In most sports, the best way to learn to play is to grab the equipment and give it a try. And that’s how a large number of people try golf. They head to the course without any prior experience and try to teach themselves.
The issue here is that it often leads to frustration more than anything else, because golf is an extremely tough sport that takes years to learn.
In fact, most people won’t even make contact with the ball when they make their first attempt at a swing. For golfers who’ve played a while, there can also be a lot of things going on in your head stood over the ball!
In reality, you need to reach a certain skill level to enjoy golf, so golf lessons are going to play a key role if you’re serious about taking up the sport.
When deciding to learn the game of golf you should certainly get lessons, but first it’s worth knowing how much they cost, how many you need and what you need to look out for!
How much should you pay for a golf lesson?
You can typically expect to pay £20 – £30 for a 30 minute private golf lesson with a PGA coach in the UK. In the US expect to pay around $30 – $40 for half an hour.
Like everything, you can find more expensive and cheaper options, but those are considered the average rate for private lessons.
Factors which influence the price of a golf lesson
If the above is a little too expensive for you or slightly out of your price range, then there are factors which influence the price of a golf lesson and ways to make this cheaper.
Private or group lessons – Instead of private one on one lesions, you could consider partnering up with a friend or going to group lessons which are cheaper. Essentially you’re paying for the pro’s time, so most will allow you to join up with a friend or a larger group and split the costs.
Pay up front – If you pay for a number of lessons up front, this will typically make it cheaper per lesson. When I last went to get golf lessons back, the deal was that if I bought five lessons my first one was free. That certainly played a part in my mind, and remember that you may be saving a fair bit of money, but you’ll have to pay a chunk out initially. If you’re new to the sport, make sure you’re going to commit to playing before parting with your cash.
Experience of the pro – Like any job in any field, more experience commands more money, and whilst the £20 – £30 bracket is the going rate, these can go up considerably depending on the experience of the coach. I’ve previously paid around £180 for a putting lesson with Phil Kenyon (putting coach to many top pros), which may seem expensive, but you wouldn’t be able to get his time for anything near that now!
Length of Lesson – One of the biggest factors that influences the price of a golf lesson is simply the length of the lesson. As you can imagine, the longer the lesson is, the more money that lesson will probably cost you.
Type of lesson – Alongside group lessons and individual lessons a PGA pro will usually offer different types of lessons such as your standard range lessons, on-course lessons (where you play some holes together), chipping lessons and putting lessons. The on-course lessons tend to be the most expensive, because they take the most amount of time.
Technology – Another factor that will come into play is the technology that is used during your lesson. Some pros will record your swing in a studio and use technology such as Trackman or V1 golf, for this they will usually charge more. The benefit here is that you can get this full recording after the lesson and if you typically revert back to the same swing faults you can watch the video over and over.
Are golf lessons worth it?
The honest short answer here is yes, golf lessons are absolutely worth it!
Most golfers won’t think twice about spending over £400 on new clubs, but can be hesitant to spend any money on golf lessons.
For beginners, you can advance much quicker and get to an enjoyable level much faster than simply learning on your own.
For mid to low handicappers golf lessons are key to improving and getting better too. For example, you’ll find that it’s much harder to drop your handicap from 10 to 5, than it was from 15 to 10. As they say, £500 clubs don’t mean anything if you have a £5 swing!
How often should you have golf lessons?
One of the most important things with golf lessons is spending the proper amount of time focusing on what you have just learned.
You should allow enough time in between lessons to practice what you’ve been taught. This is usually somewhere between two weeks and a month.
If you’re going to lessons and not hitting any golf balls in between, then it is pretty pointless. Allow enough time to get to the range a couple of times between each lesson, otherwise you’ll be wasting your money.
How many golf lessons should a beginner have?
Unfortunately there is no one size fits all answer to this question.
In the end, you should have enough golf lessons so that you have some control over the golf ball. On average this is usually around 5-10 lessons with some practice in between.
However everyone is going to be different and develop at different rates. Similar to a driving test, some people will pass with fewer lessons, so people will take a few attempts. It also depends on how serious you want to take it as a beginner and how quick you want to improve.
Likewise, there’s no need to stop taking golf lessons once you hit the course. I’m a one handicapper and have been taking lessons from time to time all the years I’ve been playing golf.
Can you get better at golf without lessons?
Well speaking from experience personally and from seeing some of my friends do it, you most certainly can get better at golf without any lessons at all. Sometimes all it takes is to go and play lots of golf and you’ll start to feel yourself into a fairly decent golf swing.
If you have had lessons though, you should always practice what the pro teaches you in the lesson in your own time. After a while, you should develop muscle memory for your swing, which if you’re practicing the right thing, should help you improve.
YouTube is also a great resource. There are plenty of videos giving tips on how to fix common issues in your golf swing. Some of the golf pros on YouTube explain this in a more visual way that isn’t possible in a traditional golf lesson, so if you’re a visual learner it’s worth checking it out.
We’ve compiled a list of the best YouTube golf channels to save you digging around to find a decent one.
This can be dangerous however. You need to be sure of the fault you’re trying to fix. The golf swing is a complex thing and sometimes you can break something else trying to fix another thing, so use YouTube with caution. And ideally, get yourself some lessons first!