Are Golf Lessons Worth It?
Many people want to improve their golf game and ask, “are golf lessons worth it?” I’d say yes, but their effectiveness will depend on some simple choices. In this article, you’ll learn to make the most of your golf lessons.
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Getting the Most Out of Golf Lessons
The question “are golf lessons worth it?” will depend on a few factors that we’ll cover in detail:
- Do you have time to dedicate to practice?
- Are you willing to make changes that may seem difficult initially but will improve your game?
- Do you have a golf coach that is a good match?
Why Should I Take Golf Lessons?
Golf lessons can make a huge difference in your score by improving your swing, getting extra power, learning how to hit different types of shots, and knowing how to fix swing problems that arise.
You can try doing this by watching golf instruction videos and reading articles, but knowing what changes will be most effective for your swing and where you should start is difficult.
Taking lessons will give you a game plan of what to improve and save you a ton of time.
My History of Lessons
Here’s how I’ve approached golf lessons in the past. Hopefully, it can help you decide what options might work for you:
- Group Lessons – When I was young, I took group lessons organized by my city. These were fantastic for learning golf fundamentals. I later attended some golf clinics that focused on different aspects of the game.
- Individual Lessons – Next, I took some individual lessons from a pro who worked at my local course. This helped improve my striking and get rid of a terrible slice.
- GolfTec – GolfTec is a nationwide golf training center that uses launch monitors and cameras indoors. It’s more expensive, but the immediate feedback was helpful, and over several years I dropped my handicap from a 25 to a 12.
- Online – I’m currently taking lessons with Cogorno Golf online. I’ve got a simulator setup so that I can practice at home. I made the coaching switch as I felt I needed a new approach to improve my swing fundamentals, not because I’m hitting bad shots, but because I want to add consistency. I’ve since dropped from a 12 to an 8 handicap.
How Much Do Golf Lessons Cost?
The price of golf lessons will vary based on the location, time, format, and your coach’s experience. Here’s an idea of what you might expect:
|Golf Lesson Type||Average Cost|
|Group Lesson||$25 – $50 / hr|
|Individual Lesson||$35 – $65 / 30min|
|Skilled Individual Lesson||$75 – $125+ / 30min|
Often group lessons last an hour, while individual lessons are 30-40 minutes or 1 hour. Typically, shorter lessons are adequate for an individual. You may also save money by purchasing a package including multiple lessons.
To get the most value out of lessons, ensure you have time to practice between your lessons. Spending less time over multiple days is better than practicing for a long time on only one or two days.
How to Find a Golf Coach
It’s pretty easy to find a golf coach just by searching on google. Try these searches (but swap in your local area):
- Seattle golf lessons
- Seattle group golf lessons
- Seattle best golf teachers
- Best online golf coaches
For high-handicappers (20+, shooting scores of 100+): You likely have some swing faults that any decent coach should be able to help you with. In addition, you can save some money by taking group lessons. The most important thing you’ll be looking for in a coach is someone that you’ll enjoy working with, and that will work with your schedule.
For mid-handicappers (10+, shooting mid-80s to 90s): Most coaches will be able to work well with you, but you’ll want to review your coach’s background online. Find a coach with experience working with many golfers who is a PGA Teaching Professional or has some other certification.
For low-handicappers (under 10, shooting lower 80s or below): You already have a good golf swing and will need to find a coach with experience working with skilled golfers. Find coaches who have worked with other low handicappers, including collegiate, amateur, or even professional golfers.
Different Types of Golf Lessons
When you find some options for lessons or coaches, you’ll see a few formats. Here’s an overview of your choices and a guide to picking what’s best for you.
Group vs Solo
You can take group lessons with random people or others you know. These lessons are typically cheaper as the coach can split their time among multiple people. While this format can work for any golfer, they’re often aimed at less experienced golfers.
The great thing about this format is a coach can watch your swing, give you something to work on, and then you can have some focused time to work on it before they come back to check on you.
A solo lesson will be more expensive as you have the coach’s undivided attention. This is great when you’re building a working relationship with a coach and working on a specific improvement plan.
Indoor vs Outdoor
Outdoor lessons typically take place on a driving range, while indoor lessons are often on a simulator. Some coaches will do both formats or go inside during the winter. Both formats work equally well to improve your swing, as it’s ultimately the mechanics you’ll need to focus on.
In Person vs Online
You can choose to take lessons in person or remotely over the internet. Here are a few of the pros and cons of each:
In Person Pros
- Has a facility to hit balls
- The coach can see immediate progress and make adjustments
- Dedicated time with your coach
In Person Cons
- Requires travel and scheduling
- Your location may limit the talent pool
- Flexible to your schedule
- Easy to rewatch any lesson
- If your area has limited talent, you have much broader access
- Need to make your own recordings to submit
- Requires more self-discipline and self-guidance
- Need to provide your own golf facility or range time
- Feedback is delayed
Video and Technology
As you improve, having a slow-motion video of your swing can be helpful feedback. It’s pretty simple for coaches to have this indoors or outside with a phone, tablet, or another device.
Hitting on a launch monitor like a TrackMan can also be helpful for low to mid-handicap players. It can help you and your coach measure stats, including launch angle and spin.
Having a good coach is more important than only focusing on the tech, but when looking at coaches, it’s worth asking if they have any of these options available.
A final option that you might ask your coach about is playing lessons. This is a special lesson where, instead of going to the range, you’d play golf with your coach following along. This allows your coach to evaluate your game as a whole. They can see if you’re making optimal decisions on aim, club selection, and general course management. They can also talk through your thought process as you play.
Your First Golf Lesson
Regardless of if you’re doing a solo or group lesson, plan to bring all your clubs (unless they tell you otherwise), dress in golf attire, and, if possible, do a bit of warming up or stretching first.
If you’ve selected a coach for a one-on-one lesson, I’d recommend scheduling a single lesson with them for a swing evaluation. The goal here is to ensure you’ll work well together before purchasing a package of lessons. Here are some tips:
- Have a realistic goal in mind. Do you want to do better in your company’s golf scramble? Drop five to ten strokes off your score? Make it onto a school team? Just hit the ball straighter? Tell your coach what you’re looking for, and they can help figure out a plan, whether fixing a few simple things or a multi-year program to make significant changes.
- Ask your coach for an overview of what they’d work on if you sign up for more lessons. They should be able to list out a few things that you’d work on together and how they’d approach it. Of course, you’re not going to address these things in lesson one or two, but this should give you insight into if they can help you and what to expect.
- Gauge your coach’s personality and style. All coaches are different, some are fun and friendly, and others are direct to the point. Some work on feel, while others are more mechanical. If this doesn’t fit your style, you might learn better from a different coach.