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Price of golf lessons.


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#1 Priceyd

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

Hello I am new to golf been playing about two months now and am now thinking its time to get lessons to help me Improve, I'm from atlantic city nj, and what sort of price is reasonable to pay for lessons? Anyone have any recommendations as well for where to go

Thankyou


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#2 iteachgolf

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:22 AM

Up there I'd expect to pay anywhere from $100-$200 an hour from a decent teacher. There will be teach that charge much more than that and probably a small few who charge less

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#3 Jon Robert

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

Do cheaper group lessons at first. You are not going to benefit from costly one on one lessons as a beginner. That is comparable to school. You all go through group math class as youngsters then start dividing up in later grades as you get more skilled.

Furthermore be advised not to drop down big money with out finding that the instructor is a match for you.  Honestly some instructors suck and even the best admit they may screw up more students than they want to admit.  The following 1 hour video says this during a Titleist Performance Institute seminar. (1 hour long)
https://www.youtube....e&v=bk06DErc3rc

Then take advantage of YouTube videos as well But keep a skeptical eye on whatever they are saying. One will say the opposite of the other. Even so you can get many tips that help
https://www.youtube....e&v=DI60HqtdtSI

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#4 WT Door

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 08:55 AM

Last year I got an off season deal for four 45 minute lessons PLUS 4 greens fees at a very nice course for a whopping $150.  This year the same guy is charging $250 for the same deal - which is still a whale of a bargain.  His single hour rate is $75.  He was fabulous and equipped with video, launch monitor, a grass range, good short game area, and a covered area with mats in the event it started raining.  That was Virginia not Jersey but I suspect you can stay below $100/hr and find excellent instruction - especially if you buy a bundle (eg, "5 lessons for $300).

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#5 iteachgolf

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:22 AM

No way you find excellent instruction for under $100 in the Northeast.   The reason is simple, if you are that good you'll be busy. If your busy you'll have no reason to discount your lessons.  Especially when you have other teachers in your state/area charging $500/hr.  

The only way a guy can offer that deal, even at $250, is if its subsidized by the golf course.  At 5 lessons for $300 a pro would need to give 1,000 lessons a year to make decent money, which would be very busy for a teacher and very few teachers teach 1,000 lessons a year.  For a full time instructor he is either paying the course a fee (rent) or he is giving the course a % of his lessons, usually 20+%.  So what the teacher is charging is not what he's actually pocketing.  A good launch monitor cost at least $7,000 and the best are $12-30,000.  Casio camera is now $1,000. Add in technology to the rent he must pay to the course and this is why it takes $100/hr or more for good instruction.

Edited by iteachgolf, 11 January 2013 - 09:27 AM.


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#6 PuttingDoctor

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:03 AM

+1 ITeachgolf.

Rates int he NE reflect the high cost of doing business.

Also as noted it may be important to take a few singles prior to landing with a "coach" you understand and who understands you.

I use the word coach as there is a difference and for your needs as a new golfer you will need to think in terms of coaching vs. what some golfers look for.

Good luck in your search for the right golf coach.

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#7 Hawkeye77

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

View PostJon Robert, on 11 January 2013 - 08:38 AM, said:

Do cheaper group lessons at first. You are not going to benefit from costly one on one lessons as a beginner. That is comparable to school. You all go through group math class as youngsters then start dividing up in later grades as you get more skilled.

Furthermore be advised not to drop down big money with out finding that the instructor is a match for you.  Honestly some instructors suck and even the best admit they may screw up more students than they want to admit.  The following 1 hour video says this during a Titleist Performance Institute seminar. (1 hour long)
https://www.youtube....e&v=bk06DErc3rc

Then take advantage of YouTube videos as well But keep a skeptical eye on whatever they are saying. One will say the opposite of the other. Even so you can get many tips that help
https://www.youtube....e&v=DI60HqtdtSI

Aside from the inaccurate analogy about math classes, the suggestion that a beginner will not benefit from one on one lessons is ludicrous.

If it's a strictly financial issue, then a group setting may be what you do. But, on a comparable per hour basis, you aren't really saving that much, if at all, when you figure in what you get for individual attention.

I think beginners need the individual attention, and more reps they get one on one. Plus, all swing thoughts aren't one size fits all.

There is tremendous benefit.


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#8 fore_life

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:12 PM

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#9 wmblake2000

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

The problem with using videos is except for maybe the grip, it is very hard to know if you're really doing what you think you should be doing from the videos, and almost impossible to know which video is a good next step for your needs.  

