Advice From a PGA Professional

Posted by Cole Handley on Jan 2, 2017 9:13:00 AM

Play Better Golf in 2017


pga professional cole handley at poppy hills golf course Cole Handley, PGA Professional, teaching a student at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

Let’s face it: If you play golf, you know you should be better than you are. There is not a golfer in the world that says, “Yep, I’m right where I want to be. My game is just perfect.” Well, maybe Tiger -- butlet’s not go there. The deal with golf is that it takes a heck of a lot of work just to maintain, let alone get any better.

Just like in any other sport -- you get out of this game what you put into it. What has always baffled me as I meet and engage with those looking to get better is the absolute lack of understanding about what it really takes to achieve improvement. This goes for a 25 handicapper -- as well as a single-digit handicapper. You don’t get better just because you want to (and if that was the case I'd be out of a job)! Getting golf lessons from a PGA Professional early on in 2017 will start you off in the right direction with tips and habits that you can follow throughout the year.

Commit to These Four Steps to Improve Your Game in 2017

 PGA Professional Jeff Ritter teaching a student at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach. Jeff Ritter, PGA Professional, teaching a student at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.


The good news is, getting better at golf is not as hard as you think. I promise you -- with zero doubt in my mind -- that if you truly commit to the following four steps that you will be better at the game at this time next year at the end of 2017 than you are today.

Steps to Success in 2017:

  1. Get Instruction - Perhaps you haven't entertained the idea of a golf lesson in the past. But trust me, you, your golf buddies and the golf channel are your game's worst nightmare. Find a PGA Professional and get a lesson. The first thing your PGA Pro will ask you to do is list your goals. This will enable him or her to put together a realistic plan on how you will be able to achieve those goals.
  2. Get Fit - Custom Club fitting in my opinion is the fastest way to rapid success. If you are a member of the Northern California Golf Association you have no excuse. Every member receives one complimentary club fitting with their membership! Our Taylor Made Performance Studio and on staff Master Club Fitters will make sure you have the right equipment in your bag. Email us at to schedule your complimentary fitting.
  3. Practice with a Plan - Lower scores require consistency. If you expect results you must practice with consistency as well. Work with your PGA Professional to develop a training plan to hit your goals. Whether it’s once a week -- or everyday -- commit to it. If you can make your range time a habit, your bogeys will start turning into pars faster than you think.
  4. Self Confidence - Practice and play with full confidence in your abilities. My favorite question to ask a new student is “tell me what you need to work on”. Three hours later they’ll be halfway done with their grip analysis! The next question I ask is “what are you doing right?” This usually leaves the student with a blank stare. We are our own biggest critics; self doubt causes more poor scores than an ugly golf swing.

There you have it. You’ve got 525,600 minutes, 8760 hours, 365 days, 52 weeks, or 12 months to plan your way to a better game in 2017!

Looking to Improve Your Game?  Book an Hour of Performance Analysis, Game Planning & Strategy for $99 Today ur of performance analysis, game planning and strategy! - See more at:

Topics: PGA Professional Advice

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