Time is right to learn from the pros | TheUnion.com

Time is right to learn from the pros

John Renslow
Get into Golf

You get what you pay for, right? How much is free advice worth? Well, in the month of May, it could be very valuable for your golf swing.

Annually, Play Golf America, the Golf Channel, Golf Digest magazine and the golf professionals of the PGA & LPGA promote the game through "Welcome to Golf Month." The program invites golfers across the country to improve their game by meeting a local golf professional for an introductory golf lesson free of charge.

Since the PGA of America and Golf Digest launched this nationwide effort in 1998, more than a million introductory lessons have been given. Last year, the program shattered its own eight-year growth record by a 32 percent margin. Almost 6,900 PGA Professionals from 5,572 facilities nationwide gave an estimated 122,160 free lessons to amateurs across the country.

Even if you're a little skittish about someone watching your golf swing, there is no need to be nervous or apprehensive. Golf professionals are ready to help, and this is a great opportunity for everyone, specifically for those who are new to the game or simply too "frugal" for an investment in lessons.

No matter what age or ability, it is always good to have a professional take a look under the hood. It won't take long. Each session is a 10-minute lesson. The instructor will ask you a few questions, watch you make a few swings, diagnose your golf swing's ailment (assuming there is only one) and develop a path for a cure.

For those of you who have been playing for a while, let me ask you a question. If you knew someone who was just starting the game and wanted to learn the right way, would you recommend they take golf lessons?

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One more question. Who takes more golf lessons than anyone? The guys and girls of the professional tours. Tiger, Phil, Natalie, Paula, they all have an instructor and are under a watchful eye.

So if the beginners need help and tour players need help, it's possible that you might need some help. And … there is no time like the present to get going. The price is right, and everyone's doing it. The weather is perfect, and chances are that our swing is not.

The best way to find an instructor is to contact your local golf course or go online to http://playgolfamerica.com.

Here's some more good news. Every golfer who takes a free lesson and sends in a free lesson card will be entered to win a grand prize sweepstakes package.

The amateur Grand Prize winner, picked at random, will win a four-day trip to the PGA Village that includes a three-and-a-half-day PGA Golf School in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The Grand Prize for the PGA professional who gives the most lessons is an appearance on The Golf Channel's "Academy Live." Both the amateur and PGA professional will receive a custom-fit set of Nike golf clubs, footwear and apparel.

One hundred PGA First Swing Golfers Guide booklets and a dozen Nike Ignite golf balls or Leadbetter's Quick Tips will also be awarded, chosen at random.

You have couple of weeks left. So give your pro a call, enjoy the time with your instructor and have fun improving your game … for free. (Lunch is not included.)

John Renslow is general manager and director of golf at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at jrenslow@pga.com.

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