Why golfers don’t have as many golf lessons as they should

“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.” – Steven Pressfield, Author of ‘The Legend of Bagger Vance

By Ian Hardie

In the post What to expect from a golf lesson

I talked about the common misconception that golfers have about golf lessons

You know the one that I mean

Because nearly every golfer out there will instantly offer it

If you even mention that you are thinking of going for one

Or even worse

That you have one booked for next week!

The sympathy with which the golfers deliver their advice with is amazing

“Oh dear, you won’t be playing well for quite a while after that”

“Uncle Joe had a lesson once you know and he was never any good after that”

Not only will the other golfers fill your head with disbelief

Trying hard to talk you out of it

But that little voice in your head starts fuelling your disbelief as well

“I probably will play worse afterwards”

“I’m too old to learn anything new”

“The pro will probably just try and change everything”

“It’s probably going to be a waste of time and money”

And the one that I hear most often from golfers

That absolutely stuns me almost every time

“I’m too useless to take lessons, I won’t get any better”

Let me state right now

I’ve never met any golfer who couldn’t be helped in some way

To improve their golf game with a lesson

For a lot of golfers though

That little voice in their head

Combined with the helpful advice the other golfers have given them

Convinces them that a lesson won’t help

And so they continue to play golf poorly

Until the frustration builds to a point

Where they give ‘the stupid game away’

Which is a massive shame

Occasionally though a golfer makes a decision

That is the opposite of what most other golfers do

They choose to have the golf lesson

In doing so

They choose to suspend their disbelief

Which I’ve discovered is a term that was first coined in 1817 by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Who suggested that if a writer could infuse a “human interest and a semblance of truth”

Into a fantastic tale

The reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative

This suspension of disbelief often applies to fictional works of action, comedy, fantasy and horror writing

As well as in professional wrestling (according to Wikipedia)

Even in more common place things such as action movies

The action routinely goes beyond the boundaries of what you think could really happen

Which when we relate that to a golfer choosing to take golf lessons

Means that some tiny part of them is willing

To put all of the ‘helpful advice’ from the other golfers

That says they will get worse after a golf lesson

And their own disbelief of their golf potential

That’s been fuelled by that little voice

Aside for just long enough

To go along to the golf lesson

They make a semi-conscious decision

To put aside their disbelief

And allow the possibility that they just might play better golf afterwards

To be in their mind as they soak up the lesson

As a result

Most golfers who go for lessons

Do actually improve both their knowledge of the game

And their golf of course

But only because they made that decision to ‘suspend their disbelief’

Ignoring that little voice that said ‘a lesson probably won’t help’

I find that once most golfers have had that first lesson

Rather than telling other golfers bad things

They normally suggest to other golfers

That it’s a good idea to have a golf lesson

So if your golf isn’t going so well

Or you are still quite new to the game

Suspend your disbelief and go have a golf lesson with your local PGA Pro

Or more than one if you really want to get better

Because after more than 30 years of being around golf

I’m still to meet any golfer who after an awful game of golf is happy

But I’ve met quite a few who have begun to enjoy their golf more

After they have suspended their disbelief

And improved as a result of having golf lessons

Play well

To contact Ian and book a lesson with him – click here