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How to Choose the Right Golf Instructor (Don’t Make These Common Mistakes)

Are you a golfer who loves taking lessons or one who waits until every shot is a slice before you sign up?

Some golfers love the golf lesson concept, while others find it terribly annoying.

However, whether you are a big fan of lessons or you dread them, the key to a great lesson is knowing how to find a good golf instructor.

A good golf instructor has the knowledge, a great personality, and the ability to communicate.

If you want to be able to find that, I have all the information you need.

How to Choose the Right Golf Instructor (Key Takeaways)

If you don’t have time to read my entire guide on how to choose the right golf instructor, here are a few of the key takeaways:

  • Ask your friends and family who they like to take lessons with; chances are they have some instructors that come highly recommended.
  • Look for any kind of history or presence from the instructor; are the PGA? Have they written a book? What golf courses have they worked at?
  • Take a look at how golf technology will be incorporated into your golf lessons. Do they have a launch monitor or a simulator to help you get more data?
  • Don’t ignore the possibility of an online golf lesson if you can’t find the right golf instructor in your local area.
  • Finally, remember that with the right tools, drills, and knowledge, many great golfers are self-taught.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

What Makes a Great Golf Instructor (Qualities to Look for)

Some of the things that make a great golf instructor are specific to golf; others are just about being a great educator.

Here are the qualities to look for in a great golf teacher, coach, or instructor.

golf coach teaching golf player

Engaging and Polite

One of the first things that will grab you about a golf instructor is their personality.

Most great instructors will try to make some connection with their students almost immediately.

They may try to find a person that you both know or start by asking you some questions about yourself.

You should feel comfortable within a few minutes of meeting the golf instructor. It shouldn’t have to be work to like them!


Great golf instructors know a lot about the game of golf. In fact, they should know more than you do.

If you feel like the instructor has a very good handle on what they are teaching, chances are they are going to be able to help your game.

If the instructor is unsure about their words, doesn’t speak confidently, or can’t hit a golf shot themselves, I would steer clear.

Willing to Adjust to Your Needs

Golf instructors don’t get to teach the same student repeatedly all day. In fact, they have to adjust every time a new golfer walks up to their hitting station.

Whether you are worried about your bad right knee or have been playing the game with an unconventional grip for 30 years, the golf instructor needs to be able to adjust to you.

Years ago, there were instructors that would try and teach just one swing.

They would give you the rundown of the swing they said was best and expect you to learn it. This is not ok.

Great golf instructors can teach a variety of golf swings and golf shots to any student that walks into their teaching space.

man playing golf on course

Listens Well

Some instructors like to hear themselves talk.

Of course, they need to be able to give you enough information that you can then take your game to the next level, but they need to listen as well.

What are the areas of your game that are really bothering you? What do you like about a potential swing change? What does it feel like to try a new move in your swing?

These are all things that the golf instructor will want to know, and they must listen well to get these answers from you.

When an instructor is fighting to be the one that gets the last word in, it gets difficult to continue taking lessons with them.

Shows a General Interest in Your Game

I love when a golf instructor sees me around the course the next day and says, “how’s it going?” If they show an interest in my game, it can be very inspiring to want to practice, learn and potentially even compete in events.

Golf instructors that don’t engage with you outside of your scheduled time slot on the lesson tee will not be the best choice.

At the same time, make sure that you don’t take advantage of a friendly and caring golf instructor.

If you need help with something they taught, sign up for another lesson, don’t chase them down on the range.

Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Can Adapt to Different Learning Styles

Are you a visual or auditory learner?

Great golf professionals will ask you what type of learner you are and how they can help you reach a concept a bit sooner. It takes a little bit of time to figure out how people learn golf the best.

However, when you make that breakthrough, the learning happens fast.

Good Communication

Good communication is essential when choosing the right golf instructor for you.

Remember that communication starts during the booking process, not just when you make it to your golf lesson.

Make sure that the instructor is giving you valuable information about where to be, what to do, what to bring, and then, of course, what you can expect to form the lesson.

Communication between the instructor and student will increase the quality of the education.

golfer holding golf club at top of the backswing position

Use of Technology

Golf technology is something that golf instructors cannot ignore.

Do a bit of research to see if the instructor uses video or a launch monitor to give you more detailed information about your game.

Although technology is not a must, it can make a difference in your understanding of complex concepts.

Ease of Scheduling

This may not be related to the golf instructor and their ability to teach the game, but isn’t it great to choose an instructor that you have access to?

Some golf instructors are booked with students or only teach on Monday afternoons etc.

Find somebody that makes it easy to schedule a lesson and work out your flaws.

Some golf professionals have access to impressive technology that helps make scheduling even easier. 

Proper Follow-Up and End of Lesson Procedures

Have you ever heard, “ok, times up?”

It’s a terrible way to end a golf lesson.

