot with a special olmpic story to go with it!
Then a 7 way play off for the bronze! Has 3rd place every mattered so much to a golfer? Not only that, 7 different nationalities all completing for that last medal! Exactly what the olympics is all about!
However... is stroke play over 4 days really the best format?
Perfect opportunity for a match play team event! There's the world cup of golf but is that even close to the same level of excitement as the Ryder Cup? No.
The Olympics could be!
As much as I wanted Casey and Fleetwood to bring a medal back. It still didn't feel like a team event. Surely more players in a knockout format would increase the excitement for spectators and keep teams / players in with a medal chance for longer.
Hope Paris get it right for the next one and golf continues to grow worldwide! Coaching online with Skillest has really shown how the game has kept growing over this pandemic and with online learning players and coaches can work together from anywhere.
Strange title for a golf coach.
However, this is to highlight how players treat golf lessons and why my programmes are designed as they are.
Historically (and still), players will go to see their coach when something isn't working. I use the doctors analogy. Not feeling well, go for one session to try and fix it. This doesn't work in golf (or a lot of other industries). What inevitability happens is you leave the lesson, maybe even practice a bit and things are better for a short time before you have a few bad rounds and you book in another lesson. Usually this lesson will resemble the last one as it's very likely to be the same issue.
So rather than treat golf lessons like the doctors, treat them like going to the gym. You wouldn't get yourself fit, then stop and wait till you're unfit and go back again (Christmas not included!). You would keep going back and keep improving. Do this with your golf!
The consistency of lessons is more important than the frequency or duration. Even if it's once a month to see your coach and even if things are going well at the time, we can spot things before they go wrong or revert back. If things are looking good, then we'll challenge you further and set new targets.
Packages I deliver include online video lessons so you can even check your progress with me between in person lessons. There are also group training sessions that provide a competitive element to your practice as well as guide you how to train more effectively outside of lessons.