Are Lessons for Everybody?

Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

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 This month I would like to share a different perspective on golf rather than my normal column. (Golf tips)

Golf is becoming ever so popular. The equipment is becoming so high tech that I often ask myself what could possibly come out next?

But the bottom line is people still aren’t getting any better.

This year in GOLF Magazine some interesting statistics on golf were published. –USGA reports that in the last ten years the average handicap has dipped less than one point. –Since 1989 the average man has improved his index from 16.5 to 16.1. –The average woman from 30.3 to 29.8 –The average18 hole score on a full-size course is 97 for men and 114 for women.

So with this in mind, I’ll share a few thoughts and ideas on what you need to do to improve.

From beginners to professional tour players, all golfers playing the game of golf have one thing in common. You all have the desire to play better. That objective can only be achieved by properly learning the game. You must first create a solid foundation.

The following comments provide you with some of our instruction philosophy as well as a few pointers that will enable you to better understand the learning process...

Be realistic with yourself
Many amateur golfers set unrealistic expectations. If you do not have the time and energy to spend eight hours a day on the range and practice green, you will not play golf as well as professional tour players.

Prior to beginning your instruction, it is imperative that you make an honest assessment of where golf fits into your lifestyle. If you wish to become a competitive amateur player, you must be prepared to put in the hours of practice necessary to attain that goal.

Understanding the teaching process
Your golf swing is probably a lot better than you believe. I have rebuilt a few golf swings but have fine-tuned thousands. To properly learn the game of golf and grasp new ideas, it is imperative to adopt the following:
1) Learning must take place over a period of time.
2) There must be a good relationship and understanding between you and the instructor.
3) As much energy should be focused on the positive elements of your swing as are spent fixing your swing flaws.
4) The educational environment must be an enthusiastic area that encourages learning.

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine TOP 100 Teacher since 1997, teaches at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale along with being the Director of Instruction at The Rim Club in Payson, AZ. For more information on lessons, visit Scott’s website at To contact Scott personally, e-mail him at