All of my clients arrive to their first lesson with a desire to improve a particular aspect of their game, few however have actually correctly identified the major area of concern.
One of the main reasons for this is unhelpful advice.
Golf is not like other sports, golfers are always willing to lend a helping hand, or at least try to.
For many amateurs it is this bombardment of advice from friends, magazines and television that is leading to the misconceptions about their games.
I don´t want you to think that you must stop your magazine subscription or cancel the satellite package you have so that you can improve, far from it.
But I do want you to learn to honestly analyze your own game, without interference from other sources.
You have to decide where you can improve.
At the start of a new journey with a new client I always follow the same pattern. I ask them what they believe requires work, some are more detailed than others, but I never stop with just one question.
I word my questions to ensure that the client will answer honestly, which creates a new process of thinking, a new insight into their games.
My first question is always this:
During your last round how many times did you take 3 or more putts on a hole?
The initial reaction is shock, as probably only 5% of all the clients I see regard themselves as poor putters.
More often than not, the honest response of 2 or 3 at least immediately sets of some alarm bells.
The next question;
Do you lose more shots off the tee or on the green?
Generally, the answer is green, which leads to the clients’ realization that they have miss-diagnosed their weaknesses.
It is this reason that I ask you to be honest when judging your game, ignore people around you, don´t get caught up in believing what other people are telling you, it is your game and your beliefs that are important.
From here, to allow the client some reflection time we start to work on the original issue.
As the lesson draws to a close, clients will ask to try the modifications with the driver. I am fine with this, but limit the number of shots hit.
I do not want the hard work the client has already put in to be destroyed in an instance with some bad drives.
During the re-capping stage, I make sure the client understands the changes we have made and can correctly perform the practice drills that they will take away with them to the driving range.
To end the session, the client normally begins to question me about their game, but in a more honest way than in the beginning, this is already a great sign of progress.
I do not answer the questions in great detail, instead my answers are short and concise, insisting that all good things come to those that wait.
The client already has enough to think about with the changes made during the lesson, but more importantly they will arrive home with the urge to dissect their game honestly, giving them answers to their questions at the end of the lesson would only cloud their judgement.