The first thing I like to know when teaching women is why are you taking lessons?
Are you taking them because you’re a vice president of a company and you have to play in golf events or are you taking them because your husband and family plays?
As much as we try to break it down, the intimidation still exists for women getting into the game. We need to keep reminding them of all the success stories out there in women’s golf and I think promoting LPGA and Canadian PGA members who are female is a good place to start.
The corporate side of golf has really helped women in the game. There are more and more women who playing the game because they do business on the golf course and they’re seeing some success there.
Some women take up the game because their kids want to play and they want to be involved with their kids.
Whatever their reasons for getting into the game, it’s important to instill confidence in beginners. I try to keep things as simple as possible because the worst thing you can do is overload any student, male or female.
It’s a tough game to learn. You can play golf for five years and still be a beginner because of our short season in Canada. It takes time and you have to keep their commitment level high, even when they might be frustrated a little.
Keep it as simple as possible and chart their successes. It’s important to praise their successes and encourage them to keep going, which is as much a challenge as attracting them to the game in the first place.
It’s also important to follow up with them. Here’s a perfect example – a women buys a five-lesson package and you take her out there and teach her over the next four or five weeks. You get her going, teach her course etiquette and she goes and plays.
All of a sudden, you get to July or August and she experiences a glitch in her swing, which happens to most of us at one time or another. They sometimes get frustrated and just walk away from the game.
With a follow-up or if that woman is confident enough to ask a golf professional about what’s going on, a swing glitch can be easily fixed just by reviewing what you taught her a couple of months earlier. It’s reinforcement.
Teaching is not only about “do this, do this.” It’s more about “do this because this is what it will do for you.”
We’ll continue our chat about teaching women golfers in our next submission.