It’s only been one lesson, but with a resounding YES, I would say golf lessons are worth it.
When I first showed up for the lesson I was a little early, so they set me up on the range to warm up and hit a few balls. I pulled out a few irons and like usual I was hitting them ok, but they would have a nasty hook at the end and wind up 10-20 yards off target.
After a few minutes the instructor came over, we introduced ourselves and he asked me about my game. I basically told him what I wrote about in the first blog. My quick golf back story and what my major problems are.
I hit a few balls and as per usual they hooked. The first thing the instructor did was change my grip. Just a little side note, I had changed my grip about a week earlier based on internet research and it turns out, I was still way off. So anyway, he changes my grip and I hit a few balls and wouldn’t you know, my hook is gone. Amazing!!! We’re talking 10 minutes into the lesson and a hook I’ve had for years is now suddenly gone.
As I continued to hit balls he would look at my swing from the back and side and have me make adjustments. Something else I wasn’t doing well, was getting proper hand rotation so we worked on that. After a while and towards the end, when my shots were going straight, we worked on keeping my lower body stable. He said I swayed too much which will lead to inconsistency. At one point he grabbed my club and arms and walked me through the motion of a proper golf swing. It felt amazing. My lower body was totally off. Now I have a nice left hip, right knee corkscrew effect going on (I’m a lefty golfer).
One of the best things about the lesson (besides my ball going straight) is the ball flight. With my body now properly moving, I’m striking the ball so much better, and creating divots after the ball. I hit some of the best golf shots I’ve ever hit during our 1-hour golf lesson.
At one point I hit a ball so well, that I could not stop laughing and smiling. I’m dead serious. I was giddy. I went to hit another ball and because of my giddiness I muffed the next shot. I was truly dumbfounded and in shock. I wish I would’ve taken this lesson 10 years ago.
Golf Lessons & Playing
Now that my first lesson is over I bet you’re dying to know how I played right? Well, to be honest, it was awful! I wanted to get a range session in beforehand but I didn’t have the time. On the front nine I was way over thinking what I had just been taught and I exploded. I haven’t had so many 7’s and 8’s on my scorecard in a long time. I’m not going to lie, I was disappointed.
There is good news though. About the 7th or 8th hole the cart girl came around and since I couldn’t possible play any worse I decided to have a beer. And that’s not the good news. The good news is, the back nine was awesome!
My drives were finally finding the fairway, my irons were crisp (a little too crisp), and I managed to hit a putt or two. Overall my score was 10 shots lower on the back then the front. One of the major reasons my score wasn’t lower was because my irons were way off (distance wise). I was hitting the ball properly so they were going much further than I originally thought. On a par 3 on the back I overshot the green by 20 yards. A week or two ago I would’ve never thought I could hit an 8 iron that far.
Golf Lessons & The Range
After an encouraging back 9 the next day I was able to make it out to the range to work on my swing. I grabbed a large bucket and I’ve never had so much fun at the range before. I still hit a few bad shots, but my irons flying off the club. There was an extra 20-30 yards on almost every club. At one point I grabbed a six iron and smashed it 200 yards. Before my lesson I didn’t really have a 200 yard club in my bag (unless I got real lucky).
Towards the end of the bucket I was working on the corkscrew motion with my left hip and right knee. I was hitting an easy wedge just to get the feel for swinging the club properly. My chips were even significantly improved. I was knocking them right next to the pin from 75 yards away. Needless to say, I couldn’t believe it.
My Next Round
After a quality range session I spent some time that night surfing the internet trying to find tips to break 100 and 90. I’ve known this before, but for some reason I don’t do it enough, but to break 100 consistently, and hopefully 90 very soon, I have to improve my course management. If that means leaving the driver in the bag, so be it.
During my research I found 2 things that were really interesting. One guy said, and I’m paraphrasing, “what would you rather do…tally up your round and count to 89, or talk about how great your drive was on 13?”.
Well until now I was too focused on style not score and that’s going to change. The second thing I read was from an instructor who has students say to him all that they want to break 100. He says, “ok, here’s a 7 iron, a sand wedge and putter; Go play!” If the course is over 7,000 yards he’ll let them go out with 4 clubs instead of 3.
I don’t know if I can commit to 3 or 4 clubs, but next time I go out I’m leaving the driver at home and I’m playing with 5 or 6 clubs. When you think about it, you probably don’t use (or shouldn’t use) more clubs than that anyway. At least someone around my skill level shouldn’t. I’m going to commit to hitting irons of the tee, finding my money spot from 100-150 yards out, and start hitting some greens. No more lost balls, no more praying for miracles. Time to start playing some smart golf.
Stay tuned for an update. Cheers!