Improving Your Golf Play Part 1 - Invest in Golfing Lessons

Here is the first part of a four-part series on how GG Guru thinks we can all improve our golf play. I wonder if he practices what he preaches….. (I even wonder if he is a he?)

How can Joe Golfer improve?

There are no shortages of sources for advice – some good, some bad, some really bad – and your GG Guru is not about to suggest something new under the sun. Just putting out a few common sense ideas.

We all want to play better – and we spend lots of our hard earned cash investing in miracle cures that never work. Deep down, we know that the only way to get better is to learn the fundamentals and then practice, but there never seems to be time for that. And somehow despite how badly we play, there is always that birdie (or par or bogey) in the last round that convinces us that we are on the brink of a breakthrough. Well I’m here to tell you that there are no free lunches and no shortcuts to playing well. But there are a few simple things we can all do to improve our golf games.

First: Invest in a few lessons with a good pro. The purpose is not to reconfigure your swing à la Nick Faldo – but rather to seek help to improve ball striking, and most importantly to enhance your short game.

Shop around for a good professional, a good teacher who will take the time to analyse your ability and listen to what you say about what your objectives. The GG Guru has seen too many players meekly taking lessons, too embarrassed to really talk with the pro. As we all know, golf is a humbling game and so there can be the tendency to freeze up in front of the pro, or else to put undue pressure on yourself to do well in front of the pro. So the first thing is to relax and recognize that the pro is only trying to help. The pro certainly doesn’t think he or she is a better person than you – the pro probably can’t draft a contract, or cook a meal, or fix a car, or do whatever you do. Every pro has seen much worse swings than yours (well, maybethey have…). So it is no big deal if you top a few shots while the pro is watching. Rather, listen to what the pro says and try to apply yourself accordingly. You will be surprised at the results.

After a few lessons on the driving range, invest in some time with the pro to work on your short game. Not everyone has the physical gifts to hit the ball 300 yards, but everyone can chip and everyone can putt. These are the strokes that make or break your score. Learn the fundamentals for pitches and chips and sand shots and putting. Then practice these (the editorial board of has made the short game a priority for its future blog posts). And I promise you that your scores will start to drop and your enjoyment of the game will increase dramatically.

Finally, book a lesson with a pro to take you on the course. Go out at a time during the week when the course isn’t crowded. Discuss strategy and take the time to hit various shots. To state the obvious – the feel and experience is completely different from being on the range.

Spending a little money on lessons is by far the best investment you can make to improve your game. New equipment might help too, and that is the  subject of Part 2.

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thegr8jules February 12, 2010

Do you have any advice on where I can find a golf pro in the French part of Switzerland? I recently moved back to Switzerland and am a beginner but looking to improve my game before the season begins.

Where should I start?


beachcomber February 12, 2010

Hi G8,

I am going to pass your question on to the GG Guru And Jo Triceps. YOu answer should be forthcoming within the next day or two.


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