If you've really got the golf bug and want to improve, I have two observations. One, it takes a while - which is ok, because this is a game for a whole lifetime, and improving never loses its appeal; and two, for a beginner, group lessons from someone who is good (see the comments about rates) is a fine place to start - for a little while.  Rates reflect demand, and demand reflects skill in helping - more or less.
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#10 TucsonGolfer

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:01 AM

TeachGolf Is right on the money.
However, check for reputable golf schools, you can also go on Groupon and find deals as well. We have a Jim Mclean golf school on site and they had some INSANE deals for the holidays and groupon stuff as well. Normally the instructors are $130 and the other is $150 per hour.


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#11 Timanator

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:06 AM

Damn that is high! Over here is Texas you can get lessons for $40 an hour and less if you bought a package. But i think jon Robert's right about group lessons to start, as a newbie it will be very hard to understand golf without putting the time in on the course and range experimenting.
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#12 Donly

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:44 AM

View PostTimanator, on 14 January 2013 - 08:06 AM, said:

Damn that is high! Over here is Texas you can get lessons for $40 an hour and less if you bought a package. But i think jon Robert's right about group lessons to start, as a newbie it will be very hard to understand golf without putting the time in on the course and range experimenting.

Agreed. Crazy to pay that for a mere golf lesson.

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#13 nevets88

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:15 AM

IMHO, if you are starting out, it's even more important to get started with a an effective pro. Many pros, while they mean well, just don't get results. The problem is finding and matching up with an effective teacher. From my experience, $100-$150 is the average, depending on where you live. And a good pro will probably spend at least an hour with you utilizing high speed video. Maybe even 1.5 hours depending on his/her schedule.

If $50 is your budget, then go with the group lessons, but you're probably not only going to take one lesson. You'll get much more with one lesson with an effective instructor than 3 with an ineffective one. JMHO.

Edited by nevets88, 14 January 2013 - 09:16 AM.


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#14 iteachgolf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

View PostDonly, on 14 January 2013 - 08:44 AM, said:

View PostTimanator, on 14 January 2013 - 08:06 AM, said:

Damn that is high! Over here is Texas you can get lessons for $40 an hour and less if you bought a package. But i think jon Robert's right about group lessons to start, as a newbie it will be very hard to understand golf without putting the time in on the course and range experimenting.

Agreed. Crazy to pay that for a mere golf lesson.

At $40 an hour you'd have to give 1,500 lessons a year to make what a full time McDonald's employee make.  The only guys that can charge that are salaried golf pros who teach on the side.  It's bonus income to them.  The average price per hour is $100 for teaching pros, people who specialize in teaching golf and aren't assistant pros.  

Its like everything else, if you want to get a few tips and maybe get better $40 lesson might be for you.  If you want to take the game somewhat seriously and cut chunks off your handicap then it'll cost more for someone who can do that.  

It also comes down to frequency of instruction too.  I tell even my students who take regular lessons I only want to see them once or twice a month a most. It takes time to make changes and weekly lessons are pointless IMO.  But if the guy who charges more is making long term changes rather than band aids you'd see him less frequently and end up paying the same or less than the bargain guy.

The value of the lessons should be determining factor rather than price.  If the guy who cost twice as much cut your handicap in half you might actually find him more valuable than the cheaper guy.  If you only want to get a shot or two better or want a quick tune up then the more expensive guy won't a value to you.

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#15 JMF33

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:06 AM

View Postnevets88, on 14 January 2013 - 09:15 AM, said:

IMHO, if you are starting out, it's even more important to get started with a an effective pro. Many pros, while they mean well, just don't get results. The problem is finding and matching up with an effective teacher. From my experience, $100-$150 is the average, depending on where you live. And a good pro will probably spend at least an hour with you utilizing high speed video. Maybe even 1.5 hours depending on his/her schedule.

If $50 is your budget, then go with the group lessons, but you're probably not only going to take one lesson. You'll get much more with one lesson with an effective instructor than 3 with an ineffective one. JMHO.


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#16 JMF33

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:07 AM

+1 I live in California and $100 to $150 is about right out here for a decent instructor.

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#17 Jamboy72

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

And we wonder why people aren't flocking to the game...In my area, lessons are not cheap ($80ish/hour)...you combine that with the increasing cost to play the game and it's clear we have an issue...

