Golf instruction

From Academic Kids

Anyone who can throw a ball or swing a bat can become a skilled golfer. Golf requires practice and some basic instruction on technique, equipment, rules and etiquette. In the United States golfers can take lessons from professionals certified by the Professional Golfers Association or the United State Golf Teachers' Federation, study books or magazines, use trial-and-error on the course, or get tips from practically anyone. The history of golf instruction is a fascinating story of technical improvement and personalities, just like the game itself.

Golf students have different learning styles. There are Show-Me Golfers and I-Am-What-I-Am Golfers. Show-me golfers are eager to try new ideas, new equipment, new teachers, and new locations. They are the golfers most willing to contemplate a complete rebuilding of the golf swing. Greg Norman is an example of a Show-Me golfer. I-Am-What-I-Am golfers tend to more conservative in their approach to new ideas and techniques, tend to favor their old clubs and tested instruction techniques, and prefer tinkering with their swing rather than rebuilding from scratch.

Golf instructors work at private clubs, public courses, resorts, driving ranges, high schools and colleges, specialized golf schools, or in a private practice.

The most important things a golfer learns are correct posture, grip, alignment and the golf swing itself. These are essential to every shot played in golf. Qualified instructors teach either the Vardon (overlapping) grip, the interlocking grip, or the baseball grip, depending on the student's hand size and athletic abilities. Great ball-striking golfers all have great club position at impact and tremendous swing velocity, generated by correct application of the fundamentals.

Golf instructors teach multiple types of standard shots, including driving, fairway shots, approaches, chipping, putting, and sand-shots. Advanced instruction can teach techniques such as controlling the "shape" of the shot, controlling loft, ball-stopping and spinning, playing off uneven ground or sidehill lies, and trouble shots such as hitting out of the woods. 30-minute, twice-weekly practice sessions are essential for developing muscle memory that allows the golfer to repeat shots.

Instructors use a combination of physical conditioning, mental visualization, classroom sessions, club fitting, driving range instruction, on-course play under real conditions, and review of videotaped swings in slow motion to teach golf.

See also History of golf instruction


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