What To Expect During a Lesson

The Experienced Player

The first lesson with me you can expect to spend 50 – 60 minutes. The first 10 – 15 minutes are spent in conversation. I need to gather all the necessary contact information followed by:

  • What’s your age?
  • What’s your occupation?
  • Do you have any physical limitations or old injuries?
  • How often do you play?
  • Where do you play most of your golf?
  • What is your current handicap or a 10 stroke range (for 18 holes)?
  • Equipment check: What kind of club do you play?
  • Do they fit you properly?
  • What are your golfing goals?
  • What is your most common miss-hit?
  • What do you currently consider to be the strength of your game?
  • What do you currently consider to be the weakness in you game?
  • What club do you currently hit 100 yards, 125 yards, 150 yards, 175 yards, and 200 yards?
  • How far do you currently hit your driver?
  • When was your last formal type golf lesson?
  • When was the last time you played or hit balls?
  • What is your athletic background? Are you currently on an exercise or golf fitness program? How often do you stretch or workout?

Following this “get to know you” process is a good time to ask me any relevant questions regarding my background, philosophy and experience.

Often I will do some type of fitness screening (especially when teaching in the Golf Studio). Simple movements and exercises can help identify lack of strength or flexibility that can drastically affect golf swing performance. We will usually then have a discussion on the importance of golf fitness. Simply stated, if your lack of strength and/or flexibility prevent you from making the necessary, yet correct golf swing movements; golf lessons, the latest and greatest equipment or the finest conditioned golf course will not help you take you game to the next level.

Now, as you begin to warm-up by hitting balls (usually with a 6 or 7 iron), I will be booting up the computer and lining up the cameras. You will not know when, but I will take digital video of your current golf swing. This will be our starting point; a “before” picture, if you will. I will then begin to make any necessary adjustments in your pre-swing fundamentals that I notice such as: grip, stance, ball position, posture, weight distribution, head position, arm position, etc. Based on these new positions you will again hit some balls while being videoed. At this time I am not concerned about ball flight distance or direction. We then review the “before” and “after” results of the set-up positions together. Usually, students are amazed at the difference between the two. We then continue to hit balls working strictly on the pre-swing fundamental positions. Occasionally, I will take more video and review it with you just to make sure we are staying on track. The next thing we look at through us of the video is simply the motion (weight shift, weight transfer), to your swing. Is there a loading up process going on in the backswing? Is your weight being transferred through the ball to your forward foot? Most importantly, is there correct sequence of movement to your swing? Finally, we take an overview evaluation of your swing plane from the down-the-line camera. Are you on plane? Are you inside-out? Or, are you outside-in? Are your divots toeing deep right to left across the target line? Are your divots thin and shallow?

The first lesson is often a breakdown and evaluation of the current state of your golf swing. At this point you may even feel a little overwhelmed. I think you need to see the full picture of just what’s happening right now with your swing. You will leave this first lesson with a much better understanding of the golf swing, or more precisely, your golf swing. This is where and when you really need to trust me. In my mind, I will begin to put a roadmap together of just how I plan to help you reach your goals. Even though there will be much information shared during this first session I will only give you two or three things to specifically work on until I see you again. Subsequent lessons will be very structured and focused on specific positions, concepts and movements. With each lesson I actually talk less, you will hit more balls and we will evaluate more swing using the video technology.

What is important to me?

  1. Pre-swing fundamentals with an emphasis on the correct grip position.
  2. Weight shift. Or, more specifically, the correct sequence of moving parts. I can’t place enough emphasis on this concept.
  3. Swing Plane. The club must be delivered on the correct path to the ball. This is often dictated by the path of the club on the backswing.
  4. Results.

I take my position very seriously and appreciate the trust you give me. I believe there is a specific order in which to address swing faults. Too often I’ve seen instructors address the wrong fault first. Simply stated, you can’t work to cure an over-the-top slice if you don’t address the importance of sound pre-swing fundamentals and the correct sequencing on the down swing. You can’t tell somebody to “finish high” if their swing path is outside-in. A text book finish is the result good swing plane mechanics, which is the result of correct weight shift (swing sequencing), which is the result of sound pre-swing fundamentals.

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