Shelley Woolner believes that golf is improving in Ontario. More men and women want to choose the best golf clubs for beginners and learn to play for business reasons. In her view, golf is an acquired skill that anyone can learn. She recommends taking beginning lessons with a group of friends.
Shelley Woolner, one of Ontario’s finest golf instructors and co-host of TSN’s Acura World of Golf, comments on trends, techniques, and twenty years of teaching.
What are the Emerging Trends?
The obvious trend is that an increasing number of people are learning to play for business reasons, though I do think that an equal number are playing just for the love of the game. Generally, I’m finding that more women are playing golf, many of whom are in the working world….
I think, however, that it is important for women to recognize that on the golf course everyone is equal and that they should not take a back seat in the corporate golf end of things. I know a lot of women who are petrified to participate in their company golf tournament, but they shouldn’t be intimidated. Golf is a valuable means of business communication and is becoming more so every day. Women should get out there and learn the rules and the etiquette because they’re just as important as actually playing the game. Their ignorance of the game will hurt them more than their lack of skill. Women who take the time to learn can, I believe, use golf in business even better than men do.
Can Anyone Learn to Play Golf?
Well, that’s like asking if anyone can learn to play the piano. The answer, of course, is yes. Golf is an acquirable skill. The level of skill that students can achieve depends, however, on a number of factors, including their athletic ability, the amount of time they’re willing to spend on learning the game, and the degree of support they receive from their instructor. Sometimes the chemistry between a student and teacher just isn’t right, and the student is turned off the game….
Still, there has never been a student whom I’ve had to give up on. Over the last twenty years, there have been one or two people who I thought might be unteachable; but just as I’d decide that, they’d turn around and make a major breakthrough. As long as they really want to learn, they can, though they might give up on me before I give up on them!
What can a Student reasonably Expect to Pay for Lessons in Ontario?
It all depends on the format of instruction. There is a price point out there that is comfortable for everyone. Generally, the fees in Ontario are at least comparable — and probably even better — to what golf instructors are currently charging in the U.S. Private instruction will cost a student anywhere from $20 to $50 per half hour. It also depends on the calibre of the teacher. If you go to a Rick Smith for golf lessons, obviously you can expect to pay a lot more.
Group lessons with an Ontario teaching pro are much more reasonable often as little as five or ten bucks an hour. For beginners, I suggest that they start with a group of friends. They’ll feel more comfortable and will realize that their golfing problems are not unique. You know, misery loves company.
A Warm-up Tip
How Many Clubs should You Take to the Practice Tee?
Nobody plays with just one club, so why would you practise with only one club? I believe that you should start out on the practice tee with whatever club you find the most comfortable. Hit a few shots, and then move on to a couple of other clubs. The last club you use should be the first one you’re going to hit with during the actual round of golf. If you’re going to start the round with a driver, then finish up on the practice tee with a driver. This way, you’ll always begin on the right foot.
What I really want to convey to you is that more than being a professional golfer, I am just another golfing enthusiast like you who simply wants to enjoy the sport without constantly worrying about achieving perfection. (FELICIA TAYLOR)