If you’re researching “are golf lessons worth it?”, cost is probably a concern. And rightly so, because golf as a hobby can be expensive! You can spend hundreds, even thousands, on decent clubs. Then you need golf shoes, golfing clothes and a good supply of balls and tees. Whether you pay for membership in a private golf course or play on public courses, greens fees and cart rentals (which many courses require, depending on distance to par) add up quickly.
So, are golf lessons worth it? In a nutshell, Yes! Golf lessons are absolutely worth it because they can help you get better at golf faster in these key areas:
- Hit the ball better
- Improve your swing
- Understand your swing mechanics
- Improve your course knowledge
- Improve your understanding of golf
You can figure it out on your own but the learning curve is steeeeeep!
Benefits of Golf Lessons
Benefits of golf lessons include learning how to hit the ball better, improve your swing, understand your swing mechanics, improve your course knowledge and improve your understanding of golf.
1. Hit the ball better
The most obvious reason for taking golf lessons is to hit the ball better. Your golf pro should help you get better everyday and develop a plan for you to follow for continued improvement. Depending on your playing level the lesson should help reap immediate dividends but only if you’re willing to put in the work. Lessons are a waste if you don’t touch a club for weeks after your lesson.
2. Improve your Swing
Knowing the basics of the golf swing is essential to getting better at it. If you’re a beginner, you want to get on the right track and work to swing the club better. If you’re an experienced player, you want to fix flaws in your swing before they become so ingrained you have to live to 90 to shoot below your age. Working with a golf pro can help you identify problems with your swing that can help you fix what’s wrong in your swing. Most of us can’t afford coaching every time we play so you have to improve your understanding of your faults and learn how to read ball flight. With that knowledge, you can then make whatever adjustments it takes to swing more effectively.
Your golf pro will teach you about golf swings and the physics that determine ball flight. A quality pro lesson should include help understanding the fundamentals of your swing and use video to pinpoint areas that need improvement. It’s one thing to hear someone say you are doing something wrong. It’s so much more effective if that is reinforced with video of you doing what the pro identifies as needing change.
3. Understand Your Swing Mechanics
This can help you make adjustments, especially after watching video of you swinging your club. The golf pro should be teaching you more about more than just your swing, though. Unless you want to pay the pro for the rest of your life, you want to become less reliant on coaching and plan to improve your game after some initial coaching.
4. Improve Your Course Knowledge
Pro lessons should include lessons and pointers at the driving range but golf professionals can also help you understand course strategy, which can help you play to your strengths and lower your score.
5. Improve Your Understanding of Golf
Fundamentals of golf include things like learning how to consistently hit the ground in the same spot and being able to control how your ball curves so you can make it fade or draw. You can do that with different grips, alignments and postures. You can make changes to those things with practice drills to control the fundamentals.
Every golfer approaches the game differently. Some golfers aim left, some aim right; some play a draw while others fade; and, some drive the ball a country mile while others shine with a wedge or a putter. You do you.
How Much do Golf Lessons Cost?
You are unlikely to buy a Tesla for the price of a Prius and the same logic applies for golf lessons. Golf lessons can range anywhere from $50/hour to $500/hour.
You should expect to pay more for a better coach.
A pro with a good record on the tour will obviously command more money than a collegiate golfer the course hired on the cheap. And, you can expect to pay more for a pro at a prestigious course than one who works for at a public course.
Consider this when searching for a pro to provide lessons:
- How much are you comfortable spending?
- How serious are you about golf?
- Will you have time to practice after each lesson?
Successful PGA Pros With an Unconventional Swing
PGA legend Bubba Watson said he never had a golf lesson in his life yet he managed to have a lucrative career in professional golf. It probably explains his different, though effective, swing.
Most of us aren’t that good, though. All the lessons in the world won’t guarantee a perfect swing like Jack Nicklaus but it will help you be a better golfer. Better golfers have more fun on the course.
Here are some more successful PGA pros with unconventional swings:
- Tommy Gainey was successful on the PGA tour but hit the ball more like the baseball player he used to be, barely moving his hips and powering the ball as if he were trying to hit a home run.
- Former US Open champ Jim Furyk swung a club like he was casting a line for rainbow trout.
- Lee Trevino addressed his ball like it was a Communist because he aimed his stance to the left. Yet most of his balls found the center of the fairway.
- Ho Sung Choi’s swing looks like he just whiffed while swinging for the cheap seats at Wrigley Field. But he gets the job done.
So…Are Golf Lessons Worth It (or should you save your money?)
Golf lessons will help you figure out how to make your swing better, how you adapt to fix identified flaws in your swing will determine what your swing looks like.
They will help you figure out how to swing better but maybe not how to have a typical-looking swing.