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Becoming a Teaching Pro?


MagnoliaGolfer
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I'm curious if anyone here as pursued becoming a teaching pro.  I'm frustrated with my job and am thinking of a career change.  I've been looking over the PGA's website to see what's what about their programs to become a pro.  Looks like a few levels, some tests, a playing test, a few years of apprenticeship/training.  

 

Anyone out there done this?  What was your experience?  

 

Also, any teaching pros out there?  What is the job like?  

 

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1 hour ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

I'm curious if anyone here as pursued becoming a teaching pro.  I'm frustrated with my job and am thinking of a career change.  I've been looking over the PGA's website to see what's what about their programs to become a pro.  Looks like a few levels, some tests, a playing test, a few years of apprenticeship/training.  

 

Anyone out there done this?  What was your experience?  

 

Also, any teaching pros out there?  What is the job like?  

 

 

I think a lot would depend on your age and your financial situation. It's sort of like starting a business, you need some start up capital to float you while you suffer through the process assuming you make it.

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9 minutes ago, KBong said:

Ya, if you like the low pay and long hours while putting in the time to obtain your Class A certification...go for it.🤣

 

I know some guys who after a successful PAT and entered the "Candidate for Membership" category working towards their Class A...quit the golf industry with 12-18 months....mainly because of low pay and menial work/jobs.

 

Yeah, that's my concern.  Wondering if I could maintain my current job, do the teaching pro prep on the side, and then slowly transition over.  But, as you describe it, that time working toward Class A sounds rough. 

Edited by MagnoliaGolfer
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25 minutes ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

Yeah, that's my concern.  Wondering if I could maintain my current job, do the teaching pro prep on the side, and then slowly transition over.  But, as you describe it, that time working toward Class A sounds rough. 

I don't know about other areas...but in Canada...ya have to put in quite a few hours working in the golf industry while in the C for M category.

 

So assuming you have flexibility in your current job...ya go for it work 40 hrs in your day job you don't like....and for minimum wages......then fold golf shirts & answer the phone for 40 hrs in your golf job per week too...sounds attract to me.🤣

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22 minutes ago, mauiman said:

I would suggest working for golftec and let them teach you how to teach. 

???...why would Golftec hire someone with ZERO instruction skills and maybe minimal golf skills....and train them ......when they can hire a Class A pro and have them running from the start and maybe also bring some of their past students to Golftec.

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7 minutes ago, KBong said:

I don't know about other areas...but in Canada...ya have to put in quite a few hours working in the golf industry while in the C for M category.

 

So assuming you have flexibility in your current job...ya go for it work 40 hrs in your day job you don't like....and for minimum wages......then fold golf shirts & answer the phone for 40 hrs in your golf job per week too...sounds attract to me.🤣

A friend of mine runs a PGM program and when I asked him about the program he said, “We teach kids how to merchandise, you know, fold shirts and stuff.”  Of course there’s more to it, but your comment made me chuckle.

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First off, you can’t tow the cliche party line and get anywhere.  The days of being able to say have a good grip, setup square, fire the hips, drop it in the slot, hold the lag and awing to right field, are over.

 

You have to learn what actually happens in a good swing and that involves a certain kind of education.

 

The PGA route is long and hard and payoff is a long ways away.  The same for Golftech.

 

 

The best way to achieve short term success is learn as much as you can and then get under the umbrella of an established brand.

 

Gankas

Dalquist

Cowx

Manzella/Jacobs

 

I was lucky, I learned as much as I could on my own and from smart people who actually knew what happened and was able to spout my golfing resume…and am still learning.

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, KBong said:

???...why would Golftec hire someone with ZERO instruction skills and maybe minimal golf skills....and train them ......when they can hire a Class A pro and have them running from the start and maybe also bring some of their past students to Golftec.

They will hire non-PGA coaches with no teaching experience. They’d like to have you work towards your PGA though. Of course you don’t have to be PGA to teach and anyone can call themselves a golf professional. 

