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Picking a golf coach


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#1 MikekiM

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 02:08 PM

I'm curious to hear what others use as criteria, or questions to ask when looking or searching out a golf coach.

Other than the obvious interaction with the junior, what are some questions to ask?
Does their resume matter, why?
Does the facility they instruct at matter, (range, vs indoor, vs. at a course)?
How do you determine if a coach is working for you?  What measurements or stats do you use to judge improvement?
Anything else you consider when looking for a coach?


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#2 tiger1873

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 02:56 PM

What are you looking to accomplish? If it's just play a few rounds and hope to get on a high school team it's a lot easier. Plenty of instructors are ok and will teach you how to play like an amateur.

If you looking to do tournaments it's completely different animal.   I would argue you want someone who has done some level of tournaments in their career. You don't need a guy that was a major tour winner but he better played at least a little.

look around and see if they have history of playing. If the guy scores 90 and NEVER done better run far away. He may be fine to teach you a swing after back surgery but not for winning tournaments.

After that it's pretty much do you understand them and get results from their advice.

Edited by tiger1873, 14 January 2019 - 02:56 PM.


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#3 kekoa

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 03:01 PM

Does their resume matter, why? Yes.  If they see tour players or top juniors there normally is a very good reason.  They either know their stuff or bring some intangible to the table that you may not get from another coach.  For instance some coaches have relationships with local college coaches.  This could be a big deal down the road.  

Does the facility they instruct at matter, (range, vs indoor, vs. at a course)   Ideally, lessons would be on grass tees at a facility with a course so you can do playing lessons as well.

How do you determine if a coach is working for you?  What measurements or stats do you use to judge improvement?  Can't say for sure on this one.  I will say that some parents look for immediate results, which isn't realistic IMO.

Anything else you consider when looking for a coach?  Price, distance, stable of existing players.

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#4 heavy_hitter

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 05:21 PM

Set expectations.  

Going through a coach change right now.

You really need to set expectations in what you think a coach should be doing to see if you are on the same page.  If not then move on.

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#5 tiger1873

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 05:52 PM

I been thinking about this some more and sometimes you need to take a break from all lessons and just let the kid figure things out for themselves.    

We seen different coaches and some them are very famous everyone on this forum would recognize but at the end of the day there is only so much a coach can teach.   While the lessons we done I feel is money well spent I think at certain point the reason you seek out lessons is very different and goals for a teacher changes too as kids get older.

Edited by tiger1873, 14 January 2019 - 05:53 PM.


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#6 hangontight

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:44 AM

Revisiting this.  Son - 8.  Only had one lesson a few years ago, has only worked with me otherwise.   He's done well.   He knows the game and is not a beginner.  So I dont need someone to take him out swinging pool noodles at tennis balls.    I can feel we are at the point that we should get an instructor involved.  Interested to hear the thoughts of those with experience on the following.

1.) How many lessons/year at 8 years old? -  No way he needs weekly lessons at this point.  I think I am leaning the direction of planned 3-4 lessons per year.  Each one probably spending a good half day (or maybe even back to back days) for the instructor to work on long term plan - range work and on course work.  Instructor must have a long term plan.  Player needs to be able to commit to working on certain things between quarterly visits.  Another idea I had would be to do , say , 3 weekly lesson in row ...then repeat another 2-3x throughout the year. I.e. - Go to instruction 3 Saturdays in a row in February....then do the same in June....again in fall.  This way they have a concentrated effort over a few weeks to work on & improve upon something specific...spending the same amount of "hours" with the instructor.

2.) Instructor/Student FIT / Distance ?- Of the highest concern for me is finding someone who can relate well to my son.  Someone he feels relaxed and open around and can communicate instruction well...obviously that is key.  That being said, and if we only plan 3-4 visits a year....is doesn't seem unreasonable to travel up to 3 hours or so to someone who is a good fit.   We would be spending a day with a local guy anyway, so extra time in the car to get the right guy doesnt seem to be a turn-off.

