Do you need lessons to start playing golf?

Current PGA Captain Sarah Bennett on making those first steps into the game the right ones

The first question that needs to be asked is what constitutes as a golf lesson? Personally I ensure a balance of limited technical information with the emphasis upon playing the game early on. The swinging of the club is exactly that, the swing is not a jigsaw puzzle or a dot to dot.

The first lesson is vital to make the game exciting, learning to play the game of golf and designing various situations in my view is how the client accelerates their level of understanding and certainly helps the retention factor.

This approach can vary between each client but my goal is to allow the golfer to become a scholar of the game not to believe there is a niche swing.

Group sessions are a fantastic way to build confidence and an important part of early-stage education, golfers soon appreciate that everyone swings the club very differently which is key.

New golfers tend to have the same mindset, with many arriving and believing that they will struggle as they have not played much sport previously. The session is a confidence builder, soon turning a serious facial expression into big smiles when they become comfortable that everyone is in a the same situation. The air shots and odd topped ball certainly breaks the ice.

The group format really reduces the pressure - the self-doubt with questions such as will I be good enough are soon dispelled with the way I mix the golfers. Focusing upon the interaction is critical.

The additional group camaraderie builds self-belief with the additional advantage of instant friendships which is important to continue to learn with others. The lessons are not always about how to hold the club “correctly”, which will gradually be drip fed into the session, but learning about cause and effect and what actually gets the ball in the air!

I generally coach 8-10 within a group format but it does not really matter too much as I mix the players within the 90 minutes so they experience situations and partners. I never put anyone on their own and I always encourage communication which enables them to support each other and reduced any pressure that they may place on themselves. The encouragement received from each other so early in a session is amazing at reducing the spotlight on any particular golfer.

I can control the pace of a group lesson, hitting one ball and then switching when not hitting, they will be working on one of the coached aspects I have provided. This approach leads very quickly to the way we play the game.

Sarah Bennett

I am a PGA Specialist Coach & Head Teaching Professional at Lexden Wood Golf Club Colchester with over 30 years of Coaching and Worldwide Tournament experience, I offer a wide range of 1-2-1 and group coaching options for the new to the more experienced golfer for Men and Ladies. GolfingGirl has been firmly established as the leading Women's Golf network community for 15 years now with a range of Golf Schools in the UK and abroad. A recent inclusion into the Golf Monthly Top 50 UK Golf Coaches is an accolade of which I am extremely proud but continuous learning is paramount for myself and clients. I ensure my coaching covers all areas of the game including on course and short game sessions appreciating the importance of fundamentals and transferring the learning to the golf course. The popular Golfing Girl Women's group sessions are highly sought after in Essex with days & weekend schools to cement learning and building upon the community. This in addition to my well attended short game clinics for Men which are held on both weekdays and the weekend The communication platforms offered in between lessons ensure learning can occur building a strong Professional rapport. The use of short game technology which combined with drills enables my clients to understand the specific areas to work upon. Much of my coaching is delivered on the course which is where maximum improvement and understanding occurs after all our goal is to play better golf.

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