This is a coaching option that approximately half of the golfers that I coach take, as it focuses on how to apply the golfers skills towards playing better golf on the golf course and as a result end up with lower scores – as opposed to improving technique and not getting any better.
Which is a common thing that golfers experience with other forms of golf teaching.
I highly recommend it, as a great way to quickly improve not only your scoring but also, your overall understanding of the game of golf.
Please note that this type of coaching is based around how you play the game on the golf course and score, not the technique you use – so if you are having big problems with technique – individual golf coaching is what you need first and once I’ve sorted that out for you, then we can head out to do on course coaching!
One of the reasons that on course coaching is so effective, is that it solves a problem that I see golfers struggling with frequently on the golf course.
The false confidence that golfers gain from hitting golf ball after golf ball from driving range mats, simulators or whatever other artificial practice system they use – whether they are doing that on their own or getting lessons on their technique from a teacher.
Did Ian just say ‘false confidence’?
Yes, I did and in my experience, it’s actually quite damaging to a golfers mental state.
Although, it usually exhibits itself as confusion, when the golfer isn’t able to repeat the shots they were hitting at the driving range, simulator etc. when placed in the very different surroundings of the golf course.
Let’s take a look at what the average golfer experiences at a driving range for example.
The driving range mats are generally different to the grass of most golf courses.
The driving range mats are usually a consistent length of ‘turf’.
The driving range tees are usually higher than the ones used while playing golf (you may think that’s to help the golfers get the ball up in the air but in reality it’s to reduce the frequency of mat replacement at the driving range).
There aren’t usually any divots in the mats at the driving range or if there is the golfer moves the golf ball to a nicer spot.
The driving range mats are usually on a flat surface, so there are usually no shots played with the golf ball above or below the golfer’s feet, from side hill lies etc.
There generally isn’t any long rough on the driving range mats.
All of those factors above contribute to the golfer possibly striking the golf ball better than when they play on the golf course.
The driving range mats are usually pointed towards the targets out on the range.
The driving range mats sometimes have alignment aids or lines on them helping you to line up the same each time or if not, most golfers will put a club or some alignment aid down to help with that.
(That’s actually a good thing, so if you don’t already have any alignment aids – check out these really good ones)
The driving range mats are usually separated by small walls which can also help with visual alignment.
All of those factors above contribute to the golfer possibly lining up their shots better than when they play on the golf course.
There’s no walking long distances between shots at the driving range.
There generally aren’t hills to walk up at the driving range.
Sometimes there is even a seat that you can use between shots at the driving range.
All of those factors above contribute to the golfer possibly having more energy or strength to hit the golf ball with than when they play on the golf course.
Starting to realise how the driving range, simulator etc. environments that golfers spend a lot of time in these days, can give golfers a false confidence about the state of their golf game?
The bottom line with all of the points above is that in general, the conditions the are found at most driving ranges or in the simulator etc. are too similar to recreate anything that is remotely like an actual game of golf.
Which means that a golfer that spends a lot of time at the driving range, hitting golf ball after golf ball in those very similar (and yes, easier) conditions will build up that false confidence that I alluded to earlier.
When that same golfer finds their golf ball after their first tee shot on the golf course.
Sitting slightly down in the rough, on a side hill lie, without any alignment aids around them.
Not able to tee the golf ball up or move it to a nicer lie.
Well, I think you might know what happens next.
If you think on course coaching might be useful for you or you are looking to buy this form of coaching as a gift, I suggest that you contact me by email first to discuss the options.