Picking my pro?!? How many pro's have you used and what do you value in one?

turkish

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Aug 19, 2014
Messages
1,655
Location
Glasgow
Visit site
From the other swing change thread got me thinking as want to get a fair bit of coaching over close season.

Since I have started playing golf I have had quite a lot of lessons from various pro's (4 of which have been regular for a period of time). The downside of this is that is that they all have their own ideas and can end up giving conflicting information.

So I kinda want to stick to the one pro and go with it BUT they all have something different in terms of facilities to offer yet none offer everything. All are great and easy to get on with.

Which would you choose for over the off season?

1. Scott Catlin (affordable golf). Has indoor facility with GC2 monitor so accurate readings and great for poor weather but off matts. I find him very good and he is also very cheap offering 3 x 30 min lessons for £35. Downside is not being able to really have proper short game lessons, no bunkers, no putting facility(My weakest part of the game) and no ability to hit off grass. Cost wise he is a no brainer as very good coach and cheap.

2. Stuart Reekie (Club pro). Our club has a great practice range for all types of shots, practice bunker, green, chipping and full shot areas. Is usually £30 for half an hour or £70 for 9 hole lesson but offering 6x 30 min lesson + 9 hole lesson at the end for £150. Downside is there are no launch monitors for swing path etc which I would like, also no indoor facility so when weather is poor it's a no go. Also does feel as if should support him with being the club pro and he's a good guy.

3. Karyn Burns (Indoor short game pro). Pro at indoor golf in Glasgow which has GC2 facility as well as dedicated short game area. her package is £125 for 6 x 30 min lessons. Downside is not being able to chip onto real greens (I find the artificial quite bare and dry so very fast). indoor which is good in our poor Scottish weather.

4. Alistair Forsyth (driving range pro). European tour pro so good pedigree although know that doesn't make him a good teaching pro. Was bought lessons by someone for him and is local to my house. Driving range so of matts but no on course facility. Has front and back video camera facility which other don't have so can play back and show me swing and explain while doing(the others have done on phone right enough). No launch monitor though. £150 for 6 x 30 min lessons.

Thoughts?

How many pro's have you used and are you settled on the one or 2 that you require?
 

MendieGK

Tour Winner
Joined
Mar 21, 2013
Messages
4,150
Visit site
From the other swing change thread got me thinking as want to get a fair bit of coaching over close season.

Since I have started playing golf I have had quite a lot of lessons from various pro's (4 of which have been regular for a period of time). The downside of this is that is that they all have their own ideas and can end up giving conflicting information.

So I kinda want to stick to the one pro and go with it BUT they all have something different in terms of facilities to offer yet none offer everything. All are great and easy to get on with.

Which would you choose for over the off season?

1. Scott Catlin (affordable golf). Has indoor facility with GC2 monitor so accurate readings and great for poor weather but off matts. I find him very good and he is also very cheap offering 3 x 30 min lessons for £35. Downside is not being able to really have proper short game lessons, no bunkers, no putting facility(My weakest part of the game) and no ability to hit off grass. Cost wise he is a no brainer as very good coach and cheap.

2. Stuart Reekie (Club pro). Our club has a great practice range for all types of shots, practice bunker, green, chipping and full shot areas. Is usually £30 for half an hour or £70 for 9 hole lesson but offering 6x 30 min lesson + 9 hole lesson at the end for £150. Downside is there are no launch monitors for swing path etc which I would like, also no indoor facility so when weather is poor it's a no go. Also does feel as if should support him with being the club pro and he's a good guy.

3. Karyn Burns (Indoor short game pro). Pro at indoor golf in Glasgow which has GC2 facility as well as dedicated short game area. her package is £125 for 6 x 30 min lessons. Downside is not being able to chip onto real greens (I find the artificial quite bare and dry so very fast). indoor which is good in our poor Scottish weather.

4. Alistair Forsyth (driving range pro). European tour pro so good pedigree although know that doesn't make him a good teaching pro. Was bought lessons by someone for him and is local to my house. Driving range so of matts but no on course facility. Has front and back video camera facility which other don't have so can play back and show me swing and explain while doing(the others have done on phone right enough). No launch monitor though. £150 for 6 x 30 min lessons.

Thoughts?

How many pro's have you used and are you settled on the one or 2 that you require?


I've been to 3 pros in my time playing, but only moved from one due to movine 90 miles away.