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#18 airjammer

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Golf sadly may not be for everybody.  You can get to the pro level without coaching even though I think it is harder now than it used to be.  Golf is the hardest game I have ever played.  I have paid as low as $30 and coming up have a session coming up with iteach that charges more than that.  I have the means and iteach has demonstrated much success with fixing issues such as mine so I am happy to pay what he charges.  Most of my friends would not pay for lessons because either they are too proud to say they need help or afraid of getting worse.  I had the most fun when I shot high 80s and would tell anyone if you don't plan on going pro stay around that level.  You can have a good day and break 80 which a lot of golfers don't ever do and shoot 100 another day and not feel like quitting.  Back to the main question and $40 to $60 in the middle tennessee area.

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#19 Jamboy72

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

So how much does iteach charge for his services??

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#20 iteachgolf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:54 PM

$125 per hr
$400 for package of 4 or half day
$700 for full day (8 hours)
$1000 for three half days.  (12 hours)

Members of my club get a discount off those prices as do juniors.

Edited by iteachgolf, 14 January 2013 - 09:55 PM.


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#21 Jamboy72

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:58 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 14 January 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

$125 per hr
$400 for package of 4 or half day
$700 for full day (8 hours)
$1000 for three half days.  (12 hours)

Members of my club get a discount off those prices as do juniors.

Yikes...that is pretty steep...although if you could break up the three 1/2 days into 12, 1 hour sessions for 1000, that would be fairly decent...something seems out of line when a golf lesson costs 4X as much per hour as a high school math class...ouch!

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#22 iteachgolf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:15 PM

View Posttopekareal, on 14 January 2013 - 09:58 PM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 14 January 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

$125 per hr
$400 for package of 4 or half day
$700 for full day (8 hours)
$1000 for three half days.  (12 hours)

Members of my club get a discount off those prices as do juniors.

Yikes...that is pretty steep...although if you could break up the three 1/2 days into 12, 1 hour sessions for 1000, that would be fairly decent...something seems out of line when a golf lesson costs 4X as much per hour as a high school math class...ouch!
Except you can't teach golf lessons all hours of the day.  Scheduling lessons before noon on weekdays for most pros is basically non existent for the most part.  Only so many hours a teacher can actually realistically schedule.  My case is different since I teach a lot of mini tour and college players who prefer weekday mornings.  You may think I'm steep, but ponder this question.  What do the top 1% of professionals in whatever you do for a living make a year?  I promise I make less than them, not that I'm complaining.

Its a free market and basic economics.  If my prices were too high I'd struggle to get business. I'm pretty much booked at least half the day 5 days a week until May not including the days I travel to PGA and Web.com Tour events.  I'm the absolutely one of the cheapest instructors in the US when it comes to anyone in my peer group, similar experience/resume.  Virtually every teacher with a similar resume to mine charges nearly double or more than what I do.  I'm right at the national average price wise.

Edited by iteachgolf, 14 January 2013 - 10:18 PM.


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#23 WT Door

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 14 January 2013 - 09:55 AM, said:

View PostDonly, on 14 January 2013 - 08:44 AM, said:

View PostTimanator, on 14 January 2013 - 08:06 AM, said:

Damn that is high! Over here is Texas you can get lessons for $40 an hour and less if you bought a package. But i think jon Robert's right about group lessons to start, as a newbie it will be very hard to understand golf without putting the time in on the course and range experimenting.
Agreed. Crazy to pay that for a mere golf lesson.
At $40 an hour you'd have to give 1,500 lessons a year to make what a full time McDonald's employee make. The only guys that can charge that are salaried golf pros who teach on the side. It's bonus income to them. The average price per hour is $100 for teaching pros, people who specialize in teaching golf and aren't assistant pros. Its like everything else, if you want to get a few tips and maybe get better $40 lesson might be for you. If you want to take the game somewhat seriously and cut chunks off your handicap then it'll cost more for someone who can do that. It also comes down to frequency of instruction too. I tell even my students who take regular lessons I only want to see them once or twice a month a most. It takes time to make changes and weekly lessons are pointless IMO. But if the guy who charges more is making long term changes rather than band aids you'd see him less frequently and end up paying the same or less than the bargain guy. The value of the lessons should be determining factor rather than price. If the guy who cost twice as much cut your handicap in half you might actually find him more valuable than the cheaper guy. If you only want to get a shot or two better or want a quick tune up then the more expensive guy won't a value to you.

You were doing a very nice job throughout this thread of not only explaining the fiscal reality of your profession but also defending its worth right up until that statement.

I am all about the free market economy, understand that there are very few people that could afford do regular work at the occasional 'special' prices, and am happy for anyone to seek maximum return for the value of their particular services.  However, asserting that only a 'full time teacher' that charges north of $100 an hour is capable or qualified in helping a dedicated student see dramatic improvement is a touch on the myopic side.

