Insight from Oakville’s Zack Creed, other golf pros: How lessons can improve your game


© Kevin Carden

Jack Nicklaus, one of the world’s most accomplished golfers once said, “Don’t be too proud to take lessons. I’m not.”

For golfers who are looking to improve their game, golf lessons are arguably the most efficient way to excel on the course. The best chances of staying under par in this game is your golf swing, and there isn’t a golfer out there who doesn’t need help.

Brian Peeples, Director of Golf Operations at The Cliffs, says there is no right or wrong way to get started.

“It’s never too late to start and it’s a game you can play well into your latter years. As instructors at The Cliffs, we try to think outside of the box, to make golf less intimidating to beginners. Our goal is to create the opportunity for anyone who is curious to try the sport,” says Peeples.

Peeples suggests the best way to begin is by enlisting the help, if you can, from a local PGA Professional in your area. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, Peeples says to contact a public golf facility to see if the staff there can recommend someone. Afterall, the right instructor will develop a game plan to help you learn and keep it fun.

Brad Ruminski, a golf professional at Oaktree Golf Club in Ontario, has spent the better part of two decades teaching golfers of all skill levels how to improve their game and find clubs that fit them.

“You have to have the temperament to shake the bad shots off,” Ruminski cautions. “It’s a game where you can enjoy fellowship with people, and the time spent with others doing it, because there’s a lot of social time out there.”

In addition to your golf swing, there are a range of other areas of the game that golf lessons can help you with, including strategy, mental game, and identifying your weakness.

Oakville’s Zack Creed, a golf professional with more than a decade of golf instruction experience, says the first thing a player has to do to get better is figure out where his or her game needs the most improvement.

“When I work with avid golfers, one of the first things I do before every lesson is to quiz them about their game stats,” explains Zack Creed. “That gives me an idea of what we are going to work on during the lesson.

Creed suggests golfers keep simple statistics on their own — fairways hit, greens in regulation, short game up and downs and total putts. From this, players can determine weaknesses and work to improve them.

Many golf instructors use statistics to tell students: Do not spend all your time just hitting balls at the range. Practice putting.

Golf pro Eric Johnson suggests: “Spend the majority of your time practicing putting from 6 feet and in. Unfortunately, all of us will probably never hit a drive like Tiger Woods, but that does not mean we cannot putt as well as he does. Most of us do not have the body and flexibility that Tiger does, but you don’t have to have Tiger’s physique to be a great putter.”

While golf lessons certainly won’t help the average player achieve Tiger Woods status, they are a good idea for anyone who wants to improve their game. There are no guarantees, but like anything else in golf you want to give yourself the best chance.

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