Proof is in the pudding for me, my current coach is coaching the No1 Challenge Tour player, has trackman and we just click. My handicap has fallen by 40% since we started together.

Word of mouth is key for me.

Personally i wouldnt touch a coach that doesnt have GC2 or Trackman nowadays. Its an essential tool and people need to move with the times
 

Dannyj1984

Assistant Pro
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
239
Location
Stockport,Cheshire
Visit site
I'm by no means an expert, but the person I've had lessons with had a gc2 but all my lessons have been outside, when I started I did a few shots and with just them 4/5 shots changed my posture and grip a little and with that small change, hit the ball further and straighter.... I can maybe understand using them club fitting but for a general lesson are they vital or is experience and hitting the ball off the grass a better recipe? Suppose everyone has a preference :)
 

Garush34

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
2,226
Location
Scottish Borders
Visit site
Only had one coach and I think I will stay with him for a long time. He only uses an Ipad for swing video, no lunch monitor or data, but for me that is fine. I can tend to get to trapped up in figures and it is no good for my game chasing numbers. I prefer to see results in the shot. Practice area is outside, off astro turf strip so as close to grass without being grass. Short game is all real greens and bunkers. Playing lessons available as well.

We work well together and he explains the reason behind every change, so I know why we are doing it and that it is a benefit to my game. He always takes an interest in my game and how I have been playing and what I think I need to work on. Its all very much focused on the results I have had and how I feel about my game, instead of him telling me to work on certain aspects, which I like.

It is important to find someone you work well with, I don't think cost plays that big a picture. As long as its not silly money for a lesson then pick the person you get on bets with and with the facilities you like/think would be of benefit to you.
 

DCB

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
7,732
Location
Midlothian
Visit site
Only used the one Pro over the past 20 or so years. He is our club Pro, been with us for a good few years now, good guy and good coach. Got to know him and he got to know my game so it was the obvious step to take when I was taking a series of lessons..

You need to be able to communicate well, both of you, if you are looking to make it work. You need to be able to tell him, to go over something again if you don't get it and you need him to realise that sometimes it takes longer to sink in than he thinks it should. Get these things right and you'll get on well and should be able to learn from him.

Worked with our guy on junior coaching when I was Junior Convener and saw him able to tailor his technical lessons to a younger audience. A sign of a good teacher imo.

Take your time, ask them all questions before you go for the one you choose.
 

patricks148

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
24,426
Location
Highlands
Visit site
you will have to weigh up which is best for you and what you can improve with each.

What i mean by that is you get some pro's who are very technical and use others swings to teach what you should be doing against say Big Erns swing V's a guy that can work with what you have and your limitations.

Ive had lessons with both types. I went to a guy that is highly regarded and Coached Russel Knox and does the North district. He wasn't able to work with my limitations, after all I'm a middle aged man that has limited movement and flexibility. All he could do was try and get me to swing like Big Ern. It just didn't work.
I now go to a mate who is happy to work with what i have, wish i'd done that to start with TBH.

Good luck with your search
 

MC72

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
225
Visit site
From the other swing change thread got me thinking as want to get a fair bit of coaching over close season.

Since I have started playing golf I have had quite a lot of lessons from various pro's (4 of which have been regular for a period of time). The downside of this is that is that they all have their own ideas and can end up giving conflicting information.

So I kinda want to stick to the one pro and go with it BUT they all have something different in terms of facilities to offer yet none offer everything. All are great and easy to get on with.

Which would you choose for over the off season?

1. Scott Catlin (affordable golf). Has indoor facility with GC2 monitor so accurate readings and great for poor weather but off matts. I find him very good and he is also very cheap offering 3 x 30 min lessons for £35. Downside is not being able to really have proper short game lessons, no bunkers, no putting facility(My weakest part of the game) and no ability to hit off grass. Cost wise he is a no brainer as very good coach and cheap.

2. Stuart Reekie (Club pro). Our club has a great practice range for all types of shots, practice bunker, green, chipping and full shot areas. Is usually £30 for half an hour or £70 for 9 hole lesson but offering 6x 30 min lesson + 9 hole lesson at the end for £150. Downside is there are no launch monitors for swing path etc which I would like, also no indoor facility so when weather is poor it's a no go. Also does feel as if should support him with being the club pro and he's a good guy.

