Playing Lessons: Get Your Pro On Course

It is important to learn to play the game in its entirety. As mentioned multiple times before, the game of golf is not solely about perfecting swings or creating “Greek God” like bodies in the gym or pre-shot routines or planning your pathway from tee to green.

It is the combination of these four factors that makes golf such a wonderfully complex and interesting game.

Despite the acknowledgement of factors such as flexibility and strength, emotional control and focus, game plans and decision making, there is still a disproportionate amount of much time spent by amateur golfers on the pursuit of technical perfection.

Assess how many hours you spend practising. Assess how many hours your spend competing? Where does choosing the right shots, for your game, on that course, on that day, come into your practise or into your competition preparation and execution?

There are several ways to combat this over emphasis and reliance on the perfect swing. Getting out on the course with your teaching pro is one way that I am constantly encouraging players and teaching pros to embrace.

Very few of the budding golfers I come across have ventured out on the course with their teaching professional to play the game and many have never asked their teaching pro to watch them play golf. Can you imagine this scenario in any other sport?

Some of the most beneficial sessions players have with me as a sport psychologist will be on the course. The next step up is having player, teaching pro, and sport psychologist on the course working on their game.

So, if the feedback is positive about these practical sessions then the assumption would be that you will benefit enormously from sessions on course with your teaching pro.

Ask resort teaching pros how much their casual pupils enjoy and benefit from playing 9 or 18 holes with their teaching pro. You won’t find many of the resort teaching pros denying the fact that their pupils learn a lot from the experience of discussing the shots to play throughout the round.

Start by learning the strategies of how you can play your home course in the most efficient way for your game. The skill of course analysis was discussed last article and it is a skill that can be used in your attempt to become a better player of your home course.

Discuss your course analysis in a lesson with your teaching pro and get their feedback based on what they know of your technical game.

The next obvious step is to having a playing lesson.

Play nine holes with your teaching pro watching and assisting you with shot selection and course management. Once you have mastered your home course you can take this process to other courses that you play. Put some time into the shots that you think are the best options for you on that course.

Once you start the journey of playing lessons, I doubt whether you will turn back. Take the opportunity to have playing lessons every couple of months if possible.

If obtaining video footage is an option that is a recommended training tool too.

Your teaching pro is much more than a technique guru – they have many suggestions, ideas, and strategies for you to manage yourself around the course.

Embrace that by giving them a break from the range and give your mind a chance to develop your tactical mind and further groom your ability to play the game.

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