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Setting up to take lessons...need advice.

jonjoyner83

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2006
59
0
I went to Dick's yesterday to look at getting on the LM there. The guy said it would be useless for me unless I wanted to buy some clubs or get L/L fitted. I was wanting to get on there for swing path, speed, trajectory, etc. This was to fix a problem.
Instead he offers to teach me for a really good price. He is a PGA Apprentice, so I am wondering how much water that holds. I read about the PRO program and the PGA Apprentice program and it takes a good bit of experience to qualify.

First lesson would be $20 and I buy the balls (30 mins)
If I like his style and see improvements, it's $35/half $50/hour. I can meet with him as often as I want. Is this worth it or should I shop around? He gave me pointers in the store, but I don't know if this was to reel me in or genuinely help. I had to question why he was working at Dick's if he knows his stuff, then I found out that they actively search for PGA Apprenctices and Pros to work their Pro Shops. Thoughts?
 

FATC1TY

Taylormade Ho' Magnet
May 29, 2008
2,878
0
Worth a shot really..

If his teaching works for you and, and you see results, then by all means..

For that cheap, I'd atleast try it out, and if I hated it, then hell.. Move on.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
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I would have a real problem taking lessons from someone who solicited you to take lessons in those circumstance. That is as unprofessional as it gets. Just my opinion, but I would select your instructor not have him select you. While that is a cheap price for the first lesson, it is not much cheaper than what you can get from a PGA Pro that you know is qualified. $35 and $50 is the going rate at most places up here.

This is not to say that there may not be qualified professional instructors working at Dick's, but with his ethical standards I would not consider him one.

Basically he has told you that unless you intend to spend money on either equipment or his instruction you are wasting his time. I would avoid him like the plague. His next step would be to likely tell you that you have a swing that could put you in the PGA Tour if you took lessons from him 3-4 days a week.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
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BTW, this would draw attention to prior conversations on instruction. I did just locate the instructor that taught my wife and I the game of golf a few nights ago. Sent him and e-mail to thank him for a life experience. While it was not a matter to possibly save money, it was maybe selfish in the sense that somewhere down the line we may want instruction and I am not sure either my wife or I would want it to come from anyone else. He has other instructors working for him, but would probably make an exception out of the same respect we have for his teaching method.

Simply put, find your own instructor and once you find one that suits your game, keep track. Good ones are hard to come bye.
 

FATC1TY

Taylormade Ho' Magnet
May 29, 2008
2,878
0
I think the guy telling you that being on the LM wouldn't be worthwhile unless you were buying or wanting to get fitted, solely because I think Dicks(and this sales guy) have to deal with alot of people just wanting to sling a club around and jerk off in the LM stalls.

It was probably his polite way of saying you couldn't unless you were serious about buying or doing more than "looking".

While it's crappy, I can see where he's coming from. That aside, I don't see why you'd limit yourself. If you didn't think he was a douchebag, and he didn't offend you, consider it. However, like mentioned, around here for $50-150 an hour, you can get a PGA instructor who will work with you.

It's really a matter of finding someone that has a way that works for you, and that you get along with.
 

ClairefromClare

Like my balls?
Jul 23, 2008
2,056
4
I think the guy telling you that being on the LM wouldn't be worthwhile unless you were buying or wanting to get fitted, solely because I think Dicks(and this sales guy) have to deal with alot of people just wanting to sling a club around and jerk off in the LM stalls.

Probably a valid point, but unless all the stalls were filled with serious buyers, you think they'd be willing to let someone use the space for a reasonable fee.
 

FATC1TY

Taylormade Ho' Magnet
May 29, 2008
2,878
0
Most of the Dicks Sporting Goods I've been to, really only had 1 stall.. And these were large stores in a huge city(atlanta). It's free to get in there, but most of the time they are idiots and just standing around.

They guy was probably a jerk, but honestly, who knows? It's rediculous to think that he was denied using the LM, because he could have ripped off some shots and decided he HAD to buy the club and to hell with the car payment! :)
Lost sale.
 

indacup

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2007
1,519
37
Iowa
I have some questions and comments....

I went to Dick's yesterday to look at getting on the LM there. The guy said it would be useless for me unless I wanted to buy some clubs or get L/L fitted. I was wanting to get on there for swing path, speed, trajectory, etc. This was to fix a problem.