Great golf instructors will start to wind down the lesson and give you some recap or tips; some will even record a quick video for you so that you know what you need to work on.

They start this process before the end of the lesson so that you are finished at the proper time but have the closure you need.

Golfers don’t remember all that happened during their golf lessons. The instructor that cares about this will make sure that you have a guide to help you when they are no longer standing there helping you.

golf coach give lesson to golf player

How to Find the Best Golf Instructors

Now that you know what to look for in a great golf instructor or coach, here are a few ways to find a golf instructor that fits your needs.

Word of Mouth

My favorite way to find a great golf instructor is to talk to your friends and golfing partners to see who they are using.

This is your quickest way to an honest recap of what the golf instructor is like, and whether or not they can help your game.

At a large golf course or golf facility, feel free to ask the director of golf which of the professionals would be a good fit for your game.

Chances are they know a little about you and can help pair you up with someone that is a good fit.

PGA Website

The PGA Of America has a program that golf teaching professionals can complete to become certified. If you think a PGA instructor is best for your game, then the website lists all current professionals.

The PGA Website is easy to navigate and will help you find the clubs and courses where some professionals are located, but it doesn’t have a rating system or anything that tells you about what the instructor is like to work with.

Social Media

Social media has become an excellent way for golf instructors to share more information about how they teach and what they are experts in.

Social media accounts are a great way to find virtual instructors, as they often share a video of a golfer fixing a hook or something similar to attract new students.

golf player putting with iron

How to Know if the Golf Coach is Right for Me?

Most golfers can tell rather quickly whether or not the golf coach they choose is the right choice for them.

Here are a few things to look for to know you’re with the right coach:

  • You look forward to your golf lessons.
  • Every time you go to a golf lesson, you feel like you are progressing.
  • When you look at your game from the first lesson to where you stand today, you know there have been advancements.
  • You feel like you have a supporter that wants to see you play well and progress.
  • Communication and scheduling are easy, and you never feel frustrated trying to see your coach and trying to become a better golfer.
Take a 2-minute Quiz and Step Up Your Game!

1. What do you want to improve in your full swing?

Mistakes and Warning Signs to be Aware of When Choosing a Golf Instructor

Following our advice about what makes a great golf instructor, you probably won’t encounter too many issues.

However, there are some major red flags that all golfers should be aware of before they choose the perfect coach or instructor for their game.

The Most Expensive One

Some golf instructors have spent their lives working themselves up to a position where they can charge $500 or even more for a golf lesson.

These golf professionals deserve it, and they have information to share that can help certain golfers. However, their information is not magical and is not for everyone.

Do NOT pick a golf coach simply because they are the most expensive one that you can find. That never works out.

At the same time, avoid the cheapest!

The bottom line is to choose a golf instructor based on who they are, how they act, how they teach, and not how much they cost.

The Technical Coach

Technical golf coaches can be a great fit if you are a technical player.

However, if you choose a coach that is too wrapped up in stats, numbers, and angles, you may miss a lot of the information.

I recently took a lesson from a coach that had a lot of information to share (thanks to golf technology), yet he knows how to break down each of the critical pieces of information so that I feel comfortable with what he’s saying and I can make the adjustments I need to my game.

Never once was I confused; I think I learned a ton about my game.

The Hard Sell

If a golf professional is selling you on taking lessons with them, be careful. Most golf professionals are friendly, nice, and helpful. If you choose to take a golf lesson with them because of that, so be it.

However, when you have a golf professional out there trying to convince you to purchase a series of lessons or that you need to sign up to get more advice, it is a red flag.

Stay away from the hard sell because if the golf instructor was good at what they did, the sales process would not be nearly as important for them.

HackMotion wrist sensor on golf player hand

Can’t Find the Right Golf Instructor – Try This!

Even after all of this information about the best golf instructors out there and how to find one, there are times when you may not find the right match.

The good news is, there is another way.

HackMotion is a game improvement tool that can be used as an alternative to a golf lesson. If you want to learn how to break 90 or how to break 80, or you simply want to fix your putting stroke, so it’s more consistent, HackMotion can help you.

Getting better at golf without lessons is entirely possible.

I can tell you this because I’ve done it most of my life.

With how golf technology has changed the game, it’s now easier than ever to teach yourself the correct positions and approach to becoming a better golfer.

The best part?

HackMotion is much cheaper than golf lessons. Simply buy the unit once, wear it on your wrist as you work on your game, and get all the data you need to become your best golfer.

HackMotion golf training aid wrist sensor
HackMotion - The Key to Unlock Consistency

Master clubface control to improve accuracy and consistency on the golf course.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now feel a bit better about how to choose the right golf instructor for you.

If you find someone with solid knowledge of the game of golf that cares about you as a player, you are on the right track.

If you struggle to find that person, try HackMotion and skip golf lessons!

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