Treading very carefully, want to make sure its a good fit.   Want to push the competiive fire, but certainly not kill the fun...seeking that good balance....so later on down the road he will be in a good spot if he choses to be more serious about it all.  Thoughts and comments from those with experience appreciated....

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#7 heavy_hitter

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 12:06 PM

View Posthangontight, on 05 February 2019 - 10:44 AM, said:

Revisiting this.  Son - 8.  Only had one lesson a few years ago, has only worked with me otherwise.   He's done well.   He knows the game and is not a beginner.  So I dont need someone to take him out swinging pool noodles at tennis balls. I can feel we are at the point that we should get an instructor involved.  Interested to hear the thoughts of those with experience on the following.

1.) How many lessons/year at 8 years old? -  No way he needs weekly lessons at this point.  I think I am leaning the direction of planned 3-4 lessons per year.  Each one probably spending a good half day (or maybe even back to back days) for the instructor to work on long term plan - range work and on course work.  Instructor must have a long term plan.  Player needs to be able to commit to working on certain things between quarterly visits.  Another idea I had would be to do , say , 3 weekly lesson in row ...then repeat another 2-3x throughout the year. I.e. - Go to instruction 3 Saturdays in a row in February....then do the same in June....again in fall.  This way they have a concentrated effort over a few weeks to work on & improve upon something specific...spending the same amount of "hours" with the instructor.

2.) Instructor/Student FIT / Distance ?- Of the highest concern for me is finding someone who can relate well to my son.  Someone he feels relaxed and open around and can communicate instruction well...obviously that is key.  That being said, and if we only plan 3-4 visits a year....is doesn't seem unreasonable to travel up to 3 hours or so to someone who is a good fit.   We would be spending a day with a local guy anyway, so extra time in the car to get the right guy doesnt seem to be a turn-off.

Treading very carefully, want to make sure its a good fit.   Want to push the competiive fire, but certainly not kill the fun...seeking that good balance....so later on down the road he will be in a good spot if he choses to be more serious about it all.  Thoughts and comments from those with experience appreciated....

PM iteach.

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#8 tiger1873

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Posted 05 February 2019 - 10:16 PM

View Posthangontight, on 05 February 2019 - 10:44 AM, said:

Revisiting this.  Son - 8.  Only had one lesson a few years ago, has only worked with me otherwise.   He's done well.   He knows the game and is not a beginner.  So I dont need someone to take him out swinging pool noodles at tennis balls.    I can feel we are at the point that we should get an instructor involved.  Interested to hear the thoughts of those with experience on the following.

1.) How many lessons/year at 8 years old? -  No way he needs weekly lessons at this point.  I think I am leaning the direction of planned 3-4 lessons per year.  Each one probably spending a good half day (or maybe even back to back days) for the instructor to work on long term plan - range work and on course work.  Instructor must have a long term plan.  Player needs to be able to commit to working on certain things between quarterly visits.  Another idea I had would be to do , say , 3 weekly lesson in row ...then repeat another 2-3x throughout the year. I.e. - Go to instruction 3 Saturdays in a row in February....then do the same in June....again in fall.  This way they have a concentrated effort over a few weeks to work on & improve upon something specific...spending the same amount of "hours" with the instructor.

2.) Instructor/Student FIT / Distance ?- Of the highest concern for me is finding someone who can relate well to my son.  Someone he feels relaxed and open around and can communicate instruction well...obviously that is key.  That being said, and if we only plan 3-4 visits a year....is doesn't seem unreasonable to travel up to 3 hours or so to someone who is a good fit.   We would be spending a day with a local guy anyway, so extra time in the car to get the right guy doesnt seem to be a turn-off.

Treading very carefully, want to make sure its a good fit.   Want to push the competiive fire, but certainly not kill the fun...seeking that good balance....so later on down the road he will be in a good spot if he choses to be more serious about it all.  Thoughts and comments from those with experience appreciated....

You need to be his coach like it or not.  Spend the money on playing golf not paying for lessons to hit on a driving range. If he can hit the ball you just need to play.

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