Taking a golf lesson in Thailand or anywhere golf in Asia
is played is an investment. Not only do you invest money in it (unless you're getting a free 10-minute lesson from a Bangkok Golf Pro from Golfthink), but you also have to invest time, both when you take the golf lesson itself and afterward, on the practice tee, when you work on what you've learned. Given all that, you want to make the most out of your investment. These tips should help.
Before you start
Here's what you need to do before you get to your first lesson.
1. Find a teacher who fits you. Start by asking around for teachers in your area who have sound reputations. You're looking for the following:
First, a teacher who can help you at your level. If you are a beginner, then you don't need a tour-level teacher. Conversely, if you are an expert golfer, you don't want a teacher most noted for working with beginners.
Second, a teacher who speaks your language. If you are analytical, you want a teacher who can explain things in a technical manner. If you are more intuitive or "feel" oriented, then you want a teacher who uses phrases like "a good turn feels like. . . ." Just ask the question: "Is he/she a technical teacher or a feel teacher?"
Third, a teacher who can make the same commitment to your game that you make to the teacher. If you want only one golf lesson in Thailand
, then this is not a problem, but if you want a continuing relationship, then you need someone who is willing to provide that time to you.
Finally, all other things being equal, a teacher at your club or course. This makes it easier to keep up with your program. If you can ask questions while at the course and if you don't have to travel far, you'll be a more frequent, committed lesson taker.
2. Once you've scheduled your lesson, come prepared. Make a list of questions you want the professional to answer. Bring your whole set of clubs, not just the club you want to work on. Arrive early enough to loosen up before the lesson. And have all of your equipment with you, including glove, golf shoes, cap or visor and other suitable clothing.
During the lesson
Now you have arrived for the lesson. The following tips will help you use your learning time effectively.
1. Answer all of the teacher's questions completely and truthfully. Be prepared to answer the following: "What is your handicap, or what do you normally shoot?" "How can I help you the most?" "Have you had previous instruction? From whom, and what did you work on?" "Did or do you play other sports?" "Do you have any physical limitations?" "What are the strong and weak parts of your game? What are the patterns of your mistakes?"
2. Emphasize your agenda. A lot of lessons go poorly because the player is trying to accomplish one thing and the teacher another--e.g., you want to hit a fade and the teacher wants to teach a draw. If your agendas are different, listen to the instructor's reasoning and strongly consider it, because that's why you're paying for instruction.
3. Make sure you understand everything that you are asked to do, and why. (That is, if you want to know why.) The language of golf is ambiguous ("Hit against a firm left side"? "Don't get stuck"?). Don't let the teacher assume you are fluent in that language.
4. Empty your cup! If your mind is full of preconceived notions, there will be no room for other ideas that might help you. You are there for the teacher's advice. Try it.
5. Exaggerate changes. It is much easier for a teacher to zero in on a correction if the student exaggerates the feelings of a new move.
6. Demand success. If you've been slicing and you never hit anything but a slice during the lesson, you haven't been taught. But if you go from a bad slice to a bad hook, you're gaining ground!
7. Ask all the questions that occur to you. Make sure you have no uncertainty about what is asked of you. During the lesson you need to have a clear understanding of the messages the pro gives you.
After the Bangkok golf lesson
At the conclusion of the lesson, you should expect the following information. If you don't get it, ask for it.
1. An exchange of feedback. Tell your teacher what you "learned." He or she can then correct any misconceptions or fill in any blanks for you.
2. Ask how to correct yourself. When you change your swing, the ball may act strangely. If you sliced and then change to a stronger grip, you might hit shots to the left. You need to know what to work on to fix that problem so you aren't tempted to revert to your old grip.
3. Get your practice assignments. Have your teacher tell you what and how to practice, including drills, practice swings, etc.
4. Get your playing assignments. Ask your teacher how to handle the changes on the course. You might be asked to make more practice swings, change your thinking or maybe even practice more than play.
5. Schedule your next lesson. Do all this, and I promise you your investment in lessons will pay off.
For Bangkok golf lessons, golf instruction in Phuket or golf schools in Pattaya, visit www.golfthink.com