Leaving some lessons outstanding and on the books; so from time to time we will contact our clients to make sure that they are okay and try and book them in.

This one particular client, who had one lesson owed since 2018, actually asked to be taken off the mailshot, meaning that he didn’t want any more contact with the Academy. This left us wondering what we had done to leave one of our customers dissatisfied enough not to want to have the final lesson that he had paid for.

Naturally we asked, which is when the story got even more interesting or worrying from our side. The reply came back saying, “I took Neil’s advice and gave up the game so I won’t be needing that final lesson.” Fiona, who was doing the chasing, then asked what on earth I had said to this player that led him to actually quit the game. After reading the email further, it became clear that the dissatisfaction felt by the player was at the game not at the coaching, with him saying I had pointed out that the game is just a game, and if he wasn’t taking any joy out of playing it then perhaps there were a few other things he could be doing with his time - he had just turned 70 years old.

To be truthful I’m not entirely sure I feel 100% great about this situation, after all, my job is to generate passion and enthusiasm for the game through the improvements that the players see in their swing and strike of the ball. I feel my pure existence is to get more people into the game so that the game is going to be left in a stronger position when I am finished coaching. I love the game that much.

On the other hand, I did suggest that he should, “seriously consider giving it up” as a ploy to make him realise how much there is to love about the game. He took my advice seriously and hasn’t played the game for two years now, saying that his ageing body with plenty of painful parts seems to be telling him that he’s better off enjoying lunches out rather than playing the game.

As with anything, there is a time to start and a time to finish and it looks like this particular player realised that the upside of golf was being undermined by his body and his lack of enjoyment and he took that opportunity to bow out gracefully from the game. Probably never to return.

The email was very cordial, judging by the tone he’s not regretting the decision and wishes us the best.

It’s the first time I’ve ever had a player leave the game during a series of lessons. But it is a game, something that should be enjoyed and played, it’s only a game after all.

I’m reminded of a great quote from Amy Alcott who once said, “keep your sense of humour, there’s enough stress in the rest of your life, do not to let bad shots ruin a game you’re supposed to enjoy.”

Easily said, yet extremely difficult to do. We hope you’re enjoying your return to golf, and if there’s somebody out there who is looking to start again, I’m looking forward to getting you on the road if you’d like to come to the Academy.
We hope to hear from you soon – our number is 912 263 555 and we are located at the Golf Integrated Academy at Vila Sol.