Using teaching aids, student Christina Kolb lines up a shot while her instructor, Dr. Jean Harris, videos her actions. SARAH HALLOCK

Spring is here and you’ve decided to take up the game of golf or improve on the game you have. You need a teacher.

Choosing a golf teaching professional should be similar to choosing a doctor. Check their credentials. Do research online and check their websites. Talk to friends and get their recommendations.

Make sure you choose an LPGA or PGA certified professional. They should be class “A” or above in their qualifications. This means they have been trained to teach.

Find out how long have they been teaching. Have they won any teaching awards? Next you want to call and interview them. Make sure you feel comfortable talking to them.

They need to be a good listener. Do they interview you and find out about you as a person, your job, other sport activities, physical limitations and learning style?

A good professional will ask you to come to one lesson and see if they are a “good fit.” They don’t try to sell you a package of lessons unless you ask for it after your first lesson.

A good golf professional can relate the game to beginners, women and seniors. Many professionals are used to teaching advanced men or athletes. They might not be able to relate to the beginner and explain complex skills and make them understandable.

Good communicators use analogies, metaphors and comparisons to make things more relevant. They adapt their speech to the student’s needs.

A good professional understands the fundamentals of the game and can show you the right moves. They use visual, kinesthetic and auditory teaching aids.

A good professional needs to know your goals and teach you tips to improve your game in the shortest time possible.

A good professional will supply written notes you can take home to work on the key points covered during the lesson. They will give you practice ideas.

A good professional will use video and send you the video to watch at home. They are able to draw on the video for you to understand where you need to improve.

Finally, choose a golf professional who teaches at a facility that has a good short game area. It is extremely important that you are able to practice between lessons. You will not improve if you don’t practice. Therefore, don’t sign up for golf lessons if you are not willing to practice.

Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at local courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris@gmail.com; golfdoctorjean.com