Golf is a very difficult game---perhaps the most difficult ! To play this game well requires a huge commitment of time, energy & resources. The great majority of golfers are not prepared to make that commitment.
Instruction is a very individual thing. In theory, all instruction is, or should be, a journey that enables the student to enjoy the game more. That same theory ususally dictates that to enjoy the game more means to play/score better. However, in actual application, that is often not the case.
There are many golfers that simply want to "hit the ball" further/longer... They may say that they want to score better---but---at the end of the day---they simply enjoy hitting it further/longer/harder.... Their enjoyment is centered around the few shots per round, usually with their driver, that they strike well, with this goal in mind, their score is a secondary goal.
There are other golfers that just do not want to "look bad". Their comfort level is achieved when they shoot the same score/s that they have been shooting for most of their golfing life. They simply do not want to "do worse"...
The list of psychological niches that golfers evolve to are almost endless.
When most recreational golfers seek instruction, they do so with the hope and expectation that one or a few "lessons" will somehow cure all their ills, and they will then become "good" golfers.
Sadly, most instructors buy into this "hope and expectation" trap as well. They never tell the student that to play good golf takes years---thousands of hours---of practice and learning.
In the early days of "Golf Clubs", primarily in Europe, the "Golf Professional" was employed by the Club to "teach it's members". There was no "lesson fee". That is what he was there for---to instruct all the members---it was part of their membership...and what he was paid to do.
Since we, at the Douglas Golf Club, are pretty "old school" in many ways, I would like to offer this same opportunity to our members. Simple, one-subject, swing-mechanic lessons will be complimentary --- no charge !
If you would like to explore the potential of learning how to score better, we would look forward to helping you achive that goal.
One place to start is : What do you want to accomplish ? (With a very few exceptions, if you are over 8 or 10 years of age as you are reading this, you will almost certainly never tee-it-up on any of the worlds professional tours). So---do you want to reduce your handicap ? Eliminate your handicap ? What are your short & long term goals for your game ?
Another thing to consider is the fact that you are not going to move to Douglas for the next few months and/or years to learn how to work on your game. And, thanks to the miracle of modern electronic communication, that is not necessary. It is now possible to provide you with the information you will need via the web and with email, video, etc as you progress on your journey to better golf & lower scores.
It has now, finally, become common to think in terms of both the "MENTAL" game, as well as the "PHYSICAL" game. And, while we refer to those two parts of the game as separate entities, in actual application, they are not ever separated ! The game, at a high level of proficiency, is both mental and physical simultaneously.
In fact, we think of each shot as having at least 4, & maybe 5 elements.
- The physical---you . Your swing that produces this shot
- Intellectual---how you think about this shot
- Emotional---how you feel about this shot
- Technical---the club & the ball & the course. (The only elements that do not change --- the course does change, but at a glacial pace)
- And on many shots---the Spirit of the Game---your acceptance of the rules, both good & not so good. Your acceptance of the lie, a less than perfect bounce, the endless & crazy things that can & do happen...
The vast majority of golf instruction, for the last 100 years, is and has been devoted to 1. (and to a lesser degree), and 4 above. We believe that how you think and feel about this shot are as important as how you swing at it. Actually, we believe that how you think and feel about it dictate, to a large degree, how you swing at it !
Please believe that the people that play this game for a living are thinking about what they want the ball to do --- not how to swing --- when they pull the trigger ! (yes --- they almost certainly thought about and considered some nuance of set-up, swing path and/or plane, soft or agressive swing, shot shape, etc, etc --- but all that was "dialed in" as they thought about the shot, (2. above). When they pulled the trigger, they were thinking about what they wanted the ball to do --- target, shot shape, ball flight, etc... and trusted that the decisions made would produce the desired shot. They were not thinking "HOW" --- they were thinking "WHAT" !
The following is a summary that I prepared for a fellow that I have been working with for almost a year. His handicap is down from about 12 to 6 or 7. We/he/it is not "finished" yet, (what is finished ?) - and this summary obviously requires that you, (the reader), must be aware of some terms that I use - but even without complete knowledge of all terms, you can get a partial picture of part of the process.