3. Karyn Burns (Indoor short game pro). Pro at indoor golf in Glasgow which has GC2 facility as well as dedicated short game area. her package is £125 for 6 x 30 min lessons. Downside is not being able to chip onto real greens (I find the artificial quite bare and dry so very fast). indoor which is good in our poor Scottish weather.

4. Alistair Forsyth (driving range pro). European tour pro so good pedigree although know that doesn't make him a good teaching pro. Was bought lessons by someone for him and is local to my house. Driving range so of matts but no on course facility. Has front and back video camera facility which other don't have so can play back and show me swing and explain while doing(the others have done on phone right enough). No launch monitor though. £150 for 6 x 30 min lessons.

Thoughts?

How many pro's have you used and are you settled on the one or 2 that you require?

you may need different styles from different coaches at different times depending on what your game needs at that/any specific point in time. Your now playing off 17, and have improved your handicap so that would suggest that what you need now will be different to what you needed say 18mths - 2yrs ago. My recommendation of a pro in your area would be George Boswell at Mearns Castle. I found his teaching to be straightforward, easy to understand, well explained and he was able to provide exercises that were easy to do and that really helped ingrain what he was teaching in the lesson. What I got from George (around 2-3yrs ago) was a good understanding of why certain shots were happening as well as a much better understanding of the club path to clubface effect on the ball, and shots I was getting. After his lessons I found it very easy/straightforward to shape the ball and get much better contact/strike with my irons. I think I dropped my hcap by 4 shots that season.

He he might not be what you need, but he worked for me and I'd recommend him. I noticed you've mentioned cost/cheap but I would recommend cheap as a good reason for selecting someone for a golf lesson, and I personally wouldn't be interested in taking lessons hitting into a screen.

your money, your choice, hope my info above helped.....a bit!
 

chrisd

Major Champion
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
24,757
Location
Kent
Visit site
In the last few years I've used 3 different pro's and tend to choose the one that I think will best deliver the type of lesson I'm after at the time.
 

MC72

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
225
Visit site
you may need different styles from different coaches at different times depending on what your game needs at that/any specific point in time. Your now playing off 17, and have improved your handicap so that would suggest that what you need now will be different to what you needed say 18mths - 2yrs ago. My recommendation of a pro in your area would be George Boswell at Mearns Castle. I found his teaching to be straightforward, easy to understand, well explained and he was able to provide exercises that were easy to do and that really helped ingrain what he was teaching in the lesson. What I got from George (around 2-3yrs ago) was a good understanding of why certain shots were happening as well as a much better understanding of the club path to clubface effect on the ball, and shots I was getting. After his lessons I found it very easy/straightforward to shape the ball and get much better contact/strike with my irons. I think I dropped my hcap by 4 shots that season.

He he might not be what you need, but he worked for me and I'd recommend him. I noticed you've mentioned cost/cheap but I would recommend cheap as a good reason for selecting someone for a golf lesson, and I personally wouldn't be interested in taking lessons hitting into a screen.

your money, your choice, hope my info above helped.....a bit!

to clarify, that was a typo above and it should've read " I WOULDNT recommend cheap as a reason to select someone for lessons..."
 

Copernicus

Club Champion
Joined
May 24, 2016
Messages
72
Visit site
I note the question is specifically about the off season so to me weather and the ability to keep going regularly would be a key factor. 3and 4 together seem to mean you can work on both long and short inside with the best facilities you can get inside. Ok it's two coaches but they would not overlap. Then as and when weather allows you could take the lessons off the mats onto grass at your own club.

To answer the other qurstion: how many pros and what do you look for in them ... I have used three. The first I picked pretty much a random when I was a rank beginner when I needed somebody to teach me. I credit him for giving me my enthusiasm and confidence to play golf but I ditched him because he was unable to explain anything. All he could do was say' like this, like this' and show me something too fast.I ended up looking on YouTube for videos that would explain what he was trying to tell me! I then did join a golf club and had some lessons with the pro there. He was helpful and he had a very simple clear teaching style on the basic techniques. However, he was not interested in my goals all my game really. He would only teach on what I asked you to teach me and I didn't feel in good enough at the game to know what it was I should be working on first. Plus you didn't have the slightest interest in using any technology on my phone for when I was practising alone

