An Instructor is anyone who is able to educate a concept and theory so it can be understood by their students. Instructors are great to learn from but if you have been playing golf (or any other sport) for a long time, many of our frustrating moments come because we DO understand but don't have the capability to apply the concepts.
A Coach is someone who is able to fill in the gap from where you are today to where you eventually want to be. Coaches take you on a journey that has ups and downs and teaches you along the way, so you can overcome all challenges and obstacles as they come up in the long-term journey ahead of you.
A Mentor is someone who has already achieved the success you are striving for either within themselves or with other students. Mentors give you the short-cuts on the common mistakes that will arise so you can avoid the common pitfalls and excel your speed to achieving your goal and dreams. Mentor's don't have to be world class performers, they just have to be 1 step ahead of the student and tremendous success can be found. We find many of the world's best coaches to also be great mentors but we also find some of the greatest mentors coming out of the peer groups that you design or join in your community.
When we observe many world-class coaches of PGA and LPGA Tour players, we notice that it's not their technical skill set, but it's their rare ability to care about the players so much that their relationship goes far beyond a golf instructor or coach. It's the constant communication between the player, coach/mentor, and team that allows the player to see what has been measured, so they continue on the path that has been designed for them to reach their outcomes. Each of the world's best performers have also had instrumental peer mentors at each stage of their career, whether it's been as a junior golfer, college golfer, or on the professional tours.
When we examine the best golfers, athletes, and people in the world, there is a minimal amount of individuals who have achieved their outcome by extreme success and fulfillment alone, it took them longer than the rest, and once they got there, they surrounded themselves with the 3-principles we mentioned. If we know what the end goal is, why not start here, speed up your process and enjoy every part of it from the beginning?