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1 hour ago, mauiman said:

I’ll add that unless things have changed, you can’t start the book work unless you’re employed full time in the golf industry. You can definitely take a PAT, but can’t register for level 1. Good idea to get the PAT out of the way.

 

That's too bad.  Doesn't seem very conducive for people wanting to change careers.  It'd be nice if they had a way to work on the certification while still keeping your day job. 

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23 minutes ago, MonteScheinblum said:

First off, you can’t tow the cliche party line and get anywhere.  The days of being able to say have a good grip, setup square, fire the hips, drop it in the slot, hold the lag and awing to right field, are over.

 

You have to learn what actually happens in a good swing and that involves a certain kind of education.

 

The PGA route is long and hard and payoff is a long ways away.  The same for Golftech.

 

 

The best way to achieve short term success is learn as much as you can and then get under the umbrella of an established brand.

 

Gankas

Dalquist

Cowx

Manzella/Jacobs

 

I was lucky, I learned as much as I could on my own and from smart people who actually knew what happened and was able to spout my golfing resume…and am still learning.

 

 

 

 

 

What do you mean by the days of teaching the fundamentals are over?  

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4 hours ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

I'm curious if anyone here as pursued becoming a teaching pro.  I'm frustrated with my job and am thinking of a career change.  I've been looking over the PGA's website to see what's what about their programs to become a pro.  Looks like a few levels, some tests, a playing test, a few years of apprenticeship/training.  

 

Anyone out there done this?  What was your experience?  

 

Also, any teaching pros out there?  What is the job like?  

 

If you have golf knowledge, and at least scratch level then why not start at home? Work on the weekend and at night and keep your full time job. Build a golf simulator in your garage for $5k, put your ads on nextdoor.com, do some mailing in your neighborhood, and start from there. You may charge less in the beginning, $40 an hour and then increase the rate as you have more confident and customers.

 

This is what I would do if I ever get to scratch level but it will never happen. I already have a golf simulator at home so that is half done already, LOL.

Edited by khalespace
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I like being a teaching pro very much. You can set your own hours, work as much or little as you’d like and people are rarely mad at the teaching pro.

 

You don’t need to be a PGA Member to be respected (Jimmy Ballard and Butch aren’t members) but I would spend as much time as possible with all the top guys to see the different ways of teaching. If possible I’d try and work for one of them (might have to start at the bottom) and the you could make some $$$ while learning.

 

Golftec has an upside and a downside. Upside you will have a salary and some benefits and a weekend off. The downside is you are “encouraged” to teach Stack and Tilt and there is little room allowed you to roam from that.

 

Being a teaching pro is much like being a commissioned sales professional. If you can handle that it’s a great life.

 

 

Edited by ggpro
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2 hours ago, mauiman said:

Of course you don’t have to be PGA to teach and anyone can call themselves a golf professional. 

Yes, the golf instruction industry isn't regulated...so yes...one can become an instructor without a Class A certification.

 

Can't speak for other areas...but here.

Most courses with practice facilities/ranges won't entertain instructors who aren't affiliated with their course w/o being a Class A pro or someone in the latter stages of their C for M apprenticeship.

 

Yes, some guys are able lease/rent space from the course.

 

Some smaller indoor "mom & pop" facilities do have more instructors that may not have a Class A.

 

It's just an easier path to become an instructor if ya have a Class A certification. 

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2 hours ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

That's too bad.  Doesn't seem very conducive for people wanting to change careers.  It'd be nice if they had a way to work on the certification while still keeping your day job. 

It's never easy to switch any career w/o any sacrifice in salary/money and career timelines. 

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i'm not a pro but have thought about this a lot

 

honestly i think you would get more out of doing george gankas golf online program than the pga certification. and then find people to shadow. and then yeah freelance yourself.

