Being a tournament level player that have 15+ years of high level golf experience, and having gone through about half of this time together with a coach, and the other half working on my game on my own, I can attest that the short answer is, yes you need a golf coach. It will help you.
If you spend any time studying business and entrepreneurship in general, you will realize that one of the most high leverage things you can do, is to get a mentor or a coach that is 10-20-30 years ahead of where you currently are. That doesn’t really change no matter what field you look into. If you can get 1-on-1 coaching, feedback, and instruction suited to you and where you are at in any field, it will speed up your progress 2x-10x in pretty much anything you do. It works the same way in golf too.
Reasons Why You Should Invest A Little Bit of Money Into A Golf Coach
Reason 1: Like mentioned above, it will 2x-10x your progress. Basically you will be working a lot more on the areas of your swing or your game, where you have the most leverage. That means that you can do the fewest and simplest changes, that will have the biggest impact on your game. Sometimes you see the result almost straight away, other times it takes more time. I coach will be able to help you with this.
Reason 2: The one thing about being human, is that it is very hard to see ourselves through another persons eyes. Basically getting a true objective outside view of yourself, is not as easy as it sounds. A coach has this ability, and it is one of the most valuable things he can give you.
Reason 3: Although it depends on your level of golf, in the day a golf coach will 9/10 have a lot more experience with the game than you. This means he is more street smart when it comes to golf, than you are – unless you are playing on the Tour. A golf coach will also have a deep knowledge of golf theory, technical knowledge, mental knowledge, knowledge about equipment, and physical condition knowledge in many cases.
Basically this means, he is more book smart about golf also than the level you are most likely at today. As he will blend these two areas into his coaching, experience and theoretical knowledge, to address exactly what it is that you need to focus on and work on at THIS moment, to get a little bit better tomorrow, and a little bit better the day after that – this is the very reason you need him or her.
You want to identify the highest leverage point or task that you can work on and focus on, that will improve your swing and your score for the future on the golf course the most.
Once you have identified that you go to work on that, and that only.
When do I need a golf coach? How often do I need to have a lesson?
The simple answer to when, is that the more you find yourself struggling in your game and trying different things without it having the impact you want, especially lasting impact, the more it is the right time to seek out a coach you have faith in. He will be able to give you clarity and direction. If you spend any time practicing and working on your game, this is what you need to improve.
Often the problem about trying to figure it out on your own is that you have too many thoughts, which most of them have a lot more limited grounding in reality – of what is actually effective and what is not.
What the coach will do is give you peace of mind and focus of direction, by eliminating a lot of the chaotic and unfocused practice that a lot of us golfers go through at times, without really getting much better.
So simply said, when you are not improving and you try too many different things, especially at this point, will you can gain a lot by going to a golf coach.
Once you have found a coach that you believe in, you would be advised to see him or her at least 1 time per month, and commit to making that a habit as long as you are practicing and playing. In the end of the day it will make the game a lot more fun, and you will get much more leverage out of your practice.
What to look for in a good coach?
Tip 1: Look for the results the coach and his students have got. The way I see this you need a coach that has a track record of making good players, that being that the people he coach, are getting results – and that it is likely that the work the coach did with them was part of making that result possible.
Tip 2: Try to see if the coach you are working with can give you simple, yet effective solutions. His job is to identify the points you can go to work on that will give the most leverage, and he should be measured by this standard.
Obviously this also depends on the standard of execution, how well you are able to execute, but all in all a coach should be able to help you find what you most need to work on, keep it to as few things as possible, one preferably at a time.
Then he needs to be able to make you understand the importance of the change you are working on, and how to execute the change well, to give you lasting results – long term improvement.
Tip 3: The more your coach is associating with other skilled coaches, or is influenced by top coaches that work with the best, the more likely it is that his theoretical knowledge will be effective.
Tip 4: It is worth to assess what level of player thee coach has been himself, as this definitely plays a big impact.
Tip 5: Does the coach have a broad enough spectrum of knowledge and experience? This does depend on your level, but if you are serious about improving, you want to cover different areas that impact your game that are crucial, which a good coach can help address: Strength, flexibility, equipment fitting and choice of equipment, technical knowledge, mental approach, golf routine approach, statistics and its implication for focus of practice, and course management.
Final Thoughts on Coaches
You definitely need a coach if you spend any time at all on the golf course, as it will speed up your improvement 2x-10x times, compared to grinding it on your own.
As for choosing a coach, you want to find a coach that can provide you with the right knowledge and focus for your practice at the right time, while also being able to address your game in all the key areas discussed above. It requires a blend of the coach having performed well himself as a player, that he has gotten enough experience both as a coach and as a golfer at a high level, and that he is able to identify key theoretical knowledge of the game and help you improve.
Often a focus on fundamentals and what might seem simpler things, can go a long way compared to over analyzing and over complicating the process.
When deciding on a coach, look at him as a tree and ask yourself, what fruits does this tree carry?
If you find a good coach it is his responsibility to provide you with the right information and focus at the right time, but it is your responsibility to find a coach that is good at doing that.