I have chosen this title because of the majority of the golf fanatics think that golf lessons just make you worse… and they are wrong. I’m sick of 14+ handicappers saying they have played for 40 years and have never had a lesson. I have no issue with someone never having lessons or wanting to better their handicap and they just play to enjoy themselves, but I want to be a scratch player (In my head I still think I might win the masters, although I only took the game up properly at 28). I’m sure there are some exceptions like Bubba, but tour pros have coaches and they are the best.
So why do people think that a lesson makes you worse? Well, I reckon I know. I have recently had a lesson for the first time in a few years, a 30 minute session with Mike Donald who is the pro at my club. On a side note, I thought he was an excellent coach with logic and reasoning behind everything he said, I certainly would recommend him. Back to the point, I found what he told me, a small adjustment in my takeaway, almost impossible to do. It’s fine in slow motion, it’s easy when there isn’t a ball there, or practicing in the mirror I have set up in the spare bedroom and I can get the hang of it at the range after 20 or 30 balls. When I take it to the course, as soon as there is a little pressure to hit the fairway and hit it near full speed I revert back, and I have done the reps. So it’s not the lesson, again it’s down to the guy at the grip end of the club. If we look at how the body learns, it’s going to need somewhere in the region of 1000-3000 correct reps in order for the new move to bed in and become autonomous. After about 1000 practice swings I have done and about 500 balls, I reckon I am getting the hang of it, but it’s still conscious. Our physiology dictates we won’t get the full benefit of the new move until it’s subconscious. When it’s bedded in, it’s time to get the next lesson.
If you have a lesson then you have to do the reps otherwise you have wasted your time and money. And if you don’t do the reps then can’t say the lesson didn’t work when it was you.