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Becoming a Teaching Pro?


MagnoliaGolfer
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1 hour ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

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.  

 

Honestly, it's a waste of everyone's time if you're not using that technology, even for your own understanding. The tech is so good now you'll be severely at a disadvantage if you don't use it. Personally, I won't go to an instructor that doesn't at least have a launch monitor...that doesn't mean I expect them to just spout off numbers the entire lesson to me, but I'd rather they know what's going on versus guessing.

 

The real trick of teaching is then how you communicate it to the student.

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1 minute ago, gators78 said:

 

Honestly, it's a waste of everyone's time if you're not using that technology, even for your own understanding. The tech is so good now you'll be severely at a disadvantage if you don't use it. Personally, I won't go to an instructor that doesn't at least have a launch monitor...that doesn't mean I expect them to just spout off numbers the entire lesson to me, but I'd rather they know what's going on versus guessing.

 

The real trick of teaching is then how you communicate it to the student.

 

Yeah, I know.  But when so much of my life is lived in front of a screen, I just wish there were some arenas where I could get away from it.  I think that's one appeal of teaching golf––you get to interact with real people, doing real things, holding real objects.  

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20 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?  

 

 

Spouting random tips and arguing on golfwrx doesn't pay very well, but it is popular.  Good luck.

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7 minutes ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

Yeah, I know.  But when so much of my life is lived in front of a screen, I just wish there were some arenas where I could get away from it.  I think that's one appeal of teaching golf––you get to interact with real people, doing real things, holding real objects.  

 

I thought you said you were a professor? Do you not interact with your students?

 

Edit: I guess you could teach at an online school. Didn't think about that until after my post...

Edited by Abh159
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33 minutes ago, Abh159 said:

 

I thought you said you were a professor? Do you not interact with your students?

 

Edit: I guess you could teach at an online school. Didn't think about that until after my post...

 

Yes, I do get to interact with students, but the pandemic has really changed higher ed.  And, yes, higher ed is broken in many ways and there are a lot of things that need to be changed––but there is much less in-person interactions now.  All meetings are online.  Faculty Senate is online.  Advising students is online.  Meeting in the classroom with students is about the only in-person contact I get.  Otherwise, everything is on the screen.  My apple laptop gives me a report of how much time I spend on the screen each day . . . it isn't pretty. 

 

Teaching pro isn't the only job I'm considering.   I guess I want something where I get to work with my hands and with people in-person. 

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22 hours 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 started playing at my current home club about 10 years ago. At the time, the Director of Instruction was a recently retired high school coach and athletic director. About five years before retirement, he started working on his PGA certification. He got certified right about the time he retired, and moved directly into the head instructor position.

 

He's largely retired from golf now, working with some legacy golf student. He had about two dozen golf students, many female, who went on to play college golf. A couple of them are now golf pros themselves.

 

I will say up front the former AD's saga is an ideal transition story. In your case, it would depend in part on what connections you could make with the golf industry.

 

Another thing: What is the market for golf instructors in the area where you live? In my area, this was as turbulent year. Some teaching pros have just flat retired, or move to another state. One was my insightful pro from about three years at Golf Galaxy. He did a rough fitting with me for Callaway irons in January, and then disappeared in February. He retired to Idaho! I searched for someone to give me a tune-up lesson, and few were available. Those who stayed in were coaching high school or college golfers, meaning they couldn't take on civilians (?).

 

If you're serious about helping golfers get better, good luck! If you are mainly looking for quick $$, please stay away.

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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2021, post-MAX changeover)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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5 hours ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

Yes, I do get to interact with students, but the pandemic has really changed higher ed.  And, yes, higher ed is broken in many ways and there are a lot of things that need to be changed––but there is much less in-person interactions now.  All meetings are online.  Faculty Senate is online.  Advising students is online.  Meeting in the classroom with students is about the only in-person contact I get.  Otherwise, everything is on the screen.  My apple laptop gives me a report of how much time I spend on the screen each day . . . it isn't pretty. 

 

Teaching pro isn't the only job I'm considering.   I guess I want something where I get to work with my hands and with people in-person. 

 

Dude, whether you become a teaching pro or not, do yourself a favor and get the hell out of higher ed. 

