The best, most sure way to improve your game is to visit your local PGA Professional. If you're serious about making a commitment to get better, this should be your first step.
And in case you need a little coaxing, well, now is absolutely the time to book a lesson, seeing as May is PGA Free Lesson Month.
Throughout the month of May, participating PGA and LPGA Professionals provide free 10-minute lessons and/or family clinics designed to help golfers improve their games.
"I would encourage people to come out because I know that every golfer has a few questions about their golf swing that they aren't quite sure of," said Rick Murphy, PGA Professional at the Rick Murphy Golf Academy in Greensboro, N.C. "When they sign up for the lesson and actually ask the question and get an answer, then that opens the door to many other questions about their game or swing that they may not have ever thought of -- hence the learning process begins."
A question many potential students might ask is: How much, exactly, can one take away from a 10-minute lesson? The answer is: It depends, but isn't worth your time to find out?
"It very well could be a chance for the student to be able to identify a 'wobble' in their swing with the help of a PGA Professional," Murphy said. "And that could lead to a path for correction. It may be something as simple as an interview process that a student could use during the 10 minutes to decide if they would like to work with the professional."
Cami Berher, a PGA Professional from Tega Cay Golf Club in Charlotte, agrees that there's a lot to be gained from a 10-minute lesson.
"I tells folks it's an opportunity to receive a quick check up on their fundamentals: grip, posture and alignment," Berher said. "An adjustment in any one of those areas can vastly improve their golf swing. I also offer a quick look via my V1 digital video system. Some folks have never seen themselves on video, so it's a treat. A change to any one of the fundamentals has the potential for making a positive difference. Those are static positions, so I simply pair that up with one in-swing observation that is causing the player problems. I'll suggest a starting point to make the changes, but also encourage them to return for lesson or clinic for long term improvement."
PGA Free Lesson Month isn't only beneficial to the student, but also to PGA Professionals, Murphy said.
"This 10-minute lesson has given me and my staff the opportunity to showcase our level of teaching expertise to the public," he explained. "It has given us the opportunity to showcase our facility to many more people and let them see what we do on a day-to-day basis to help them get better. We just love helping people play better and to enjoy this game of golf. We are giving something back in an effort to grow the game."
"PGA Professionals have got nothing to lose by participating in this initiative," Berher said. "I typically offer several of these free sessions (2-3 hours in length), so it's not a huge commitment, but the potential for payoff is big. In my opinion, Free Lesson Month is one of the strongest tools we PGA Professionals have."
Murphy has had significant success in attracting students for further visits thanks to the PGA Free Lesson Month initiative.
"I would say that if you aren't participating in this then you should have someone on your staff participating," he said. "Year after year you can build momentum with this program and clearly develop relationships that you may not have through the normal course of business. We build relationships with our customers one by one. PGA Professionals have an obligation, in my opinion, to participate for the betterment and growth of the game in the future. There is not a better program on the Planet to do than this at your facility."