In golf, nobody continues to improve their game without the help of a coach or instructor. Even the best players in the world have a swing coach.
I dropped from a 10 to a 7 handicap in 4 months of taking lessons at Golftec. I was skeptical at first thinking that lessons at a shopping center, not a driving range, would actually improve my game but I’m here to say – Golftec lessons are worth it.
In this Golftec lesson review I’m going to outline just what a lesson is like so you can decide if you want to give it a try as well.
Why I Went to Golftec for Lessons
After taking about a 12 year break from golf I was playing with about 20 year old irons, a set of TaylorMade TP Racs. I wanted to get fit for new irons and figured a place like Golftec would be the best option to try a bunch of clubs but also get plenty of shot data from each iron.
I was right. I ended up with a set of Callaway Apex Pros that were a big improvement to my game right away.
A few months later I decided that I had shaken off the rust from my swing but it was time to find an instructor that could help me improve enough to reach my goal. At the time I was a 10 handicap and set a goal to reach a 5 handicap level.
I have taken traditional golf lessons from different PGA professionals back in my junior golf days and a few lessons here and there since I started playing again.
In a traditional golf lesson, I generally hit balls on the range with the pro watching. He would then pick one or two things to tweak in my swing and try to get me to implement the tweaks.
Pretty normal stuff and nothing wrong with that. However, I was very interested in getting more immediate video feedback. The old feel vs. real dilemma – what you feel you are doing in the golf swing is not necessarily what you are actually doing.
After my iron fitting experience, I knew what it was like in a Golftec hitting bay. There’s cameras set up ready to replay your swings at the click of a button. I thought this might really accelerate my learning.
So to sum up:
- I had a great experience getting fitted at Golftec previously.
- I was looking to find a coach that could get me on plan to drop 5 strokes from my handicap.
- I thought I might learn faster in an indoor, camera/technology heavy environment.
What is a Golftec Lesson Like?
Although Golftec has over 200 locations worldwide and I’ve only been to my local location, I would venture to guess the experience is almost identical everywhere. Although it isn’t a franchise, it feels like a very structured, systematic experience which to me is a good thing for their business.
When you enter there’s a small waiting area and front desk. Behind the desk is a putting green outlined by a ton of putters used in their putter fittings. There are 3-4 hitting bays, each a separate room.
The hitting bays are pretty much the same.
A fiberbuilt hitting mat which is the best hitting mat available for injury prevention (I screwed up my elbow using something else at home and replaced it with my own fiberbuilt mat).
Foresight launch monitors. At my location the lesson rooms have Foresight GC2’s but the fitting room has a GCQuad.
Slow motion cameras setup for down the line and face-on angles. They’ve got extra lighting built into the room to get the best picture possible.
A whiteboard for teaching. My coach likes to draw.
Everything is top notch.
The coach is obviously extremely important to the experience and your success. Mine is a PGA professional named Alex who is young, positive, and very confident in what he teaches. He actually fitted me for my irons so when I came back for lessons I requested him.
While my coach is great I could see how this (the human factor) is the one variable that could make or break your Golftec experience. If you don’t hit it off with the first instructor you try I would recommend trying a lesson with a different coach at the center to see if it’s a better fit.
Lessons are typically 30 minutes. We’ll talk more about that later when we discuss their packages.
I generally come in and start warming up for a few minutes. My coach will either already have a plan for what he wants to work on based on our history or he will observe a few shots and then get started.
Whatever it is he will pull up one of my swings on video and discuss the flaw or what I need to work on changing.
Using their Optimotion technology, he can instantly measure parts of my body and compare to PGA Tour players. These are things like shoulder turn, shoulder tilt, hip turn, and knee bend.
He’ll split the screen and put a tour player next to me to compare positions. All of this is pretty much instantaneous and what really separate Golftec from traditional lessons.
- They are able to instantly measure all of these body positions without the student having to wear any kind of device.
- They have measured the best players and developed Good, Ok, and Bad ranges for these measurements. This lets me know it’s not just my coach’s own opinion I should be tilting my shoulders more, it’s based on data.
Once we watch some video replays and discuss we just keep working on that adjustment for the remainder of the time.
Every lesson goes pretty much exactly like this.
Golftec Clubhouse App
Usually within a few hours after our lesson ends it is uploaded into the Golftec Clubhouse app. The app will store all of your previous lessons so that you can go back and review when needed.
Each lesson in the app has
- clips of a before and after swing
- Video analysis – this is just a few 1-2 minute clips where your coach is going over the change he wants to make and usually comparing to a Tour player. During the lesson he will switch on a microphone in the room to record while he explains the main point.
- Drills – 1-2 minute videos from Golftec showing a drill to work on related to our lesson
- Notes – written notes from my coach
The app has other features like the ability to book and cancel fittings, lessons, practice time etc. but the main use for me is storing a digital copy of every single lesson. In 2022 this is what I would expect from golf lessons.
Short Game & Playing Lessons
What about outdoor lessons? Golf isn’t played inside with a launch monitor.
Although I didn’t know it before I signed up, Golftec does have options for outdoor short game & playing lessons at a local golf course. My coach has one day per week that he teaches at the golf course and not at the Golftec location. Basically they have to make a deal with a local golf course to let them bring students and teach there. It’s supposed to bring exposure and prospective new members to the course but they don’t all see it that way. Unfortunately, the course my Golftec teaches at is about a 45 minute drive from my local Golftec location.
After a bunch of lessons we had our first playing lesson. My coach wanted me there an hour early to go through a full warmup. The lesson was 9 holes and for the most part we didn’t talk about the golf swing much. He checked my alignment and talked through club and shot decisions with me. When I hit a bad shot from a sidehill lie we made some adjustments and tried again.
Overall, it was very beneficial. He even recorded a few swings from an iPad and uploaded the playing lesson into the Clubhouse app as well.
In addition to playing lessons they will also do short game lessons at the course. We have worked on some chipping and pitch shots indoors but there’s just no substitute for rough and bunkers.
How much do Golftec Lessons Cost?
Golftec lesson pricing is not very straightforward. They sell bundles called “Game Plans” or “Lesson Packs” which include lesson credits.
Game Plans include Practice Time, Lesson Credits, and Club Fittings while Lesson Packs are only lesson credits.
The larger Lesson Pack you purchase the lower the price per lesson credit. At the time of writing this article that could range anywhere from $70 – $100 per ½ hour lesson.
Generally they start with a Swing Evaluation which is basically a 1 hour initial lesson. If you purchase one of the bundles they don’t charge you for the swing evaluation.
Benefits of Taking Lessons at Golftec
- Excellent studio setting with video feedback
- Optimotion technology allows them to measure body movement that can’t be measured anywhere else
- Lessons are based around actual data from top golfers
- No rain days
- Club fitting from your own coach if you need it
Drawbacks of Taking Lessons at Golftec
- Although it’s available, limited outdoor time
- Pricing is on the higher side compared to a traditional ½ hour lesson.
- Have to purchase a large lesson pack upfront to lower your cost per lesson
I couldn’t be happier with my experience at Golftec. For me it was a perfect solution and I feel like I am improving faster because of their technology. If you are looking to invest in your game I would recommend trying it out.