December 11, 2017

Your First Golf Lesson: What to Expect

Whether you are looking to improve your golf swing, or are a complete beginner looking to get into the game, Instructor Joe Rocha explains what to expect at your first golf lesson at the MIT Recreation Indoor Golf Range. Below, Joe shares his love of the sport, teaching philosophy, and tips to prepare you for your first lesson.

 First Golf Lesson MIT Recreation Indoor Golf Range

Meet Our Golf Instructor: Joe Rocha

When did you start playing golf, and what got you interested in the sport?

Joe: I grew up down the street from a golf course and started playing when I was nine years old with my brother. The enjoyment of playing with family and friends, the challenge of the sport and the opportunity to improve always inspired me to want to play and practice.

What lead you to become an instructor?

Joe: To me the golf swing was always sort of a mystery. I felt like if I had better information with all the hours of practice invested, I would have been a better player. It has been my mission as an instructor to provide golfers with accurate information about the golf swing so that they can achieve their goals in a timely fashion.

What do you enjoy most about instructing golf?

Joe: Being a golf instructor, I am always learning. What I enjoy most is giving students the accurate information they need to improve and seeing them enjoy playing the game.

First Golf Lesson MIT Recreation Indoor Golf Range

What to Expect at Your First Golf Lesson

A typical Golf lesson at the studio begins with the student taking warm up swings, with or without hitting golf balls. I assess the player’s set-up first. We cover grip, posture, alignment and ball position. Then I have the student establish a new routine, implementing new set-up keys. Once we have the set-up routine in place, the player takes a few more swings. I demonstrate the basic athletic movements that drive the golf swing. After some trial and error, I take video of the player’s swing. Together we look to identify positive aspects, as well as where improvements can be made. The whole process can be repeated and adjustments made, working in the direction of the student’s goals.

First Golf Lesson MIT Recreation Indoor Golf Range

For beginners, the goal of the first few lessons is to stress that the golf swing is an athletic motion, similar to other sports that the new golfer may have played in the past. The long game is a priority for new golfers especially. This is so that when they get to the golf course, they are able to advance the golf ball. Specifically, beginners will learn set up fundamentals and the key movements that make up an effective golf swing.

First Golf Lesson MIT Recreation Indoor Golf Range

Sometimes an intermediate or advanced player has played long enough that they take their set-up fundamentals for granted. At every lesson, I check to make sure that a player’s set-up fits their swing.  Often too, a player can have an erroneous concept about the golf swing. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. So, I ask intermediate and advanced players questions to ensure that their mind is giving their body sound information to achieve the task.

First Golf Lesson MIT Recreation Indoor Golf Range

What to Bring To your First Golf Lesson

We provide golf clubs and golf balls, though golfers are welcome to bring their own if they like. All a beginning golfer would need is to wear athletic or golf shoes. If you are new to MIT Recreation or not familiar with our indoor golf range, you can also download our map before heading to your lesson.

Are you ready to work on your game? Check out our lesson package options to get started. Golf is a game of a lifetime, so don’t forget to be patient with yourself, have fun learning and enjoy the process!