One year I was participating in a charity event with the ladies club at a local Country Club. Every year they use their Christmas tournament to raise funds which benefit a shelter for battered women and children. This is a great way to have fun and help others at the same time.
My role was to stand on the fourth hole, which is hated by all of the ladies, and help them enjoy the day by hitting drives for them in exchange for a donation. This gave me an opportunity to visit with some members I usually do not have the chance to spend time with.
It really surprised me when one of the ladies told me she now was “good enough” to take a lesson. She told me that she had been so bad until now that she would have been embarrassed to take a lesson. She said she would have felt uncomfortable having someone watch her closely as happens during a lesson. This sentiment was supported by another player in her group.
I explained to them that as an instructor I am only looking at ways to help a player improve their game, I am not judging how “bad” they are. I assured them I teach many beginning golfers, and they are all “bad” to start with.
Waiting until they are “good” enough to take a lesson often means they will have developed habits which might have to be changed when they are “ready” to take a lesson in order to improve further.
This conversation made me realize there are probably many golfers who feel just as these two women did. As an instructor I encourage you to start with lessons immediately. I want to assure all of those who feel this way that my job is to teach you good habits as you learn to play golf, not to judge you. I know that it is much easier to learn good habits rather than having to change them at a later date.
In fact, I think I will now start to promote lessons aimed at all of you who feel this way and call it “lessons for really bad golfers who are embarrassed to take a lesson”. I want to do this because I know you need the lessons if you are too embarrassed to take them.
If you are still reluctant then I suggest you take lessons with a friend or two who are about the same level as yourself so that you will not feel as if you are the only one the instructor is focusing on.
If you know a golfer like this, do them a favor and give them a gift certificate for lessons this Christmas.