 

I left about six years ago and couldn't be happier. The industry is a cancer. 

Cleveland Launcher HB 10.5* - Stock Miyazaki C. Kua 50 Stiff
Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 13* - Aldila NV 75 Stiff
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Mizuno F-50 18* - Stock Stiff
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Callaway Diablo Edge Tour Hybrid 21* - Aldila NV 85 Stiff
Callaway RAZR Tour Hybrid 24* - Stock XStiff
5 - PW Cleveland CG7 Tour Black Pearl - DGSL S300
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7 hours ago, Zitlow said:

Go for it but think outside the box. Most instructors teach repackaged versions of the same thing. 

Yes make sure you teach something completely different than anyone else.

 

image.png.053b442d597029860af29a18423cd0b7.png

1 hour ago, Chippy8 said:

 

If you're already accomplished with a club in your hand you could find a very well attended range nearby and go there when they are busiest and practice near the largest group of people.      If you can make a strike sound no one else out there can, can hold your trajectory, bring an array of shots out of your a**,  sooner than later the crowd around you will start asking questions.   The door is then open, give some lessons if asked, and with any luck you can do both until such time you'll have to make a decision. 

 

 

 

This is the sort of thing that only occurs in poorly scripted movies. In real life a crowd does not gather around a good player begging to give them money.

 

1 hour ago, miamistomp said:

 I have several friends who are ( or were ) teaching pros

The only ones doing okay are teaching kids- adults usually will not stick with an instructor

Cha Ching. The folks I know working with aspiring juniors are raking it in.

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1 hour ago, Chippy8 said:

 

Should have maybe said 'some in the crowd that pass you by may stop and ask questions' instead of how I said it.  I'm pretty confident OP got the drift, hopefully, if he didn't perhaps now he will.   Thanks for the heads up though.  I'm assuming you made a typo too with 'them' instead of 'him'.  

Colour me confused on this one? I make loads of writing mistakes but I am lost this time - what is the issue with the word them? I was talking about a generic good player, not a him or her. 

 

Them:

  • the objective case of singular they, used as a direct or indirect object: 
  1. (used to refer to a generic or unspecified person previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context): If you know anyone looking for a job, tell them to contact me.If an officer were to ask you that question directly, you would have to answer them honestly.
Edited by 2bGood
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1 hour ago, jholz said:

 

Dude, whether you become a teaching pro or not, do yourself a favor and get the hell out of higher ed. 

 

I left about six years ago and couldn't be happier. The industry is a cancer. 

 

I hear you.  Glad to hear things are better on the outside.  I'm seeing more of the cancer everyday. 

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1 hour ago, ChipNRun said:

 

I started playing at my current home club about 10 years ago. At the time, the Director of Instruction was a recently retired high school coach and athletic director. About five years before retirement, he started working on his PGA certification. He got certified right about the time he retired, and moved directly into the head instructor position.

 

He's largely retired from golf now, working with some legacy golf student. He had about two dozen golf students, many female, who went on to play college golf. A couple of them are now golf pros themselves.

 

I will say up front the former AD's saga is an ideal transition story. In your case, it would depend in part on what connections you could make with the golf industry.

 

Another thing: What is the market for golf instructors in the area where you live? In my area, this was as turbulent year. Some teaching pros have just flat retired, or move to another state. One was my insightful pro from about three years at Golf Galaxy. He did a rough fitting with me for Callaway irons in January, and then disappeared in February. He retired to Idaho! I searched for someone to give me a tune-up lesson, and few were available. Those who stayed in were coaching high school or college golfers, meaning they couldn't take on civilians (?).

 

If you're serious about helping golfers get better, good luck! If you are mainly looking for quick $$, please stay away.

This is really helpful.  Thanks. 

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6 minutes ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

I hear you.  Glad to hear things are better on the outside.  I'm seeing more of the cancer everyday. 

 

What department are you in? If it's anything outside of Liberal Arts, you've got a fighting chance. 

 

I was an English Literature professor. I feel lucky I escaped with my life. 