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#24 iteachgolf

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:04 PM

I know what the average teacher charges. I live in one the least expensive places to live in the United States and there isn't a teacher in this area that only charges $40 an hour.  Most assistant pros here, who aren't full time teachers and use teaching as bonus income charge $40+ a half hour and $75+ an hour.  

A teacher who charges $40 an hour isn't confident in their skills/doesn't think highly of their ability or is doing it to increase customer base because they currently don't have much of one.   Good teachers are busy/booked regularly and simply wouldn't charge $40 an hour.

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#25 dairic

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:15 PM

I think of it on terms of the cost of trying to learn on my own by spending time at the range. I've spent several years trying to dig it out of the dirt, and after finally hiring the help of a pro I realized just how much money I'd wasted pounding balls at the range. In terms of real improvement to my game, $100/hour is a deal when compared to "home schooling".

My own efforts weren't a complete waste of time because I did learn some things and it gave me context for understanding some of the stuff my instructor tries to teach me. But it is simply amazing how quickly he's able to identify what I need to do to get better.


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#26 WT Door

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:45 AM

Dan--

Not trying to be argumentative and after a brief taste of fantastic lessons at a ridiculously good price, I would gladly pay the instructor I saw the rates that you ask and then some for follow-on visits.

I think a crux of the matter for many is that the first visit is likely to be a crap shoot in most cases.  I saw one guy at $80 an hour about 8 years ago.  After asking around at many places, by consensus, he was basically deemed "the best teacher in the Central Valley..."  For $80 I received 20 minutes of analysis and instruction and 40 minutes of fabulous tales about the time he sat next to Hale Irwin at a banquet and once played an 'industry' event with Jack Nicklaus, etc.

I agree wholeheartedly that if most people took the long view ($125/hr x one lesson every 4 weeks = $500 a playing season) that the price would seem a lot more 'reasonable' and 'valuable' to the consumer.

Edited by WT Door, 15 January 2013 - 12:47 AM.

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#27 Gbyeball

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 07:32 AM

View Postdairic, on 14 January 2013 - 11:15 PM, said:

I think of it on terms of the cost of trying to learn on my own by spending time at the range. I've spent several years trying to dig it out of the dirt, and after finally hiring the help of a pro I realized just how much money I'd wasted pounding balls at the range. In terms of real improvement to my game, $100/hour is a deal when compared to "home schooling".

My own efforts weren't a complete waste of time because I did learn some things and it gave me context for understanding some of the stuff my instructor tries to teach me. But it is simply amazing how quickly he's able to identify what I need to do to get better.

+1

When looking at cost people sometimes forget about value. If you can get the results you were looking for then it is WORTH it. In this day and age of internet shopping for the lowest price on everything we tend to forget that a service is not the same as a hard good and must be judged by a different criteria. I pay over $100 an hour for lessons and it is money well spent because I see improvements, play better and enjoy myself more. I consider this great value
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#28 TucsonGolfer

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I am fortunate because I am an assistant golf professional and since we do not have the ability to give lessons at my facility ( Because we have a Brand New Jim Mclean Golf School ) I have become friends with both the instructors on site, and they have helped me out when I have asked because I have booked them thousands of dollars in golf lessons.  From December 22nd to December 31st of this past year, I think myself our other assistant and our retail manager  booked just shy of $10k in gift certificates for lessons, multi-day golf schools, clinics, etc. I have never heard a complaint since being there about their lessons. Every single one of them claimed to have gotten better, hit the ball better than they ever have, or know they are working towards a better golf game even if they had to move 1 step back to move 5 forward.  There is no question that golf is expensive, and so is getting great instruction. However, we have to view it as an investment into our golf game rather than a cost. Wouldn't you like to play 10 shots better at that fabulous course that you go to once a year with your buddies? Or be miserable and loose a dozen golf balls because you skimped on instruction with a guy who charges the cheapest rate.

