Lessons or Self Taught
Recently Nike Golf posted a question on their Facebook page 'Lessons or self taught?'
ecently Nike Golf posted a question on their Facebook page ‘Lessons or self taught?’ at last check there were over 660 comments and climbing, many comments just responding lessons, self-taught, both, lessons, self-taught, both.  So I figured I’d delve into this topic a little more closely, in an attempt to gain a better understanding of their true meaning.

I believe everyone has learned from some-one and no-one is really every self taught. Let’s firstly look at some of the comments posted in for the fore, against and for both:


Matthew Shiflet: I started out self taught, but with some help from my AMAZING Grandpa. Then last year I went to my Boy Scout Summer Camp (Troop 299 Pride!) and took the Golf marit badge. Turns out, I was the first recipient of the Golf Merit badge in my troops history!

Derek Hooper: If you seek to get better at anything, then you need to get information from a source who knows more than you do. Can you be self taught? Yes. But that road is much longer than getting directions from someone who has already traveled that road.

Alistair Welsher: Being self taught is some weird badge of honor golfers wear! Why not get taught and be the best you can be? Worlds best players ALL take lessons!

at last check there were over 660 comments and climbing


Patrick Ewart: Self taught..all you need is about 10 old men taking your money every week in a points and skins game to motivate you..it will do wonders for your game..

Jameel Lockhart: lessons as a beginner then self taught as an advanced player (once you learn the basics you can do what works for you)

Adam John Woods: hay nike im self taught and im off 1 ive been to the butch harmon master class in 2005 and beat simon dyson and jamie donaldson when they came to my club ive also shot the course record 66

Mark Razzo: Started a righty had to switch to left cause I bat left. Feels comfortable..Read all the magazines and studied all the techniques. Fun to learn and try to use lessons and techniques on my own. Brief minilessons. Same diagnosis. Consistency needed to improve.



Jesse Thomas Holshouser: A healthy balance of both. you can’t stand behind yourself and see what you’re doing but its always good to sort out problems yourself if possible.

Daniel White: Little but of both but taking lessons is really self teaching considering the instructor isn’t around all the time and instructors will not be there on leisure time where I fell I’ve learned most of what I know…..

As an golf coach for over 12 years,  I think back to all the lessons I’ve had over the years.  I don’t just think about sitting on the lesson tee with the local club pro hearing, ‘Take the club back low and slow’ or ‘Big turn behind the ball’.  To me lessons have always been more than that, they are taught from an early age, life lessons our parents taught us, golf course etiquette, perhaps a simple putting tip that sticks with us.  You know the ones I’m talking about, those life lessons we’ll pass onto our children and grandchildren.  Sure I’ve been scared by miss information and have thought years later about how it may have hindered my progress, though are we ever really self-taught, or is our learning all a part of some type of lesson.

Jeff Stemper: Self taught…… im 14 and started when i was 12..all i did was watch the golf channel..now in the high 70’s!!!

Even Ben Hogan who was said to have dug it out of the dirt had occasional lessons from his peers.  Many of the comments on self-taught make a reference to outside influences, such as reading magazines, golf channel, help from grandparents or taking lessons from an early age and then figuring out on their own.  There’s no doubt that the worlds best players have had some guidance along the way, be it a mentor, swing coach or in some other form.  I feel some of the most influential lessons we receive in life are the ones that we didn’t even know were being taught to us.

So have a another think about ‘Lessons or self-taught’ and please feel free to leave a comment:


  1. May 2, 2011
    2:46 pm

    John Graham


    I started as ‘self taught’ but I agree that you can’t really be that way anymore.

    Certainly, someone will offer advise or you’ll seek it out whether in magazines or online.

    I’ve still only had a few lessons and if I had to do it over again, I would have taken many more lessons.


    • May 3, 2011
      11:21 am


      Thanks for the comments some valid points here, always appreciate your thoughts

  2. May 26, 2011
    9:33 am

    Henry Tie

    I learn the basic swing from a friend’s father then later learn from there onward purely base on youtube videos and magazine. I’m 25 years old and to me, having a proper coach not only improves your game play but also reducing the risk of long term injury and at the same time hitting better, consistent and confident shots every single time. This i believe is essential when playing at difficult course. I’m working at a golf resort where we have challenging golf course and worse still its in the jungle so many lost balls.

    • May 26, 2011
      10:27 am


      Thanks for the comment Henry, I can agree that a good coach will get the most out of any players no matter what level they are playing at or their style of learning. Best of luck with your golf.

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