Should everyone see a golf coach?

I’ve long been a self taught guy and my index is 5.9 currently. So my go-it-alone strategy has been working

My goal is cut my handicap in half down to a 3.

Part of me thinks I should see a coach but I also know my faults in my game so well I kinda know what they are gonna tell me. So struggling with whether I would get a great deal of benefit out of it or not.

Do you carry on down the road of DIY or do you go with a coach?


For me - a coach has unquestionably been a huge benefit! I’ve been taking a series of 1/2 hour lessons every two weeks or so, and practicing practicing practicing the prescribed drill(s) in-between.

A really good coach, IMO, can… (a) identify the root cause of swing issues, (b) identify the right fix for those particular issues and © communicate it all to you in a manner you understand and easily digest.

I think I’ve found a good “fit” with my current coach and my swing has definitely been improving :+1:


I think the answer is yes for most golfers, at least at some point. I haven’t had a lesson in about 10 years, but I’ve seen 4 different swing instructors in my life and they’ve all made a positive impact.

Of course it’s possible to make your way through this game as a self-taught player, but I think a good coach can make that process more efficient.

Golfers continually shell out $500 for new drivers in search of a better game. If most took that money, invested in a set of lessons, and did the prescribed work, they’re likely going to see a much larger impact on their game.

Here are a couple of relevant articles I’ve written


I think this depends on how good you want to be. Think of any athlete in history, they’ve all had a coach, even the GOAT’s. It’s hard to be the best version of yourself when you don’t have anyone telling you exactly what you’re doing wrong, IMO. Coaches (good ones) are trained to see the flaws. They see 1000’s of swings a month. You, if you’re lucky see a couple hundred.


I think you are in the same boat as me (similar handicap and also self taught). I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t benefit much from golf lessons, but I would really benefit from having a golf coach. Here’s my thought:
I see golf lessons as a one off or short series with a definite end date. The pro is going to diagnose my swing flaws (that I already know well) and give me drills I might already be doing. Nightmare scenario is if they try to completely blow up my swing and force me into some kind of system they teach.
A golf coach is someone I would form a long-term partnership with, no definite end date. They would work to understand my swing, my game, and what I want to accomplish with them. They would remind me of what I said I wanted when I start slipping back into bad habits, and work together with me to enhance what I’m currently doing to get the most out of it.
I’d really like to have that kind of coach, but simple fact is I know I can’t afford it, so I’ll keep chugging along on my own until that changes.


I played 20 years between a 2 and 5 without ever having a lesson. I got a lesson and figured out that my DIY swing, while effective was not what it should be. Since the lesson my index has not been higher than 1. I was good compared to average golfer but not good compared to my potential.


Hypothetical question, if that coach “blew up” your swing and after a year of pain suffering and hard work you added 20% to all your clubs, hit more fairways and GIR and significantly dropped your handicap would you do it?

Anyone who says no to this “hypothetical” is crazy! Hell yes, I would!!!

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Hypothetically, sure I would. Unless that person was my coach who I had made a strong partnership with (and slowly blew up my swing if that makes any sense) though, then I would be back to my old habits within that year guaranteed. To be clear, I’m more than willing to change my swing (done it many times myself), it’s more the “system swing” idea that I have a problem with, instructors with a one-size-fits-all mentality.

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’*I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t benefit much from golf lessons

I think the only way you don’t benefit is if you don’t put in the work. Having a goal and then having someone help you along the path to reach that goal should almost always be beneficial.

That person is who I defined as a coach.

IMO should be one in the same.

Agree to disagree, I see a golf coach and golf lessons as two very different relationships.

From someone who started seeing a coach two months ago for the first time in 19 years, yes. Everyone who wants to get better should see a coach. Even if you just go for a handful of sessions. They will send you away with actionable, purposeful things to work on rather than just smashing ball after ball on the range.

And for the love of god don’t go to someone who just slaps bandaids on your swing. If you’re hitting off the toe and the teacher tells you set up with the heel of the club behind the ball, that is a bandaid and you should walk away immediately.


I think there’s a huge difference between a swing coach and a golf coach. A golf coach to me would have a more comprehensive scope that includes mechanics, strategy, mental game, stats, etc. I would be very interested in that but the issue is finding someone who would do that. Seems most are geared to different sub-segments.

I also think it really depends on the area you are in and what the supply of golf is, can be difficult to find anything above the golf pro who gives you the plain vanilla.

Personality type also plays a big role. I like to get some pointers but then figure out things on my own. I see that there is probably a market gap for on-line holistic golf teaching where you can mix with library of videos, sending in your swing, live chats, etc. etc.

We all learn differently, Jimi Hendrix figured out the guitar on his own and he was pretty good :slight_smile: To some degree we all can benefit from good instruction but I think how much you get out of it will depend on many factors. So like golf there is no easy answer!

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All of that! Yes! :point_down::point_down::point_down::point_down:

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I’m glad you shared. I believe every golfer should have lessons at some point during their endeavors whatever those may be. I especially think if you want to make yourself competitive you need to have a coach. There is no negotiating that.

I agree different body types different human beings different swings. The hypothetical was my reality. I’m a year into a complete rebuild along the way I wanted to quit but now I’m geeked with my new swing. When I started I did not want to change I was just looking for some tweaks, it turned into a complete rebuild not for the faint of heart!

The golf swing is incredibly complicated and the game of golf is incredibly nuanced. You might be able to figure it out on your own, but it is way more efficient to have an expert guide you through the dark and dense forest.

That said, if you take lessons and study the game for 25 years plus (like me), you start to understand what makes the ball do certain things, and you can start experimenting and learning on your own, with nothing but the contact and ball flight as your teacher. I haven’t taken a lesson in a couple of years, and yet I’m playing the best golf of my life. At the same time, I never could have learned to be self-taught without all the gurus in my life that came before!


I 100% agree with this - a swing coach isn’t the same as someone advising on shot selection, mental aspects, fitness, what you should be spending your practice time on. I think this is a big gap in the industry.