Can Golf Be Self-Taught?

Can golf be self-taught? Yes of course golf can be self-taught! Some of the greatest players rarely if ever had lessons.

“I’ve never had a coach in my life. When I find one who can beat me, then I’ll listen.”

Lee Trevino

Bubba Watson is another who learned the game his own way and plays completely different golf to most of the players on tour and he claims to have never had a lesson.

To be honest, if you’re starting out in the game I would suggest you have a few lessons just so you get off on the right foot. But if that’s not practical or outside your budget then you’re going to have to work on this game by yourself.

Can Golf Be Self-Taught

Can You Get Good At Golf Without Lessons?

I suppose it depends on your definition of good. If you are aiming to reach the heights of the PGA Tour then your chances of getting there without quality instruction are slim to none. Although to be fair even with instruction the odds of reaching that lofty goal are quite long.

If your aim is just to get a handicap of 18 or below then I would say that’s very achievable and even if your target is single figures that is also quite possible seeing as I managed to do it and I only ever had a couple of lessons quite sometime after starting golf. Anyone who knows me knows I am not exactly athletic either!

Like any skill, you improve with practice but it needs to be the right sort of practice otherwise you are ingraining faults.

It’s probably also true that starting early is also a great benefit if you’re trying to “find your game in the dirt”.

Is Golf Difficult To Learn?

At the end of the day, golf is just hitting the ball with a stick. Something that most people can do relatively easily. However, doing it well is another matter!

Traditionally golf instruction involved teaching people how to move their bodies to certain positions in order to strike the ball as well as possible. For many people, this wasn’t necessarily the best way to learn the skill.

Some modern professionals tend to try and equate the golf swing to more everyday tasks that you perform “naturally” in an effort to let your subconscious take over to produce better and more consistent results. Shawn Clement is a perfect example.

How Long Does It Take The Average Person To Learn To Play Golf?

That’s quite a difficult question to answer as it’s going to depend on so many different factors. How quickly you can learn to play golf probably depends for the most part on how often you are able to practice and how good your hand-eye coordination is.

If you are fairly sporty and able to commit to several sessions per week then in a few months you could be striking the ball reasonably well. If you can only spare an hour per week and you’re not that great at sports then it’s going to take a lot longer even if you were having lessons.

It’s Not Just The Golf Swing

Playing golf isn’t just about the golf swing or the grip. There are lots of other things to learn in order to play golf:

How Can I Teach Myself To Swing A Golf Club?

I started playing long before the Internet was a thing so I had to rely on instructional books from the library. These days there is an enormous amount of free instruction available on YouTube so that’s probably the best place to start.

Some of the more popular instructors include:

  • Meandmygolf (Andy Proudman and Piers Ward)
  • Top Speed Golf (Clay Ballard)
  • Danny Maude
  • Shawn Clement
  • Mike Malaska
  • Alex Elliott
  • Rick Shiels
  • Mark Crossfield

If you’d like a few more ideas then take a look here.

Where Can I Learn To Play Golf?

The obvious place that most people think of is a driving range. This is probably the best place to work on the mechanics of your long game but how do you work on your chipping and putting?

If you’re not yet a member of a golf club with any practice facilities then one option is to purchase a chipping net to use in your backyard. If you have the space you could even build a full-size practice net to work on your long game.

A putting mat for your home will let you develop your putting stroke and you can do this in all weathers!

If you have a par-3 course nearby then that can also be a great place to work on your pitching and chipping.

Can You Learn Golf At 60?

Yes of course you can still learn golf at 60. You can take up golf at any age. That is one of the great things about golf, it is accessible for all ages. The handicap system also makes it more enjoyable for players of all standards.

Are Golf Lessons Worth It?

On the whole, I would say that lessons are definitely worth it although that’s only true if you are prepared to commit to practicing what your instructor has been telling you. If you don’t have time or are unwilling to practice then lessons are unlikely to make much difference to the quality of your golf.

How Many Golf Lessons Should I Take?

That all depends on where in your golfing journey you are. As a beginner, it might be worth taking a 30 minute lesson every week for a few weeks to make sure you have all the fundamentals correct such as grip, aim, stance and posture.

If you are a more established player looking to improve or fault fix then once a fortnight or once a month may be more appropriate.

How Do I Get Better At Golf Without Lessons?

One of the biggest problems you’ll face if you aren’t having lessons is diagnosing what is wrong with your swing.

Videoing yourself while hitting shots will give you a great reference to fall back on as you work on your game.

You might find that golf training aids can help such as a grip trainer or a swing plane trainer.

Ultimately though it is how the ball reacts that is the greatest feedback. Understanding the ball flight laws will help you work out what happened in your swing in order to produce the shot that you hit.

Knowing why the ball does what it does you can then take steps to improve your quality of strike.

Do I Need To Be Fit To Play Golf?

You don’t need to be fit enough to run a marathon although being physically fit would certainly help.

Despite this though even amateur golfers are increasingly looking at their fitness and how it affects their ability to swing a golf club.

Improving your fitness just by stretching and light exercise might help you in the long run.

Learn How To Learn

Understanding how you learn things is also important. Some people are visual learners so would be better off watching YouTube videos while other people are better at reading. You may be better at learning by listening or by kinesthetics!

Kinesthetics is learning by putting things into practice and performing them.

Can Golf Be Self-Taught: Conclusion

It’s definitely possible to teach yourself how to play golf although you may find it much more difficult to reach your potential by going it alone.

Finding a good coach could mean the difference between achieving your golfing goals or coming up short.

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