Golf lessons vs. golf schools | Column

There are hundreds of golf schools, and they all claim they’ll improve your golf game. Also, there are thousands of golf professionals who claim the same. So what should you choose?

There are hundreds of golf schools, and they all claim they’ll improve your golf game. Also, there are thousands of golf professionals who claim the same. So what should you choose?

To help you decide, here’s a quick comparison of going to a school compared with getting personal lessons from a golf professional.

Personal golf lessons:

You decide what you want to work on and when.

Average price for a personal hour-long lesson with a pro is $80.

You are the star with the professional’s attention only on you.

Generally your lesson is in the same place where you can hit balls before you play.

If something is going wrong you simply arrange another lesson to help fix it.

Golf schools:

You can practice everything, but you’re generally told what you must practice and when.

Average price for a Top 25 school is $1,108.

The professional’s attention is not solely on you.

You generally have access to a large practice facility used just for the school.

After your golf school there is generally limited support and if you need a lot of further help you’ll probably have to pay again to attend the school.

If you choose to go to a school here’s what you should expect:

1 to 4 student ratio: If the school you’re interested in doesn’t have at least a 1 to 4 student/teacher ratio then you should seriously consider another golf school.

Playing lessons: The school you attend should include at least one playing lesson.

Video analysis: The school should offer video analysis of your golf game as part of the service, not as an extra. Video analysis is very, very common these days and an accepted part of modern golf coaching.

Game time: In the times where you’re free to do what you wish you should be able to play a golf course for free or for a very small cost.

So now you know what you should expect from a golf school, how much can you expect to improve from a school?

Well, do not expect to massively cut your handicap from say 20 to 15 after attending a three-day school. This is an unrealistic goal after such a short period of instruction. If that were possible, then everyone would go to them.

Instead you should see the school as the start of your improvement and when you leave the school you should know your game’s strengths and weaknesses. And you should be given a comprehensive plan so you keep on improving and know exactly what you must work on to fix your bad habits.

Remember, the golf school is just a starting place to improve your golf game, not the complete solution. And here’s a word of advice.

If you’re going to attend a school, make sure you get in some reasonable physical shape before you go because you’ll be hitting a lot of balls.

If you’re not used to hitting a lot of balls then you’ll get very sore and won’t get as much benefit from the golf school experience.

Whatever you choose to do have fun and enjoy.

Steve Wozeniak is PGA Director of Instruction Bellevue/Lake Spanaway Golf Courses. He has taught more than 50 tour players and over 100 PGA and LPGA teaching professionals. Readers can contact him at swayne@premiergc.com or www.bellevuepgc.com.

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