How Much Should You Pay for Golf Lessons? A Complete Guide

With a young family in tow, I am now not playing golf nearly as much as I have done in the past and would like to.

The result of his has been that over the past couple of seasons I have found my game slipping and some bad habits creep in when I have managed to make it to the golf course.

The old ‘draw’ has now turned into a more than occasional ‘snap’ hook and having played to a single figure handicap for a number of years I have found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with my game.

The result has been I have started to think about getting a few golf lessons to give me some specific things to work on and stop these bad habits in their tracks.

But having not taken any for a while I wanted to find out what a good price for golf lessons was these days so I did some research to find out what options were available.

So how much should you pay for golf lessons? The typical cost of a private, group and playing golf lesson from a PGA qualified instructor in the UK and USA is:

Group lesson (60 minutes)£5 – £12$20 -$25
Private lesson (60 minutes)£50 – £60$60 – $125
Playing lesson (120 minutes)£90 – £140$120 – $250

Many golfers will simply select a golf lesson based on the cost which is entirely understandable.

Your money is hard-earned and if you take a number of lessons the amount you spend can add up.

But there are a number of factors you should consider to ensure you choose the best lesson for you to take advantage of the lesson deals which are typically available.

There may also be some hidden costs you need to watch out for sometimes too!

The 3 Key Factors Affecting Golf Lesson Cost

  1. The type of lesson – Golf lessons can take a number of forms. The main lesson types are group lessons, private (i.e. one-on-one) lessons and playing lessons. While group and private lessons will typically take place on the driving range or the practice fairway at a golf course a playing lesson is where the instructor will play some holes with you on the course and assess your game as you play. Group lessons, which can include as many as 12-15 people, are almost always the cheapest of the lesson types and are typically aimed at beginners who are looking to learn the basics of the game. In the UK the cost of a group lesson can range from around £5-12 while in the USA the cost will typically be between $20-25. As players improve they normally will opt for private lessons as they seek to tackle specific faults with their game. Playing lessons are typically the most expensive options and can be very useful if seeking instruction on how to approach specific holes on a golf course.
  2. The instructor’s experience and status – Much like all professional services as an instructor gains more experience they will start to charge more for their time. Golf is no exception and so you can often find this factor is bigger determinant of the variety of golf lesson costs you may find when looking for a teacher. The kitemark of a golf instructor is the ‘Professional Golf Association’ in their respective country and once qualified instructors will be able to label themselves a ‘PGA qualified teaching professional’. As professionals become more experienced they can become senior teaching professionals and eventually Master professionals and with that experience, the cost of the lessons they give will likely increase. Professional golfers themselves also take lessons from instructors sometimes and for some of the superstars of the coaching game, such as Butch Harmon and David Leadbetter, a one hour lesson could set you back the small matter of $1,500!
  3. The length of the lesson – 30 or 60-minute lessons are the standards when it comes to the length of a golf lesson and there will clearly be a cost difference based on how long the lessons last. Some professionals will occasionally offer shorter lessons of 15-20 minutes but these are more unusual as it gives the instructor little time to assess your swing and game. Playing lessons will frequently last longer, up to 2 hours or so, and so the cost will rise again. And even more expensive still you can often find ‘coaching holidays’ where you pay for a 4-5 day trip, often to a sunny location, for a series of individual and playing lessons over the course of the week. One example we found in the Algarve in Portugal, for example, cost £460 and included 5 nights bed and breakfast accommodation, 16 hours of instruction and 3 rounds of golf.

While these 3 factors are the main elements affecting the cost of golf lessons it’s also important to bear in mind the pros and cons of each before you choose which you want to spend your money on.

While being the cheapest lesson type, group lessons are often run over a number of weeks and at set times.

They can also require a minimum number of players before they will go ahead so if flexibility is most important to you, a private lesson may suit you better as you will be able to fit it more easily into your schedule.

Find the Best Teacher for You to Help Keep Golf Lesson Costs Down

Cost is clearly the main factor for a lot of golfers before they decide to take a golf lesson or a series of them.

But the key question they should be asking themselves first is what teacher will be the best for them rather than how much they cost.

If you like, or want to take golf lessons to help improve your game, finding the best teacher for you can potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.

Put simply 1 lesson from an ideally suited teacher can be much more valuable than 3 from someone you just don’t click with or even don’t like.

And golf lessons from a poor instructor can make your game worse.

Just because one instructor is more expensive than another doesn’t mean they will automatically be better able to help you improve your swing.

In the same way that you most likely enjoyed some of your old school teacher’s classes more than others the same will be the case with golf lessons so it is worth doing some research to find out which teacher you feel will best to help you.

Is there a particular teaching style you prefer? Do you like to use technology to improve your game so want a teacher that does video analysis?

Ask around in your local area about the teachers or search online for reviews.

You may find some instructors will have posted some tips on YouTube also so have a search there too to see if they do and you like the style of their approach.

Some instructors will even offer a free/ low price short introductory lesson to try it out so take advantage of those where you can as part of your search for the best teacher for you.

And once you’ve found them then that is time to talk about cost.

And the good news there is there will usually be deals on offer from the vast majority of instructors for you to take advantage of.

The vast majority of instructors will offer discounts if you buy a package of lessons which can be as few as 3 lessons.

Remember no golf instructor wants to not help the golfer they are instructing improve so work with them to get the best deal for both you and them.

It will help you get the most out of any golf lessons you take and maximise the value you get of any money you spend on them.

Hidden Golf Lesson Costs to Look Out For

It’s probably a bit unfair to call these ‘hidden’ costs, as they will usually be clearly stated, but there are undoubtedly some additional costs which are sometimes not part of the advertised cost of some golf lessons.

If you are taking golf lessons at a driving range or a golfing centre for example it is often the case that the price of the range balls that you use during the lesson will not be included in the cost of the lesson itself.

This can add between £4-8 or $5-10 to the cost of each lesson so it’s worth keeping an eye out for.

Alongside the advance in golf technology in terms of clubs and golf balls there have been comparable advances in relation to the technology available to instructors.

The most common of these is video analysis and it is checking whether your instructor will charge an additional fee to video your swing.

Other instructors may have even more sophisticated technology available to them, such as Trackman, which will measure all sorts of metrics in relation to your swing – launch angle, clubhead speed, ball flight etc.

The use of such tools is again likely to be extra if you want to use it as part of your lesson so again check what is included before you start off.

One final thing to look out for, if you decide to take some group lessons, is whether they will expire after a specific period.

Group lessons can often be bought in blocks of 4 or 5 and it will frequently be stated that all the lessons must be taken within a set time period such as 6 months.

So before you commit to a series of lessons its worth checking if they will expire at any point and that you will have the time to fit them in before the deadline.

Final Thought

Taking golf lessons is a personal preference and although it is tried and tested way many golfers use to help improve their game they are not compulsory.

There are many other ways to improve your golf without taking lessons.

But if you do decide you want to spend some money on golf lessons remember it’s not all about the teacher.

How you approach the lessons are key to making sure you get the most of your investment and they improve your game.

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