How Much Do Golf Lessons Cost?

Factors That Impact Pricing, Plus How Much the Famous Instructors Charge

Pro golfer Nicolas Colsaerts (right) gives a golf lesson to racing driver Patrick Pilet
Golf lessons are a great investment for beginning golfers. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Golf lessons are a good investment—a recommended investment—for any beginning golfer or any golfer who wants help improving his or her game. But how much do they cost? How much money do you have to shell out to get better working with a golf instructor?

Golf lessons with a certified instructor—a PGA or an LPGA teaching professional—have a wide range of costs. The low end is usually around $25 to $30 per lesson, and the high end ranges above $100 to $150 and higher per lesson.

And for famous instructors—those who work with tour pros or appear on television or on "best of" lists of golf instructors—it can get much more expensive. (Examples listed below.)

One way you can get a discount on the per-lesson rate is to sign up for a series of lessons, for example, a package of six lessons.

Another way to lower the cost is to look for group lessons, sometimes offered by golf facilities or by local educational institutions (community colleges or continuing education programs, for examples). Group lessons don't provide you with the one-on-one instruction of an individual lesson, but they can certainly help (both your game and your pocketbook).

Private lessons and group lessons both have strengths as instructional methods. Private lessons allow for follow-up visits over a period of time—a building block approach to learning golf. Group lessons are less formal and typically cost a lot less than a block of one-on-one lessons.

Golf schools are another option. Golf schools are sort of a combination of private and group lesson: You're typically learning in a group setting, but the instruction is intensive, with lots of one-on-one time with teachers. A top golf school offered by a "name" instructor is going to be very expensive.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Golf Lessons

There are many factors that influence how much an individual golf lesson costs. Some factors that go into determining what instructors charge include:

  • The experience and notoriety of the instructor. Obviously, David Leadbetter is going to charge more than the friendly club pro working at your local municipal course.
  • The facility where the golf pro works. Not every golf instructor is attached to a golf course, club, resort, or practice facility. But most are. And how expensive (or luxurious) that facility is is a good indicator of how expensive lessons will be from one of that facility's pros. A teaching pro who works at a course where the green fees are $175 is likely to charge more for lessons than one who works at a course with $40 green fees.
  • Duration. Golf lessons are typically offered in durations of 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes. A 60-minute lesson from a less-expensive pro could very well be cheaper than a 30-minute lesson from a more expensive pro. It pays to call around and compare both lesson duration and rates.

There are other factors that can affect price, but you get the picture.

What Lessons from the Famous Golf Instructors Cost

The golf instructors we see on television, the ones who work with the pros—the Butch Harmons and David Leadbetters—are almost all available to give lessons to "regular" golfers, too.

But they charge a lot.

Every other year Golf Digest puts together a ranking of golf instructors called the "50 Best Teachers in America." And they list how much each of those instructors charges for lessons.

In the 2015-2016 rankings, only one instructor on the Top 50 list charged less than $100 per hour; many charged $300 or more per hour. (Again, keep in mind, the pros at your local public courses are very likely to be charging much less than these famous instructors.)

Here are the Top 10 instructors on Golf Digest's 2015-16 ranking and their rates as reported by the magazine:

  1. Butch Harmon, $1,000 an hour
  2. Chuck Cook, $300 an hour
  3. Jim McLean, $750 an hour
  4. David Leadbetter, $3,500 for 3 hours
  5. Mike Bender, $300 an hour
  6. Mike Adams, $325 an hour
  7. Jim Hardy, $5,000 for a full day
  8. Martin Hall, $200 an hour
  1. Todd Anderson, $375 an hour
  2. Hank Haney, $15,000 for a day

And Haney isn't even the most-expensive teacher on the list—Dave Pelz's fee is listed at $20,000 per day.

Just remember: Golf lessons can be very expensive, but they don't have to be. Ask around at the golf courses and practice facilities you use; visit the websites of clubs in your areas; call around and compare prices.