Cleveland Launcher HB 10.5* - Stock Miyazaki C. Kua 50 Stiff
Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 13* - Aldila NV 75 Stiff
or
Callaway Diablo Edge Tour 15* - Accra Dymatch M5 75
Mizuno F-50 18* - Stock Stiff
or
Callaway Diablo Edge Tour Hybrid 21* - Aldila NV 85 Stiff
Callaway RAZR Tour Hybrid 24* - Stock XStiff
5 - PW Cleveland CG7 Tour Black Pearl - DGSL S300
Cleveland 588 RTX Rotex 2.0 50* DG Wedge
Cleveland 588 RTX Rotex 2.0 54* DG Wedge
Callaway X-Series JAWS Slate CC 58* Stock Wedge
Odyssey White Ice #7 - Golf Pride Oversize

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16 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

Colour me confused on this one? I make loads of writing mistakes but I am lost on this one - what is the issue with the word them? I was talking about a generic good player, not a him or her. 

 

Them:

  • the objective case of singular they, used as a direct or indirect object: 
  1. (used to refer to a generic or unspecified person previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context): If you know anyone looking for a job, tell them to contact me.If an officer were to ask you that question directly, you would have to answer them honestly.

 

Wait a second, you're referencing noun case in a WRX discussion? You know grammar has no place here. How dare you!?!

Cleveland Launcher HB 10.5* - Stock Miyazaki C. Kua 50 Stiff
Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 13* - Aldila NV 75 Stiff
or
Callaway Diablo Edge Tour 15* - Accra Dymatch M5 75
Mizuno F-50 18* - Stock Stiff
or
Callaway Diablo Edge Tour Hybrid 21* - Aldila NV 85 Stiff
Callaway RAZR Tour Hybrid 24* - Stock XStiff
5 - PW Cleveland CG7 Tour Black Pearl - DGSL S300
Cleveland 588 RTX Rotex 2.0 50* DG Wedge
Cleveland 588 RTX Rotex 2.0 54* DG Wedge
Callaway X-Series JAWS Slate CC 58* Stock Wedge
Odyssey White Ice #7 - Golf Pride Oversize

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15 minutes ago, jholz said:

 

What department are you in? If it's anything outside of Liberal Arts, you've got a fighting chance. 

 

I was an English Literature professor. I feel lucky I escaped with my life. 

 

Well, I'm an English professor too.  Would love to hear your story.

Edited by MagnoliaGolfer
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2 hours ago, jholz said:

 

Wait a second, you're referencing noun case in a WRX discussion? You know grammar has no place here. How dare you!?!

All while english professors are ignore it. 😉

 

The "should I become a golf pro?" threads always seem to deliver. 

Edited by 2bGood
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2 hours ago, 2bGood said:

Yes make sure you teach something completely different than anyone else.

 

image.png.053b442d597029860af29a18423cd0b7.png

 

This is the sort of thing that only occurs in poorly scripted movies. In real life a crowd does not gather around a good player begging to give them money.

 

 

Francis Ouimet disliked this post. 

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39 minutes ago, xmanhockey7 said:

What makes you want to be a golf instructor?

 

I think I have a romanticized view of it, but being outside all day, teaching, working with people.  That'd be great.  Folding shirts, the administrative tasks, not so much.  But I suppose the latter is as much a part of the job as the former, or even more of the job than the former.  So, a pipe dream for a job that doesn't actually exist! 

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10 hours ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

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.  

 

I'm a retired management professor, so I have some comparisons to make.

 

One thing is that not all beginning golfers are created equal. They vary in hand-eye coordination, sense of balance, flexibility and strength; strength properly applied to the motion of the golf swing creates power in the swing. Some want to become top-notch golfers, others want to learn the basics of the swing so they can play on Thursday afternoon company scrambles.

 

A golf instructor must be able to diagnose these varying aptitudes and motivations. And, help the golfer "tease out" the golf swing potential within him or her. Likewise, a professor must be able to help students of varying talents and motivations "get the material."

 

Some instructors do better teaching intro to golf, while others are better at developing advanced players. In academia, some profs do better teaching Management 101, while others do better graduate Strategy.

 

10 hours ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

People want numbers, they want data.  I'm a relic.

 

Data and numbers are tools to help golfers develop their swing, but are probably most useful in fittings. Video is a tool to analyze golf swings, but not the be-all and end-all of instruction. Remember, a golf swing - takeaway to impact - lasts maybe 2 seconds. Thus, the golfer hardly has time to think his way through P1 to P9 positions while making a swing.

