I will never forget what Fred Wood, the longtime head pro at Oceanside Golf Course, told me more than 20 years ago when I took my first golf lesson.

I was having troubling controlling my 7-iron and was expressing my frustration with every bad swing. Finally, Wood looked me in the eye and deadpanned: “Don’t get so upset, Marc. You’re not that good anyway.”

So prolific.

We both laughed so hard all my bad swing thoughts immediately left me. And soon, with a few tweaks here and there, my bad swing did too.

That’s what good golf teachers do. They have the ability to cut through the clutter to simplify the game and help us get out of our own way. And they remind us that golf is supposed to be fun.

If you carry a 15 handicap, you’re not going to become a scratch golfer overnight. You may never get there in fact. That’s the reality and that’s OK.

But if you listen, allow an instructor to assess your swing and your mechanics, and implement what you’ve learned, you undoubtedly will improve.

JC Golf courses have more than 20 PGA and LPGA certified instructors who can help golfers of all skill levels.

The JC Golf School at Encinitas Ranch provides personalized lessons in classes consisting of no more than four students per instructor. It also includes video instruction and club fitting. There are half-day and multi-day schools.

For beginners, there is the Intro2Golf program available at Encinitas Ranch, Welk Resorts, Twin Oaks, Temecula Creek Inn and Oaks North. There is no dress code, no experience necessary and the program provides all the equipment.

Golf is a game no one can ever master, but in our pursuit to improve, good instructors remind us to set realistic goals and enjoy the journey. Fred did that for me and I forever will be grateful.

Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.