Why a Coach Matters
Certainly one of the most often asked questions I get is: “How do I find the right instructor for my young golfer?”Every golf professional has their own unique personality and coaching methods that teach, motivate, encourage and inspire. And of course, it’s true that some programs may work well for some young players and not for others.
But in my years of working with youth golf, I’ve found that nearly all young players respond best to coaches who incorporate these elements:
- FUN! — Good coaches make learning fun. Historically, golf instruction has not been fun. The best coaches create games and a social setting that not only makes the learning enjoyable, but the atmosphere as well. If it’s not fun, it becomes a chore. Kids don’t like chores.
- FITTING — The coach understands the importance of a club that fits. A poorly fit club, and this includes “dad’s cut-down 5 wood” results in a bad experience. Specifically, the student may be doing a good job of applying the instruction, but because the club is not the correct length or too heavy, results will be poor.
- REWARDS — Kids love to receive incentives to improve and having measurable challenges is the best way to do that. Plus, a structured program, clearly communicated to both player and parent enables everyone to know how the player is doing. You and your child deserve to the see the yield of the time and money invested.
- PLAY — The coach provides opportunities to get your player on the course right away. This has been a challenge at times in the past, but I find it really important to give them a sample of the game early in their instruction. Imagine signing up for baseball and you never get on the field to play a game. Getting kids on the course on holes that are the right length to help them shoot lower scores and have fun is a key element to fully engaging them in the game.
- Golf is as much art as it is science. A good coach can implement their program while working with the myriad of personalities and ability-levels that working with young golfers includes. But when you find the right coach, you’ve given your child the gift of a lifetime — one that will enhance their life and yours in some incredible ways.
I encourage you to find a U.S. Kids Golf Certified Coach, or even more, come visit us at the U.S. Kids Golf Academy at Longleaf Golf & Family Club in Southern Pines, N.C. Good luck and play well!