Never approach technical skills instruction in a piecemeal fashion, which is is completely counter-productive. Taking the odd lesson now and then from different teaching professionals is a total waste of time. Over time, the mind gets cluttered with different swing theories, movement patterns and positions with little or no holistic vision or feel. Furthermore, it's important to avoid compounding the problem further by also trying to assimilate a multitude of tips from golfing magazines and internet videos (the majority of which are probably wholly inappropriate for your current level of ability) or, even worse, misguided tips from your various playing partners. If you do, you will end up with a patchwork quilt type of swing, made up of countless ‘Band-Aid fixes’ with failing adhesive strips!

Is it any wonder that this type of approach yields no lasting, positive outcomes? So, what is the answer?

  1. Assess your current playing abilities – spend time getting to know your key statistics and recording them over a minimum of 5 rounds: fairways hit; GIR; putts per round; up and downs %; sand saves %; and scoring average. This will pinpoint which parts of your game are most in need of improvement.
  2. Have a clear, realistic idea of what it is you want to achieve from your game-improvement effort. Outline your short- and long-term goals.
  3. You need to believe that you can play to the level you aspire to AND so does the teaching professional of your choice.
  4. Despite its convenience, don’t simply use the teaching professional attached to the club where you play.
  5. Research the professionals in your area. Check whether they have the requisite qualifications and experience to take your game to the level you desire. Ask friends and playing partners if they would recommend any instructors they have used. Ask them about pricing, reputation, location, and how much they improved under his/her tutelage. Ask about their use of the latest technologies and methodologies. Ask whether they provide timely communication and feedback in a personal way and any digital content is in a format that suits you. Most importantly, be sure that the instructor has a history of creating positive results for clients.
  6. Call the instructor and ask if he or she is prepared to meet you. A good instructor should be happy to get to know you as an individual, talk to you about your current game and your improvement goals and also allow you to observe a lesson.
  7. Ensure that there is a good fit between you and your instructor in terms of personality, your goals, beliefs about the game and how it should be played, and, crucially, your instructor's ability to relate to your individual needs (which includes your preferred learning styles) and adapt their teaching accordingly.
  8. Agree and commit to a programme of lessons, including playing lessons out on the course (course management is a crucial element of playing good golf).
  9. Make sure that your clubs are properly suited to both your physical stature and your game with a custom fitting session before you start lessons.
  10. Have an open mindset and be prepared to start where it counts with your short game. A round of golf is not a series of full swings. Remember that 70% of your round will be played from within 90yds. Therefore if your aim is to lower your scores, then your programme of lessons has to include short game lessons.
  11. Agree a plan of action with your chosen instructor that allows for a blend of instruction, effective, purposeful practice and playing golf. [Playing golf must form part of any game-improvement strategy – the quest is not for perfect technique, but for lower scores.]
  12. Incorporate a monthly ‘set-up MOT’ into your strategy – even the very best regularly check their fundamentals!

The good news is that most people have the natural ability (talent) to play well, but do not develop it properly. To improve, you need a clear strategy along with the requisite desire, commitment, patience and perseverance.

While there are few game-improvement guarantees when it comes to golf, I guarantee that if you can fall in love with the PROCESS of improvement, you will find out just how good you can become. The satisfaction is in the striving.

Remember what I said in a previous post: – “Do what is right, not what is easy.”


England Golf The AASE in Golf aims to support young golfers (16-19) who have the realistic potential to achieve golfing excellence and are seeking to perform at the highest level as their main career goal.

The programme is a two year elite athlete development initiative designed to support young, talented, male and female athletes in achieving their maximum potential in the sport.

It is exclusively available to those young people who have demonstrated the necessary talent and skill required to suggest that they have a realistic chance to make a career from playing golf, either for England or as a playing professional.

There are 15 England Golf endorsed FE colleges offering the AASE golf programme.

If, for whatever reason, an England Golf AASE Academy route isn't deemed to be appropriate, ‘England Futures’ is an alternative programme that allows young players to access the benefits of AASE.English Golf Union logo

‘England Futures’, launched jointly between the English Golf Union and English Women’s Golf Association, aims to provide targeted support to England’s most talented young golfers.

Any player who is selected to be a part of the ‘England Futures’ programme must possess the drive, commitment and discipline to do their level best within their golf training and they must be dedicated enough to ensure that they complete all the modules in full.

In return the England Futures player will receive top class coaching from specially selected England coaches, a complete package of sports science support including biomechanics, strength & conditioning and psychological training, as well as additional resources towards competition and tournament expenses.

English Womens' Golf AssociationPeter Mattsson the Director of Coaching at the English Golf Union has recognised the role that this programme could play in the development of an aspiring elite golfer.

And it’s not just for the boys, The England Golf Partnership is specifically looking to encourage more girls to participate in the scheme something that Linda Bayman, Performance Director at the English Women’s Golf Association is keen to stress: -

“The scheme is ideal for girls looking to further their careers in the game at a time when they are put under pressure to follow an educational pathway. AASE is the best of both worlds, education, leading to a career or a place at university coupled with a golf training programme which could lead to a life as a professional.”

Summary of the AASE in Golf Provision

Physical Resources

  • Full membership of an approved golf club • Unlimited access to fit-for-purpose practice facilities • Access to a suitable facility for fitness training • Opportunities for warm weather training

Human Resources

  • A minimum of 60 coaching sessions per year • 240 guided practice sessions per year • Individualised coaching programmes designed to meet the player’s needs • Coaches work with a player’s personal coach where appropriate • Sports psychology support • Physiological and nutritional support • Physical screening and feedback time • Access to a mentor/assessor • Opportunity to meet with a careers advisor and support with any applications to Higher Education

Educational Resources

  • Flexible learning options, A-Levels, AS Levels, BTEC etc. to meet a student’s career aspirations • All academies are linked to approved educational establishments • Support in planning and developing their careers both within and outside the sport • Where relevant, support with UCAS applications


  • Support in managing competitive schedules • Provision of regular competitive opportunities as part of the college team • Support with competition expenses for those players that are able to play in elite level amateur competitions

List of Colleges Offering AASE in Golf:

Brockenhurst College, Brockenhurst, Hampshire SO42 7ZE, UK

Easton College, Norwich, Norfolk NR9 5DX, UK

Filton College, Bristol, South Gloucestershire BS34 7AT, UK

Gateshead College, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE8 3BE, UK

Hartpury College, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL19 3BE, UK

Leeds City College, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS14 5LS, UK

Moulton College, Northampton, Northamptonshire NN3 7RR, UK

Myerscough College, Preston, Lancashire PR3 0RY, UK

Richard Huish College, Taunton, Taunton, Somerset TA1 3DZ, UK

Richmond College, Twickenham, Twickenham, Greater London TW2 7SJ, UK

Solihull College, Solihull, West Midlands B91 1SB, UK

South Devon College, Paignton, Paignton, Torbay TQ4 7EJ, UK

Sussex Downs College, Lewes, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2XH, UK

Worthing College, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1NS, UK