I’m still not sure if golf lessons are going to increase the rate at which I make birdies, but I do know they’ve increased my eagerness to play. I haven’t been this excited to tee it up since I played on high school teams a decade ago. I’m making swing changes and now I want to see how they translate to the course.

The biggest thing I’ve achieved through three lessons is that I’ve developed a picture and feel for what my golf swing should be. For years now I’ve just been changing from one wrong golf swing technique to the next, never really knowing what I was chasing. I gripped the club with my hands too much. I stood way to low to the ball. My hands were driving the swing and not my body. I never knew I was doing so many things wrong and now all of these bad habits are beginning to get fixed. I’m not hitting every shot pure at the driving range, but when I hit it wrong…I’m beginning to understand why.

According to my instructor, this understanding is the first step. If you don’t know what it feels like to hit a great golf shot then how can you repeat it time and time again? How can you try to fix it when things start going wrong on the golf course?

I’m not delirious. I don’t expect to stroll out on the course in a few weeks and card a 74. I’ve never broken 80 and that will probably still be true a month or two from now. But, I do expect to hit better golf shots and see improvement. I want to see how swing changes at the driving range help me when I’m 180 yards away from a guarded pin with a breeze in the face. I want to make a few birdies in 2011.

Being a great golfer is a lifelong pursuit that never really ends. Even the greatest to play the game still have tournaments that slipped away and days when their swing took a vacation. But, so many recreational golfers never get started on the path. They may play from time to time, but they don’t know what they’re trying to do. They’re destined to always play at the same level.

I didn’t want that to be my golfing destiny. And that’s why I’m taking the lessons. Great golf is something millions of us chase each year. My three lessons haven’t transformed me into a Tour-ready player, but they’ve finally given me a chance to prove I’m up for the chase.