Eventually I got a recommendation for a good teaching pro to 20 minutes away from home. I sent him what was probably an alarming email full of how I needed to work with someone who would coach me, be interested in my goals, use technology etc. I went for a lesson for the first time last night and, wow! He explained things in far more detail yet still in a very simple understandable way. He had all kinds of props they were extremely useful and helped me to visualise and understand what he was saying.He wanted to know about me and my golf abs my aspirations and took account of my learning style. He had all the technology and was willing to embrace swing sensor and phone apps that I wanted to use. He gave me drills which the first pro didn't do. Also he was prepared to touch me to put me in the right positions with the other two didn't do which I always thought was a necessity. I understand, as I'm a lady player, why some males might not want to do that, but being used to having poses adjusted in my yoga classes it' seemed bonkers to me that you wouldn't just guide somebody's arm into the right position!
So I don't think you can choose a pro until you are clear about your own priorities and what you absolutely need and what would just be nice. Then you have to find the right fit to your own list.
 

HomerJSimpson

Hall of Famer
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
70,181
Location
Bracknell - Berkshire
Visit site
Only had four pros in the last decade or so. One gave up golf after several major ops, one was good but very technical but got me down to 12 and I plateaued. Recently I've used a local pro at Downshire who initially was good and I got down from 12-10 and he changed my swing to something more reliable and stable but in the end, it got to the point where I felt we were almost reinventing the wheel every time and that we never seemed to build on the changes from last time but started adjusting something else.

I'm now using a guy at Lavender Park range in Ascot who was recommended on word of mouth from many members especially some of our better players. He keeps it much simpler, makes only minor changes, and has given me something I'm getting happier with. My season has been stop/start and the work I did in the winter hasn't really paid off in full but despite my handicap going up, I am happier with my swing and once I'm fully fit and other issues are resolved I can hopefully go down again especially after another winter working on my game

I've said many times before, I enjoy the learning process and enjoy my lessons, especially with the current guy and still think (in my own opinion) that sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward again. I'm scoring terribly and having two or three killer holes per round from nowhere, an affliction others on here know all about, but in general I'm still enjoying the process of trying to be as good as I can be and still remain a firm advocate of tuition
 

Danielms

Hacker
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
14
Visit site
Have used 3 over time. The first one was 20 years ago before he retired and he reccomeded the next one to me.

The first one gave me an understannding of the basics and I will always be thankful for that.

The second was good at showing you what he wanted but communication wasn't his strong point and he had difficulty fully explaining to you how he wanted you to achieve things.

The third I went to came from reccomendations from my some of the clubs scrtach team. Very good guy, used technology when necessary but also able to clearly communicate how and why you were doing something. Also gave good drills and always happy if he saw you on the range to give you pointers in what could be improved. Only reason I stopped going to him was he moved out the country.

Currently in the same boat and looking for someone who can work with my and not make huge changes as I dont have the time and inclination to go through a whole swing change.
 

Hobbit

Mordorator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 11, 2011
Messages
18,483
Location
Espana
Visit site
Had 5 across 40+yrs, and about to visit another. This year I've gone from hitting a 7iron 150 to hitting it about 130, and from a decent length driver to quite short. Lots of iron shots are getting slapped and going nowhere.

Hopefully he can communicate his ideas clearly and has the technology to back it up.
 

njrose51

Challenge Tour Pro
Joined
May 7, 2014
Messages
654
Location
Eastbourne East Sussex
Visit site
I've used three Pros over the years, and each one ahs given me what I needed at the time - 1st was very much about set up and the basics, the 2nd was a lot about the mental side of golf and the current, my 3rd, is taking my golf to the next level - she is really good.

We have a little plan set out which is covering all areas - lower the handicap, longer drives, greater accuracy, GIR, PPR etc. We go through the swing mechanics, the faults and what causes them, and then she gives me just one or two things to work on so it doesn't leave me with complicated swing thoughts. She also has a good understanding of the mental side of the game which is a big area for me - positive attitude, visualisation, what to do if things go wrong.

I could spend all day with her if I could - she is great!
 

Jacko

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2011
Messages
9
Visit site
I've had two.

The first attempted to give me a swing that was correct for plane and so forth. Sadly, he left me with so many things to concentrate on. This meant we covered the same things every lesson. He left and I moved to my present pro.

we now start every lesson with 'what's not working at the moment' and we work on that. No searching for the perfect swing, perfect grip and so on, but repairing the faults that creep in between lessons. This has brought my handicap down by 5 shots in 6 months.
 
Top