There is an old saying among golf teaching professionals, Dont give advice unless youre asked. Although teaching professionals love to help other golfers, and even though well-intentioned, giving advice without being asked can often do more harm than good. In fairness, the golf teaching profession is, in fact, a profession, and like any other career, individuals have spent considerable money in training for this profession and pay membership fees which provide ongoing education and benefits.
Oftentimes, unsolicited advice can be met with comments like, Thats not what my teacher told me! Or, That doesnt seem to work, Im still slicing the ball. Of course, unsolicited advice may also be met with comments like, Ive been taking lessons for years from my pro back home, I dont know why he never mentioned this to me. So, one can see that this scenario of giving unsolicited advice can open a whole can of worms. As professionals, in fairness to ourselves and our peers, we want to avoid this.
Sometimes when playing in a pro-am or with an individual who is struggling on the golf course who may ask for advice, the best response would be, Lets get together at the end of the round and Im sure I can help you, or we can set up an appointment for a lesson at your convenience. This would be the proper way to approach this request. Any type of instruction should never be given to a previously unknown individual during the round.
By Geoff Bryant, USGTF President