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Becoming a Teaching Pro?


MagnoliaGolfer
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18 minutes ago, Mcgeeno said:

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.

Being an Assistant Pro and a teacher are two very different things.  I would never be a club pro. 

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45 minutes ago, Abh159 said:

... 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.

 

Good catch!

 

Did a quick check. The Sanders at Jacksonville State U. (different college) is defensive end Umstead Sanders.

 

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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34 minutes ago, Mcgeeno said:

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. ...

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....

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.

 

Sounds similar to the story of a team golfer from a college I taught at in Oklahoma. He was a decent player and a good student, and worked for the team coach during summer golf clinics. He graduated, got married, and landed a slot as do-everything assistant pro at an also-ran resort down in Texas.

 

Eighteen months later, the coach gives me an update on the guy. He'd become junior partner in a carpet-installing franchise, had most  weekends off ... and, actually got to play golf regularly.

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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12 hours ago, TexasTurf said:

Those who can't do, teach. 

 

Many of those who can, probably shouldn't be teaching. I would say that most of the great instructors out there have sound swings, many digging it out of the dirt. They could probably be competitive if they put their mind, time, and effort in it. We all appreciate that their love is for coaching us hacks. 

Mavrik 10.5 Project X Riptide 6.5 Small Batch

Sim 17 Ventus Red 7X

Sim Hybrid 21 Ventus Blue 9X

3-5 P770  KBS C-taper 120

6-PW Blueprint KBS C-taper 125 ssx1

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@RichieHunthad a great post and it makes a ton of sense. 

 

My story was more related to my obvious older age haha. There was no youtube or instagram coaching sessions or snippets back then. You were not setting up online lessons. Or creating a Tom Seguto golf academy off from youtube and twitter. 

 

My buddy was like 25 when he passed his PAT and had to pay rent and bills. Your main option was to find a club who would take you as a junior assistant and try to grind your way in the hard way starting with a grand total customer base of zero. 

 

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30 minutes ago, MonteScheinblum said:

Those that can’t play or teach make snide remarks. 😜

Yeah it's really a silly statement. I would contend most/all of the top instructors know how to play, but knowing how to play certainly doesn't mean you know how to teach.  This notion that it is one or the other is illogical. 

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7 minutes ago, Krt22 said:

Yeah it's really a silly statement. I would contend most/all of the top instructors know how to play, but knowing how to play certainly doesn't mean you know how to teach.  This notion that it is one or the other is illogical. 

I never made the big tour, but played at a high enough level at times through the years that showed I was good enough, just missed a few pieces.  Bradley Hughes, Butch Harmon, Jackie Burke,  just to name a few.

 

I don’t take offense to those statements, or things like drive for show and putt for dough, because I could always beat the people who said those things.  What I don’t like about them is they mislead people.  Getting better at golf at any level is about being educated and the tired old statements get in the way of that.

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1 hour ago, MonteScheinblum said:

I never made the big tour, but played at a high enough level at times through the years that showed I was good enough, just missed a few pieces.  Bradley Hughes, Butch Harmon, Jackie Burke,  just to name a few.

 

I don’t take offense to those statements, or things like drive for show and putt for dough, because I could always beat the people who said those things.  What I don’t like about them is they mislead people.  Getting better at golf at any level is about being educated and the tired old statements get in the way of that.

 

The other reason why that statement doesn't apply to swing instructors, often great players are TERRIBLE at explaining what they're doing in their golf swing. The best guy in college said he thought of just "swinging around himself"...another top player in my area said he thinks of one word, like "tempo" or "turn". Um...what? Literally, his swing philosophy is a single word. Cool...well I'm 10* down with my 6 iron, time to go find a Youtube video on shallowing.

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When I was a youngster in college in the 90s I wanted to teach golf. 

 

I had that feeling that I could be really good at it.  No one could stop me or get in my way.  I used to cut articles out of magazines, Golf Digest and Golf Magazine were my favorite.  I used to organize the articles into different folders based on what part of the game they were about.  I loved Jack Nicklaus' articles.  In fact that's also how I learned to play and haven't had a lesson, but I would watch the pros teach as I got a job at a top course and my buddy there who played for Long Beach used to call me Golf Digest.  One of the pros student's did very well this year on tour and the Ryder Cup lol. 

 

I ended up having a change of heart to do something else towards the end of college.... Buuuut the point is how enthusiastic are you about it?  Will you do anything to make it happen or be really good at it?  Is it a whim or something burning inside of you.... It's a tough climb but you can be great if you have the energy and hustle to make it so..... like Michael J Fox used to sleep in his truck to pay for acting lessons (story I heard and doesn't even matter if true or not its a good story lol) but if you mail it in you won't end up starring in Back to the Future but end up a waiter or hooka serving duck soup in Hollywood 🦆😝

Edited by Barfolomew

I try and like my own posts but can't figure out how...

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Teaching is something you love, or not.  If you do, you can teach whatever you've trained and studied for.  I taught English as a foreign language to adults for almost twenty years.  I no longer teach but I've always felt a teacher.  So if there's enough passion for teaching and golf you can definitely find a way to teaching golf.  It may not the most rewarding activity moneywise, but, hey what the heck getting someone to hit a ball and to start playing and lowering their handicap is rewarding enough.  And, true, you become a good teacher through experience and hard work.  You can see all these guys on YouTube and Instagram who have really studied the swing and they all try hard to find a way to pass it through their students.  And then you see a lot of pros at clubs and driving ranges who don't even care to teach a decent grip.  They are all out there scattered.   

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On 10/26/2021 at 10:34 AM, Lobby said:

You wanna become an engineer, lawyer, doctor?  You go to university 

 

But you wanna teach golf, and you need to watch YouTube videos and hang out with top teaching pros. 
 

is it any wonder we have trouble finding good teaching pros?

 

I'm not sure that's original but it's really interesting.

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9 hours ago, Krt22 said:

Yeah it's really a silly statement. I would contend most/all of the top instructors know how to play, but knowing how to play certainly doesn't mean you know how to teach.  This notion that it is one or the other is illogical. 

I agree, it's just a generic statement that people always defer to in regards to teachers. I meant it in a fun way, hard to tell over the computer.

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4 hours ago, Lobby said:


The point I was trying to make was how sad it was that golf instructors needed to educate themselves. 
 

I wasn’t disparaging the self taught

That doesn't make any sense. The best teachers (of anything) are those constantly educating themselves. In this day and age, there are literally countless ways to consume content on just about anything, all of which can be valuable. Learning what NOT to teach is very important, as is doing competitive analysis of the market segment. There are plenty of poor instructors, but those who are very outspoken about golf instruction as a whole are likely also terrible students (which are probably more common than poor instructors)

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23 hours ago, golfarb1 said:

Take some courses in kinesiology at your local college

Become very knowledgeable in teaching with Trackman. 

 

I often think my wife would be a great instructor: as a DPT with multiple certifications, she knows more about kinesiology than just about anyone. Too bad she doesn't golf. She would do really well though; interesting person, tall attractive blonde. Just what the industry needs! 

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