Who would you see for a lesson and why?

Who would you see for a lesson and why?

  • Has to be a PGA Pro

    Votes: 14 73.7%
  • Would consider a EGTF or WGTF pro

    Votes: 5 26.3%
  • Tour pro knows his stuff, I would go to him

    Votes: 6 31.6%
  • Tour pro with some form of teaching qualification would do it for me

    Votes: 7 36.8%

  • Total voters
    19

Nosevi

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Mostly just curiosity I guess but who would you go and see for a golf lesson and, possibly more importantly, why?

I currently see a PGA Pro and he is very good...... but I've had lessons from PGA Pros in the past some of which have been pretty mediocre at best (one even got the ball flight laws wrong, refering to what was mistakenly believed years ago). On the other hand I've had an excellent lesson from the pro at a club I'm a member of who's a European Golf Teaching Federation pro and a lad at my club who plays off plus 3 sorted my fairway bunker game out a treat not so long ago.

On top of that I've spoken to numerous PGA assistants and almost all say the 3 years it takes to qualify is not exactly time 'well spent'. A few worked in a golf shop, a couple in golf clubs, one mainly in an office...... almost all say the 30 hours a week on minimum wage "selling tee times and mars bars" as one described it to me is a farce. Having been in the military it does appear that the actual PGA course, while clearly much more involved than the likes of the EGTF or WGTF, is a 3 month course crammed into 3 years. While I'm sure some PGA Pros take their 'responsibility' of training their assistants more seriously it's been a case of 'doing your time because everyone else had to' in almost every case I've spoken to. I've also yet to speak to an assistant pro who hasn't said their game has gone downhill since becoming an assistant.

So, the question is would you insist on a PGA Pro for a lesson? Would you consider a EGTF or WGTF pro instead and see how it goes? Would you go to a good player at your club if they offered lessons, say a tour pro, if they did a few on the side? What about a EGTF/WGTF pro who played on tour, so in effect someone who had a non-PGA coaching qualification but proved they could play the game at a high level? What is important to you if you had to book a lesson with a pro?

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Mostly just curiosity I guess but who would you go and see for a golf lesson and, possibly more importantly, why?

I currently see a PGA Pro and he is very good...... but I've had lessons from PGA Pros in the past some of which have been pretty mediocre at best (one even got the ball flight laws wrong, refering to what was mistakenly believed years ago). On the other hand I've had an excellent lesson from the pro at a club I'm a member of who's a European Golf Teaching Federation pro and a lad at my club who plays off plus 3 sorted my fairway bunker game out a treat not so long ago.

On top of that I've spoken to numerous PGA assistants and almost all say the 3 years it takes to qualify is not exactly time 'well spent'. A few worked in a golf shop, a couple in golf clubs, one mainly in an office...... almost all say the 30 hours a week on minimum wage "selling tee times and mars bars" as one described it to me is a farce. Having been in the military it does appear that the actual PGA course, while clearly much more involved than the likes of the EGTF or WGTF, is a 3 month course crammed into 3 years. While I'm sure some PGA Pros take their 'responsibility' of training their assistants more seriously it's been a case of 'doing your time because everyone else had to' in almost every case I've spoken to. I've also yet to speak to an assistant pro who hasn't said their game has gone downhill since becoming an assistant.

So, the question is would you insist on a PGA Pro for a lesson? Would you consider a EGTF or WGTF pro instead and see how it goes? Would you go to a good player at your club if they offered lessons, say a tour pro, if they did a few on the side? What about a EGTF/WGTF pro who played on tour, so in effect someone who had a non-PGA coaching qualification but proved they could play the game at a high level? What is important to you if you had to book a lesson with a pro?

Who or what is the EGTF or WGTF ?

I dont do lessons but if i did it would be with one of the multiple highly recommended PGA Pros in my area.
 

chrisd

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I voted for them all. I would go to anyone who could improve my golf, I'm not too sure that you need to be the best player to be the best teacher!
 

Nosevi

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Nope never heard of them =- certainly dont know if any are in this area as well

The PGA Pro course is far more 'all encompassing' it sets a guy up to go into almost any golf related job from coaching to managing a shop etc. The EGTF and WGTF courses are just coaching courses and are only a few weeks long full time. The (possible) downside of the PGA course is that while it's 3 years long, the actual course content is far shorter - the huge majority of that 3 years is working on minimum wage normally behind a counter of some sort (have known assistants that work some of their 30 hours per week in a bar?!?) basically 'doing your time'. That said the guys at least work around golf for a period of time in order to qualify and I'd say the course is probably set at a higher level.
 

chrisd

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The PGA Pro course is far more 'all encompassing' it sets a guy up to go into almost any golf related job from coaching to managing a shop etc. The EGTF and WGTF courses are just coaching courses and are only a few weeks long full time. The (possible) downside of the PGA course is that while it's 3 years long, the actual course content is far shorter - the huge majority of that 3 years is working on minimum wage normally behind a counter of some sort (have known assistants that work some of their 30 hours per week in a bar?!?) basically 'doing your time'. That said the guys at least work around golf for a period of time in order to qualify and I'd say the course is probably set at a higher level.