 

But, pictures of positions can be seen as artifacts of what is going well or wrong in one's swing. The pro told me I was swaying instead of loading on the takeaway. I wasn't sure what he meant until he showed me what was wrong. After the lesson, he gave me a sequence of three short before-after video clips of things to work on.

 

Others can be coaxed into proper motion simply by feeling how to tweak their swing.

 

And, golfer and instructor need to be on the same page.  Instructor has to be able to sense what the golfer needs, and the golfer - to improve - needs to practice and play what is learned. 

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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2021, post-MAX changeover)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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42 minutes ago, MagnoliaGolfer said:

 

I think I have a romanticized view of it, but being outside all day, teaching, working with people.  That'd be great.  Folding shirts, the administrative tasks, not so much.  But I suppose the latter is as much a part of the job as the former, or even more of the job than the former.  So, a pipe dream for a job that doesn't actually exist! 

I teach over 2k lessons a year. I fold 0 shirts except my own. It can be rewarding work and especially now with the golf boom no shortage of people looking for lessons. 
 

I’ll add this. I don’t think you know exactly what you’re getting into. Seek out some instructors near you and see if they’ll let you shadow them. Ask questions. See what their days are like. The good and the bad of the jobs. 

Edited by xmanhockey7
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13 hours ago, TexasTurf said:

Those who can't do, teach.

 

This is an ancient snide comment that some people think is a law of the universe. But it's not.

 

In football, eight-time Pro Bowl defensive back Deion Sanders now coaches at his alma mater, Jacksonville State U. Also, former Missouri All-American wide receiver Jeremy Macklin, who went on to play for the NFL Eagles and Chiefs, is now head coach at his hometown alma mater, Kirkwood H.S. in St. Louis.

 

Golfdom itself products players who were successful in college or on the pro tour. This does not guarantee, however, they will be good golf instructors. In St. Louis area, a top amateur who worked his way onto the Champions Tour had a reputation as a poor instructor. He bought a local golf course, and during off-season would attempt to give lessons.

 

I met a couple of high school golfers who were highly disappointed with his lessons. "He told me, just point the right direction and hit the ball. Don't think so much."

 

Sometimes, natural golfers struggle as instructors because they can't understand why others can't do something as easy as hitting a golf ball.

 

Edited by ChipNRun
Correct J-State copy, as per @Abh159
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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2021, post-MAX changeover)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

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2 minutes ago, ChipNRun said:

 

This is an ancient snide comment that some people think is a law of the universe. But it's not.

 

In football, eight-time Pro Bowl defensive back Deion Sanders now coaches at his alma mater, Jacksonville State U. 

 

Agree on the "those who can't do teach" saying being outdated and just plain dumb, but I wanted to give you a heads up your info about Deion isn't accurate. 

 

He coaches at Jackson State (not Jacksonville State and also not his alma mater) and he went to school / played for Florida State. Not that it changes the point you're making...

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I've posted it before and its not directly my story but my best buddies. 

 

Growing up I was better, both of us wanted to be in the golf world. Life took me one way and him another. We graduate high school I go to university he goes to a golf school in San Diego and eventually passes the PAT in Canada (where we live). I believe his grandfather paid for the golf school and he did love it there. 

 

He ends up becoming an assistant pro in a nearby town and fills me in on his journey as we go through the years. Essentially a pro shop shirt folder, Mens night organizer. The head pro did the majority of lessons and the 2-3 young pros got to run the junior clinics every now and again. He was the newest employee so the worst shifts were his, all the holidays, weekends, late nights, fill in shifts etc. Long hours and not a lot of pay to get started. And usually the head pro positions are hard to get and those guys dont want to leave. There are a lot of 70 year old director of golf or head teaching professionals for a reason...

 

I never heard him more miserable or saw him so dejected as he was the 4-5 years he spent making a little above minimum wage. I remember he joked with me that he was lucky to get nine holes in a week as he hated being out there on his day off and preferred to play at the other club in town the rare chances he could get to play.

 

Anyways long story short: He's a carpenter now, much happier in his life, makes a ton more money and we golf 3 times a week. I still kick his a** though haha.

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