Golf, like life, is a journey and not a destination. With many twists and turns along the way, success is often more achievable when guided by the helping hand of others.
Golf lessons are by no means a prerequisite for golfers. It's perfectly possible to pick up the game, plough your own furrow and play to a good standard. While that's true, speaking to a local golf pro will get a second pair of eyes on your golf swing, and their expert guidance can help accelerate your improvement.
Below we list a few standout reasons to take golf lessons and how your game can benefit in each scenario.
When you're a beginner
Beginner golfers arguably have the most to gain from golf lessons. When you're new to the game, you haven't had time to develop any destructive bad habits. You're also more malleable and open-minded when listening to your coach's expert swing tips.
In those early days, you will find it difficult to work out what's right and what's horrendously wrong. For example, are you gripping the club the right way? How can you know if you don't know what 'right' feels like?
If that grip is too tight (or too loose), you can forget any notion of playing good golf. In a single golf lesson, you can get advice on your golf fundamentals which will stand you in good stead throughout your golf journey.
To get a second opinion
When you're out playing a few times every week, you might end up picking up a few tips from your buddies and playing partners (whether you want them or not).
Well-meaning though they may be, before placing your entire golfing future on these 'golden nuggets', we suggest checking in with a pro to separate what's hot from what's not.
When you're out of practice
With Hole19 HQ being based here in sunny Portugal, we're blessed with glorious sunshine and perfect golf conditions for most of the year (smug face!) - but we know that's not the case for many of our users.
Many of you guys and girls live in parts of the world where golf isn't possible during certain months of the year - at times due to extreme weather. This time away from the golf course can play havoc with your consistency, translating into frustrating rounds and higher scores.
While you may have built muscle memory over the years to get you through your first few rounds of the year, you won't be anywhere close to your best.
A golf lesson shortly after your season finishes will help you decide what to work on at the range during the off-season. If you can fit a follow-up session in a few weeks before you start back to competitive golf, it can help fine-tune your game and have you ready to hit the ground running.
When you're feeling lost
Many of us take each golf shot personally, and when things start to go horribly wrong, it can feel like a very lonely place.
If you ever feel like your golf game has fallen off a cliff edge for no apparent reason, a few golf lessons can help pinpoint and fix any flaws in your swing.
Get an opinion about your existing equipment
If you've been playing with the same clubs for many years, you may wonder whether they are still suited to your game. Your golf swing can change over time, leading to you struggling with clubs that were previously perfectly matched to your game.
Advancements in technology may mean a perfect driver option is out there somewhere. You might also find that your irons aren't helping you out enough on off-centre hits or perhaps that your shaft flex doesn't match your swing speed.
During a full session, chat with your local pro about your current set-up, and they'll confirm whether you could benefit from a set of new sticks.
Get an opinion on new equipment
OK, be honest: have you ever bought a golf club online without knowing whether it suits your game? If you have, you're not alone. The convenience of cyber shopping means many of us end up with golf equipment that costs us more shots than our old model.
Though you missed the benefit of a fitting session, many pros can now offer simulator sessions which can provide useful performance data. That could help you decide whether your new purchase has changed your game for the better or whether you'll be listing it on eBay.
When your improvement stalls
When you're serious about golf improvement, your game will plateau at some point along your golf journey. It can be particularly frustrating to still put in the long hours of practice without any obvious reward.
Speaking with a golf pro could help highlight any flaws that have crept into your swing or short game over time. Those corrections go a long way towards improving your game without adding countless hours on the range or course.
To drag you out of the rabbit hole
With more and more online golf instruction at your fingertips these days, it can be tricky to work out what relates to your golf swing. As time passes, you see only regression, and then you realise... you've officially gone down the golfing rabbit hole.
The wrong instruction might stop you from losing balls in the trees, but you could end up with an embarrassing walk to the middle of the adjacent fairway instead.
While there are many quality golf coaches online, you can be left a little confused when you voraciously watch video after video. A golf lesson will help you zone in on what's right for your game.
If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our tips on how to flush your ball from tricky lies. You can read it here.