In the first installment of my winter golf instruction series, we talked about using the remaining time of the year to play some golf and keep track of your statistics. From there it is time to start developing the one thing you would want to improve starting next season. You have already completed the first step to improving your golf game which is identifying the skills you want to improve at. The next step is to determine how you are going to improve.
The typical way that golfers look to improve and golf instructors look to teach has been a one-on-one private lesson using video and equipment to diagnose, and for some this may prove to be successful. However, looking at the national handicap over the last 20 years from the National Golf Foundation, the handicap has stayed almost exactly the same. And if you are someone who has taken private lessons and haven’t found your scores dropping, then I want to recommend you join a coaching program this winter.
A coaching program is based around the idea that golfers join a group of like minded golfers who look to get better. You get the opportunity to learn together, support each other and compete while trying to implement your new skills. These elements help to develop you as a better golfer that can perform on the course when it matters.
In the winter time, I run coaching programs for teams of up to 6 out of both the Buffalo Grove Golf Dome and Playin’ Thru Indoor Golf in Plainfield. The teams will be grouped by skill level and goals and then age if they are junior golfers. The students will receive individual instruction within the group so they can work on their own golf skills, but we will always work to challenge the golfers against each other to see how well the skills will hold up.
This idea is not new to the sports world, but it seems new to golf. If we examine other individual sports, you will see how individual athletes train with teams to help raise the level of their performance. In tennis, you will see players practice with hitting partners and their coaches, cyclist work with support teams and marathon runners will run with groups to train and motivate themselves to push to the next level. If you take a look at the highest level of golfers on the professional tours, there is a reason that a few different golf clubs around the world have large populations of world class players.
If you want to take your game to the next level and you have tried taking lessons but haven’t seen the desired results, then you need to try a different avenue. Try joining a coaching program for the winter where you can practice and compete against other like-minded golfers, and I bet you will see your scores start to improve.
Scott Hogan is from Plainfield and is a Class A golf professional and full-time instructor. He has competed on the Pepsi and Gateway Tours and has been playing in golf tournaments for over 20 years. You can learn more about Scott at his website.