The difference also is, I understand, you have to be no more than 4 h/c to do a PGA course and you can do the EGTF and WGTF courses as a man, so long as you can go round the course in 83 ( par 71)

I would still be ok so long as his teaching was better than his golf standard!
 

HomerJSimpson

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As the chances of getting a lesson with a tour pro is small I'll stick to the decent PGA qualified pros I've been using. Am actually in a state of flux as I've seen a teaching pro for several years and he's done so much to move the swing on and it's far more stable. However on the recommendation of several single figure guys at my club I've had a couple of lessons with a guy at another range and we seem to be making a lot of progress without changing much. I've heard his short game stuff is excellent which could be the key.

I wouldn't touch anyone EGTF or WGTF as I don't trust their capabilities especially over a PGA pro having done the course and worked so hard for so many years
 

Nosevi

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The difference also is, I understand, you have to be no more than 4 h/c to do a PGA course and you can do the EGTF and WGTF courses as a man, so long as you can go round the course in 83 ( par 71)

I would still be ok so long as his teaching was better than his golf standard!

Yep, that's true. The Playing Ability Test for the PGA course is (or used to be) no more than 15 over for 2 rounds though - higher than for the EGTF or WGTF but hardly setting the world alight either. What I found strange was that every PGA assistant I've spoken to said their level of play dropped over the course, due largely to having to spend all their time working in a shop rather than improving their game. Seems a pity.

As the chances of getting a lesson with a tour pro is small I'll stick to the decent PGA qualified pros I've been using.......

I wouldn't touch anyone EGTF or WGTF as I don't trust their capabilities especially over a PGA pro having done the course and worked so hard for so many years

I think what I'm asking though, is that if there were say a (minor tour I'm guessing) tour pro at your club that offered lessons, would you be interested or would the fact that they didn't have an official qualification put you off?

Regarding the EGTF and WGTF, the EGTF guy I went to was on the PGA Course, he was playing off scratch I believe, but found working 30 hours a week in a pro shop utterly pointless, he quit the course after a year. Against that you've got PGA Pros who played off 4 but stick it out and get qualified having spent the huge majority of that time as, to all intense and purposes, a sales assistant and by their own admission no longer play to the level they did when they qualified, while the EGTF guy was gaining experience giving lessons. Given these two examples, who would you go to for lessons? Both exist in reality.....

Ok, slightly playing devil's advocate but it amazes me how 'nailed down' the PGA has golf teaching in some people's minds when in reality a large proportion of the 3 years it takes to qualify is often a case of 'doing your time' and the assistants are often being used as cheap labour rather than actually learning anything. I was massively surprised to learn that, at least now, the assistants spend a massive 3 weeks at the Belfry actually receiving instruction. You read that right - 3 weeks in 3 years. Given that you can be a shop assistant for the rest of the time and you do the rest of the course work as a distance learning package in your own time, it calls into question the reason for this approach. Difficult to argue that's it's to benefit the guys doing the course.

All of the above said from what I've seen the course is set at a slightly higher level than either EGTF or WGTF and the minimum playing ability is higher. I just think more could be gained for the guys doing the course by it being a 4 or 6 month intensive programme (and in reality probably not that long). As a military Air Trafficer and having been an Officer Training Instructor I guarantee that it's not the most effective way to train someone and that either what we called JATCC (air traffic course) or IOT (Initial Officer Training) while being far shorter than the 3 years a PGA Pro 'trains' for, contained a darn sight more information and actual training. It's awfully hard to argue that the set up the PGA have is in any way to benefit the assistants on the course or to make them better golf pros.......
 

anotherdouble

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As the chances of getting a lesson with a tour pro is small I'll stick to the decent PGA qualified pros I've been using. Am actually in a state of flux as I've seen a teaching pro for several years and he's done so much to move the swing on and it's far more stable. However on the recommendation of several single figure guys at my club I've had a couple of lessons with a guy at another range and we seem to be making a lot of progress without changing much. I've heard his short game stuff is excellent which could be the key.
I wouldn't touch anyone EGTF or WGTF as I don't trust their capabilities especially over a PGA pro having done the course and worked so hard for so many years

Who are you seeing now mate
 

Ethan

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Find someone with a good local reputation and positive word of mouth. Playing ability may be a misleading factor. Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, David Leadbetter, Sean Foley and Rick Smith only have one PGA Tour win between them. Being a great player doesn't make someone a great coach nor vice versa.
 

