I have taught golf for 40 years and I can tell you that there is definitely a difference in teaching women and men. I also taught psychology at the college level and I use some of that knowledge during my golf lessons.

I always interview my students to find out why they are taking golf lessons. What do they want from the game? It is important that I know their learning style. Knowing that there are psychological and emotional differences between men and women is critical to being able to relate to my students.

Perhaps you remember a book that came out in 1992 titled “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by John Gray. He provided a unique, practical and proven way for men and women to communicate and relate better by acknowledging the differences between them. Gray had some good generalizations, and I have taken some of these differences and related them to my golf instruction.

Women take up golf for relationships. Golf is a personal time to spend with their husbands, friends, kids and clients. The experience of being with people they care about is more important than the completion.

Men typically take up golf for the challenge. They want to conquer “old man par.” Men are used to being competitive.

How men and women choose an instructor can also be different: Women want to know how much their instructor “cares.” Women need to actually like the person who is teaching them. It is a bonding experience.

Men care a lot more about how much their instructor knows and how well he or she hits the ball.

Women enjoy group instruction more and want to have a chance to know the others in the group. They enjoy socializing after the lesson.

Men are more likely to want individual instruction.

Women’s motivation for playing golf is to have a positive experience. They will internalize negative feedback. Women want simple explanations and need more constant feedback and encouragement. Women want the instructor to listen to them.

Men typically want more details and technical explanations. Men want an instructor to “fix” their golf swings.

Knowing that a golf professional understands the differences between women’s and men’s psychological and emotional differences can help you decide whom you chose to teach you this great game.

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