 

at least my angle would be. you don't want to quit your job just to go and work for somebody else again. be your own boss

 

gg's program is a HUGE head start covering what monte pointed out - outlining all the possible combinations of grips, backswings, ranges of motion, and impact conditions for different speeds and shot-shapes and how to amalgamate it all and apply it as situations demand

i asked one of the top pros in the country this question recently and they did say honestly in their opinion it was a 10+ year process before you could become actually really good at it. most of that coming from day-in day-out on the mat and watching/learning/listening to other instructors and how they assess the wide variety of students they encounter on a daily basis and absorbing it over time

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7 hours ago, scarf_face said:

i'm not a pro but have thought about this a lot

 

honestly i think you would get more out of doing george gankas golf online program than the pga certification. and then find people to shadow. and then yeah freelance yourself.

 

at least my angle would be. you don't want to quit your job just to go and work for somebody else again. be your own boss

 

gg's program is a HUGE head start covering what monte pointed out - outlining all the possible combinations of grips, backswings, ranges of motion, and impact conditions for different speeds and shot-shapes and how to amalgamate it all and apply it as situations demand

i asked one of the top pros in the country this question recently and they did say honestly in their opinion it was a 10+ year process before you could become actually really good at it. most of that coming from day-in day-out on the mat and watching/learning/listening to other instructors and how they assess the wide variety of students they encounter on a daily basis and absorbing it over time

 

 

Yeah, ten years––that seems to be about par for the course.  I'm a professor, and it took 11 years of schooling before I could land my position.  Takes time to learn a profession.  Which is why switching is so hard.  Takes a lot of time to learn a profession well. 

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Do what a lot of guys have done.  Start making lessons on YouTube, Instagram, tik tok, Twitter etc.  You need zero certifications or even real knowledge.  I'm not saying that in a negative sense.  If you have a good understanding and an ability to convey that knowledge, you will build a following.  If you're serious about getting good at teaching you will get better and better the more experience you get.  The issue I see is that data is king.  Trackman and GC Quad numbers are so well understood and demanded by golfers, you pretty much need to teach with them.  If you can't teach from the data, you won't be much more than that guy on the range that thinks he can fix everyone on the range that will just listen to him describe the perfect grip.

 

It's easy to be a golf teacher.   It's really hard to be a truly professional golf teacher.

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You will get really good at folding shirts. 
 

If you want to teach golf, the worst way is going through the PGA program. They don’t teach golf instruction. They teach you how to run a golf course. 
 

Most of the best teaching pros have no affiliation with the PGA. 

Edited by BrianMcG
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41 minutes ago, otto6457 said:

Do what a lot of guys have done.  Start making lessons on YouTube, Instagram, tik tok, Twitter etc.  You need zero certifications or even real knowledge.  I'm not saying that in a negative sense.  If you have a good understanding and an ability to convey that knowledge, you will build a following.  If you're serious about getting good at teaching you will get better and better the more experience you get.  The issue I see is that data is king.  Trackman and GC Quad numbers are so well understood and demanded by golfers, you pretty much need to teach with them.  If you can't teach from the data, you won't be much more than that guy on the range that thinks he can fix everyone on the range that will just listen to him describe the perfect grip.

 

It's easy to be a golf teacher.   It's really hard to be a truly professional golf teacher.

 

I guess I'm just a romantic, but I love the idea of teaching without data.  I saw a video on YouTube a while ago where a guy got fit by Miura without using any tech––just looking at the ball flight, hearing the sound, watching the swing, etc.  There's a certain beauty in that.  And it takes decades to learn the swing in that deep sense.  And, yes, I realize a fitting and teaching are different, but the ability to see a swing and understand what's happening there without having to rely on tech––that's so beautiful.  

 

And, the more I think about it, the sport is moving away from that.  People want numbers, they want data.  I'm a relic.  

 

I guess that's why I find Golftec repulsive.  Teaching well is more than just looking at a screen and spouting off numbers.  

 

And, just to clarify, this isn't an attack on what you said at all.  I realize the above reads as harsh.  More of a reaction against tech (a hangup of mine) rather than a response to you in particular. I agree with what you say here: it's really hard to be a truly professional golf teacher.  

Edited by MagnoliaGolfer
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