You’ve been hitting balls at the driving range and you realize it may be time to work with a coach on the mechanics of your swing. How do you select the right coach? Here are a few tips for selecting a coach who can help you improve your swing and improve your overall performance on the course.
It’s essential that you feel comfortable with your coach and are able to cultivate a good working relationship with him or her. Personality, communication skills and teaching philosophy are all important factors in choosing a swing coach who is compatible with you. Make sure that you both discuss and agree on your goals and objectives for the coaching and that they speak in terms that you understand. At River’s Edge, we offer golf clinics directed by Stuart Allison, founder of Land’s End Golf School, whose students have consistently agreed that he is able to articulate conceptual ideas in a way that is easy to understand and put into action.
Instructional methods can be subjective and personal, but a coach’s teaching philosophy is important to achieving your goals and objectives. Ask them about their teaching method. Do they use swing aids? How often do they rely on video to communicate what you’re doing right and wrong as opposed to verbal instruction and demonstration? Can they help you get to the root of the problem with your swing and not just make a diagnosis? Can your instructor play competently? Has he or she played at a level of competition that you aspire to as well? The bottom line whether or not they have the skills, tools and manner to help you increase your potential.
Last but not least is accreditation. Beware of the self-proclaimed experts who claim they have the experience necessary to coach you. A professional coach should be actively accredited with the PGA or LPGA and regularly educating themselves on the latest instructional methods and innovations in golf technology. They must adhere to rigorous standards to remain accredited as a professional. Remember, good coaches are always learning and practicing. For more detailed information on PGA accreditation and how to choose a golf instructor, visit PGA.com.