They say you can’t buy a better golf game. I disagree. If we invest in improving our golf swing technique and our understanding of the game it’s bound to see real results in our golf games. Whether that means some good one-on-one instruction with a pro, or using some golf swing training aids, or just reading some great golf books — these kind of efforts can only help our games.
In fact, I bet a better understanding of our golf swing and game would lead to much more game improvement than buying the latest golf clubs.
There, I said it.
Really though, if you are new to the game, or just haven’t played in a while, learning/reviewing golf swing fundamentals and intelligent practice is the best thing you can do to improve your game. That’s just common sense.
So how do we go about getting great golf instruction? Once again, it’s up to you and your learning style. Some people respond best to instruction from other people and some can learn by reading books or watching videos.
Personally most of my golf education came from books. Jack Nicklaus’ Golf My Way was my bible for learning the golf game. He took me from a beginner to 5 handicap with his books. I’ve also heard that his book has been a big influence on many great golfers of today including Nick Faldo, Paul Azinger, and even Tiger Woods.
Another classic is the great book by Ben Hogan Five Lessons:The Modern Fundamentals of Golf. It really was the first great golf instruction book and the amazing illustrations are worth the price alone.
The best book I have read in the last couple of years is Jim Hardy’s Book The Plane Truth for Golfers. This is not really for the beginner but if you are a student of the golf swing and ready to get into the details, this is one great book.
Of course you can always try Tiger’s book How I Play Golf. I own it and it’s a good solid book but really has much the same basics you can learn from Jack or Ben’s books for less money.
One of my all time favorite books is about the mental side of the game. I originally bought The Inner Game of Golf back in the early 80s and still have the original book and now there’s a revised edition. It truly helped me to become a better golfer. It’s theories actually can help anyone in many aspects of life. Truly an eye opener. Do you know what game YOU are playing?
I’m a visual learner. So seeing people performing the motion makes it much easier for me to “get” the correct swing technique. I’ve spent countless hours watching golf on TV and I have to say I’ve learned so much. For awhile I was taping every golf tournament, every weekend. When the tapes started taking over the house I started to just record the major championships. Anyone want to buy a tape of the 1988 US Open at The Country Club in Boston. Just kidding. I was there and never want to part with that one.
Today there is a better way to get video golf instruction without leaving home or waiting for the golf tournament this weekend. You can find great videos on line. I found this site that has video instruction on demand. They’re called Total Vid and they have all kinds of golf instruction (and other) videos that you can rent one at a time, buy to own or, if you sign up for the monthly membership, you can watch as many as you want for free. Pretty cool. Click and you can try it free today.
Golf Instruction eBooks
There are some good eBooks for immediate download that offer unique views on golf instruction. Some actually guarantee results. Here’s one that I found that guarantees an improvement of 7-12 strokes on average. Now I haven’t tried this one myself but from my investigations this is the best one on the web. It’s called The Simple Golf Swing and all I can say is just check it out for yourself. If it stinks please let me know and I will be glad to pass that along and take it off the site. It’s guaranteed so what have you got to lose.
A good training aid will help your game. The good ones either force you to swing in a certain way or give you the “feel” of what a good swing should do. Sometimes the may seem silly but believe me, all the golf pros use and are constantly looking for better tools to help them improve. Go to our training aids page to see some of the current hot training tools.
The only way to convert what we learn from golf books, golf videos, or even one-on-one golf instruction into game improvemnet is to practice what we’re learning. Turning technical “ideas” into actual swing “habits” is a matter of hitting balls and working on our short games and developing a feel for the new techniques.
There is no great golfer who hasn’t put in the time practicing to become a great golfer. Vijay Singh is the poster boy for practice-makes-perfect. All the pros spend hours a day on the practice range. Recreational golfers are lucky to spend hours a month.
It’s also important to know what to practice (that’s where the books and lessons come in) but getting out and doing it is still the key. But how do we really know what to work on. Does a beginner work on the same things that a 5 handicap would work on? Just as clubs for a beginner are different than clubs for an advanced golfer so too are the things they should be working on. Let’s take a look at what each should be working on in terms of techniques and what training aids work for each.
Golf instruction for a beginner golfer
Golf instruction for an intermediate golfer
Golf instruction for an advanced golfer