The benefits of taking regular lessons with a PGA professional have been highlighted in one of Britain’s best-selling golf magazines.
Amateur golfer Tom Jones penned a letter to Golf Monthly praising Kingsdown Golf Club PGA professional Andrew Butler following a series of coaching sessions which have done wonders for his game.
“In six lessons, my handicap has come down four shots; my driving distance has improved and my short game is unrecognisable from what it was,” he said in the letter.
“I found his (Andrew Butler) knowledge of the game to be inspirational and his enthusiasm infectious.”
The letter was headlined ‘Another great pro’ and reflects the important role PGA members play across the UK in helping golfers of all ages and abilities to play better golf and as a result enjoy it more.
Butler, aged 51, who in November notches up his 20th year as head PGA professional at the Wiltshire course, has coached thousands of golfers in his career and still takes lessons himself with the top Tour coach and PGA master professional Denis Pugh.
“It’s nice to get recognition but the real enjoyment is seeing golfers improve and realise their ambitions in the sport, whether it’s a beginner taking their first steps in the game or an experienced scratch player seeking to take their game to another level,” said Butler.
“I try and get them to play better and enjoy golf because it is their leisure time. Most of the pupils I teach are social golfers but I coach a few elite level players too.
“Spending lots of money on equipment is only a small part of the equation because it is tuition that really helps golfers improve. I’ve always been fascinated by the golf swing and still have coaching myself from Denis Pugh.
“The average age of my club members is almost 60 and I encourage all of them to have lessons. I don’t want them to think just because they are getting older they can’t improve because they can.
“I don’t see the point of playing golf badly – that is like a life sentence.
“We have around 700 members and quite a large majority have taken lessons but the problem is they tend to only have one.
“It is the golfers who take continued tuition and who give me the chance to develop their golf that really see the benefits.
“If you just have one lesson it tends to be a quick fix to sort out a slice or the shanks but if they come back for more tuition we can make genuine improvement that will last that much longer and give them much more pleasure from the game.
“I had a guy that won the medal at the weekend who has had regular lessons and he has seen his handicap come down from 23 to 11. Examples of that are common place and it is within everybody’s grasp.”
Dr Kyle Phillpots, PGA Director of Education and Career Development, who oversees the PGA’s three-year training programme equipping aspiring professionals with the skills to coach golf at all levels, commented: “It is very satisfying and rewarding to receive positive feedback from golfers about the impact that PGA professionals can have on their game.
“Golf is a fantastic game played by millions and lessons are a great way to enhance that enjoyment.
“PGA members play a crucial role at golf facilities across theUKand non more so than helping golfers realise their golfing potential.”
To find your local PGA professional for lessons utilse PGA.info’s Find Your PGA Pro facility at www.pga.info/FindYourPro.aspx