Thursday, March 8, 2012

Four Steps To Teaching Beginners

"Four Steps To Teaching Beginners"
By Sean & Stef Mysel

Probably my favorite times as a teacher is teaching beginners.  I don't care if they are kids, women, or men who are just looking to pick up the game.  You get the experience of watching someone hit their first solid ball that has the perfect trajectory and backspin, then they turn around and give you the look with the goofy grin.  The challenge is getting from point A to Z when it comes to teaching a beginner a golf swing.  Here's how I go about it:

1)  Ask questions - what sports have you played?  do you have any injuries?  what are your goals?  It's always helpful to figure out what someone is trying to achieve and build your lesson plans around that.

2)  Tee everything up - in my experience, most beginners tend to top most of their shots which destroys confidence.  I've felt that getting my students to understand what a solidly struck shot feels like is the best selling tool as well as the best way to inspire confidence.  We can always put the ball on the ground.

3)  Watch them swing first, teach fundamentals after - some beginners will surprise you with their athletic abilities.  I had a gentleman yesterday I worked with that had just started recently, he could hit the ball and had decent posture along with a nice grip.  Remember our job is not to change things that work because we like something better.

4)  Constant positive feedback - I'm not advocating stroking someone's ego for the sake of doing it.  When someone executes a great shot, let them know, if they are on the right track do the same thing.

Here are some of my ideas for teaching beginners...what are yours?