Choosing the Right Golf School


Asheville Golf Home

Dear Jitterbug,

Are golf schools worth the money?

Andy Vander Meer

Jitterbug Gang Fan

Jitterbug:

It all depends on what you want out of it.

A dramatic drop in your handicap? Entertainment? The opportunity to spend a few days with a pro? Non-stop golf?

Golf schools are not like a one-hour lesson, where the teacher works hard and fast so the golfer leaves with one or two good thoughts.

The golf school is usually an accompaniment to a vacation, where the overall objective is to relax and have fun. In this type setting, the instructor must read the situation and judge, early on, how much discipline each student will abide by.

For instance, let’s say you have a golfer who flips his wrists at chip shots, and can’t, in the presence of a golf ball, curtail this habit.

The cure is simple. You bring him apart from the rest of the group and have him dry swing the proper chipping motion. With some ambition, he can perform in one morning 20 sets of one hundred dry chips, and in three days lose all tendencies to flip at the ball.

Having carried out as such, the student will benefit greatly—certainly more than most—as losing the flip tendency will dramatically improve every shot in his bag. But, you’d be hard pressed to find an instructor willing to subject a vacationer to such a work regimen.

Who would agree to it? Can you imagine the student’s reaction? “You mean I don’t get to hit a single ball for three days? Nothing more than dry swings? I didn’t come on vacation to dry swing!”

The instructor would get so many bad comment cards he’d soon find it easier to compromise his values, and going forward, allow students’ desires to dictate how the school proceeds.

Mr. Vaughn:

This is an interesting point Jitterbug raises. For whatever reason, golf is taught different than other sports.

For instance, in football, you drill until you throw up. And, should you dare say, “Hey Coach, wouldn’t it be better if we just tried this…” you get beaten even harder. And this, for the betterment of the student, nothing else.

But, in golf, rather than insisting the golfer drill, teachers take the nice approach. Happy to have the business, golf teachers teach the way they hope will please the student. This can be frustrating for some instructors as they attempt to strike a balance between student satisfaction and what is required for the student to improve.

It’s made worse by all the golf publications. The golfer who betters a 20 handicap is familiar with nearly every swing theory available, most of which are based on ideas, not commitment. So, when the instructor presents a single movement that must be ingrained past the point of simple understanding, the student can feel overworked.

Lord Berry:

In answer to your question, Mr. Vander Meer, I should point out that most golf school attendees are return customers. This is evidence, at least to my satisfaction, that most instructors successfully strike the aforementioned balance so to combine fun with satisfactory improvement.


Asheville Golf Home

Ask Jitterbug - Golf Advice Column by Bobby Steiner


Ask Jitterbug - Author Bobby Steiner

About the Author

The following are a list of golf teaching columns generously donated to us by teaching professional and author Bobby Steiner. Bobby teaches golf at The Practice Tee in East Asheville during the summer months, and at The Westin Mission Hills Resort during the winter.

You can reach Bobby at: www.bobbysteiner.com or bobbysteiner@msn.com

All the Same Distance

I hit all my clubs, seven-iron and longer, the same distance. Do you know of a cure?

Bad Rhythm

My swing rhythm gets fast when I play. Do you have any suggestions to help me slow down?

Bad Teacher

There is a young assistant golf professional at our club who plays extremely well, but could use some help as a teacher. Any suggestions that might help him?

Ball Position

Can you explain your take on ball position? Forward for longer clubs? Back for shorter clubs?

Die or Lag

Do you think it is better to be a firm putter, or to putt the ball so that it barely drops into the cup?

Fanning the Club

My tendency is to fan my hands to the inside on the takeaway. When I use a straight takeaway I can't hit the ball.

Fix is the Problem

My friend has a knack for giving me helpful tips when we play. It works for about six holes, then I totally collapse. Have you heard of this?

Get the Ball to the Hole

I have a very difficult time getting my putts to the hole. Can you help?

Golf Schools

Are golf schools worth the money?

Guide the Ball

My golf instructor tells me that I try to 'guide' the ball too much. I've never heard this term, is it a bad thing?

Hip Slide

Can you explain the proper way to pivot during the backswing?

How Many Hours

I'm currently a solid 8-handicap, but I've reached a plateau. How might I rework my practice regimen to improve steadily like I used to?

Kids Learning Curve

My thirteen-year old son and I took up golf four years ago. Now, I am still struggling to break 100 while he shoots low 80s. How do I catch up?

Length of Backswing

I've read that the putting stroke should be the same length going back as going through. What is your take on it?

Long and Slow

I have great touch, and play standard chip shots quite well, but I can't hit a soft pitch of any length to save my life.

Make Practice Swing

I have a beautiful practice swing, but it doesn't carry over to my real swing. Any Suggestions?

More Distance

I'm a good athlete, but don't get the distance I think I should. How can I hit the ball farther off the tee?

No Scoop Chips

I suffer from the chipping yips; I can't prevent my right hand from taking over and flipping under the ball. How do I avoid scooping the ball?

No Touch Short Game

I have no short game touch, and I'm a good athlete. Everything I hit feels like a jab or punch. Any help?

No Whiffing

Golf is frustrating to me because I hardly ever get the ball up in the air. Please help!

Range Brilliance

I'm a great range player, but can't get it together on the course. Do you have any advice to help me?

Sound Swing

An assistant pro refers to some swings as "sound," and others, "not sound." Can you compare and contrast the two?

Taking Lessons

I've taken golf lessons for years from many different instructors, but I never get better. Are golf lessons the biggest scam ever thought up?

Teacher a Good Player

Do you think it is important that a teaching professional be a good player?
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Choosing a Golf School, are Golf Schools Worth the Money?