Even for the most knowledgeable golfer buying a golf lesson can be a complicated business. You want the lessons to tick a lot of boxes; you want to connect with the Professional, you want value for money, you want to have the lessons at a time that works for you and you want your golf to improve.

PGA Play allows you to search for a PGA Professional in your local area and get in touch via a phone call or email.

PGA Professional Barney Puttick has been teaching golf for over 40 years and he explains how to go about making your golf lesson tick all those boxes.


How to get in touch?

Most Professionals should have a website or means of contact. For new students the first thing that you should do is to email the Professional with your details and your issues. The bulk of new students will drop me a line and I will either call them or email them back and set up a convenient time to have a chat. You might get lucky by cold calling a Professional but they will likely be teaching so it's best to email – I will always get back to a client within 24 hours. A client will want to get a feel of where you’re coming from and rightly so.

How many lessons should you book?

It can obviously be budget driven but I would recommend a minimum of a three or four-lesson package and I like to spread the lessons out at least two if not three weeks apart. You will give the players some things to work on and be sending some videos and you want to give them time to try and make these improvements. My big mantra is one good move leads to another. You might want to do something in their swing but you will first want to look at their grip or set-up and see where that takes us in the swing. It is a process.

By booking three or four golf lessons you will use them all so you will get that value for money. We want our players to come back for more lessons and to tell others and that is less likely to happen if you haven't been able to make the most of your time with the Professional. And you should always, if possible, finish up with a playing lesson.

Find a golf lesson near you

How long should a lesson last?

I have now switched to 45 minutes. I used to do an hour and we found that it was a fraction too long. Half an hour is a fraction too short and 45 minutes gives you a bit of leeway in case someone is running a bit late or you want a chat at the end of the lesson. For some Pros this isn’t possible but this works well for me.

What should you work on?

You should always work it with the client as they will have a pretty good idea of what they’d like to work on. What I would say is that 80 per cent of my putting lessons are done with Category 1 golfers or pros. With the high-handicap golfers I will really have to encourage them to do it. I've never known anyone say that they are brilliant at putting and any Professional should be able to make some improvements in this aspect and this is the quickest way to improve their score.

How should a PGA Professional encourage more people to take lessons?

It is a lot easier these days to contact golfers and to get in front of them online but the bottom line is that they will only tell friends if you have done a decent job. If the subject enthuses you, people buy into you. It shouldn't be that difficult and I still jump out of bed in the morning as I will be seeing some regulars or a new client.

You should never lose that personal touch; stay in touch with the members, pay attention to the scores in the club competitions and ask golfers after a round how they've played. A few will have played great but the chances are that most of the others could do with a lesson.

And make people feel comfortable. A partner looking to buy some lessons for their favourite golfer might find it intimidating speaking to someone out of their comfort zone so take the time to explain what you do.

Find a golf lesson near you

About Barney Puttick

Barney turned professional in 1979 and has been the head professional at Mid Herts Golf Club since 2000. He has given more than 45,000 lessons and is a Golf Monthly Top 50 coach.