Nosevi

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The PGA course work is only done between October and April, leaving the 'summer months' to play and teach.

Like I said earlier, Bob, to an extent I'm playing devil's advocate. Who do I see? A PGA Pro. Who before that? A PGA Pro.....

But I have had a very good lesson from a EGTF Pro and it was a PGA Pro who put the grips on my clubs that you pointed out were arguably the wrong size and 3 are on backwards :) I'd say there are probably good and bad of either.

I was also frankly shocked that the guys doing the course now only spend 3 weeks in the 3 years under formal instruction at the Belfry (think it was longer in your day....)

I've been told of a PGA Pro whose assistants used to often start the day with a run around the course as he believed a positive attitude to fitness was important, time was set aside for their own practice and they shadowed the Pro during lessons and helped with group lessons - all good stuff IMO. On the flip side I've spoken to guys doing their PGA training while working in Discount Golf behind a till or chatted to an assistant who was 'filling in' behind the bar in a club and asked them how useful they felt 30 hours a week doing that was towards becoming a pro - the answer was not so positive.

From what I've seen the course content on the PGA course is, as I said, set at a higher level to that on the golf coaching courses such as the EGTF and WGTF - both of these are short full time courses aimed at only coaching whereas the PGA course is obviously far more all encompassing. But is the PGA Course truly a 3 year course? I'd argue it isn't.

In the RAF we'd take someone with basically no experience and in 4 months they'd be controlling live aircraft (with a screen controller initially before they 'qualified' for their first live ticket which took me about 3 weeks I guess). The amount of training that took was, I'd argue, far more than an assistant pro gets over the 3 years it takes him to qualify, the vast majority of which is (at least often) working on minimum wage in a shop or pro shop.

Don't get me wrong, I take my hat off to the guys for sticking at it and some Pros who have assistants take their role as 'mentor' far more seriously. But taking many of the assistants I've spoken to, the ratio of activities that further their development as a PGA Pro vs grinding away in a shop is way out of kilter with what is best practice when training someone to do a job. Yes, it weeds out those not keen enough to put up with it but is working 30 hours a week at Discount Golf for 3 years really going to help you be a good pro? Just don't think it will.
 

Nosevi

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Find someone with a good local reputation and positive word of mouth. Playing ability may be a misleading factor. Butch Harmon, Hank Haney, David Leadbetter, Sean Foley and Rick Smith only have one PGA Tour win between them. Being a great player doesn't make someone a great coach nor vice versa.

I would like a short game lesson with Thomas Bjorn please , I think he knows his stuff. :thup:

I think these 2 views are interesting. For me there has to be a certain level of ability and I guess the PGA Pro tag guarantees that (4 H'cap maximum to get on the course). I've had a lesson from a pro who told me all sorts of things........ but never demo'd any of them - a do as I say, not as I do type mentality. That's all well and good but for me, personally, I want to know the guy can do it himself. If not why does he think I'll be able to?

In contrast my current pro was teaching me about using my body more in the swing. To demonstrate he hit a crisp 7 iron right down the middle....... using his left hand only. My reaction - ok, fair enough, he knows what he's on about.

Guess everyone is different but I want to know the guy can actually do what he's teaching to a fairly high level.
 

Nosevi

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Looking at voting so far there is a bit of a trend. Obviously it's multi choice but with 14 voters, 11 in the "Has to be a PGA Pro" category but 5 in the "Tour Pro with some teaching qual" category, obviously a couple have voted for both. Sorry wasn't specific enough - kind of meant the first one is absolutely has to be a PGA Pro and no one else, the others you can obviously say you'd try any.

Anyway, max we've got 9 on the PGA Pro only (possibly 7 or 8....) and below that it seems that being really good at the game just takes the edge over one of the shorter coaching courses. That said, in a perfect world, both would be preferable ie tour pro level but with at least some training in coaching to back it up.
 

CMAC

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Who or what is the EGTF or WGTF ?

I dont do lessons but if i did it would be with one of the multiple highly recommended PGA Pros in my area.

never heard of them either- bet the majority of people here and golf in general dont know them either.


one category missing from pole, a teaching pro thats teaches Tour players. I've found them to be on a different wave length to the normal PGA pro
 
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