People ask me all the time if you can learn golf by taking clinics in a group setting. My answer is yes, if the golf professional knows how to teach groups.
Many golf professionals are good at one-on-one instruction but don’t have the organizational skills to convey their knowledge to more than one person at a time. It takes skill to watch several students at one time and there are ways to make students feel that they are getting instruction even when the golf professional is not standing right behind them.
Before taking any golf instruction, you should email the instructor to find out their teaching background. If you want to get a qualified instructor, he or she should be LPGA or PGA certified.
Ask if they teach beginners. Ask about their clinics, and if they are organized as beginner clinics or advanced clinics. Find out how often the clinics meet and the price of the clinics.
The LPGA has put together a series of clinics that cover all areas of the golf game. You can go to LPGA.com and watch some videos.
It is imperative that the instructor cover not only the golf swing but also golf knowledge – such as dress codes, rules, etiquette, and how to purchase equipment.
Being an educator (retired college professor), my clinics always have teaching aids that are very visual and kinesthetic. I believe that students learn golf in ways other than just watching a teacher demonstrate the shot.
Clinics should have the students pair up and help each other after an explanation of the shot. Each pair of students should have their own area marked off for safety reasons and to give them room to help each other.
Each student is given a written handout on how and where the golf shot is used. They can refer to this handout when they are watching their partner.
The team teaching approach keeps the learners focused on the shot even when they are not hitting. If you are able to watch another person hit the shot and tell them what they are doing right or wrong, you are learning at a higher level.
My LPGA 101 clinics last six weeks. For more information about them, you can contact me by email. I start a new series of clinics quarterly. New clinics are being formed for September when the weather is cooler.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Pinecrest Golf Club. firstname.lastname@example.org; golfdoctorjean.com