Why golfers choose new equipment over having lessonsJanuary 28, 2019 Golf Equipment
Why will some people pay £400 for a new driver but won't fork out £30 for a golf lesson? Equipment editor James Savage reveals the brutal truth
The first thing Tiger Woods did after winning the 2000 US Open by 15 shots was to have a golf lesson with his coach.
Many scratch golfers, low single figure handicappers and especially elite golfers have golf lessons all the time.
Then we have the mid-high handicappers who never seem to book a golf lesson.
Yet many of these would have no qualms about spending £400+ on a brand new driver or set of irons.
And as someone who falls into the latter category, I have a pretty reasonable explanation why.
Then I asked him to look at my swing in the hope he’d give me a quick little tip to work on at the range.
You know, something quick and easy that would work straight away, requiring very little effort or commitment.
Before I knew it he’d set up two cameras – one straight on and one down the line – to fully dissect what I was doing.
To cut a long story short – it was pretty bad. It wasn’t what I was looking for at all.
By the time I’d even got halfway through my backswing, Scott had started drawing lines on the screen to point out what I was doing wrong.
Before I’d even reached the ball, it was like my three-year old daughter had been set loose with an Etch A Sketch.
I came away feeling very downhearted.
And I think that’s what many club golfers fear. That they will go for a golf lesson only to have their swing completely dismantled and be left unsure whether or not they should even be playing the game.
My case is slightly different as I wasn’t paying for the lesson and Scott had already highlighted these same faults in my swing four years ago.
I have been testing golf clubs out from the point of view of a mid-handicapper – that has almost been a bit like my USP.
It also gave me a huge excuse not to improve. I haven’t been having lessons because I don’t want to get too good.
It’s amazing what you can convince yourself.
So I might be different to your average consumer. But deep down, the reasons myself and many other mid-handicappers haven’t had lessons is because we’re in denial.
We think we’re okay at golf, we can make it round in one piece and we can occasionally shoot a decent score.
We don’t want a pro to rip apart our swings and put us back to square one.
A shiny new driver or putter offers a glimmer of hope. And there will inevitably be a placebo effect. But over time the same technical problems will prevent any significant improvement.
So my advice is, go and buy a new driver but get fitted for it while having a lesson at the same time.
That’s the best way to get the most out of your expensive new toy and truly enhance your enjoyment of the game.