After you got that information, how did you plan on "Fixing" the problem?

Only two ways I can think of...lessons or equipment alterations, which he was willing to do, correct?

Would you take your car to a shop for diagnostic evaluation, then take it to another to perform the actual work?

Instead he offers to teach me for a really good price. He is a PGA Apprentice, so I am wondering how much water that holds. I read about the PRO program and the PGA Apprentice program and it takes a good bit of experience to qualify.
This is true....they have to have substantial knowledge and experience to qualify....

First lesson would be $20 and I buy the balls (30 mins)
If I like his style and see improvements, it's $35/half $50/hour. I can meet with him as often as I want. Is this worth it or should I shop around?
That's a very fair price....as a matter offact, when you came in asking to use the L/M for "Diagnostic purposes", you DID expect to pay something didn't you?

In my opinion, $20 + ball charges is fair to use a L/M alone...plus in this case, you're getting a lesson to boot!

He gave me pointers in the store, but I don't know if this was to reel me in or genuinely help. I had to question why he was working at Dick's if he knows his stuff, then I found out that they actively search for PGA Apprenctices and Pros to work their Pro Shops. Thoughts?
While I am not a "Big Fan" of Dicks....they DO make it a practice of hiring PGA affiliate personnel....if you were to get advice/lessons, it seems to me a PGA cert instructor as opposed to a snotty nosed kid without credentials would be desireable.

Last thing.....

Remember, Dicks is NOT a typical golf facility.....they are a RETAIL outlet. In the business to make money off sales and service.

The launch monitors are regulated, and usage is recorded....much like the SST Puring system, everytime they are turned on, they are billed for usage...in the case of Dicks, every time the monitor is turned on, that department is billed and held financially responsible to assure they get R.O.I for the machine.

To me, the guy you talked to was not out of line...he is employed by Dicks to bring in revenue....his prices seem fair and you are under no obligation to buy anything.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
25
Country
United States United States
To me, the guy you talked to was not out of line...he is employed by Dicks to bring in revenue....his prices seem fair and you are under no obligation to buy anything.
Just looking at the big picture, I may be wrong, but my assumption was that since he mentioned "First lesson would be $20 and I buy the balls (30 mins)", this guy was planning to do this at a driving range during his off hours, and not at Dick's but on his own at a range. I seriously question which pocket the money would be going into after the lesson.

Not sure that would change my opinion even if it wasn't the case, but simply compounds the issue I have to a very large degree. To me it seems if that is the case he may be going against the policies of the place that employs him for the sake of his own profit. I have a real hard time believing Dicks would authorize lessons outside of their store.

Edit 1 - In doing what he did, I actually see where he possibly took away a possible sale if anything, for the sake of his own profit by not allowing the use of the Launch Monitor. Again, this is not a private golf shop, and if that is the philosophy of Dicks, I would not shop there but instead go to a professional golf shop. I do alot of purchasing at the place that allows me the use of their Launch Monitor. If they want to charge me for the Launch Monitor, great, I wouldn't feel any obligation to buy from them though, as they are making their money from me on the Launch Monitor. Unless of course I am asking them to interpret the results. I would doubt that Dicks, Golfsmith, GG, etc use this practice and if they said no I would simply go to Golfsmith where they have no problem with this, and in doing so make a ton of money from me.

This would be like saying they want a deposit for a new set of clubs prior to allowing to use the LM. What if I end up not needing clubs? What if in allowing me to use it for free I do? That is the scenario where I believe Dicks would benefit. I have actually had a car salesman tell me in the past he would need a deposit on a car prior to a test drive, you can likely imagine what my response was.

Again, to me though, this was unsolicited advice. The guy never even saw him swing and came to a conclusion he could use his help and further assumed he had no current instructor, or simply didn't care if he did. I would have told him I already had an instructor, and if he still refused usage of the LM, it would have been my last time in the store and I further would have reported him
 

indacup

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2007
1,519
37
Iowa
Just looking at the big picture, I may be wrong, but my assumption was that since he mentioned "First lesson would be $20 and I buy the balls (30 mins)", this guy was planning to do this at a driving range during his off hours, and not at Dick's but on his own at a range. I seriously question which pocket the money would be going into after the lesson...."

VERY good point...one I missed.

If he IS soliciting an offsite meeting/lesson...then it's an indicator of the Pro's integrity.

