PGA Fellow Professional Adrienne Engleman on the importance of having a golf lesson.

Unfortunately established golfers will only enquire about lessons when things have gone wrong and then it’s all about taking that time to fix and improve it. The main thing that we hear on every single lesson is that ‘I’d like to be more consistent’. Well, if you want to be more consistent then you need consistent help.

So, rather than come when things have gone wrong, why not have regular lessons when things are going right? From a coaching point of view the frustration is seeing people too infrequently – I really try to promote seeing golfers who are happy to come and see me at least once a month. If you want to play better and enjoy it so much more, and not be so frustrated, it’s about frequency. People will pay £300 on a new driver but will frown on spending the same on a few lessons – you hear this all the time but it's so true.

If you're not having lessons, or having very intermittent lessons, then there is a good chance that you are just repeating poor habits.

I always say to my students that 'practice doesn’t make perfect, practice doesn’t make permanent, practice makes progress but only if you’re practising the right things’.

There is a bit of a grey cloud over professionals' heads, from some established golfers who last had a lesson years ago, of how a lesson is going to work. But coaching has changed so much, I'll happily put my hands up and admit that 30 years ago I was not a very good coach – we were all told this is how you coach golf and, now with so much experience, we know this is not what people want. 

Golfers don’t commit because they think the coaching is going to be complicated and they’re very often very pleasantly surprised when they take that plunge and take some lessons again. A lesson really has changed and is so enjoyable these days.

I work on the basis of communication with my pupils. I’m regularly in contact with them, whether this is on WhatsApp or email or however, and I'll be making sure that they get in touch easily. I don’t want them to leave the lesson and think, that’s it for a few weeks. I want them to keep me updated on how they’re playing. Modern coaching is nurturing what you’ve got and improving that.

Another concern is that we're going to concentrate too much on the grip and that we can’t do anything unless you’ve got a great golf grip. I had a guy turn up recently and he phoned me first, then emailed me a video and we a lot of correspondence before and it turns out that he had a cack-handed grip. He was worried that I would try and change his grip, I simply told him that I coached a guy who hadn’t got any hands so, if he wanted to stick with his grip, then we would work with it. The relief on his face was so clear and he loved it. 

The first thing that I do in a golf lesson is to ask what one thing they would like to get out of a lesson and, if they want to hole more putts, then we’ll head to the putting green. It’s about them and not us. That’s modern coaching, we’re really here to help you. 

If you want more insight into what to expect in a golf lesson watch PGA Professional James Robinson's video.

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Adrienne Engleman

My name is Adrienne (aka Adie) and I'm the PGA Advanced Fellow Professional at Colmworth Golf Club (CGC), which is not only arguably one of the friendliest and most relaxed golf courses in England(!), but is also situated in beautiful North Bedfordshire, and located close to the borders of both Northamptonshire ('The Rose of the Shires') and Cambridgeshire (most famous, of course, for the historical and stunning university city of Cambridge). I offer an array of golf coaching services - from 1-2-1 tuition through to group classes - which are truly bespoke and inclusive, and suitable for all ages and abilities. Specialising in 'Golf in a Day' experiences, short-game lessons and on-course coaching sessions, I love having the opportunity to nurture talent, improve ability and generally increase people's overall enjoyment of the game. In addition, I also offer residential golf coaching breaks, whereby residents can stay in one of the gorgeous lakeside holiday cottages at CGC, with no equipment or experience needed - and no silly dress code! So, please visit my website for more info about me, my services and my reviews - plus my new book too(!); '50 SIMPLE TIPS for Simply Better Golf'. I look forward to meeting, greeting and 'working' with you soon...

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