As a side note, a friend of mine did an experiment with 5 of his students. They were all brand new and he offered them all 1 free 30 minute lesson. Afterwards he just asked they fill a quick survey and one question was would you like to book another lesson with me in the future.  All 5 said yes. The continuing lessons the students understood that they would have to pay for the lessons, but were not told a price and they would negotiate later. When the 5 of them came back ( all within 2 weeks of the free one ) he had given the lesson, and then said to them, alright so in terms of payment, i only want you to give me what you believe is fair. Pay me what you think my time was worth, and the value we have put into your golf game. Some of them were so taken back by this they had no clue where to start. He said thats okay, do what you think, and we can keep on going if you would like to keep working together.
Out of the 5, 3 of them gave him over $100 for a 1 hour lesson.  the other 2 gave him $50.
About 2 weeks later, he had booked them all again, same story, except now these students were getting excited, and were telling him what they were working on, and where they were struggling. So by their direction, he helped them in the areas where they expressed their most disappointment. Putting lessons, bunker play, long irons etc.
This time around, all 5 students gave over $100 for that one hour, while 2 students gave him a raise to 150.
A couple weeks later all 5 were back again, and 3 of them were planning on playing in the club championship. They were really excited and wanted to make sure their games were going to be sharp for the 3 day event. Two of these guys wanted to spend multiple hours with him and they spent a couple hours on the range, putting chipping etc. Then took them one at a time out on the course for 9 holes each. After these two gentlemen finished they had both given him $500 each. The 3rd was also spending a couple hours with him and gave him another $200. The other 2 that were taking more lessons for 1 hour gave him another $100 each.

A week after the club championship, he had a phone call with one of his students who won the club championship, and the other won his flight. The Third came in 5rd and all had shot their best consecutive rounds ever. The 2 that won their flights gave him a present in his office. When he got there, he found a check for $2,500 from one, the second left him a gift card for $300 to Ruth Chris steak house and a nice letter, and the other asked him a question. He said, I will give you $5,000 or, I will buy you a launch monitor that you have  been speaking of. This was a TrackMan. He phoned back all of these men and greatly appreciated their gestures. He asked the man who mentioned the launch monitor if he was serious, and asked him if he knew what it actually cost, being a big difference from $5000 to just shy of $20,000. He told him it is not a matter of money, he would pay whatever sum because my friend had given him something that he never experienced in 25 years of golfing. A win, a trophy, a single digit handicap, and a completely new love for the game. Needless to say, My friend got a trackman and a 5 day full paid vacation cruise with his girlfriend  by this guy. The others all see him regularly to this day. All about every 2 to 4 weeks, and they all pay him, sometimes in different ways.. taking him to dinner, baseball tickets, etc.

From these 5 experimental clients, he has generated another 15 from their references. I have no real point to this story other than people are putting money first. Think about what the instruction may lead you to do, or become? Hell, you might make a friend out of your instructor? You will probably enjoy the game more. Use your new talents in business meetings out on the course and slap around your hot shot boss. Golf  is a beautiful game, if only it got treated that way once in a while still.

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#29 Jamboy72

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:33 PM

View Postiteachgolf, on 14 January 2013 - 10:15 PM, said:

View Posttopekareal, on 14 January 2013 - 09:58 PM, said:

View Postiteachgolf, on 14 January 2013 - 09:54 PM, said:

$125 per hr
$400 for package of 4 or half day
$700 for full day (8 hours)
$1000 for three half days.  (12 hours)

Members of my club get a discount off those prices as do juniors.

Yikes...that is pretty steep...although if you could break up the three 1/2 days into 12, 1 hour sessions for 1000, that would be fairly decent...something seems out of line when a golf lesson costs 4X as much per hour as a high school math class...ouch!
Except you can't teach golf lessons all hours of the day.  Scheduling lessons before noon on weekdays for most pros is basically non existent for the most part.  Only so many hours a teacher can actually realistically schedule.  My case is different since I teach a lot of mini tour and college players who prefer weekday mornings.  You may think I'm steep, but ponder this question.  What do the top 1% of professionals in whatever you do for a living make a year?  I promise I make less than them, not that I'm complaining.

Its a free market and basic economics.  If my prices were too high I'd struggle to get business. I'm pretty much booked at least half the day 5 days a week until May not including the days I travel to PGA and Web.com Tour events.  I'm the absolutely one of the cheapest instructors in the US when it comes to anyone in my peer group, similar experience/resume.  Virtually every teacher with a similar resume to mine charges nearly double or more than what I do.  I'm right at the national average price wise.

It is a free market and you're exactly right...if what you were charging was too much, you'd have a lot of appointments to fill...and when working with serious golfers and better players who really want to get better, your explanation sounds pretty on...I guess I find it interesting that many teaching pros only offer one rate for a period of time...

That is, an hour is __________ no matter what...If it were up to me, I'd like to see reduced (subsidized??) rates for juniors or beginners who may not have the background or require the same amount/type of instruction as other players...

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#30 cbrian

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

I don't know of many golf instructors that don't offer reduced prices for juniors. Also, I would assume a lot of instructors also do small classes for beginners at a reduced cost.


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