He is taking money AWAY from Dicks...a complete conflict of interest.

Good catch PA!
 
OP
jonjoyner83

jonjoyner83

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2006
59
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
I have some questions and comments....



After you got that information, how did you plan on "Fixing" the problem?

Only two ways I can think of...lessons or equipment alterations, which he was willing to do, correct?

Would you take your car to a shop for diagnostic evaluation, then take it to another to perform the actual work?

No, I let some grease monkey scan my computer and tell me what's wrong, then I go to AutoZone, Oreilly, Advanced, Rock Auto, etc and fix it myself.

I think my OP was misleading. He wants me to meet him at a different driving range to do lessons, not at Dicks. This would have been outside his job.
 
OP
jonjoyner83

jonjoyner83

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2006
59
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
Just looking at the big picture, I may be wrong, but my assumption was that since he mentioned "First lesson would be $20 and I buy the balls (30 mins)", this guy was planning to do this at a driving range during his off hours, and not at Dick's but on his own at a range. I seriously question which pocket the money would be going into after the lesson.

Not sure that would change my opinion even if it wasn't the case, but simply compounds the issue I have to a very large degree. To me it seems if that is the case he may be going against the policies of the place that employs him for the sake of his own profit. I have a real hard time believing Dicks would authorize lessons outside of their store.

Edit 1 - In doing what he did, I actually see where he possibly took away a possible sale if anything, for the sake of his own profit by not allowing the use of the Launch Monitor. Again, this is not a private golf shop, and if that is the philosophy of Dicks, I would not shop there but instead go to a professional golf shop. I do alot of purchasing at the place that allows me the use of their Launch Monitor. If they want to charge me for the Launch Monitor, great, I wouldn't feel any obligation to buy from them though, as they are making their money from me on the Launch Monitor. Unless of course I am asking them to interpret the results. I would doubt that Dicks, Golfsmith, GG, etc use this practice and if they said no I would simply go to Golfsmith where they have no problem with this, and in doing so make a ton of money from me.

This would be like saying they want a deposit for a new set of clubs prior to allowing to use the LM. What if I end up not needing clubs? What if in allowing me to use it for free I do? That is the scenario where I believe Dicks would benefit. I have actually had a car salesman tell me in the past he would need a deposit on a car prior to a test drive, you can likely imagine what my response was.

Again, to me though, this was unsolicited advice. The guy never even saw him swing and came to a conclusion he could use his help and further assumed he had no current instructor, or simply didn't care if he did. I would have told him I already had an instructor, and if he still refused usage of the LM, it would have been my last time in the store and I further would have reported him

Nah he would have let me on the LM if I really pushed the issue, but he strongly suggested I don't get on there to fix a swing issue. Went like this:

Me: "What do you guys offer in the LM?"

Him: "It's usually for people in the market for clubs, to get fitted."

Me: "I am thinking of getting in there to see my swing and figure out what I am doing wrong."

Him: "If you get in there and swing, all I will get is speed, ball flight, and things like that. Instead of paying $30, go take a lesson. You ever had lessons? It will be the best $30 spent in your life. What is ailing you?"

Me: "I have had lessons before. I feel like it's an over the top issue..."

Him: <demonstrates possible causes> That is an easy thing to fix. I have taught plenty of people with that problem."

Me: "Do you give lessons still?"

Him: "Yes"

Me: "What's the cost?"

Him: "I can do them at which ever range you choose. You pay for the balls, because I don't know how many you want to hit. Then pay me $20 for the first 30 mins. If you like it after this initial ice-breaker, it's $35/half hour and $50/hour."

Btw, I didn't see where Dicks did lessons on the LM. I don't think they can.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,126
25
Country
United States United States
That gives it a little different perspective in knowing the details, and I'm not completely sure he did anything I could really fault him for as it seemed he was simply answering your questions.

Actually, from most of what he said, it seemed pretty honest and to the point. Even more important, you asked him if he taught.

Kind of a tough call. I have always thought the best places to take lessons from are Pro's at the course, but this is not to say you can't find goods ones elsewhere. Just my personal preference.

I would doubt Dicks does lessons, but they seem to be ever changing. If they do that would be a conflict. I would also further agree that for what you told him you were trying to resolve, you would likely have better luck with a lesson than a launch monitor.
 

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